The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has stated that plans by the Federal Government (FG) to build a mega petrol station in Ogoni land rather than giving the people potable drinking water was laughable.
Speaking to The Tide yesterday, The MOSOP Publicity Secretary, Feegaloo Nsuke stated that Ogonis had made their demand clear that one of their critical needs at the moment was the provision of potable drinking water for the people and the release of funds for cleanup of Ogoniland.
Nsuke added that the building of a mega filling station in Ogoniland was not one of the critical needs of the Ogonis at the moment.
“At this very moment Ogoni people were dying by the day because of the pollution of the air, if there is anything we expect the government to do first is to restore the land and to go ahead with the provision of water to the people because we cannot have a situation where people are dying and you are talking about building a petrol station. We need to set our priorities and for now the priority of the Ogoni people is to have the land restored”, he said.
The MOSOP Publicity Secretary noted that recent comments by some stakeholders in Ogoni that the Federal Government had released fund for the Ogoni cleanup was not true.
“It’s not the first time we would be hearing of fund being released for the Ogoni cleanup. You will recall Amina Mohammed did tell us that N1bn for the Ogoni cleanup is intact, those are official lies and we are not concerned about that.
“What we are saying is that we want to see the fund in the Ogoni Trust Fund and we want to see the fund deployed to restore Ogoniland,” Nsuke added.
In its reactions, another Ogoni group, popularly known as the Ken Saro Wiwa Associate (KSWA) has described the move by the Federal Government to build a mega petrol station in Bori, the headquarters of Ogoniland as a welcome development.
The National Coordinator, KSWA, Chief Gani Topba has stated that the building of the mega station in Bori could not stop the Federal Government from providing potable water, adding that Ogonis should embrace and accept the noble gesture as well as insisting on their other demands.
“Everybody knows that the provision of potable water was very important in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report and as a result, the KSWA has been insisting on the provision of this potable water for the Ogoni people. I am surprised that the leadership of MOSOP is kicking against the building of a mega station that would impact positively on the people of the area. The same masters have connived with the Ministry of Environment and have looted Ogoni people money.
“This mega filling station would create employment and you know there is bunkering going on which the leadership of MOSOP benefits from that bunkering activities and because they are benefiting from that, they are as well destroying our land. They know that the mega filling station would discourage illegal bunkering as well as people from buying illegal bunkering products. This is why they are against it”, Topba added.
The national coordinator, KSWA hinted that his group was also working with the Federal Government to build a semi-loading point in Ogoniland as a way of creating employment and wealth for the people of Ogoni.
“We have proposed to the Minister of States for Petroleum Resources to put a semi loading point in any of these areas; Bodo Water Front, Kaa, Opuo-oko or Kono Water side. Any of these areasthat the Federal Government thinks will be best, can serve as a loading point, by so doing it would create wealth and opportunities for the people of Ogoni , but the leadership of MOSOP has failed to understand as well as failed the people of Ogoni, thus should know that their days in office are numbered.”
FBI, S’African Police Nab Nigerian Scammers In Cape Town
Eight Nigerians aged between 33 and 52 were, yesterday, arrested for Internet scams, money laundering and international-wide scale financial fraud in Cape Town.
According to reports, those arrested were members of the Black Axe that preys on widows or divorcees and scammed them out of their millions.
Six leaders and the founder of the Black Axe organised crime group’s Cape Town chapter were amongst those arrested.
The group is believed to be behind hundreds of thousands of romance scams.
Spokesperson for South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), otherwise called Hawks, Col. Katlego Mogale said the operation involved the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), United States Secret Service (USSS) Investigations and Interpol.
They were assisted by the Hawks Serious Commercial Crime Investigation unit, Crime Intelligence (CI), K9, National Intervention unit, Special Task Force (STF), Tactical Operations Management Section (TOMS), Criminal Record Centre and Cape Town Metro Police.
According to reports, Mogale said the operation was initiated based on the Mutual Legal Assistance from Central Authorities of the United States of America that was approved by the Republic of South Africa.
She said all suspects were arrested during a large-scale operation in the early morning hours of yesterday, and would be charged with a variety of financial crimes, including conspiracy to commit wire/mail fraud/mail and money laundering.
“The suspects in this investigation are alleged to have ties to a transnational organised crime syndicate originating in Nigeria,” she said.
It was alleged that those suspects allegedly preyed on victims, many of whom were vulnerable widows or divorcees who were led to believe that they were in genuine romantic relationships but were scammed out of their hard-earned money.
The suspects used social media websites, online dating websites to find and connect with their victims.
Other modus operandi used by the suspects includes business email compromise, where email accounts are diverted in order to change banking details.
They assumed fake names and trolled dating sites.
Mogale said once they had ingratiated themselves with their victims, they allegedly concocted sob stories about why they needed money – taxes to release an inheritance, essential overseas travel, crippling debt, etc. – and then siphoned money from victim’s accounts to the amount of R100million.
She said the crimes allegedly committed by the suspects hit close to home.
Neighbours, parents, friends and family would be targets of this organisation.
“The fraudsters intimidated and berated their victims, ruined their lives and then disappeared. We are confident that this investigation will have a significant impact on this region and beyond,” Mogale said.
The FBI estimates that more than 100 people lost more than R100million in romance scams from 2011 till date.
Anambra Guber: Stakeholders Set To Sign Peace Accord, Nov 4
Ex-Head of State and Chairman of National Peace Committee, Gen Abdusalami Abubakar, has disclosed that a peace accord by various political parties and stakeholders in the forthcoming Anambra State governorship election would be signed on November 4, ahead of the exercise slated for November 6, 2021.
