Youth of the Niger Delta region have described as irresponsible and questionable the stand taken by the forum of Northern Governors over attacks of Fulani Herdsmen on communities in the Middle Belt and Southern part of the country.
The youth, who reacted under the aegis of Niger Delta Youth Coalition (NDYC), said the position jointly taken by the Northern Governors Forum was a clear and direct indication of support to the activities of the herdsmen, which according to them, has capacity to embolden the criminal group.
National Co-ordinator of NDYC, Prince Emmanuel Ogba, tagged the Fulani Herdsmen as terrorists, who use cows as disguise to perpetrate heinous crimes by raping wives and daughters of the Southern Nigeria, killing, maiming and sacking communities.
The sin of those victims who were killed is that they refused to allow the hersemen use their farm crops as feeds to Fulanis’ cattle even in their own land, he said.
“It beats my imagination that governors who should be seen as responsible public leaders in all ramifications and civilized disposition, could encourage the activities of the terrorists. It is indeed a big shame for our nation”, he said, and advised the forum to apologise to the nation for their collective and irresponsible utterances.
He said such utterances have dangerous implication for the security of Nigeria considering the effects of the unending Boko Haram menace in the North.
Ogba commended the National Assembly for its recent stand on the issue, noting however, that the delayed intervention of Federal Government on the issue was an unfortunate development.
The Youth leaders, however, demanded that the security agencies arrest and prosecute all those involved in the shameless killing of innocent Nigerians without provocation.
He also called on the security agencies to investigate how the Fulani herdsmen came in possession of sophisticated weapons such as Ak 47, dynamites and granades.
“We must know how Ak 47, granades, and dynamites got into their hands. It is a clear indication that powerful individuals and groups are at the background giving them the support”, said the NDYC boss.
He called on the Southern States, particularly the six Niger Delta States’ House of Assembly to immediately begin the process of enacting laws outlawing the activities of herdsmen in their states, arguing that such laws should equally make it illegal for any cow rearer or dealer to allow cows stray into the farms or streets.
Ogba also urged members of the National Assembly to reject any motion aimed at creating grazing areas, stressing that cow rearing was a private business and should remain private for the individual owners.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has restated his administration’s resolve to deal decisively and expeditiously with reported cases of continued attacks on communities across the country by armed herdsmen.
The president was speaking yesterday night at a meeting with members of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) held in the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
A statement issued by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, said that President Buhari confirmed that heads of national security agencies had been ordered to take all necessary action to apprehend and expose those behind the heinous attacks.
“We are determined to secure all Nigerians and I have told the Inspector-General of Police and other security agencies, in very strong terms, to deal decisively with the attackers,’’ he said.
President Buhari expressed his personal condolences to the Catholic Bishop of Enugu, the people of Ukpabi Nimbo and all other communities that had suffered fatalities and other losses from the recent attacks.
Speaking on other national issues, the statement quoted the President as assuring the Bishops that he was acting with deliberation and moving methodically to implement his Change Agenda for the good of the country.
“We need to rebuild our institutions methodically, we need to change the way we do things.
The Catholic Bishops Conference of Nigeria (CBCN) has informed President Muhammadu Buhari that Nigerians cannot continue to live in the grip of fear of attacks perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen across the country.
The position of the bishops was contained in a statement the Catholic clergy presented at their meeting with Mr President at the Presidential Villa, on Monday.
This came as the founder of the Marian Soup Kitchen (MSK) and Parish Priest of Holy Cross Catholic Church, Gwarinpa, Abuja, Rev. Dr Willy Ojukwu, said the on-going onslaught by the Fulani herdsmen is another form of Boko Haram insurgency in the country.
He made the remarks while speaking to journalists in Abuja ahead of the commissioning of a N300 million skill acquisition and humanitarian centre by Archbishop of Abuja, John Cardinal Onaiyekan, and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar III , this week.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recent sporadic attacks by herdsmen across the country, Ojukwu said: “The primary job of any government at all levels is to protect the lives and property of the citizens. Presently in Nigeria, Boko Haram inflicts a lot of pain and hardship, destroys lives and property. Initially the government of the day took it lightly, till it went out of hand.
Similarly, Irked by the incessant violent activities perpetrated by Fulani herdsmen across parts of the country, Nigerian residents in the United Kingdom, have staged a protest at the UK Westminister Parliament to condemn the killings and destructions by armed herdsmen, as well as draw the attention of global authorities to wade into the wanton killings.
According to Mr. Chidi Ughonu, Coordinator, London Protest Against Fulani Herdsmen, the protest is coming in response to last week’s attack at Nimbo, Uzo-Uwani community in Enugu State, where six people were killed with scores wounded and properties destroyed by suspected herdsmen.
Noting that similar attacks have happened in Agatu, Benue State, Ughonu said the protest tagged the ‘London Protest Against Fulani Herdsmen’, is also planned simultaneously in United States, Canada and across the cities in Europe.
90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals
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.”
We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms
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.
Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW
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.
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