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Military Vows To Stop Militants

Following continued bombing and sabotage of economic assets particularly oil platforms by militants in the Niger Delta, the Defence headquarters last night vowed that the armed forces will not relent in its efforts to flush out economic saboteurs perpetrating

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Following continued bombing and sabotage of economic assets particularly oil platforms by militants in the Niger Delta, the Defence headquarters last night vowed that the armed forces will not relent in its efforts to flush out economic saboteurs perpetrating evil in the Niger Delta under whatever name, including Niger Delta Avengers.
Consequently, the DHQ has waved aside allegations that the military was harassing and arresting innocent inhabitants of the Niger Delta, saying: “It is the same group of people that are wreaking havoc on the critical national assets that are blackmailing the Armed Forces and other security agencies to divert attention”.
A statement, yesterday, signed by the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said, “The Defence Headquarters wishes to emphasize that the Nigerian Armed Forces will not relent in their efforts to flush out economic saboteurs masquerading under whatever guise to perpetuate evils in the Niger Delta.
“As part of the constitutional mandate of the armed forces, the military will not jettison the confidence reposed in it by the good citizens of our great nation in ensuring that peace and security prevail in our land.
“The military is not unmindful of the campaign of calumny against our soldiers by paid agents claiming that soldiers are harassing members of the public while performing their constitutional responsibility.
“It is pertinent to state that it is the same group of people that are wreaking havoc on the critical national assets that are blackmailing the armed forces and other security agencies to divert attention.
“The military and other security agencies will continue to discharge their lawful duties in the Niger Delta and any other part of the country in a most professional manner devoid of the claim by the criminal elements of harassment, intimidation and arrest.
“Our job is to secure infrastructural facilities and property of innocent citizens as well as containing the activities of criminal.
“The blackmail by sponsored persons would not deter the military from been focused and committed in its effort to fish out the vandals as the whole world is seeing what the so-called militants are criminally doing in the attacks of oil pipelines.
“The security measure put in place is not meant to intimidate any innocent individuals but to bring normalcy to our land.
“We urge the communities and well-meaning Nigerians to cooperate with the security agencies in their bid to apprehend the perpetrators.
“The military would respond decisively in a professional manner at appropriate time” the acting DDI said.
Meanwhile, Niger Delta Avengers, the new militant group that has claimed responsibility for a string of attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta, continued its disruption of Nigeria’s oil production with the bombing of more crude oil pipelines yesterday.
The group announced the latest attack via its Twitter handle yesterday evening, saying it blew up “Ogboinbiri to Tebidaba and Clough Creek to Tebidaba crude oil pipelines in Bayelsa State.”
“At about 2:00am today @NDAvengers blew up the Ogboinbiri to Tebidaba and Clough Creek to Tebidaba crude oil pipelines in Bayelsa State.”
The Avengers added that the latest disruption is “in line with our promise to all international oil companies and indigenous oil companies that Nigeria oil production will be zero.”
The group did not say which oil company is operating the pipelines.
The group’s operation had become more audacious in recent weeks as it continued to cripple Nigeria’s oil production, demanding a sovereign nation of the Niger Delta people.
The Avengers had rejected a meeting recently convened in Abuja by the federal government, warning of its readiness to carry out an attack that will “shock the whole world”.
“The Niger Delta stakeholder’s meeting is an insult to the people of Niger Delta. What we need is a Sovereign State not pipeline Contracts.
“To the IOC’s, Indigenous Oil Companies and Nigeria Military. Watch out something big is about to happen and it will shock the whole world,” the group tweeted on Friday.
Last Thursday, it claimed responsibility for an attack on a gas pipeline belonging to Chevron in Delta State.
“We warned Chevron, but they didn’t listen. NDA just blew up the Escravos tank farm main electricity feed pipeline,” it said.
The militants said the oil facilities were sabotaged following attempts by Chevron to carry out repairs of main Escravos crude oil pipeline it blew up earlier.
A spokesperson for the group, Mudoch Agbinibo, had last month warned the Nigerian government of further attacks if their demands were not met.
Two weeks ago, Chevron’s Makaraba crude oil line was attacked on the offshore Okan manifold in the region.
The attack followed previous ones on NNPC, Agip, Shell and other major oil corporations’ facilities across the delta states and it has resulted in the loss of over 40,000 barrels of crude oil per day.

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2023: CAN Pushes For Christian President, Self-Defence

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The Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (YOWICAN) has said that the next President should be a Christian to ensure balance in leadership.
YOWICAN also said rotation of the office of the President will promote equity, unity and peace.
The youths further protested the activities of bandits and kidnappers, threatening to resort to self-defence if nothing is urgently done by the government.
They warned bandits and kidnappers to desist from perpetrating evil and put a stop to the ongoing kidnappings and killings.
The Christian association also pledged collaboration with Muslims and Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC) towards peace building.
These were contained in a communiqué at the end of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of YOWICAN and read by its National President, Belusochukwu Enwere.
Enwere said, “The next President should come 2023 should be a Christian because the present administration, the president is a Muslim and so the President should rotate amongst the Christians and Muslims so that there will be balance in the leadership of Nigeria.
“We have competent Christian leaders who can represent and manage the affairs of this country. We urge our leaders to fully participate in politics so that we can produce a good president for Nigeria.
“As such the emergence of a Christian and youthful President come 2023 will be a true expression of equity, fairness and justice for Nigeria and Nigerians.
“That YOWICAN shall continue to collaborate and work in concert with brothers from the Muslim faith to pursue the desired peace, unity and progress of the nation; and more particularly under the auspices of the Nigeria Inter-religious Council (NIREC),” the group said.
“YOWICAN decries the increasing rate of insecurity in Nigeria, yet commends the efforts of government and security agencies in combating the nefarious activities of bandits, killer herdsmen, insurgents etc.
“YOWICAN in the performance of Christian tenets and faith believes strongly in peaceful coexistence, but this piety should not be construed as cowardice, therefore kidnappers, bandits, killer herdsmen, terrorists and unknown gun men should not push Christian youths to the extreme, such as to make them consider deploying self defence strategies as the last option,” Enwere said.
According to him, despite the efforts so far made in combating crime, YOWICAN observes the urgent need to curb the rising wave of attacks, killings, destruction of lives, properties, farmlands and livelihood of innocent citizens within the Northern states, and specifically within Christian communities in Southern Kaduna.
The CAN youths demanded the immediate release of all abductees and particularly the students of the Bethel Baptist High School, Kaduna State, who have been in captivity.
The NEC meeting held at the National Christian Centre on Saturday was attended by National Executive Members, Zonal Leaders, State Leaders (drawn from the 36 States of the Federation plus the FCT) and representatives from the Blocs/denominations under CAN.

