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#EndSARS: N’Delta Militants List 11-Point Demands To FG

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Militant groups from the nine states of the Niger Delta region, which vowed to resume hostilities, last Monday, in support of #EndSARS protests, triggered fresh anxiety, at the weekend, as it presented 11 new demands to the Federal Government.
Leader of the militants under the auspices of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), self-styled “Major General” Johnmark Ezonebi, in an electronic mail statement, yesterday, said the coalition had communicated multinational oil companies to evacuate their staff to avoid human causalities.
The RNDA stated: “In support of the existing demands by the #EndSARS protesters, we have added new demands that could stop the mayhem on foreign oil multinationals, oil and gas infrastructures and the Joint Military Task Force (JMTF) involved in the Operation Crocodile Smile in the region.
“We have vowed to take the destiny of our region into our hands and kick-start the occupation of all the major oil wells and the oil platforms, we will also bring down all major crude oil production pipelines to zero,” it added.
The RNDA is demanding: “Urgent release of the N98billion gas flare penalty fund to the host communities of the Niger Delta, which are funds domiciled in the Federation Accounts through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), by the International Oil Companies (IOCs), as payment to compensate the communities being affected in the creeks of the Niger Delta due to their environmental pollution and environmental hazard caused by the multinational oil companies.”
The group recalled that the President Muhammadu Buhari administration withdrew $ billion from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) sometime in 2019 to acquire heavy weapons to fight Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East, adding: “This is wicked and insensitive to the peace accord signed with the people of the Niger Delta region, most especially the RNDA militant group that accepted the ceasefire agreement on 21st of August, 2016, and nothing has been done so far.
“Secondly, we demand the total control of our God-given resources in the region. If some parts of northern states are allowed to operate and will be given license to engage in illegal mining and sale of gold, it means it is time the people of the Niger Delta region, especially the Ijaw ethnic nationality are given equal opportunity to go ahead with artisan and local refining of crude oil in the creeks without any form of intimidation and harassment from the Nigerian government as well.
“Thirdly, RNDA demands that riverine areas in Niger Delta be connected to the cities with roads and bridges with provisions in the 2021 budget. A road project, for instance, should connect Warri to Ogulagha, Burutu Local Government Area, which is a host to Forcardos Terminal, producing over one million barrels of crude oil that contribute trillions of dollars to the Federal Government.
“Fourthly, the proposed 2021 budget, which appropriated billions of naira to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), should be withdrawn and put on hold and the minister of the Niger Delta Affairs should not be allowed to defend the proposed budget until the substantive board of the NDDC is inaugurated and sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We also demand that Senator Godswill Akpabio be mandated to hold a town hall meeting with the traditional rulers, stakeholders and leadership of RNDA militant group in the creek in order to show a genuine intention that the budget proposal will not witness embezzlement and diversion of billions to Akpabio and his cronies’ pockets without any tangible and practical development in the creeks of the region.
“And we also demand immediate take-off and re-opening of the Burutu Seaport by the Federal Government, which should be included in the 2021 budget.
“More importantly to the RNDA militant group, we call for an emergency review of the Revenue Allocation Act in other to give proper interpretation of the 13 per cent derivation funds that will be deposited in the hands of the Niger Delta governors, according to Section 162, Subsection 2 of the 1991 Constitution as amended.
“So, we demand proper interpretation of this Act by the Attorney General of the Federation as to the chief law officer of the country because the people of the Niger Delta oil producing communities are tired of this perpetual man-made injustice caused by the Niger Delta governors who went ahead to award pipeline surveillance contract to one individual, Chief Captain Hosa Wells Okunbor, who is the managing director of Ocean Marine Solutions Company that is handling the pipeline surveillance security contract worth over $18.6million annually just for OML 30, which is TFP pipeline security surveillance contract alone.
“Therefore, RNDA demands pipeline security surveillance job to accommodate the members of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers group, who are over 5,000 in the creeks and we will no longer allow this to happen any more in the creeks or else we will bring down all the pipelines in our creeks within the stipulated time of ultimatum.
“Furthermore, we demand release of the 10 licenses for modular refineries in Niger Delta, which the Federal Government has not approved up till this moment, yet, the Federal Executive Council is approving billions and trillions every week in the presidency through the sales of our crude oil on $1.86million to $2.2million barrels on daily basis without any tangible development in the region,” the militants said.

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RSG Kick-Starts Another Phase Of Projects’ Commissioning, Today

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The Rivers State Government will, today, continue another week-long scheduled commissioning of mega projects with significant socio-economic impact on the people as part of its policy to bequeath world-class infrastructures to jump-start the sustainable development of the state.
A statement in Port Harcourt, last Friday, signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, read in full, “Rivers State Government will enter the fifth phase of projects’ commissioning within four months with the inauguration of Rumuji-Ibaa-Obele-Isiokpo Road cutting across Emohua and Ikwerre Local Governments on Monday, March 8, 2021.
“The Minister of Youth and Sports, Mr. Sunday Akin Dare, will commission the second phase of the Real Madrid Football Academy on Tuesday, March 9, 2021.
“It will be the turn of Omuhuechi-Omuoko-Omuokiri Road in Ikwerre Local Government Area on Wednesday, March 10, 2021.
“Activities for the week will be rounded off on Friday, March 12, 2021 with the commissioning of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Secretariat.
“All Covid-19 protocols will be strictly observed at all venues”, the commissioner added, just as he urged people of goodwill in the state to join the government in the celebration of an era of good governance and the delivery of quality projects designed to restore the Garden City status of Port Harcourt while making the whole state tourists and investors’ destination of first choice in Nigeria.
Already, one of the projects, the Real Madrid Football Academy (RMFA), has not only been rated the first of its kind in Africa, but its pioneer admission process has been over-subscribed by candidates from across Nigeria, and indeed, sub-Saharan Africa.

