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Militants Threaten Fresh Hostilities …Give FG 14-Day Ultimatum

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A Niger Delta militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC), has threatened to resume hostilities in 14 days, if the Federal Government disregarded its five-point demand, including inauguration of a panel to negotiate with the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
NDRC, in a statement made available to the media by its spokesperson, W.O.I. Izon-Ebi said, “after 14 days, if these very important concerns are not addressed, we shall have no choice but to call off our ceasefire and start hostilities because we only respected the plea of our eminent royal fathers, chiefs and leaders of the Niger Delta region to give room for sincere dialogue in finding a lasting solution to the Niger Delta question.
“The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency constitute a Federal Government delegation to liaise with PANDEF to start implementing all demands.
“Oloibiri should be a priority of development like the Federal Capital Territory because that is the first place oil was discovered in commercial quantity in 1959, but after sucking the oil dry, the community called Oloibiri is in shambles. No Niger Delta youth of this 21st century that happens to visit Oloibiri would accept the current reality of things in the Niger Delta.
“The Vice President that is saddled with the affairs of the Niger Delta should immediately call SPDC to order as it would annoy you to note how SPDC is enslaving Odoh family (the host family to Opomu West drilling location, since 1971 to date, a dime has not been given to the owners of the land for the destruction of their ancestral fishing lake).
“This issue should be addressed immediately as Akologben, Brass creek manifold and Benisede/Akonu/Tunu gas pipeline would be our first casualty.
“The lack of funds to properly address and implement the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), which has seen amnesty beneficiaries sent back from their various institutions of study overseas would not be accepted any longer.”
The agitators noted that they had tremendous respect for the “Chairman of the Federal Government’s delegation, who happens to be a pastor, Professor of Law and Vice President of Nigeria, Prof Yemi Osinbanjo. His truthfulness to have accepted the true reality of the plight of the Niger Deltans makes us to respect our ceasefire, but we have come to realize that the Federal Government is not sincere.
“The UNEP report implementation was just a ploy to persuade the people of Ogoni and fool the international community that the Federal Government is fully committed to solving the Niger Delta question, their main aim is to suck the oil dry as was done in Oloibiri.
Meanwhile, prominent Ijaw groups and elders have asked youths in the Niger Delta to forget any plan to resume hostilities in the Niger Delta region.
The leaders insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had shown some positive signs and must be allowed to implement its vision to develop the region.
The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide and the Ijaw National Congress (INC) said instead of resorting to violence, the region had opened a new chapter of constructively engaging the government to ensure it fulfilled all its promises.
Speaking in separate interviews, the IYC President, Mr. Eric Omare, said since President Buhari had made promises, the best the region could do was to impress it upon his administration to fulfill them.
He said: “I do not think that it has got to that level where people will resort to threatening to bomb oil facilities again. Government made promises but our duty for now is to remind government of its promises towards the region and insist that government should fulfill its promises.
“But to threaten attack or resort to a militant approach to force government fulfill its promises, l don’t think is the best approach for now. We have never encouraged militant dimension or use of force in our agitation. We advise those that threatened violence to adopt peaceful means”.
Also, the Chairman, INC, Central Zone, Chief Kennedy Odiowei, asked the youths to remain calm insisting that Buhari with his track record of integrity, would fulfill his promises to the region.
He said: “We are not in support of violence because the Federal Government is talking to the region. The Vice-President came and toured the Niger Delta. They have seen the plight of the region and the people.
“The government is very proactive to look into the issues of the Niger Delta so we are not in support of any threat to renew attacks. We are saying that everybody should keep calm and drop their arms”.
“The Vice-President made some serious policy statements including asking all the oil companies to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta region. It is a welcome development. So let us wait and see what the government could do”.
But the immediate past President of IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, observed that the tempo which Vice-President Yemi Osibanjo pursued negotiation with the region dropped immediately Buhari returned from his overseas trip.
He, however, said it should not be an excuse for anybody to contemplate resuming attacks on oil installations adding that he had been talking to aggrieved youths to forget the idea.