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Clamping Down On Agitators Can Fuel National Crisis -OPC

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The Oodua Peoples’ Congress (OPC) has advised the Federal Government against clamping down on agitators for self-determination, warning that such could lead to a national crisis.
OPC said this in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Barrister Yinka Oguntimehin, weeks after the raid on the residence of Yoruba rights activist, Sunday Adeyemo aka Sunday Igboho, by operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS), during which two persons were killed.
The statement also followed Igboho’s arrest in the Republic of Benin after he was declared wanted by the DSS.
In the statement, the group “flayed Federal Government’s approach in Igboho’s ordeals, maintaining that the use and application of force on self-determination agitators has only justified Federal Government’s lack of respect for human rights and intolerance to the views of others.”
The group described the “treatment meted out to Igboho in Nigeria and also in Cotonou as very unpleasant, insisting that Federal Government ought to know that the citizens have rights and that such rights must be protected under the law.”
Oguntimehin said, “Unfolding events have shown that there are lapses in the way the Federal Government handles cases of self-determination agitators like Sunday Igboho, and I will like to state it clearly that the Federal Government must desist from clamping down on self-determination agitators because such move can only fuel national crisis.”
The publicity secretary urged the Republic of Benin to be fair with Igboho as he revealed that the rights activist will be facing immigration-related offences in the country, adding that he can also seek asylum to ensure his safety.
He warned against having Igboho brought back to Nigeria the way the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, was brought back from Kenya.
He said, “The Federal Government has been silent on the extradition order because it might trigger more crisis. You cannot treat Igboho the Nnamdi Kanu way, it would not work, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to learn from history and ensure that the fundamental human rights of the citizens are protected in such a way that we can begin to appreciate the fact that we truly follow the tenets of democracy.”
The statement said Nigeria and the Republic of Benin have no extradition agreement, adding that Nigeria has not been able to come up with charges that could lead the court to order Igboho’s extradition to Nigeria.
Oguntimehin said, “What Federal Government came up with were mere allegations against Ighoho such as trafficking in arms and inciting violence that could result in the social disturbance without evidence and the Government of Benin Republic had considered all that to be untenable and insufficient to warrant extradition.
“The case has been adjourned till Monday, July 26 to allow the Federal Government bring up whatever evidence they may have, and Mr. lgboho has been taken back to the police custody.”
He pointed out that the rights activist had been peaceful with his agitation, as he urged traditional leaders not to ignore him at his trying time.

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Nasarawa Monarchs Console Odili Over Brother’s Death

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The Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers has commiserated with former Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Peter Odili over the death of his elder brother, Chief Fidelis Obi Odili.
The Chairman, Nasarawa State Council of Traditional Rulers and Emir of Lafia, Hon. Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad 1 (rtd), said monarchs and people of his state were saddened by the bereavement of the Odili family.
The Emir, who was accompanied by the Andoma of Domia, Alhaji Ahmaou Aliyu; and the Chief of Staff to the Governor of Rivers State, Engineer Emeka Woke, stated this during a condolence visit to Odili in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He described Odili as a very generous, hospitable personality and one of the best leaders that Nigeria has produced.
To this end, he declared that whatever affects him (Odili), affects people all over the country.
“We have come here to commiserate with you, to pass our condolences to you on behalf of all of our people, the people of Nasarawa State and our respective kingdoms.
“As one of the elders of this nation, very respectful elder of this nation, anything that affects you, will touch us, will affect us. We ask you to take heart.”
He further added, “You’re one of the best we have in this country. You’re very generous, hospitable. Your Excellency, not because you’re here, this is a statement of fact. You’re one of the best that this country has produced.”
The Emir of Lafia, prayed God to grant the Odili’s family the fortitude to bear the loss of their beloved one.
He also urged God to continue to keep Odili in good health so that he’ll continue all the good works that he has been doing and will continue to do for the nation.
“On behalf of all the chiefs that are not here, we commiserate with you”, he said.
Responding, the former Rivers State Governor, Dr. Peter Odili, said he felt honoured by the condolence visit and words of encouragement by the Emir of Lafia.
“I can’t find words appropriate to thank you for this consoling honour.”
Odili said he felt elated by the kind gesture of the Emir of Lafia.
According to him, the visit has further demonstrated the importance the Emir attaches to his relationship with the people of Rivers State.
“You’ve come with your colleague to pay this condolence visit, which was totally unplanned and unscheduled. But, like they say, people make out time for what they consider important.
“We feel honoured by your gesture, and so, we want to thank you and your colleague for this rare honour and for your kind words. Your friendship with our state goes back in history.
“Your new position in Nasarawa State has not altered it, rather it has strengthened it”, Odili added.

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