This came as the committee appealed to various contending interests in the election to eschew violence and all other actions inimical to a peaceful democratic process in the state.
In a statement, yesterday, on behalf of the group adjudged to be greatly responsible for the nation’s ongoing peaceful democratic transition, the former Head of State said the peace-signing accord would take place at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka.
“As Ndi Anambra prepare for the November 6, 2021, Governorship Election in Anambra State, the National Peace Committee (NPC) wishes to announce that a peace accord will be signed by the various political parties and stakeholders on November 4th, 2021, at the Prof. Dora Akunyili Women Development Centre, Awka,” the statement read.
He tasked key stakeholders to come forward to contribute their quota to the peace and stability of the country, particularly before, during and after the Anambra election.
The state read in part: “In ensuring the effective discharge of its objectives, the NPC has been carrying out back-channel negotiations and private meetings for peace amongst political stakeholders across party lines.
“We call on all key stakeholders to come forward and contribute their quota to the peace and stability of the country, particularly before, during and after the Anambra Governorship Election.
“The NPC also wish to reiterate that as an apolitical body, the peace, unity and tranquillity of the country is of paramount importance which cannot be over emphasised.
“Considering the orgy of violence witnessed in Anambra State in recent time, which in particular, has claimed the lives of notable personalities in the state, we therefore, call for the collaboration of all stakeholders as we work towards achieving our desired goal,” Abdulsalami said.
The National Peace Committee further urged all stakeholders to eschew violence before, during and after the election so that Anambra State will come out of the election stronger and live up to its name as the ‘Light of the Nation.’
Fashola, Kyari, Others Headline Editors’ Confab On Security,’Morrow …Govs, CBN, UBA, Glo, NNPC, Others Boost Summit
All is now set for the 17th All Nigeria Editors’ Conference, starting tomorrow, with Publisher of Premium Times, Mr. Dapo Olorunyomi; Editor-in-Chief of Leadership Newspaper, Azu Ishiekwene; Minister of Works, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Malam Mele Kyari; Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other security chiefs, scheduled to lead discussions at the conference.
A statement signed by the NGE President, Mustapha Isah; and General Secretary, Iyobosa Uwugiaren; indicated that some state governors with security challenges, including Dr Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta); Malam Nasiru el-Rufai (Kaduna); Alhaji Yahaya Bello (Kogi); Engr. Seyi Mankide (Oyo); Alhaji Bello Matawalle (Zamfara); Prof Babagana Zulum (Borno), and Chief David Umahi (Ebonyi) have also been scheduled to be part of the conversation.
Others state governors expected at the event include, Oluwarotimi Odunayo Akeredolu, SAN (Ondo); Prof Adegboyega Oyetola (Osun); and others.
The conference with the theme, ‘’Media in Times of Crises: Resolving Conflict, Achieving Consensus’’, would bring together editors and media owners across the country, as well as their foreign colleagues to discuss the security challenges in the country and agree on the solution to the raging strife.
Sponsored by corporate moguls, including Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), United Bank for Africa (UBA), Glo, Zenith Bank, Access Bank, Air Peace, and Trustfund Pensions Limited, the conference would take place at the Nigerian Air Force Conference Centre, Kado area of Abuja.
Other promoters are Nigeria Deposit Insurance Company (NDIC), Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), and the Yobe State Government.
Olorunyomi, an accomplished internationally acclaimed investigative journalist and journalism teacher, would give the keynote address that would be discussed by security chiefs, including Monguno; Irabor; Director-General, Department of State Services (DSS), Mr. Yusuf Bichi; and the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Usman Baba.
The NGE said Kyari would be the special guest of honour, while the President, Newspapers Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), Malam Kabiru Yusuf, would be the guest of honour.
‘’A doyen of the media, Mr. Ray Ekpu, would chair the opening session with Fashola and others, including President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Chris Isiguzo, and foreign ambassadors giving goodwill messages.
‘’Besides the opening session, the conference would have three others; the second session for the Day 1 of the conference has a paper titled, ‘Conflict Reporting: The Editor as a Mediator’, to be delivered by the Editor-in-Chief, Leadership Newspapers, Mr. Azu Ishiekwene.
‘’The paper would be discussed by Editor-in-Chief, 21st Century Chronicle, Dr. Mahmud Jega; Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN), Mr. Mansur Liman; and another leading journalist, Mr. Emmanuel Yawe. Notable broadcaster, Ms. Kadaria Ahmed, would chair the session’’, the statement added.
The statement said that the morning session of the Day 2, would have Managing Director, Nigerian Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agriculture Lending (NIRSAL), Mr. Aliyu Abdulhameed, presenting a paper, ‘’Accessing Capital for Alternative Career Development for Editors.’’
Discussants at the session to be chaired by the Managing Director/CEO, Access Bank Plc, Mr. Herbert Wigwe, are former NGE President, Mrs. Funke Egbemode; Managing Director of New Telegraph Newspapers, Mr. Ayodele Aminu; and Executive Director (News), FRCN, Mr. Sani Suleiman.
The afternoon session with the theme, ‘’Security Challenges: Recovering Lost Grounds’’, which the statement explained, would be attended by state governors, would be chaired by the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi.
“The conference is to be rounded off in the evening with the induction of new fellows and members of the Guild,” the statement stated.
Over 300 editors and media owners – from print, broadcast stations and online newspapers have registered for this year’s conference.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
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