One of the founding members of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) and leader of the defunct Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Alhaji Asari Dokubo has said that any constitutional amendment in the National Assembly without resource control as a bench-mark would still threaten Nigeria’s unity.
Asari Dokubo said this at a one-day “Youth Enlightenment Workshop” organized by the office of Deputy President, Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Comrade Telema Polyn, in Port Harcourt, last Saturday.
According to him, Nigeria’s unity can only be guaranteed, if the nation is restructured to enable component units to control their resources while they pay taxes to the centre.
He said resource control would also end various calls for secession by different ethnic groups in the country.
The ex-Niger Delta agitator warned members of the National Assembly, especially those from the North and South-West of the country against politics of ethnicity and self interests, saying that such would not engender the much-needed unity, equity and justice the country desperately needs.
Asari, who declined being a member of any political party, said enough is enough for political parties which use the name of Niger Delta people for campaign while the people languish in penury and dearth of infrastructure.
Asari also blamed governors of the states in the region for the continued neglect of the Niger Delta in terms of development.
He said the region would have been decorated with new infrastructure development projects if all the money accruing to the region, including excess crude funds, were judiciously used for development purposes.
The IYC leader charged youth, particularly those from Ijaw nation to shun illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalism, saying that illegal bunkering business has compounded the hardship of the people of the Niger Delta, whose farmlands and aquatic lives have been destroyed.
“I beg you, my brothers and sisters to shun illegal bunkering business and pipeline vandalization in our region.
“The business is illegal and the worse is that it contributes to more hardship to our fishermen and women.
“Our major occupation, especially the Ijaw people is fishing, and this illegal bunkering business is gradually destroying our rivers and creeks, with no fish, no firewood, our flora and fauna gone and the people’s health under serious threat”, Asari noted.
Asari thanked Comrade Telema Polyn for his vision to enlighten the youth of the Ijaw nation on the dangers associated with illegal crude oil refining, and appealed to the IYC new leadership to articulate programmes that would better the lives of the youth.
Earlier, the Deputy President of IYC, Comrade Telema Polyn, had said the workshop was organized to sensitize the youth on better ways to conduct their affairs in the region.
He said the event was part of the grand finale of the IYC nation-wide elections, designed to thank leaders and members of the group who supported the new executive to emerge some months ago,.
The highlights of the event include, honorary award to the Patron of the IYC, Jasper Jumbo, interactive session with the youth, cultural displays, and lectures.
PHED Intensifies Fault Clearing Amidst Rising Threats By Afam Youths
The management of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc., PHED, says it has commenced intensive fault clearing in its franchise area, particularly in Rivers State amidst rising threats by Afam youths.
In a statement released to the media, The PHED management said the move became imperative as the company intend to keep its commitment to customers notwithstanding the prevailing restriction in movement that may impede fault clearing at odd hours, especially in Rivers State.
The PHED management declared that, “We therefore wish to use this medium to publicly discountenance the fake story clogging the media space about PHED destroying its own equipment.
Contrary to the report, the aforementioned community is known for its violence and intimidation towards PHED staff”.
The statement pointed out that the habitual hostility towards the staff of the company informed management’s decision to engage security operatives in its drive to clear faults on the lines over the weekend.
It added that the hostilities of Afam Community and the eventual shut down of PHED business operations on three occasions: January 2017, January 2018 and August 2020, amidst threats of bodily harm to our staff, were widely reported through different media
The PHED management, however, frowned at such destructions and threats to their operations, stating that the company will not hesitate to invoke the law to bring perpetrators to book.
The company advised its esteemed customers to use the 24/7 call centre on 070022557433 and verify social media handles @PHEDconnect to channel their specific complaint, and encourage its customers to partner with PHED by paying their bills promptly to enable the company deliver on its promises.
Police Move Against Use Of Unauthorised SPY Number Plates In Rivers
The Police have started the enforcement of the ban on use of SPY number plates by unauthorised persons in Rivers State.
They have also suspended the issuance of permits to use tinted glasses in vehicles.
Inspector-General of Police, Alkali Usman, directed the moves to check rising wave of insecurity across the country.
Commissioner of Police in Rivers State, Mr Eboka Friday, directed the enforcement in the state, according to a statement issued in Port Harcourt yesterday by the command’s spokesman, SP Nnamdi Omoni.
Omoni stated that CP Friday ordered strict compliance with the directive by the command’s heads of tactical units, divisional police officers and heads of departments.
“The command has started the retrieval of spy plate numbers from unauthorized users as well as suspended the issuance of new tinted glass permits.
“Members of the public, particularly residents of the state are expected to immediately re-adjust and comply with the directives, as machinery has been put in place to ensure total compliance.
“To this end, officers have been deployed in this regard, and they will be going round to monitor compliance,’’ he stated.
Omoni quoted CP Friday as saying, however, that vehicles with permits issued before the IGP’s directive remained in the clear and could continue to enjoy their permits.
According to him, the issuance of new permits is currently halted pending the release of a new protocol that will regulate permits in accordance with extant law.
He added that the commissioner of police said: “officers are sternly warned to be courteous, polite and professional as well as by all means necessary, avoid acts inimical to the police force.
“Officers are expected to conduct themselves professionally in the discharge of this all-important national assignment aimed at strengthening our internal security.’’
Monarch Seeks Policy To Checkmate Illegal Mineral Extraction
The Chairman, Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, and the Amanyanabo of Opobo, King Dandeson Douglas Jaja, has called on the Federal Government to promulgate a policy that would checkmate illegal extraction of resources in the North and South of the country.
Jaja made the call while playing host to the participants of the Senior Executive Course 43, of the National Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS) during an interactive session at the council’s auditorium in Port Harcourt recently.
The monarch opined that a general policy to checkmate the illegal extraction of mineral resources in the country should be put in place, rather than prohibiting those in the South and allowing those in the Northern part of the country without check.
According to him, any society that fails to ensure equity and fairness amongst its citizens is bound to face agitations and threat of all kinds, adding that what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
The monarch noted that before the amalgamation of Southern and Northern Protectorates into the Nigerian nation, animal herding had been a popular farming system without any form of hostility, pointing out that it is unfortunate that herders now abandon their bush tracks through which they bred their animals in the past and prefer to go through farmlands.
He therefore urged the herders to stick to the peaceful practices of the past so that the citizens of the country would continue to live together in peace as one people.
He frowned at frantic efforts being made by some disgruntled elements to destroy the peace of the nation, stressing that irrespective of the many man-related problems currently plaguing the nation, all hands must be on deck for a friendly dialogue that would help the people of this great country to forge ahead than killing and destroying lives and property.
Jaja called on the participants to help persuade the management of multi-national oil companies to consider creating job opportunities for the teeming youths of Rivers State, regretting that the companies, instead of carrying out their corporate social responsibilities to their host communities, create factions among the youths to foment trouble in the communities.
In his speech, the leader of the delegation, who is also the Director of Staff, Prof Fatai Aramu, said the group decided to visit the council in order to tap from the wealth of experience of the traditional rulers who are the custodian of the traditions and customs of the people in order to enhance policy and programme implementation in Nigeria, pointing out that Rivers State was chosen because of its outstanding performance in policy programme and project execution.
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