The North East elders under the aegis of Coalition of North East Elders for Peace and Development, (CNEEPD), havve tackled President Muhammadu Buhari and the service chiefs over the rising cases of kidnapping and killings ravaging the country, lamenting that their excuses were no longer acceptable.
Its Chairman, Engr. Zana Goni, in a statement, yesterday, called on Buhari, to, as a matter of urgency, listen to Nigerians and implement the recent resolution of both chambers of the National Assembly by rejigging the country’s security architecture with a view to improving the security of Nigeria.
Goni said: “We are stating our position this day with deep and unbearable pains given the lingering and unabated insecurity on our land.
“There is no doubt that ten years down the line, the situation is worsening by the day.
“This is unacceptable considering the efforts Mr President has put in so far to arrest the situation.
“While we sincerely appreciate the president’s efforts in trying to secure our land and the country at large, we must be bold to state the obvious that his service chiefs who are the drivers of his vision on security have ran out of ideas to end the war, and need to be shown the way out.
“As elders, we can no longer sit on the fence over the issue which is the nightmare of every Nigerian. We wonder why Mr President is still keeping the service chiefs despite call from every quota for them to go.
“We wish to remind our dear president that Nigerians are so tired of excuses of insecurity. They want to see changes.
“Nigerians voted for you massively because of your vast experience in security but as it stands today, they are fed up and want to see a secured North East and Nigeria.
“Mr President Sir, sacking the chiefs and appointing new and younger officers into the system will naturally restore lost morale, zeal, hope and confidence in the Armed Forces and the entire security architecture of the country.
“It is obvious that the current service chiefs have overstayed and have run out of ideas to win the war against insurgents.
“Mr President must show them the way out, our ways of livelihood in the North East have been destroyed by the insurgents, and the poverty level in our zone now is so high. It is on these premise that we are calling on President Muhammedu Buhari to sack the service chiefs without further delay.”
Don’t Hide Under Guise Of Curfew To Shut Operations, RSG Warns Banks, Others
The Rivers State Government has warned companies, business operators and financial institutions in the state not hide under the guise of the curfew imposed by the government to shut down operations that may help undermine the economy of the state.
The warning comes on the heels of attempts by some firms, business owners and financial institutions to close their doors to customers in the state following the imposition of 24-hour curfew by the state government on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area, and some parts of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor local government areas.
The government’s action, last Wednesday, was sequel to some untoward criminal activities and attempts to cause chaos and breakdown of law and order by certain unscrupulous elements, ostensibly hired by enemies of the state to disrupt the peace currently being enjoyed by residents of the state.
In a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, the government warned that any entity found to have taken advantage of the directive to subject the people of the state to any unnecessary hardship would be resisted, and those culpable sanctioned.
The statement reads, “It has come to the attention of the Rivers State Government that some members of the business community are using the curfew imposed in some parts of the state as an excuse to cripple government and economic activities.
“Commercial banks and other businesses are supposed to be open for normal services.
“Therefore, commercial banks where government accounts are operated are advised not to join those involved in any unpatriotic act or lose their patronage.
“For the avoidance of doubt, curfew was imposed only at Oyigbo Local Government Area, Mile One, Mile Two, Iloabuchi, Emenike, Ikoku and Oil Mill areas of Port Harcourt.
“All other parts of the state are expected to be fully open for business,” the statement added.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had imposed a 24-hour curfew in the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
Wike, in a state-wide broadcast, last Wednesday, also announced that the curfew also extends to Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikowu and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt Local Government Area as well as Oil Mill area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The governor explained that the decision to impose the curfew was taken after a State Security Council meeting which held at the Government House, Port Harcourt earlier on Wednesday.
Wike stated that while the state government appreciate and commend the peaceful nature of the ongoing #EndSARS protests, it was becoming clear by the day that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums to unleash carnage.
“Earlier today, some hoodlums attacked and destroyed police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state. Another set of hooligans were also on rampage at the Ikoku spare parts markets disturbing public peace and damaging property”.
Wike asserted that the state government cannot watch helplessly and allow trouble-makers to take the laws into their hands and use the current situation to create a state of panic and insecurity.
To this end, he said consequently, the State’s Security Council had decided to impose curfew in some parts of the state to secure lives and property.
“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikoku and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020.”
“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020; a 24-hour curfew has also been imposed on Oil Mill area in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area”, he said.
The governor has therefore directed security agencies to enforce the curfew with effect from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020.
