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IYC Tackles Amaechi Over Warri Port Dredging Accuses Minister Of Anti-N’Delta Activities

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The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has taken a swipe at the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi over his poor handling of the dredging of Warri Port in Delta State, accusing him of playing anti-Niger Delta politics with the project.
In a statement signed by the IYC President, Eric Omare, Esq, and made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the Ijaw youth think-tank said that Amaechi’s behaviour portrayed him as a politician who was against the development aspirations of the Niger Delta people.
The statement read, “The attention of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) has been drawn to a statement credited to the Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi to the effect that he would have stopped the planned dredging of the Warri port, if he was not from the South-South region over youth disturbances.
“Amaechi was reported to have made the comment at the Palace of the Ovie of Uvwie in Delta State during the reception in honour of the Minister of State, Labour and Productivity, Chief Festus Keyamo on Thursday, November 14, 2019. When the story was reported in the media, we had initially thought that the minister was quoted out of context. However, having waited for more than three days without a correction from the minister’s media office, we wish to correct the wrong impression created in the said media report.
“That the IYC completely condemn the statement made by Rt. Hon. Amaechi that youths are disturbing the commencement of the proposed Warri Port dredging because it is very far from the truth and calculated to paint the youths of the Niger Delta region in the wrong light before the Nigerian public.
“On the contrary, we state clearly without fear of contradiction that there is no existing contract to dredge the Warri Port that is being delayed by youth disturbances.
“For the purpose of clarity, we state that sometime in 2018, the Federal Government announced its intention to carry out dredging of the Warri Port channel so as to allow bigger vessels use the Warri Port and make the port functional.
“In response and to create the conducive environment for the project to take-off, the youths of Ijaw and Itsekiri under whose area the dredging was supposed to take place at their own initiative and expense organized a sensitisation workshop and indeed set up an advocacy team which went round the communities affected to allow for peaceful dredging in the interest of the Warri economy. This initiative was widely reported by the media and the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) management was excited by the initiative of the youths.
“The Warri Port dredging was supposed to be in three phases; which are the dredging of the Escravos bar, construction of the breakwater and the dredging of the Warri Port channel from Escravos to Warri.
“After the sensitisation workshop organized by the Ijaw and Itsekiri youths, there was supposed to be a meeting between the affected communities and stakeholders with Federal Government officials before the commencement of the first phase of the work which is the dredging of the Escravos bar.
“However, instead of meeting with the communities and stakeholders, Rt. Hon. Minister Amaechi as Minister of Transportation directed and handed over all community rights to a party chieftain from Delta State from one of the ethnic groups at the expense of the generality of the communities and stakeholders without regard to the multi ethnic sensitivity of the Warri area.
“However, the Ijaw leadership saw that this was another attempt by Rt. Hon. Amaechi to create room not to go on with the dredging as he is now doing. Therefore, the affected communities did not raise any issue and allowed the dredging of the Escravos bar to go on without any problem. In this dredging, the communities and stakeholders were not involved in anyway, hence they are not in a position to know if the dredging was actually done up to specification or not.
“The Escravos bar dredging was done without any disturbances whatsoever despite Minister Amaechi’s provocative conduct. Therefore, we are amazed that Hon. Amaechi is now accusing youths of the South-South especially from the Warri area of acting as hindrance to the Warri Port dredging. If we may ask Amaechi, who are the youths disturbing the Warri Port dredging and when did the engagement with the youths took place? Is there a contract in place to dredge the Warri Port by the Federal Government and who is the contractor and when was the contract awarded?
“To the best of our knowledge, after the dredging of the Escravos bar, the next phase ought to be the construction of the Escravos breakwater and then dredging of the channel from Escravos to Warri and none of these contracts has been awarded. So, which dredging contract and youth disturbances is Amaechi talking about? Who are the youth or community representatives that have been arguing with Amaechi over the Warri Port dredging in the past six months?
“It is obvious that Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi despite being from the South-South is allergic to anything development of the region. He always hide under spurious reasons to opposed any developmental initiative of the region just as he did with the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
“Consequently, we call on the general public, especially President Muhammadu Buhari to completely disregard the claim by Minister Amaechi that youths are obstructing the dredging of the Warri Port channel. On the contrary the youths have been very supportive of the Warri Port channel dredging but the Minister Amaechi seems to be playing politics with the dredging.
“However, Minister Amaechi should remember that he would not be Minister of Transportation forever and at the end of this tenure he would be asked what he achieved for the South-South region just as he used to ask former President Jonathan”, Omare added.

