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Vacate Niger Delta …Militants Issue Two-Week Ultimatum

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The militant group which has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on oil installations, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), yesterday, issued a two-week ultimatum to all oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to shut down operations.
The group, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, and made available to The Tide, warned that failure to comply with the directive will be bloody, boasting that the military lacked the power to prevent it from striking.
According to the statement, “The Niger Delta Avengers is giving two week ultimatum to all oil companies in our region to shut down and evacuate their staff.
“If at the end of the ultimatum and you are still operating, we will blow up all the locations. It will be bloody. So, just shut down your operations and leave,” the group warned.
Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Avengers, has warned Chevron Plc not to carry out repair works at the valve platform that was blown up by the group last week, until its demands are met.
The militants threatened to attack the company’s workers and tank farms, including the one in Lekki, Lagos State.
In an online statement, yesterday, signed by its spokesman, Col. Mudoch Agbinigbo, Niger Delta Avengers said: “From our investigation, Chevron Plc is about to carry out repair works at the valve platform that was blown up by us (Niger Delta Avengers). We made it clear that no repair works should be done until our demands are fully met.”
According to the group, “Chevron has been operating in the Niger Delta region for over 40 years and no day passes without their terminals having electricity.
“The host communities and villages around the terminals lack basic amenities like portable water, schools, hospitals, roads and electricity.
“They have a pact with the federal government to undermine the people of the region.
“When we blew up the Chevron Valve Platform it resulted in total blackout in the Escravos Tank farm for more than three hours. If we can do it just know that we are capable of bringing down your tank farms if you continue with repair works on the blown valve platform.
The group continued: “Chevron and the Nigerian Government are pushing us to do that which is against our wish. Despite making it clear that we are not after innocent human lives but the way they are going, we will not rule out human casualties.
“Be informed that if we decided to strike, it is going to be bloody. And to the contracting firm going to do the repair works, we want you to know that your facilities and staff will be our first casualties.
“We want to warn Chevron that the heavy presence of military in the creeks will not stop us from carrying out our operations. We are ready to destroy more pipelines. We will not only destroy pipelines, but will bring the fight to your tank farm and headquarters in Lekki, Lagos,” the group boasted.

 

Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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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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