Any vessel caught without valid papers or laden with stolen oil will be siezed, the Flag Officer, in charge of Naval Central Command, Yenagoa, Rear Admiral Sidi-Ali Usman has warned.
Admiral Usman gave the warning while clearing circumstances surrounding the controversial Vessel grounded at Odioma Water way in Brass Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
According to the Flag Officer the grounded vessel, MV LILA and tug ,MV? St. VICTORIA have been impounded? by a Naval gun boat ,NNS BOMADI? at Odioama along St. Nicholas river in Brass local government of the state saying that six persons who tried to remove its contents were arrested.
Speaking to journalists last Wednesday, Usman affirmed that? operatives of the Forward Operation Base FORMOSO were? making relentless efforts to ensure the barge was salvaged from its present position.
“On August 10, at about 18.25,a Naval team on routine patrol was attracted to a suspected barge movement from Odioama to St.St. Nicholas river. On approaching the self-propelled barge ,it was discovered to have gone aground.The barge was identified as MV LILA.”It would recalled that the Chief of Naval Staff ,Vice Admiral Dele Ezeoba has repeatedly affirmed his zero tolerance for oil theft and related criminalities in the maritime domain,”he said.
Usman revealed that five vessels linked with illegal oil bunkering in the state have been impounded in the past two months ,stressing that more arrests would be effected by the Navy.
He said:”This would prevent the likelihood of oil spill and consequential damage to the environment .Similarly ,investigations into the source of the suspected stolen product in the barge has since commenced.
“That barge must gone aground when they were making efforts to get it,but they were not aware that part of our strategy is also to contain this illicit activities from the seaward end.So when we noticed this ,we tasked the unit over there to contain the activity and on the process we found this barge abandoned.As I speak some of our men are mounting surveillance there.It is in the course of the surveillance that we arrested this tug.The tug actually came to retrieve the grounded barge over there,”Usman explained.
Continuing:”Somebody must have contracted the tug ,the owner who uses his tug to come and retrieve his property.It would have been a different game if we were not able to lay hand on anybody.We were not deceived even with the abandonment we quickly instructed that they should be within the area ,that it was not a ghost that brought the barge there .”
Usman warned that illegal oil vessels without valid documents plying the waterways of the state would be Impounded? when they are sighted by Naval operatives patrolling the area.
His words:”We are using this opportunity to sound as a note of warning to illegal oil bunkerers ,they are not supposed to be there.The required papers for them to be there,we will arrest any of those vessels so sighted .Even as I speak now we have arrested? some vessels 5 while investigations continue.More arrests is still coming ,we are unrelenting .
“Our strategy is of three fold ,we will go after them in the creeks,also the areas where they carry out illegal refineries.If they are sighted we will destroy them,we patrol at the seaward end of the creeks.Any vessel of opportunities? that is sighted there would be impounded.Any vessel without clearance papers will be seized.I hope vessels coming this way will comply.There is no room for illegalities in the sea ,we can’t tolerate it any further ,”he noted.
IPAC Wants State Of Emergency In C’ River
The Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) has called for the declaration of a state of emergency in Cross River State over alleged heightened crimes and looming anarchy.
A statement signed by the Chairman of Young Progressives Party (YPP) in the state who doubles as the IPAC chairman, Anthony Bissong Attah said the call had become imperative following recent happenings in the state.
On Monday morning, a large number of ex-militants barricaded Governor Ben Ayade’s office in Calabar over alleged non-implementation of an earlier agreement and neglect.
The militants had caused chaos in the vicinity until Alfred Mboto, an aide to Governor Ayade offered them a gift of N500,000 for fuel and appealed that the Governor will have a session with them.
There have also been renewed kidnapping, armed robbery and gangsterism in parts of the state despite the state government’s efforts.
Following the incident, the IPAC chairman, said the tension had been exacerbated by the invasion of the Governor’s office by ex-militants.
“Recall that the entire state civil service has been shut down for the past two weeks with attendant unprecedented street protests.
