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IYC Commits To Securing Waterways, Warns Pirates

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The Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, Worldwide, says it would no longer keep quiet over the incessant armed criminality along the Bonny waterway.
Therefore, the pan-Ijaw youth body has warned sea pirates and sundry criminal elements unleashing terror on sea route travellers to stay off the sea route as the body would begin a collaboration with state security agencies against them.
In a statement signed by President, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, Deacon Peter Timothy Igbifa, the organisation expressed dismay at the development that had caused the loss of lives, saying it “watched with chagrin, the incessant killings, sea piracy, kidnappings and other criminal activities perpetrated by gunmen along the Bonny and Andoni waterways in Rivers State.”
While noting those travelling routes have become death traps because daredevil marauding beasts have converted them to their conquered territories operating at will without fear of any security interventions, IYC recalled that just recently two passengers were reported dead and many others missing after pirates seized two commercial boats around Dema Abbey Community on Bonny waterways.
It observed that that unfortunate development led Bonny residents to troop to the streets in protest.
“In fact, the criminal activities along these waterways are alarming, barbaric and saddening. Our people travel in fear. It has negatively impacted on economic activities especially as most people engage in buying and selling as their means of livelihood. This means that they must travel to Port Harcourt through the waterways to bring in goods to their various communities. Unfortunately, they now travel at the mercy of merciless bandits”, IYC noted.
“There is an urgent need to sanitise the waterways and dismantle the camps of these criminals. We are calling on the state and local government to collaborate with security agencies to ensure the safety of our people”.
On how to tackle the ugly situation, IYC said, “the military and the Marine Police should identify the red zones on the waterways and create checkpoints to tackle this criminality. There should also be regular and constant patrols along the affected waterways to restore the confidence of travelers.”
IYC also called on the Chairmen of Andoni and Bonny local government areas to come alive to their responsibilities.
“We are calling on the chairpersons of Andoni and Bonny local government areas to be more proactive instead of engaging in reactionary approaches each time these criminals attack their victims. They should explore the possibility of constituting youths into local vigilant groups and empower them to patrol the waterways.
“The council under my leadership cannot fold its hands and watch our people suffer helplessly in the hands of daredevil criminals. Therefore, we are working with the Eastern Zone to activate a robust security plan and strategy to assist the government in tackling this menace,
“We are warning youths to desist from crime and embrace legitimate means of livelihood. Enough of this senseless and heartless attacks on our innocent mothers, fathers and daughters who are working hard to make a living”.

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Rivers

NDLEA Intercepts 100,000 Bottles Of Codeine Syrup At Onne Port

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), has intercepted and seized no fewer than 100,000 bottles of codeine syrup with a total weight of 15,325 kgs at the Onne seaport, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi disclosed this in a statement issued at the weekend in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the 100mg illicit cough syrup with codeine packed in 500 cartons and concealed in a container marked MRKU 1565305, bearing made in India imported face masks, was discovered on Thursday, 10th June.
The syrup was found in a warehouse at the Onne port complex during a joint examination by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) State Security Service and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), among others, he added.
He said that the seizure followed intelligence received by the NDLEA, as a result of which the container was detained and moved to the Customs’ government warehouse within the port complex.
The NDLEA spokesman added that no importer or agent had, however, come forward to claim the container, but that efforts were ongoing to track the owner for further investigation and prosecution.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, (NDLEA) retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as hailing the synergy between various government agencies at the Onne port.
He charged them not to rest on their oars as they continued working hard daily, to keep Nigeria safe.
In particular, he commended the Commander, officers and men of the Port Command in the Rivers capital, and their Abuja airport Command counterparts, for their vigilance and commitment to the task of ridding Nigeria of illicit drugs.
“The damage 100,000 bottles of codeine could have done to our youths, if they had slipped through the port to our villages, towns and cities, is unimaginable. 146.95 kgs of khat could have done the same damage if allowed to go unto our streets.
“We’ll continue to motivate our officers and men so that they can give their best in the discharge of their responsibilities across the country,” he said
“We will ultimately, with the support of all our stakeholders and partners, win the battle against illicit drug trafficking and abuse”, he said.

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21st Century Business: Company Harps On Digital, Smart Office Technology

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The General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Xerox H.S. Nigeria Limited, Mr Femi Abidoye, has stressed the need for digital printing press as well as Smart Office operations in order to adjust properly in the 21st century office documentation system.
Abidoye, said this during the company’s business exhibition titled “ Digital Printing Press, Smart Office Technology Products And Electronic Document  Management System ‘EDMS’ held in Port Harcourt recently.
He noted that the company has made the issue of work from home a reality.
According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic had actually challenged the people on the need to consider work from home a better business option, which he said the company was handy to provide solution.
The Xerox’s General Manager, Sales and Marketing, further said that his company has been in the forefront of sermonising against analogue system to the digital system.

By: King Onunwor

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Finima Seeks Host Community Rights From NLNG

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Finima community has decried neglect and poor corporate social responsibility by the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas(NLNG), insisting that the gas multinational has failed to recognise them as host community.
The protest staged by the community was peaceful until some youths alleged to be from Bonny  attacked the protesters, unleashing violence and vandalising properties worth millions of naira in the area.
As at the time of writing the report, nine persons were wounded in the attack and were hospitalised.
Speaking on why the community held the protest, an elder of Finima Community, Mr Dagogo Lambeth Brown said for over 30 years the community was relocated for the LNG plant in  the early 90s, the community had been sided in terms of hosting rights.
Brown stated that despite having signed an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the community, NLNG has reneged on what he called legacy issues. Some of the legacy issues include resettlement of indigenes from their ancestral land now used as site for NLNG, environmental, health, education and employment.
He said, “as at today there is nothing to show for hosting LNG on our land…even we have internally displaced persons in Finima.”
Woman Leader in the community, Mrs.Victoria Brown recalled that the community gave land to the federal government to build the multinational gas firm but today the firm has failed to honour and rexognise their host.
Another community woman leader, Mrs Kabaka Brown said many youths are not employed as part of the MOU.
“ We have master and doctoral degree holders who have no jobs. The jobs they give us is cleaners and security men,” she said.
On his part, Youth Leader and former Chairman of FinimaYouth , Ala Hart decried that NLNG has made billions from it soil while the community suffers.
Mr. Hart explained that the major issues of contention forms part of the Community Content Guidelines, which NLNG do not implement.
He noted that the Community Content Guidelines is part of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board established by law.
The guidelines covers employment, environment, health and general welfare of host communities which the gas giant does not implement.
Reacting to the development, the NLNG General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi- Williams  said the multinational gas firm had always considered all stakeholders in the community  as partners.
“ NLNG remains full committed to sustainable development in the kingdom, hinged on active community participation to drive initiatives and projects that positively impact the lives of the community,” he added.

By: Kevin Nengia

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