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Tension As Army Redeploys 100 Generals, Others

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The Nigerian Army has announced the redeployment and posting of over 100 senior officers with a charge to remain absolutely loyal to the Constitution of the nation.
The Director, Army Public Relations, Brigadier-General Mohammed Yerima, yesterday, said that the massive shake-up was in line with the bid to re-position the Nigerian Army for optimal performance, adding that all postings and appointments take effect from March 10, 2021.
According to the statement, “the NA has released postings and appointments of some affected senior officers. The posting, which was approved by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant-General Ibrahim Attahiru, is a normal routine aimed at re-invigorating the system”.
Some of the appointments include: Major General A.S. Maikobi from Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) to Headquarters Training and Doctrine Command and appointed Commander; Major-General D.C. Onyemulu from Armed Forces Simulation Centre to Special Task Force (Operation SAFE HAVEN) and appointed Commander; Major-General S.A. Yaro from Nigerian Army Welfare Limited by Guarantee to Nigerian Defence Academy as Commandant; Major-General L.A. Adegboye from Headquarters 82 Division to Defence Headquarters and appointed Chief of Defence Training and Operations.
“Major General O.I. Uzamere from Army Headquarters Department of Army Logistics to Headquarters Infantry Corps Centre and appointed Commander; Major-General O.F. Azinta from Defence Headquarters to Army Headquarters Department of Army Training and appointed Chief of Training; Major-General J.B. Olawumi to remain in Defence Headquarters and appointed Chief of Defence Logistics.”
“Similarly, Major General K.I. Mukhtar from Depot Nigerian Army to Nigerian Army School of Infantry and appointed Commandant; Major General D.H. Ali-Keffi from Defence Intelligence Agency to Headquarters 1 Division and appointed General Officer Commanding; Major General T.A. Lagbaja from Army Headquarters Department of Training and Operations to Headquarters 82 Division and appointed General Officer Commanding; Major General S. Dahiru from Army Headquarters Department of Transformation and Innovation to Army Headquarters Garrison and appointed Commander; Major General U.A. Yusuf from ECOWAS to Headquarters 8 Division and appointed General Officer Commanding.

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Approve Not Less Than 10% For Host Communities In PIB, Wike Tells NASS

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has advocated not less than 10 per cent fund allocation to host communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) that is still before the National Assembly.
Wike said it is also necessary that the bill state in clear terms what specific development projects that the allocated fund should be spent on, so that development of host communities can be truly actualised.
The governor gave the charge when the members of the National Assembly Committee on the Petroleum Industry Bill, visited him at Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Wike stated that oil bearing communities have suffered the loss of their livelihood, good drinking water and their socio-cultural life disrupted because of the insensitivity of the International Oil companies (IOCs).
“It is unfortunate that people produce oil but they live in poverty. I believe that this Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) committee will make recommendation of how certain percent must be given to the host oil communities.
“There are issues of education and health. Don’t just say 10 per cent to the oil host communities. It must be tied to specific projects so that whoever is in charge will know.
“Let it also not be that host community people will have this money, and you begin to see assassinations among themselves.
“I have found out that part of the problem we have in communities is that they allow these oil companies to divide them. They cause crisis among them; divide and rule. That is the pattern of IOCs, particularly Shell.”
According to the governor, the mistakes found with the act establishing the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should be avoided because it did not specify what projects the commission should embark on in the Niger Delta.
“This same thing that has happened to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) should not happen to the issues of host communities in PIB.
“If in the NDDC Act, they were able to tie the money that will be coming to specific projects, it would have developed the people of Niger Delta. And you won’t be having people fainting at the National Assembly.
“NDDC will leave their job and begin to buy vehicles for police, Army, and asphalting barracks. Is it what NDDC is meant to do? That is where we have lost it!”
Speaking further, the governor emphasised the need for the bill, when passed, to be signed, and not go the way of the Electoral Act amendment bill that the president refused to assent to.
“I hope this bill will also not be like the Electoral Act, after you pass it, they’ll keep it for months. Later they’ll say they can’t assent to it.
“Then, the Presidency will throw it back to you, and you will keep quiet. That will then show that what you’re doing is only for the interest of your party, and not the interest of Nigerians.
“Otherwise, you’ll insist that it is signed. I hope you’ll have the courage to do what is right, and this is the time that Nigerians require you to be strong, firm and do what will move this country forward.”
In his speech, the Deputy Chairman of the National Assembly Committee, who led the delegation, Hon Victor Nwokolo Onyemaechi, said the committee was in Rivers State to have town hall meeting with stakeholders to resolve issues of what should be allocated to host communities in the PIB.
“A lot of people have been misinformed about the issue of host communities. Some have said that host communities are related to hostility of the producing communities. But what we have seen today, and in the last four days, have shown to be negative. It has proved negative in the sense that we walked round over 800 meters about three days ago, and they saw that even in dry season, we have to use wood as bridge to get to where Shell is exploring oil and making all their money.
“They also saw the impact of Shell operations to people’s means of livelihoods, where their farmland and palm trees were burnt to ashes. They can feel it and they can see it.
“Today is not a different story. What we saw today is that a community that is known for fishing, as their means of livelihood, has been brought to a standstill. The boats were there, over 40, 50 boats, lying idle because their water has been fully polluted”, he added.
The chairman also commended Governor Nyesom Wike for the rapid infrastructural transformation ongoing in Rivers State.

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