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RSG Reinforces Ban On Activities Of IPOB In Rivers

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The Rivers State Government, in line with the proscription order of the Federal Government, has reinforced a ban on activities of Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in the state.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, in a state-wide broadcast reinforcing the proscription of IPOB in the state, last Friday, said no form of procession or agitation by the group or any of its affiliates was allowed to take place in the state henceforth.
He explained that state government reached this firm conclusion having observed that the activities of the banned IPOB are not just dangerous to lives and property, but also constitute clear and present threat to the existential interest and aspirations of Rivers State and all her people.
“Security agencies are hereby directed to stop any form of procession or agitation by IPOB in Rivers State or any part thereof, and arrest and prosecute any person or group that identifies with the membership or activities of IPOB in the state. Government will issue an executive order to strengthen and ensure the effective enforcement of these measures”, he said.
He disclosed that he would be meeting with all leaders of youth groups and community development committees in the state, today, to take holistic measures to counter and stop all IPOB activities in Rivers State.
The governor declared one Mr. Stanley Mgbere wanted for leading members of the banned IPOB to cause the recent violence and destruction of lives and property in Oyigbo Local Government Area; adding that any person with useful information that would lead to his arrest and prosecution would receive the sum of N50million.
He recalled that since IPOB was classified as a terrorist organisation by the Federal High Court, and subsequently proscribed in September, 2017 by the Federal Government, the group has carried out intermittent processions in parts of Rivers State, especially in Oyigbo and some notorious suburbs in Port Harcourt Local Government Areas.
According to him, IPOB’s aim had been to disturb the peace of the state by unleashing violence and destruction of lives and property at will.
The Rivers State Government, according to the governor, “had severally pleaded, warned and even advised IPOB and its members to discontinue its insurrectional actions in Rivers State to no avail. Instead, IPOB unleashed another orgy of violence and destruction inflicted at Oyigbo Local Government Area, and some parts of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area on Tuesday, October 21, 2020”.
He said “this evil, wicked and audacious action resulted in the unnecessary loss of scores of lives, including soldiers and police officers, and the destruction of both public and private properties, including police stations, court buildings and business premises.
“Not done, members of the outlawed group also visited physical violence on members of some targeted community which, but, for the quick intervention of the state government and the security agencies, would have resulted in some form of internecine bloodbath in the state.
“Today, IPOB continued with its devilish and destructive activities at Rumukwurushi, Iriebe and Oyigbo in open defiance of the state government’s curfew on human movements. Security intelligence and surveillance have revealed that IPOB has continued to expand its membership drive, holding meetings regularly, and expanding its logistical base, including the maintenance of illegal detention cells in Emenike and other parts of Diobu, Port Harcourt.
“As a matter of fact, Oyigbo town has practically become the group’s main operational base in Rivers State, from which they’ve become notorious for launching premeditated violence and terror on the state, businesses and innocent citizens. As a people, we have become very much unsettled by the terrorist acts and endured the continuing irritations, violence, destruction and provocations of IPOB in and against the people of Rivers State,” Wike said.
The governor noted that “as a stranger element with strange political ideology, IPOB has no legal or moral right to invade Rivers State or any part thereof at its behest; to disturb public peace; and subject lives and property to violence or threat of destruction under any guise”.
He emphasised that Rivers State’s love, accommodation and hospitality towards all who reside and do business in the state are being mistaken for weakness by the banned IPOB.
To this end, he warned that “enough is enough as the government can no longer tolerate the menace of IPOB.
“I wish to appeal to the people of Oyigbo Local Government Area to remain calm and not to take the laws into their hands despite the intense provocation as government has the capacity to deal with the challenge and ensure the safety of lives and property in the local government area. We will soon carry out on-the-spot inspection and assessment of the destruction they have suffered and take appropriate measures to mitigate the loss and damage caused to lives and property”, he said.
Wike expressed his heartfelt sympathies to the families of all those that have either lost their loved ones or suffered damages to their properties from the destructive acts of IPOB in the state.

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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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