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PH Law School Campus’ll Be Best, Chiroma Confirms

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Director General, Nigerian Law School, Prof Isa Hayatu Chiroma, has expressed optimism that the new Port Harcourt campus of the institution would be the best in the country.
Chiroma made the assertion when he paid a working visit to inspect ongoing civil construction work at the Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The director general was accompanied the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to assess progress of work at both the Nabo Graham Douglas Campus, Rumueme and staff quarters at New Government Residential Area, Port Harcourt.
He expressed gratitude to the state government for the intervention to build and deliver the Port Harcourt campus in order to help address the challenge of inadequate lecture and accommodation space for the ever-increasing number of students seeking to acquire vocational legal training at the current campuses of the Nigerian Law School in the country.
“The last time we were here was when the ground-breaking ceremony took place, and today, there is massive construction going on, and there is progress. I want to thank the governor and the good people of Rivers State for this progress.”
Chiroma, who observed that the teeming rainy season in Rivers State has slowed down the pace of work, noted that the amazing aspect of the project is that the quality of materials used for the raft foundation at the Nabo Bekinbo Graham-Douglas campus is world class.
“The kind of materials used with what we have seen on ground, it is unimaginable, it is excellent. I can assure you that the problem we will be having is about our students, who will prefer to be posted to this place with what I have seen.
“That is the battle we are going to be faced with. But, I can assure you that all our Law School Campus are the same, but with the development going on here, it is going to be a problem for us to decide who comes to Port Harcourt. From what I have seen it is going to be the best.”
Facilities under construction at the Port Harcourt campus will comprise 14 structures, including 1,500-capacity classroom blocks, hostel blocks, students’ multipurpose hall, 16 units’ 3-bedroom flat staff quarters with swimming pool, gymnasium and lawn tennis court.
Other facilities are, library, moot court/law clinic building, sick bay, administrative block, cafeteria and sporting facilities for students.

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Nigeria, Suffering From Leadership Failure, Wike Affirms

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has said that it was regrettable that 61 years after Independence, Nigeria was still grappling with leadership challenge.
The governor pointed out that because of such leadership failure, Nigeria was now at a point in its history needing God more than ever.
Wike made the assertion at the Interdenominational Church Service organised in commemoration of the 61st Independence Anniversary of Nigeria at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The governor stated that there was hardly anything for Nigerians to celebrate as the country marks 61st Independence anniversary because its leadership continues to entrench hatred, mediocrity, promote ethnicity and religion.
“This is the time that Nigeria needs God more. The country is gone. Insecurity everywhere! Everyone needs to say God; we need you because man’s leadership has failed this country.”
The governor noted that, perhaps, the only thing Nigerians can boast of celebrating was the existence of the name, Nigeria.
“At 61 years, Nigeria is full of enmity, full of divisions, hatred, and ethnicity: A country that cannot put itself together.
“Everybody has responsibility; so, ask yourself questions, have I done my own part?”
Wike also observed the sorry state of Nigeria, and said at 61, it was far removed from being a country that can compete favourably with prosperous countries of the world, given its abundant resources.
The governor bemoaned what has become of the nation’s Legislature that continues to approve anything for the Presidency, and not minding the consequences.
He also decried how the nation’s Judiciary has succumbed to intimidation because its judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear, and wondered what fate Nigerians would have under such seeming tyrannical atmosphere.
“We cannot do the right things. Other countries are talking about how their elections will be transparent; we are talking about how we will rig the election in 2023.
“Simple thing, transmit election results electronically to show transparency, that really that the person you’re declaring won the election but we are afraid.”
“Where is the Legislature? A Legislature that cannot think, a Legislature, anything they bring is right, a Legislature that cannot say that Nigeria has nothing to regret from conducting free and fair election.
“A Legislature that you’ll close your eyes, anything they bring, about borrowing, you say borrow. A Legislature that cannot say that this money we are borrowing, where is it? Where are you applying it? You have no confidence to ask questions.
“The courts have been intimidated. The judges have abandoned their responsibilities out of fear. You’re seeing something that is wrong, but because you will be summoned in the night, you abandoned your responsibility.”
Wike also blamed the woes the country has suffered on all Nigerians who have refused to do the right things, but rather allowed the wrong things to be perpetrated in all facets of the society.
He noted how ascendancy to leadership was no longer by merit but by ethnic affinity and religious consideration, even when such persons do not have the capacity required to function in such offices.
Speaking further, Wike berated the church leadership over the inordinate dressing of a young man that he saw in the church, and attributed such sight to lack of enforcement of discipline in the church.
In his sermon, Bishop of the Diocese of Niger Delta North, Rt. Rev. Wisdom Ihunwo, noted that only foolish people despise God and attribute their successes in life to personal efforts and ingenuity.
Ihunwo said such foolish people abound in Nigeria because they have hearts of corruption, treat humanity with disdain and delight in doing abominable things and divert public funds for personal use.
According to Ihunwo, it was baffling that despite having leadership over the country, there was unabated spree of killings, a seemingly thriving kidnapping business with some officers of the military killed without drastic measures taken to return Nigeria to the path of sanity.
While charging the church to rise to speak courageously against wickedness in the land, Ihunwo declared the judgement of God upon the sponsors of such killings and kidnapping that have put Nigeria in a pitiable state that its people cannot celebrate independence of the country at 61 years.
Special prayers were said at the service for God’s favour and grace upon Nigeria and its leaders, Rivers State Executive Council, Judiciary and the Legislature, for the governor and his family, as well as the church and its leaders.