“Alarmed by heightening national insecurity, we are compelled to demand that a state of emergency be declared in Cross River State to forestall a total breakdown of law and order in our once most peaceful state in Nigeria.”
Attah also stressed that it is not until the Cross River State situation becomes like that of states in the North-East, North-West and South-East before the Federal Government would act, stressing that the lives of the people are at risk.
Reacting swiftly, Alfred Mboto frowned at the call, describing it as wicked and very bad from IPAC and YPP.
He said in all the states in Nigeria, Cross River is still the safest, adding that in the crime index, the state is at the lowest rung.
“Security situation in Cross River is still the best up till tomorrow. Those calling for a state of emergency should peep into some of the South-East or North-East states and make comparisons. Such comment is wicked and very bad.”
IYC Alleges Marginalisation Of Ijaw Communities
Ijaw communities in three local government areas in Edo State, on Monday, alleged abandonment by successive governments in the state.
A statement signed by the Secretary, Western Zone of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Omaghomi Olu-Derimon, lamented that the Ijaw communities in Ikpoba-Okha, Ovia North-East and Ovia South-West Local Government Areas of the state had been left to provide social amenities for themselves.
He said the communities were without good roads, potable water and healthcare facilities including dilapidated schools where their children are made to learn.
He lamented that some of the schools in the villages were built in the First and Second Republics and had since been abandoned by successive governments.
He appealed to Governor Godwin Obaseki to, as a matter of urgency, see to the correction of the situation in order for the people to have a sense of belonging.
He said, “This age-long seeming abandonment and marginalisation have forced us to ask ourselves if we are really still part of the state.
“We have been facing this neglect ever since; it is not just Obaseki’s administration.
“The riverine areas of Edo are mostly occupied by the Ijaw and it is the most underdeveloped area of the state.
“Owing to the neglect of the area by past administrations, the most of these communities lack government presence in terms of primary health care, potable water, schools, water hyacinth control and good roads.
“With over 200 major and satellite communities, we have contributed to the socio-economic development of the state, yet there is nothing to show for it.
“Just recently, the government of Edo State listed some roads for construction and rehabilitation, but none of our communities were captured.
“Our means of livelihood is threatened because of water hyacinth and nothing is being done about it, meanwhile a lot of development is taking place in the city,” he stated.
Wife Battery Offenders Risk Jail Term In A’Ibom
The wife of Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mrs. Martha Udom Emmanuel, has threatened to champion the arrest, prosecution and imprisonment of any man caught beating his wife anywhere in the state.
Mrs. Emmanuel handed down the warning recently at the inauguration of the ONNA Chapter of Eket Senatorial District Women Forum and empowerment scheme sponsored by her pet project, the Family Empowerment and Youth Reorientation Path-initiative (FEYReP) in collaboration with the forum.
Speaking to the women on issues about gender-based violence, the governor’s wife said that violence against women in the state would not be tackled with kid gloves.
She said, “We are against violence against women in Akwa Ibom. If you do it and I have evidence against you, you will go to prison”.
“There are many women who have been beaten to death by their husbands. If you die, who will take care of your children?
Although the governor’s wife acknowledged that some women would, at one time or the other, provoke their husbands to anger, she maintained that such provocation should not be an excuse for wife battering.
Speaking further, Mrs Emmanuel, who noted that innocent and vulnerable children are many times violated sexually by neighbours or relatives, cautioned mothers not to unnecessarily hand over their female children to the care of untrusted relatives or neighbors.
She also warned that any woman found to be covering up for a husband who sexually molested a child would be arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned.
According to the First Lady, any woman who would be comfortable with her husband who sexually molested a child must be a wicked person and a witch.
She explained that no fewer than seven fathers are currently awaiting trial for alleged rape and defilement of their daughters in Akwa Ibom State.
“As I speak, we have about seven fathers in police cell awaiting trial for defiling their daughters. If you know you husband is that kind of a person, please protect your daughters.
“Some women are fond of covering up for their husbands when they have sexually molested their children. If you are caught, you will go to jail”, she added.
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