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Niger Delta

Emmanuel Tasks Nigerian Youths On Patriotism

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Governor Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom State has called on NYSC members and other Nigerian youths to remain patriotic, especially in this period some sections were clamouring for restructuring.
Emmanuel made the call while he declared open the NYSC Pre-Mobilisation Workshop for 2017 Batch “B” Corps members in Uyo last Tuesday.
Our correspondent reports that the theme of the workshop is “Consolidating the Gains of the NYSC Online Integrated System through Best Practices in Mobilisation Process.”
The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Mr Moses Ekpo, said that NYSC had played tremendous role in the evolution of the country.
He said that the scheme was established to restore the robust belief in one united Nigeria, which he said was fatally shattered by the 36-month civil war.
“I wish to acknowledge that NYSC has indeed played a tremendous role in the evolution of our nation as a stabilising factor.
“All Nigerians must ensure that the National Youth Service Corps, which is a signpost of our unity and progress, remains one of the binding chords which keep us together as a nation.
“This is the time to hearken to the clarion call for patriotism and let it resonate in your minds,” Emmanuel said.
Emmanuel noted that the workshop would serve as a clearing house for all critical stakeholders in the mobilisation process for corps members, nationwide.
The governor stressed the need for harmonious working relationship between the NYSC Coordinators in the state and their host ministries.
He said that the state government would continue to support the scheme and ensure adequate protection of corps members posted to the state.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Director-General of NYSC, Brig.-Gen. Suleiman Kazaure, said that the scheme would continue to provide platform to aggregate and accommodate suggestions for better outcome.
Kazaure said that the workshop was usually held at the commencement of every new mobilisation cycle to introduce to stakeholders, new measures and guidelines put in place for hitch-free mobilisation.
He assured that NYSC would leave no stone unturned in training and re-training of its members of staff on handling of mobilisation process, both within and outside the country.
“Let me therefore implore all participants at this workshop to see their invitation as an opportunity to contribute to the proceedings, acquire requisite information and knowledge for better performance.
“Your role is not only critical but also germane to the success of the 2017 Batch “B” mobilisation process,” he said.
The director-general commended Akwa Ibom Government and the people for the support and cooperation the scheme had enjoyed in the state.

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Niger Delta

Hausa Traders, Fulani Herdsmen Clash In Delta

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Uneasy calm has engulfed residents of Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area of Delta State as Hausa traders and Fulani herders in the area recently engaged in a bloody clash at the popular Hausa Market along Benin-Warri road, Amukpe.
Witnesses said that no fewer than 10 persons sustained various degrees of injuries in the ensuing pandemonium and were rushed to different hospitals in the area.
Some wooden shops at the market were also destroyed in the clash, which resulted in a massive gridlock, with many motorists hurriedly abandoning their vehicles by the roadside and fleeing for safety.
It was gathered that the two warring groups started engaging in a superiority battle last Sunday night after a Hausa boy from one of the Northern states was reportedly stabbed by a Fulani herder in the bush, and he rushed home with injuries.
Angered by the stabbing, the Hausas in the market, especially those of Nasarawa origin, were said to have hurriedly mobilised and attacked the Fulani herdsmen settlements in the bush.
But the Fulanis reportedly fought back, allegedly with dangerous weapons, a development which resulted in the battle that got even people running for their lives.
Meanwhile, Police operatives from the Sapele Police Station, led by CSP Harrison Nwaboisi, have waded into the incident by mobilising security to strategic locations with a view to dousing the tension and preventing further damage.
Commenting on the incident, a trader at the market, Ibrahim Umoru, told journalists that the crisis erupted after an Hausa boy was stabbed by a Fulani man because he was allegedly found around their camp.
“Maybe he (Fulani man) thought the boy came to steal from them. He did not ask why he (the boy) was there. The matter came to us this morning and we can’t just sit there and watch them attack us every time. We want to tell them that we are not fools,” the Hausa trader stated.
A Fulani herdsman who spoke with newsmen on the condition of anonymity blamed the Hausas for the clash, but did not elaborate.
The acting Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Edafe Bright, could not be reached for comment on the incident as at the time of filing this report.

