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Bodo Agog Over N25bn Shell Compensation

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APC supporters at a campaign rally in Rivers State, recently

APC supporters at a campaign rally in Rivers State, recently

Bodo community in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State appears to be enjoying a new vista following the payment of N25 billion oil spill compensation by the Anglo-Dutch oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC).
Our correspondent, who visited the area, last Thursday, said the community was agog with construction of new buildings, massive renovation of old houses, and the emergence of a lot of small and medium enterprises.
Chairman of Bodo Council of Chiefs, Chief Livinus Kiebel told The Tide that “massive transformation is going on in the area. Poor women who have never had N10,000 before in their lives are now receiving at least N600,000.00 individual claims”.
Describing the compensation as a big blessing to the people, he said, “Everybody is happy and in every corner of the community, you see a lot of new houses being constructed, massive renovation works are going on in old buildings. New businesses, new vehicles, fishing gears, canoes, among others, are being acquired daily.
“This economic boom in Bodo at this period when Nigeria is passing through ‘austerity’ has also impacted on traders in the area”, said an Igbo trader who deals on building materials in the community, as according to him, daily sales are impressive.
A woman, who identified herself as Mama Lebari, said the life of her family has changed as she and her five sons put their claims together which has brought about a turn around that was never envisaged.
The chairman of the chiefs council, also said “as I speak to you, people have paid tithes and appreciation to God such that my church, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Bodo, has received about N20 million from tithe and other forces of appreciation to God.
Kiebel said the people were happy with Leigh Day & Company, the United Kingdom-based firm for assisting the community win its suit against SPDC and the ultimate payment of the compensation, unlike what it used to be in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
According to him, after a long drawn legal battle with SPDC over the major crude oil spillage in the area that resulted in high scale destruction in 2008, at least, SPDC was defeated and had no option than to pay N25 billion for the damage.
The chief, however, decried what he termed negative impact of oil politics, which frustrates development in the region.
He accused SPDC of always denying responsibility when spills occur from its aged pipes, thereby reducing the economic fortunes of the people.
“The company would always apply divide and rule system, and link the spills to third party and bunkering activities even when such spill was occasioned by its negligence”, he said.
Kiebel also accused the Federal Government of not coming to the aid of the people by wielding the big stick on the multinationals.
“There is too much oil politics frustrating people from getting justice in the Niger Delta over oil spill. No matter how gracious, Federal Government would not come out with the big stick, but would rather make noise while the victims of the spill keep suffering “, he said.
He called for immediate abrogation of the Land Use Act, saying the law is against all norms in modern world.
“Because they see oil as everything, the military people came up with the decree in the 70s”, he stated, and urged the National Assembly to emulate advanced nations of the world and repeal the Land Use Act.

 

Chris Oluoh & Lydia William

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Obasanjo, Abdulsalami, Sultan, Others Brainstorm On Insecurity

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Rising insecurity and agitations for secession by different ethnic groups across Nigeria has attracted the attention of elder statesmen and other national leaders to a meeting in Abuja.

The meeting was organised by Interfaith Initiatives for Peace jointly led by the Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, and Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan, and the National Peace Committee chaired by Gen Abdulsalami Abubakar (rtd).

Reporters were barred from taking part in the closed-door meeting, expected to proffer solutions to the ongoing security challenges threatening the peace and unity of the country.

It was also an exploratory meeting on pressing issues of national unity, security, peace, integration, economic revitalisation and development, women and youth welfare and general progress.

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Head of State, General Abdulsalam Abubakar (rtd); Sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar; Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi; Tor Tiv, Prof Ortese Iorzua James Ayatse, Emeritus Cardinal John Onaiyekan; President General (Ohanaeze Ndigbo), Prof George Obiozor; and Afenifere leader, Ayo Adebanjo; were all in attendance.

Others sighted at the meeting are President of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; CAN General Secretary, Joseph Daramola; JAMB Registrar, Prof Ishaq Oloyede; Etsu Nupe, Yahya Abubakar; former Minister of Agriculture, Chief Audu Ogbe, among several political and traditional rulers at the meeting.

Elder statesmen, Chief Edwin Clark, also attended the event at the Congress Hall of Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja, but could not participate in the meeting because he could not climb the staircase to the meeting room.

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Fighting Corruption Difficult In Democratic Setting, Buhari Laments

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President Muhammadu Buhari says fighting corruption in democratic setting is a difficult task to accomplish.

The president disclosed this during an interview with Arise Television which was televised, yesterday.

According to him, the war against corruption has not been easy for him since he became a democratically elected president six years ago.

He, however, stressed that his administration had succeeded in easing out corrupt public officials without making noise about it.

Buhari recalled that much was achieved in the fight against corruption when he was military Head of State in the early 80s “when a lot of people were sent to prisons before I was also booted out”.

The president frowned at the way and manner local government system was being managed, saying the local government administration was almost non-existent in the country.

He cited situation where state governors continued to starve the local governments of funds saying “in a situation where N300million is allocated to local government and they are given N100million is not fair”.

On activities of bandits and kidnappers particularly in the North-West and North-Central zones, Buhari said he had given the police and Armed Forces the instructions to be ruthless with bandits and vandals terrorising innocent citizens across the country.

He stated that he had told the security agencies to treat bandits and other criminals in the “the language they understand.

“Problem in the north-west; you have people over there stealing each other’s cattle and burning each other’s villages.

“Like I said, we are going to treat them in the language they understand.

“We have given the police and the military the power to be ruthless. You watch it in a few weeks’ time there will be difference.

”Because we told them if we keep people away from their farm, we are going to starve. And the government can’t control the public.

“If you allow hunger, the government is going to be in trouble and we don’t want to be in trouble.

“We are already in enough trouble. So, we warn them sooner than later you’ll see the difference,’’ he said.

On farmers/herders clashes, the president said the problem had persisted because old cattle routes and grazing areas had been violated by development, adding that those who had taken over such traditional arrangements would be dispossessed.

On the fight against insurgency, Buhari dismissed the assertion that majority of Boko Haram members were foreigners.

According to him, the majority of the Boko Haram members are Nigerians, saying this was further corroborated by Borno State Governor, Prof Babagana Zulum.

The president stated that his administration had done a lot to fight the terrorists and insurgents but the problem in the “North-East is very difficult.”

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Igboho Declares June 12 Day Of Protest, Warns Buhari

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Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho, has declared June 12 as day of protest for Yoruba nation agitators.

The self-acclaimed Yoruba activist said the agitators will hold ‘peaceful rallies’ across the South-West region on Saturday, June 12.

Igboho, who spoke through his spokesman, Olayomi Koiki, in a live video programme aired, last Wednesday night, called on South-West governors to cooperate with the peaceful protesters during the exercise.

He warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration not to attack the agitators.

He said, “Let us warn the Federal Government that if there is bloodshed this weekend, the international community is watching, if the military kills any Nigerian this weekend, it is going to be very hot.

“The Yoruba nation rally will go ahead in every part of Yoruba land and the rest of the country where it will hold.

“Red alarm will begin on Friday. People should stock up food Items from Friday night.

“We are not backing down this weekend; we are ready to take back what belongs to us.”

He also enjoined agitators to ‘fast’ on Friday.

This is coming after NANS under the leadership of its National President, Comrade Sunday Asefon, had declared June 12 as National Day of peaceful protest to call on the government to act decisively towards addressing insecurity.

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