Similarly, local government chairmen have also been directed to mobilize vigilantes and work with security agencies to ensure that no hoodlum is allowed to disturb the peace or destroy lives and property in their local government areas.
“We urge all citizens to remain vigilant and report all suspicious characters to the security agencies for immediate action. Let me appeal to our youths not to allow themselves to be used to roll-back the peace we are enjoying in the State under any pretext” he added.
#EndSARS: PDP Diaspora Initiative Flays Buhari For Rights Abuses, Killings
Following the recent killings of innocent and unarmed protesters in Lagos and other parts of the country by armed soldiers, the US-based organization of Nigerians living abroad, PDP Diaspora Initiative (PDPDI), has issued a solemn condemnation of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for killing innocent Nigerians and violating their rights.
The organization made its position known to newsmen in an October 21 press statement released through its National Publicity Secretary, Chidi Igwe, yesterday.
According to the statement, “it is obvious that Nigerians from all sections of the country have lost confidence in President Buhari and his administration and the Nigerian youths want a change in direction for a better future.
“Imagine what is going on in our country right now! Buhari’s administration sent his armed soldiers and police to intimidate peaceful protesters and suppress their voices,” the PDP Diaspora Initiative founder and National Chair, Victoria Pamugo, exclaimed.
“When they realized the brave Nigerian youths are not buying the nonsense Buhari’s government is trying to sell and that Buhari has failed in his attempts to keep the Nigerian youths quiet, the government resorted to violence and took up arms against innocent and unarmed citizens who are protesting against police brutality, injustice, corruption and mismanagement of the country by their president and his cronies. Buhari’s armed soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters, killing many innocent people and causing many more injuries,” Pamugo lamented.
“The youths they are killing are our children, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, etc. What sin did they commit?” she asked.
“They have not done anything wrong!” she noted.
“They are just expressing their constitutional right of peaceful protest and assembly. They did not do anything wrong. They were not burning buildings.
She also noted that the youths are angry because their government has disappointed them and called for an end to corruption, embezzlement and police brutality.
Oil Spills: Environmentalists Berate SPDC For Defying Regulatory Compliance
Environmentalists yesterday berated the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) for poor compliance to regulatory verdict on oil spill matters in its operational fields in the Niger Delta region.
They recalled that the spill regulatory agency, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), had fined SNEPCO, a Shell subsidiary 3.6 billion dollars for the Bonga, facility in December 2011.
The oil firm however went to court to challenge the fine and lost at the Federal High Court.
A fact-check on the claim indicated that Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court in Lagos, had on June 20, 2018, upheld the 3.6 billion dollars fine imposed on Shell by NOSDRA, dismissing Shell’s case.
However, Shell declined to pay the fine.
The environmentalists under the auspices of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), at a forum with spill impacted communities in Ikara, Bayelsa State, applauded NOSDRA for its objectivity.
Mr Alagoà Morris, the Head, Bayelsa State Office of ERA/FoEN, who represented the Acting Executive Director of the group, Mr Chima Williams, spoke on the theme: ‘Resisting Regulatory Capture’.
The NGO frowned on alleged frequent disregard to regulatory directives on oil spill incidents and wondered if the oil firm was self-regulatory, adding that a situation where an operator disagreed frequently with regulators “is unhealthy’’.
“As indicated in the theme, this event is unique as it seems to discourage any attempts at regulatory capture.
“One of the main areas of disagreements between stakeholders in the oil industry is in cause of spill as a lot depends on it.
“While there is nothing wrong in any stakeholder contesting whatever is declared as cause of spill, there are certain things to be considered in arriving at declaring the cause.
“In Nigeria, oil industry regulators are supposed to be referees. NOSDRA and state ministries of environment are the regulators.
“As a grassroots organ-isation, ERA has been working with several communities over the years. Ikarama community is one of those communities. From our records, Ikarama is the community with the highest frequency of documented oil spills.
“The oil spill along Shell’s Adibawa-Okordia delivery line on November12, 2011, was one of the clear cases of corrosion incidents,” Morris said.
Newsmen reported that SPDC had rejected the conclusion of NOSDRA that the November 12, 2011, leak on the Adibawa-Okordia pipeline was due to corrosion leading to the subjection to further ultrasonic tests and scans which confirmed the pipe was corroded.
Mr Musa Idris, the Director-General of NOSDRA had told The Tide source that the agency took the steps to ensure that its conclusions were validated by scientifically accepted best practices.
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