Connect with us

Front Pix

Rivers Gets First Chief Of Army Staff …As Jonathan Names Minimah, Three Other Service Chiefs

Published

on

Rivers State in the South-South geo-political zone of Nigeria yesterday made a remarkable stride as it produced its first Chief of Army Staff in a surprise military shake-up announced by the Presidency.
Major-General Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah from Opobo Kingdom in Rivers State, yesterday replaced Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika from Abia State, South East, as Chief of Army Staff.
President Goodluck Jonathan announced the replacement in the entire military leadership without any explanation.
A surprise statement by the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, announced the removal of the Chiefs of Defence, Army, Navy and Air Force and named their successors.
All the four newly appointed Service Chiefs are experienced military officials in their mid-50s. Air Marshal Alex Badeh – who is from Adamawa State, one of three in the North East under emergency rule – takes over from Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim as Chief of Defence Staff, the Presidency said in a statement.
Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin is the new Chief of Naval Staff and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu has become the Chief of Air Force, a position previously held by newly promoted Badeh, the Presidency said.
While erstwhile Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, was appointed the new Chief of Defence Staff, all the other service chiefs were dropped.
The statement signed by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, reads in part:
“President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan has in the exercise of the powers conferred on him by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, approved the following changes in the nation’s Military High Command:
“Air Marshal Alex Badeh takes over from Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim as Chief of Defence Staff;
“Major-General Kenneth Tobiah Jacob Minimah takes over from Lt.-General Azubike O. Ihejirika as Chief of Army Staff;
“Rear Admiral Usman O. Jibrin takes over from Vice Admiral Dele Joseph Ezeoba as Chief of Naval Staff; and Air Vice Marshal Adesola Nunayon Amosu takes over from Air Marshal Badeh as Chief of Air Staff.
“All the changes are with immediate effect.
“The new Chief of Defence Staff and former Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Badeh was born on January 10, 1957 and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 21 Regular Course.
“The new Chief of Army Staff, Major-General Minimah was born on July 27, 1959, and joined the Army as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 25 Regular Course. Until his new appointment, Major-General Minimah was the Commander of the Nigerian Army Infantry Corps, Jaji.
“The new Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Usman Jibrin was born on September 16, 1959 and joined the Navy as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 24 Regular Course. Until his appointment as Chief of Naval Staff, he was Director of Training at Defence Headquarters.
“The new Chief of Air Staff and immediate past Commander of the Presidential Air Fleet, Air Vice Marshal Amosu was born on August 1, 1958 and joined the Air Force as a member of the Nigerian Defence Academy’s 25 Regular Course. Until his new appointment, Air Vice Marshal Amosu was the Air Officer Commanding, Tactical Air Command, Makurdi.
“President Jonathan has briefed the leadership of the National Assembly on the appointment of the new service chiefs and will, in keeping with the provisions of the law, request the National Assembly to formally confirm the appointments when it reconvenes.”
It, however, gave no reason but the military has suffered a series of setbacks recently in fighting the Boko Haram sect which is trying to create an Islamic state in North East Nigeria.
Boko Haram gunmen stormed the Air Force base and military barracks around the Maiduguri airport on December 2.
The group was also suspected of being behind a car bomb in the city this week which killed 29 people and wounded dozens more.
“I think this is performance-related,” a security expert in Nigeria said.
“The security teams haven’t had a glowing record recently. The Air Force base attack was shocking.”
Boko Haram has waged a four-year-long insurgency which has killed thousands in the religiously mixed country of 170 million and is the biggest security threat in Africa’s top oil exporter and second largest economy.
The Nigerian Army had its own internal shake-up of senior and mid-level positions in December.
Jonathan ordered a state of emergency and an intensified military surge last May in the North East, where the bulk of Boko Haram attacks take place.
He was forced to extend emergency rule in November as troops struggled to contain the insurgents.
A Presidency source said Jonathan was keen to score some visible successes against the insurgents before what are expected to be closely contested elections next year.
The president is also facing a political crisis in his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and mass defections to an increasingly powerful opposition.
Meanwhile, the Nigeria Police yesterday pulled out two Deputy Inspectors-General of Police, Marvel Akpoyibo and Philemon Leha, who retired from the force after reaching 60 years of age.
Akpoyibo, until his retirement, was DIG in charge of Training while Leha was DIG, Operations.
They were enlisted into the police in 1980 as Cadet Assistant Superintendent of Police.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mr Mohammed Abubakar, described them as officers who had exhibited courage, operational sagacity, uncommon tactical expertise and professionalism in service.
“It can therefore be said that they had given a good account of themselves by successfully serving the Nigeria Police with impeccable records.
“Today, it is befitting, we honour these DIGs, whose lives have been a profound inspiration to us.
“Their brilliant contributions accounted for the successes of the present police management and transformation in the Nigeria police,’’ he said.
The I-G said that one notable attribute of the two retiring senior officers was their strong dedication and commitment to the service of the nation.
He urged them to continue to support the police in every aspect of their lives even as they “permanently drop the arms and uniform’’.

Executive Governor, Rivers State, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi (middle) inspecting a parade, during 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday. Photo; Egberi A Sampson

Executive Governor, Rivers State, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi (middle) inspecting a parade, during 2014 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration at Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday. Photo; Egberi A Sampson

Continue Reading

Front Pix

90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

Published

on

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

Continue Reading

Featured

We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

Published

on

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

Continue Reading

Featured

Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

Published

on

Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

Continue Reading

Trending