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Niger Delta

PANDEF, HOSTCOM, Others Berate Kyari

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Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF); Host Communities of Nigeria (HOSTCOM), and other stakeholders of Niger Delta, recently, disagreed with Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Kele Kyari, over his claim that three per cent for Host Communities Trust Fund was higher than 30 per cent for exploration on Frontier Basin in the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
PANDEF’s National Publicity Secretary, Ken Robinson, said: “The statement by Mr Kyari, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, that the three per cent provision for the Host Communities Development Trust in the Petroleum Industry Act is higher than the 30 per cent allocation for Frontier Exploration, is absurd and presumptuous.
According to PANDEF, “How can anyone make such an irrational comparison? It is adding insult to injury, to say the least.
“Oil and gas host communities in Niger Delta bear the brunt of the industry operations. With colossal adverse effects on the region’s hitherto luxurious ecosystem; the indigenous people’s means of livelihood have been grossly degraded, with little, if any, improvement in their standard of living.
“And so, it is awful for anyone to compare, for any reason, the paltry three per cent provision for the Host Communities Trust Fund to the humongous 30 per cent allocation for the nebulous Frontier Exploration Fund. It is baseless and makes no sense.
“Kyari’s expression reflects the uncouth contempt and injustice being carried out against Niger Delta. The nation cannot continue in this trajectory.”
National President, HOSTCOM, Chief Benjamin-Style Tamaranebi, who reacted to the controversy, said: “We keep hearing from Minister of State (Petroleum) and GMD, NNPC, that 30 per cent NNPC profit is lesser than three per cent Host Communities’ operating cost.
“GMD Kyari Mele is entitled to his opinion because we are not privileged to what is happening in the corporation and it is like a cook, who went out to the market to get foodstuff and prepare a meal for guests, the guests only know what was placed before them.
Pere (traditional ruler) of Seimbiri Kingdom in Delta State and former national chairman, Traditional Rulers of Oil Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, Charles Ayemi-Botu, said: “That is arrant nonsense. Kyari should go and tell that to the marines or to Musa. By the way, what is the rationale in making such arrogant statement? No person in his true sense of reason will make such a ridiculous, unguarded and blasphemous statement.
“He should hide his head in shame, for the opportunity in becoming the Group Managing Director of NNPC without knowing the difference between three per cent and 30 per cent. He may best be described as a round peg in a square hole. We are in government of nepotism and winner takes all syndrome.
“Kyari did not expatiate on the details that informed such unguarded, erratic and stupid statement. Host communities are requesting nothing less than 10 per cent allocation to assuage the age long ecological degradation/devastation, environmental hazards, pollution of our only source of livelihood, our ecosystem has been totally destroyed, acid rains as well as the depletion of the ozone layers bring diseases, culminating in infant mortality/premature death, etc.”
An indigene of oil and gas rich, but neglected Oluasiri clan in Nembe LGA of Bayelsa, Iniruo Wills, said: “That is an utterly irrelevant comparison. It is a mechanical attempt at diverting attention from the gross injustice of treating communities as a nuisance factor.
“The real question is how does three per cent of mere operational expenses compare with the 10 per cent equity originally proposed at the beginning of the PIB journey or with the 10 per cent of profits that it was first watered down to by then President Jonathan and oil minister, Diezani Allison-Madueke, before Bukola Saraki’s National Assembly later cannibalised it down to 2.5 per cent of profits, setting the stage for the current crop of executives and legislators to do this final havoc”.
Coordinator, Niger Delta Peace Coalition, Zik Gbemre, said: “The comparison is immaterial, a meaningful distraction. It is extreme corruption for government to fund oil and gas prospecting. That is the reality Kyari would not mention”.
National president, Vanguard for Transparent Leadership and Accountability (VATLAD), Mr Emmanuel Igbini, declared: “From my deep knowledge of the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector, I know that data and figures thrown at Nigerians by the International Oil Companies, IOCs, are not credible at all.”
Minority rights activist, Eric Omare, said: “I do not have the statistics as per the total yearly operational cost of oil operations in Nigeria and the NNPC yearly profit on oil. However, the key point in the GMD’s comment, which is correct is that the criteria for arriving at the Host Communities Trust Fund and the Frontier Areas Fund are not same”.
John Okodi-Iyah, an engineering consultant in Akwa Ibom State, said the NNPC boss was economical with the truth.
“They can deceive some of the people sometime or all the time, but not all the people, all the time,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Monarch Proclaims Ogwu Ekpeye Festival

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The Eze Igbu Ubie of Ubie Kingdom in Ahoada West Local Government Area, Eze Maxwell A. Okpokiri, has proclaimed the Ogwu Ekpeye Festival open.
The proclamation took place at Odiereke, Ahoada West Local Government Area.
The Ogwu Ekpeye festival is an annual event by the Ekpeye nation to mark the end of the Ekpeye wrestling tournament and the Ekpeye yearly calendar.
According to the people the festival is celebrated with new yam, fun fair, cultural displays, folklores, visitations, among other traditional rites.
Eze Okpokiri said the festival was a source of unity in the Ekpeye nation.
He urged the Ekpeye people both at home and abroad to note that 23rd of September is Eke Okpochi, 24th Uwa O’romu and harvesting of new yam, 25th is Uchi Agbala, while 29th of September will witness Izu’ogwu Ekpeye festival celebration proper.
The monarch also used the occasion to call on the Ekpeye people not to politicise the stool of the Eze Ekpeye Logbo, adding that the stool is hereditary and not for contest.
According to him, “from history the traditional position has never attracted government recognition”.
Igbu Ubie and precisely Ula-Ubie community is the sole custodians of the tenents of Ekpeye customs and tradition in the lineage of Imaji family.
Okpokiri, who urged the Ekpeye nation to emulate their brothers in Ikwerre and Ogba as far as hereditary kingship was concerned, said time had come for the people to learn how to do things in line with the Ekpeye customs and traditions.

By: Elendu-Obochi Esther,
Inimgba Favour Victor &
Oribim Iyanaa Ibama

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