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Niger Delta

Monarch Faults Constitution Of New NDDC Board

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The present constitution of membership of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board has continued to attract condemnation from within and outside the Niger Delta region.
This latest one came from King Leslie N. Eke, when he spoke Monday in an interview with newsmen at his palace in Woji in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area.
King Eke, who is also the Eze Oha Evo III of Evo Kingdom stated that the membership of the NDDC Board was not in the best interest of the region.
He said it short-changed the people of the area as non-Niger Deltans were fused in the system.”
According to the Eze Woji/Nyerisi Eli Woji, the NDDC was an interventionist commission for Niger Delta people and expressed regrets that concerned authorities are drifting from the core mandate of the agency.
The Eze Gbakagbaka, who doubles as the general secretary, Association of Niger Delta Monarchs of Nigeria, further said the people were never given any position or contracts in the North East Commission and added that the right thing must be done.
He expressed the view that politics or any form of National sharing formula should not be extended to the commission since it was specially penciled for a particular region for the aim of development of the area.
The traditional ruler, who went down memory lane stressed that the agency and its authorities should be bothered with providing the oil-rich zone with all the basic amenities and not inclusion of non-Deltans into the system.
“What the commission and its authorities should deliberate on should be how to alleviate the plight of the region and not to pile up the board with non-Niger Delta people” he said.
On the way forward, he called on the Federal Government to revisit the new board appointment and do the needful in the interest of justice and equity.
It would be recalled that the latest constitution of membership of the NDDC Board had non-Niger Delta people as members, which had raised high level of agitation within and outside the oil-rich zone of the country, a development which pundits argued contravenes some sections of the law that established the commission.

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The Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), has expressed worries over the proliferation of bills on the floor of the 9th National Assembly for the establishment of regional development agencies.
President, IYC worldwide, Roland Pereotubo Oweilaemi, in a statement in Lagos on Wednesday, questioned the rationale for the establishments of such regional agencies, especially as it concerns their funding.
He maintained that while the IYC was not against the establishment of such regional development agencies, the issue of how the Federal Government would fund them should be of concern to every Nigerian, including the lawmakers.
“With the way and manner the 9th Assembly is introducing these bodies such as North Central Development Commission, North West Development Commission, etc, after the North East Development Commission came on stream through the 8th Assembly, IYC fears that history may want to repeat itself about the funding.
“We believe that these agencies are not going to be funded with oil money from the Niger Delta. The funding of the North East Development Commission is shrouded in secrecy as we believe strongly that it is being funded with oil money. This broad day robbery of our exclusive economic right should not be replicated in the incoming bodies,” he stressed.
He maintained that just as the governors from the South East had made it clear that the South East Development Commission would be jointly funded by them, the governors from the north should also come clear on how they want their regional development agencies to be funded.
He said: “This was how the then Supreme Military Council (SMC) under the chairmanship of General Olusegun Obasanjo exercised legislative powers at the federal level, made the greatest mockery of the Ijaws by promulgating River Basin Development Authorities Decree and the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority Decree.
“The former established 10 other River Basin Development Authorities for every river, rivulet, creek and brook in the rest of Nigeria. The latter established the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority.”

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Edo Speaker Declares Vacant Seats Of 12 Lawmakers

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The Speaker of Edo State House of Assembly, Francis Okiye, on Wednesday, declared vacant the seats of 12 members-elect for deliberately refusing to present their certificates of return to the Clerk of the Assembly for inauguration.
Also during plenary, the seats of Messrs Uyi Ekhosuehi and Henry Okaka, representing Oredo East and Owan East respectively, were declared vacant for allegedly absconding from plenary after the inauguration of the Seventh Assembly on June 17.
According to the speaker, even if the lawmakers-elect come for sitting now, they cannot meet the mandatory 180 sitting days as enshrined in the constitution.
The affected members-elect are Vincent Uwadiae, Ovia North-East II; Ugiagbe Dumez, Ovia North-East I; Washington Osifo, Uhunmwode; Victor Edoror, Esan Central; Kingsley Ugabi, Etsako East and Michael Ohio-Ezomo, Owan West.
Others are Sunday Aghedo, Ovia South-West; Chris Okaeben, Oredo West; Crosby Eribo, Egor; Aliyu Oshiomhole, Etsako West II; Oshomah Ahmed, Etsako Central and Ganiyu Audu, Etsako West I.
Okiye, while declaring the seats vacant, said that the 12 members-elect ‘defiantly refused’ to come forward to do necessary documentation as part of the conditions for their inauguration as members of the Assembly.
He said: “12 out of the 24 members-elect, who completed their screening and documentation process, were inaugurated on June 17, out of whom two have refused to discharge their legislative duties.
“They have refused to represent their constituents in the Assembly, invariably denying them effective representation.
“At this point, I am declaring the seats of the 12 members-elect vacant, in accordance with Section 109, subsection 1(F) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended),” he said.
Okiye consequently called on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to conduct by-elections within 90 days in the affected constituencies.

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Police Confirm Burning Of Two Suspected Kidnappers In Bayelsa

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The Bayelsa State Police Command on Wednesday confirmed the burning of two suspected kidnappers in Otuagala Community in Ogbia Local Government Area of the state by mob.
The suspected criminals were involved in the kidnap of three students of the College of Health and Technology, Otuogidi.
The police spokesman in the state, SP Asinim Butswat, said the two kidnappers were arrested on Tuesday evening.
He said shortly after men of the command arrested the criminals, mob from the community overpowered the security operatives and burned the kidnappers to death.
He said: “Following a tip off, on December 3, at about 1625 hours, a combined team of policemen and the vigilance group, combed Otuagala forest, in Ogbia Local Government Area.
“The team rescued the three students of College of Health and Technology Otuogidi, who were kidnapped by unknown gunmen on the December 2.
“The victims were in good condition. Meanwhile, two kidnappers were arrested and two wooden carved guns that resemble AK 47 Rifles were recovered from them.
“However, angry mob from the community overpowered the security operatives and burned the kidnappers to death,” he said.

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