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RSG Reads Riot Act To Spare Part Dealers

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The Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has issued a stern warning that the state government will not condone any form of lawlessness in Rivers State.
The Governor issued the warning following the protest by spare part dealers in the Diobu area of the State against the Nigerian Police Force.
The Governor declared that anyone caught taking the laws into his hands would be punished in accordance with the law.
He noted that the State Government has been inundated by reports that some persons still want to further take the laws into their hands with another protest.
He warned that his administration will not tolerate such acts of violence, and advised all residents of the State to be civil and allow the law to take its course.
“We have no doubt that if indeed the dead was murdered, the truth will prevail” he said.
He urged all residents of the state to remain calm and go about their normal businesses.

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Lagos Pipeline Fires Claim Five Lives, Raze 33 Vehicles, 15 Houses

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More fatalities are still being recorded after the multiple fires that swept through Lagos, Sunday night.
The worst fires occurred at Ile Epo Ekoro Road at Abule Egba inward Baruwa, in Alimosho Local Government Area of the state.
About the time this report was released, many people were reported to have died while millions of properties, including houses, cars, and tricycles have been consumed by the raging inferno.
According to the disaster report released by the DG/CEO of Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Dr Olufemi Damilola Oke-Osayintolu, as at yesterday afternoon, the disaster had recorded five fatalities (3 adult males, 1 adult female and 1 female child aged 5 years).
“Twenty (20) people were treated for minor injuries and discharged at the scene. A total of 150 people, including children were displaced”.
He disclosed that the buildings affected were No 18, Musa Erimo Street (a storey building); Joel Nnadede Street; No 7 (a storey building), No 20 (a bungalow), No 1 (bungalow), No 2 (bungalow), on Hamed Sodiq Street, No 8 (bungalow), No 4 (bungalow), No 2 (2 storey building). NNPC power line road No 45 bungalow, No 47 (bungalow), No 49 (bungalow), 17 attached shops in all.
He noted that the vehicles involved include, 33 trucks, 3 cars and 3 tricycles (Keke).
Meanwhile, a container truck fell on two transport rickshaws, locally known as ‘Keke’, killing three people at Omor Street, Mgbuka Nkpor in Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State.
The truck driver had reportedly lost control of the vehicle and ended up at gully along the road, killing the two Keke operators and a conductor of the truck instantly.
The Anambra State Police Command spokesman, Mr Haruna Mohammed, confirming the accident, said that the injured driver of the truck was receiving treatment at Inyienu hospital, while the corpses of the deceased were deposited at Iyienu Hospital, Ogidi
“On the 19/01/2020 along Mercedes Avenue by Omor Street, Mgbuka in Idemili North LGA of Anambra State, a Mack trailer conveying a container with registration number XS 254 ENU, driven by one Amuche Chinedu, ‘M’, of Ugwunagbo LGA of Abia State, lost control and knocked down two tricycles with registration numbers AAH 774 UW and AWK 191 QN, ridden by one Sunday Agbafor, ‘M’, aged 35 years of Onuofia Igboeze in Onicha LGA of Ebonyi State, and one Adindu Uchenna, ‘M’, aged 39 years of Ugwunagbo LGA of Abia State,” Mohammed reported.
“As a result, the trailer with the container fell into a deep erosion gully, while the tricyclists, together with the conductor of the truck, one Chika – surname and address unknown – died on the spot.
“Police patrol team led by DPO Ogidi Division, CSP Mark Ijarafu visited the scene, corpses removed and deposited at Iyienu Hospital Morgue, Ogidi, and cleared obstruction to enable free flow of traffic in the area.
“Meanwhile, the truck driver also sustained injuries and he is receiving treatment at the hospital. The Commissioner of Police, CP John Abang, commiserates with the bereaved families and ordered for a discreet investigation to ascertain circumstances surrounding the incident,” Mohammed stated.

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RSG Focuses On Good Surveillance For Polio Eradication

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The Rivers State Government says it would continue to be vigilant in its effort to eradicate polio, with focus on good surveillance and strong routine immunization.
The Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo stated this during the Quarterly Review Meeting of the State Task Force on Immunization and Primary Healthcare at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Banigo, who identified result-oriented governance as the hallmark of the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration, said, “we will continue to provide those basic routine immunization, antenatal care, nutrition and family planning as these are very fundamental priorities which are key to ascertaining desired optimal health indicators for our people”.
According to the deputy governor, to effectively protect our children, our community and prevent outbreaks, we must work to ensure that we achieve 80 per cent coverage for all antigens at ward level, stressing that we must reach polio certification by June, 2020.
She welcomed members of the Task Force to the New Year, and thanked them for their partnership and collaboration in the quest to improve health care delivery in the state.

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