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Dreams To Achieve Peace, Dev In N’Delta Achieved, FG Boasts

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The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio, has said that the Federal Government has achieved its dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development.
Dikio said this, last weekend, when an ex-militant, High Chief Biobopere Ajube, was conferred with a chieftaincy title in Arogbo Ijaw Ibe, Beleukoriwei (Pathfinder) by the Paramount Ruler of the kingdom, Pere Zaccheaus Doubara Ebgunu, in his palace in Arogbo, Ondo State.
According to him, the present administration has succeeded in curtailing the restiveness in the region through engagements with the ex-militants.
He assured them that government would not renege in its promises to ensure that the region and its people are developed.
Dikio called on ex-agitators to emulate the disposition of Ajube in peace and entrepreneurship.
He lauded Ajube for leading the charge for a peaceful and prosperous Niger Delta, noting that he was the face of what can happen in the region.
According to him, “with the likes of Ajube, who had undertaken the task of having 400 ex-agitators trained in his Bradama facility under the PAP’s Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model, the dream of moving the Niger Delta from incessant protest to peace and development is achievable.
“We’re here to tell this community and indeed the world what Ajube means to us. He is very special and we’re excited that he bought into our vision in PAP which is tailored to change the narrative in the region.
“He took the lead of our Train, Employ and Mentor initiative and has pledged to have 400 of our people trained in his facility.
“He is the face of what can happen in the region and there is no doubt that with people like him, the Niger Delta can truly be the place to live and do business”
Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, who was represented by his Deputy, Hon Lucky Aiyedatiwa, described Ajube as a proud son of Ondo, who had made a tremendous impact in the lives of his people.
He said the honour was a testament of all he had been doing for his people, and urged him not to relent but extend similar gestures to other parts of the state.
“We’re gathered here to celebrate a man who through self-development and engagement is where he is today. We’re proud of him as a true son of Ondo State. All he thinks about is development, peace and empowerment which is a good thing”.
Also speaking, former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Timi Alaibe said Ajube, during the height of militancy in the Niger Delta, was grossly misunderstood by the Federal Government but as head of the Amnesty Programme, he stood firmly by his side, to explain that he meant well.
He said, “This honour is well deserved. The story and struggle of the emancipation and dealing with the issues in the Niger Delta will not be complete without the mention of High Chief Bibopere Ajube. The story is deep for some of us.
“So, I’m proud that we’re gathered here to celebrate peace, excellence, leadership, strive for sustainable development, honest, and sincere man that loves his God. I know him when he had nothing. He is a man that has the interest of his people in his heart”.
The Traditional Ruler of Arogbo Ijaw Ibe, Pere Zaccheaus Doubara Ebgunu, said it was not a mistake that Ajube was honoured with the highest title, noting that the kingdom has been blessed by him and decided to display that by conferring the prestigious title on him.

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