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NASS Suspends Plenary For Senator Dantong



Senate yesterday suspended plenary in honour of their late colleague , Senator Gyang Daylop Dantong who passed on last Sunday during an attack by gunmen at a burial service for his slain constituents.

Following a motion presented by the Senate Leader, Senator Victor Ndoma Egba , the Senate observed one minute silence in respect of the deceased and also adopted the motion to suspend plenary till Wednesday. Speaking to newsmen after signing the condolence register opened for the late Senator at the National Assembly complex, President of the Senate, Senator David Mark for the umpteenth time called on Nigerians to embrace dialogue as the only means to attain a lasting peace in the nation, stressing that Senator Dantong had been sacrificed in the heat of the crisis he had worked so hard  to quell and prayed that this sacrifice of the life of a peace maker would bring an end to the ‘senseless’ killings in Plateau State and other states.

His words, “we should never get tired of preaching that there has to be dialogue because that’s the only solution. Any other solution is not going to be a lasting solution .

“Once there is dialogue and people are able to speak out their minds, and it is resolved and decisions are taken, then, it will be a lasting solution. My prayer is that let Senator Dantong’s death bring peace to Plateau State in particular and to Nigeria in general.

“He has become the sacrificial lamb now and his death would be in vain if we continue with this madness beyond this point. That’s my prayer to the people of Plateau State and Nigerians in general.

Mark also called on those wielding small arms to surrender them to help stem the level of violence currently consuming Nigerian states.

“All those who have small arms and weapons at their disposal should surrender them and they should allow the security agencies to take charge of security within this country, whether it is in Plateau State or in any other part of Nigeria at all, because that is their responsibility. That is what they are paid to do for us,” Mark advised.

The Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremmadu. described Senator Dantong’s death as unfortunate and shameful.

He said it was very unfortunate that such a peace maker died in the midst of violence.

Other Senators from Plateau State also examined the circumstances surrounding the recurring crises in the state and called on the Federal Government to rise up to the occasion and ensure that peace was restored in the state while urging the Federal Government to also equip the state governor with some level of power to act as the chief security officer of the state.

Former governor of the state, Senator Joshua Dariye also stressed the need for dialogue and enjoined all to shun political, religious or tribal sentiments.

His words,” one cannot quantify the loss of a life. Even if the person is an ordinary citizen, a cleaner. Life before God is sacred and the sanctity of life cannot be reduced as had been reduced over the weekend. It’s very sad, we’ve been thrown into a moment of sadness.

“I believe that dialogue is still the best tool available. Even if you go to the war front to declare war, at the end of the day, you cannot get total peace without dialogue. I think that we must isolate it and see what the local community can do, what the state can do, what the Federal Government must do and then the international community with the media.

“This was a gentleman, a distinguished son of Nigeria who was voted by his people, served his people and died for his people. All we can say is that may God comfort the family.

“If we leave it like that, today, it is Plateau, tomorrow it may not be Plateau. We must all rise up. It is not about religion, we must close  our ranks, whether the person is Christian or Muslim. If we allow political sentiments take the better part of us, then, one day, we may wake up to find that we don’t have the Republic of Nigeria. God forbid”.

Senator Victor Lar, who couldn’t hide his anger, expressed the need for the state government to be strengthened to deal with the situation.

According to him, the invaders camp is not hidden and they had been allowed to live above the law all this while even under the nose of the federal security agencies.

The Senate will later next week hold a valedictory session for the late Senator Gyang Daylop Dantong.

Senator Dantong over the weekend, slumped and died during a stampede following attacks from gunmen at a funeral service for 63 of his constituents slain by suspected Fulani herdsmen.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives yesterday in Abuja suspended plenary session in honour of Senator Gyang Dantong who died on Sunday in Jos.

Speaker, Aminu Tambuwal said the leadership of the House took the decision to suspend plenary session after due consultation with other members.

A minute silence was observed for the late senator and all those who lost their lives at the recent Jos incident.

‘’ The leadership consulted widely, and came to the understanding that in view of what happened in Jos, ( death of Dantong ) we suspend plenary today .’’

Senator Dantong was a former member of the House of Representatives during the fifth Assembly.

Addressing newsmen on the decision taken by the House, Chairman House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Rep. Zakari Mohammed,  said the decision to adjourn plenary session was on humanitarian ground.

‘’ We are just being human because the Senator ( Dantong ) did not plan to die that way.’’

Zakari, representing ( PDP – Kwara ) said the demise of Dantong further brings to question the House concern to the security situation in this country.

He stressed the need for review of the handling of the security situation in the country.

‘’We are extending the right signals now that we have to take bold steps to handle the security situation in the country,’’ he said.


Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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LG Boss Uncovers Bloodstained Army Uniform At ‘Cocaine Village’



The newly inaugurated Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Obarilormate Ollor, has gone to ‘Cocaine village’ at Eleme Trailer Park to execute Governor Nyesom Wike’s quit order on residents of the illegal settlement when he made a shock discovery in one of the rooms.

Ollor had visited the area notorious for drugs and crimes, last Sunday, along with some security personnel to serve the quit notice on residents but met the area deserted—an indication that someone had alerted them about the visit.

Out of curiosity, the chairman opened one of the rooms in the ghetto-like settlement, and found the bloodstained uniform of a soldier, his knife and ATM card.

The chairman and his entourage had expressed suspicion that criminals in the area had killed the owner of the uniform and robbed him.

Ollor said, “Remember that a week ago, His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, gave a directive that all illegal structures be removed. As the chief security officer of the local government, I am under that obligation.

 “What we are doing here today is to inform them in advance and to remind them that the ultimatum still holds. So, on or before June 26, they should move out.

“What we have here is a mixed population of criminals, armed robbers, drug dealers, and even those who allegedly trade in human parts. Right now, we just found the uniform of an Army man who probably may have been killed. His blood all over the room and uniform, his knife and ATM card, which we have given to the police.”

The Rivers State Police Command has reportedly swung into action to unravel the perpetrators of the alleged crime.

Spokesman of the police, SP Nnamdi Omoni, said that the command had received reports about criminal activities in the area, including the alleged killing of a soldier.

Omoni said, “We have gotten complaints and reports of drug traffickers, criminal elements, human organ dealers, kidnappers and more from there.

“Though we have been carrying out investigation into all of the reports but thank God, we now have a good lead and evidence.

“We have been mandated by the state government to carry out massive arrest within the environs to ensure we arrest and prosecute all those persons involved.”

Residents said that the ‘Cocaine village’ is a haven for drug dealers and users, adding that security operatives also patronize the area.

An aide of the Eleme LG chairman, who spoke off-the-record said, “The governor received an intelligence report that the slum harbours criminals and drug addicts who carry out series of crimes, human organ trafficking, abductions and many other criminal acts in the LGA and state at large.

“We learnt also that some security men troop in there off and on to buy drugs and indulge in one crime or the other.

 “The military uniform stained with blood, knife and motorcycle discovered were found in one of the rooms we opened.

“The badge of the military uniform was removed and there were heavy blood stains on the uniform.

“We went there with some police men as assigned to us by the Commissioner of Police, Rivers State Command, Eboka Friday”, he added.

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Insecurity Hasn’t Hindered Projects’ Execution In Rivers, Wike Affirms



The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says that his administration has fearlessly tackled insecurity headlong and created an enabling climate for smooth delivery of quality development projects.
Wike made the assertion at the inauguration of 16.2-kilometre long Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi Road project in Omuma Local Government Area of the state, yesterday.
The governor noted that while other states of the country were still struggling with issues of insecurity, Rivers State was witnessing harvest of development projects with the non-stop inauguration and flag-off ceremonies to their amazement.
“Don’t fight anybody that God has blessed. Don’t fight the state that God has blessed. People are talking about insecurity. We are talking about commissioning and flagging-off of projects. Is it easy? If it is easy, let them try it.”
Wike asserted that it is only states controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) like Rivers that has created a peaceful climate for the citizens while the government delivers democratic dividends.
“Those who say they don’t like what PDP is doing, they have no choice but to like it. You can see what the party (PDP) is doing. We are flagging-off and commissioning projects. Whether they like it or not, we are in charge.”
The governor said it is obvious that Rivers State is no longer on the same level with states that cannot provide dividend of democracy to their people.
Wike said the performance of his administration has restored confidence in Rivers people and they can walk with their heads raised high.
“Rivers people, are you not proud of your state? If you’re a Rivers man, anywhere you go, raise your shoulder high and say that you’re a Rivers man and woman. “They (other parties) can only jealous us, but they cannot do anything. We are of different class. We are not on the same level with them.”
Speaking further, Wike commended the member representing Omuma State Constituency, Hon. KelechiNwogufor his loyalty to PDP.
He also extolled him for his commitment to the welfare of Omuma people and being a trusted ally to him.
At the behest of Nwogu, Wike promised Omuma people that his administration would reconstruct the Umuakali-Eberi Road in appreciation of their support to the PDP.
Inaugurating the project, former President of the Senate, Senator Adolphus Wabara, noted how Wike has redefined governance and broken the jinx of non-performance associated with second tenure governors.
According to him, the approach to development that the governor has adopted stands him out as a much sought-after leader who should be consulted in solving critical national issues related to governance.
“With my experience in elective politics, second terms of most governors are dull; some governors will just go to sleep because they don’t have anything to offer. But you are still commissioning projects, as if you’re not even going to leave.
“Your developmental approach, your developmental plans, and formula should make you an international consultant to the failing government. Because, quite frankly, the magic, I mean, nobody knows except you. You do it with ease, you do it with happiness.”
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, EllokaTasie-Amadi said the Omueze-Umuogba-Umuokpurukpu-Umueke-Umunju-Eberi link road in Omuma Local Government Area was another genuine efforts of the Wike administration to ease the transportation difficulties experienced by rural dwellers in the Omuma.
“Many of these rural projects go unsung probably because the residents are not social media savvy, as in the case of Omuma, who are predominantly farmers, or probably because SM activities are not a part of their past times as it is with city dwellers.
“It may shock you to know that for every kilometre of road we have built in the city we have built 12kms or more in the rural areas. This is a conservative estimate I would like you to ponder upon when you get home.”
He further stated, “This project is a 16.2km long, 10.3m wide road project which has 4.3km of drains. The roads are marked and have a total of 27 road signs to aid driving and enhance public safety.”

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Wike Flags Off Abonnema/ Obonoma Sandfilling Project, Today



All is now set for the flag-off of the Abonnema/Obonoma Sandfilling project in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that, “the project will sandfill 42 hectares of land that will help expand Abonnema and Obonoma Towns.
“It is in fulfilment of the promise made by Governor Nyesom Wike during the commissioning of the Abonnema Ring Road”.
The statement further added that, “The rich culture and tradition of the Kalabaris will be fully on display at the event.
“Please, note that all Covid-19 protocols will be observed at the event”, it stressed.

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