The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide, OYC, yesterday berated Governor Hope Uzodinma of Imo State for linking Ndigbo to President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the State today.
Uzodinma had disclosed that Buhari would, apart from commissioning projects he completed in the State, meet with Igbo leaders and discuss issues affecting the zone.
But in a reaction, the President-General of OYC, Mazi Okwu Nnabuike said Uzodinma’s claims were big slight on Ndigbo.
He said it was insulting that a private visit to Uzodinma’s Imo Government could gradually turn into a visit to Igboland by Buhari.
The enraged youth group said, “we had wanted to hold our peace over the noise about President Buhari’s visit to Imo State but under the prevailing circumstances, we are compelled to set the record straight.
“We want to start by making it clear that President Muhammadu Buhari is not visiting Igboland today, but is rather coming to see Governor Hope Uzodinma on a private visit that has nothing to do with the good people of the South-East.
“Having said that, it is also imperative to state that Ndigbo are not scheduled to meet with Buhari in Imo State to discuss any issue whatsoever. The reason is simple- at no point did Igbo leaders meet where a decision was taken for such a visit, let alone agreeing on issues to present to Buhari.
“Secondly, Uzodinma, who is number one enemy of Ndigbo, a man that has bluntly refused to protect our people, but is holding tenaciously to open grazing of cattle, is not and will never be a rallying point for Ndigbo.
“Having said this, he is on his own and is not in any way representing the interest of Ndigbo, but is merely receiving Buhari as his private guest, which he is entitled to.
“Any Igbo leader going there is not representing the interest of Ndigbo and we will regard such a person as an enemy of the people.
“What we will not tolerate is the habit of dragging Ndigbo into such a Jamboree. Ndigbo are not ass lickers, we are one of the three major tripods under which this country is standing and for that reason, we are not going to go cap in hand begging anyone for what is our due, including the 2023 presidency which is not negotiable.”
The youth group equally said it was not happy that the members of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, were popularizing Buhari’s visit by proclaiming sit-at-home in the entire Igboland.
“What is the essence of even contemplating a sit-at-home in the entire Igboland because Buhari is visiting Hope Uzodinma in Imo State? They have helped Gov. Uzodinma in giving the visit such a colouration that it is for the entire Igboland.
“If at all they must declare a sit-at-home, it should have been in Imo State because Buhari is not visiting Igboland. They should not make this kind of very costly mistake next time, it has given this visit undue popularity,” Okwu added.
FG Sets Up To Recover Illegally Refined Crude Oil
In a bid to block revenue leakages, the Federal Government, yesterday, inaugurated an Inter-Ministerial Committee to tackle illegal refining of crude oil in the Niger Delta region of the country.
Members of the committee, who took their oath at the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, were drawn from the Ministry of Defence, the Nigerian Army, the Navy, Defence Headquarters, the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), as well as from the Federal Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Environment, the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), and the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA).
The Solicitor-General of the Federation (SGF), and Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Umar Mohammed, who represented the AGF at the event, said the major mandate of the committee, was “the recovery of illegally refined petroleum products (crude oil) in the dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
According to the SGF, “In line with the policy of the current administration on security and economy, as well as the preservation of the environment from negative hazards.
“The office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, in collaboration with all stakeholders, have put in place a mechanism for effective and efficient management of illegally refined products recovered from dug-up pits found around the creeks of the Niger Delta.
“This mechanism was agreed by the relevant stakeholders and submitted to the Attorney-General of the Federation, who considered and approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for the purpose of implementing the Mechanism known as Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) For the Recovery of Illegally Refined Petroleum Products (Crude Oil) in the Dug-Up Pit found around the creeks of the Niger Delta”.
The SGF said the Federal Ministry of Justice would coordinate the process and the Secretariat of the Inter-Ministerial Committee.
“The responsibility of the Inter-Ministerial Committee is to detect, report, evacuate, assess and ensure transparent disposal of the product with due consideration to the environment.
“The Inter-Ministerial Committee shall be guided by the SOP, developed for the project.
“The content of the SOP is drawn from the provision of the Asset Tracing, Recovery and Management Regulations 2019.
“It is my hope that the proceeds from this exercise will be a source of additional revenue for the country”, the SGF added.
FRSC Threatens Sanction Against Fleet Operators Over Speed Limit
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) says it will sanction any fleet operator found sabotaging the implementation of the Speed Limit Device.
Corps Marshal Boboye Oyeyemi said this during the 2021 annual safety managers retreat yesterday in Abuja.
The retreat aimed at sensitising safety managers on the implementation of the Road Transport Safety Standardisation Scheme to attain best practices in fleet operations.
The theme of the retreat is: “Assessment of Speed Limit Device Implementation in Nigeria: Prospects and Challenges”.
Oyeyemi, represented by Deputy Corps Marshal, Motor Vehicle operations, Mr Hyginus Foumsuk, said that the corps would also sanction Speed Limit Device vendors identified for complicity.
The corps marshal expressed concern on the spate of road accidents and needless loss of lives, especially involving fleet operators.
“These, according to many experts investigations, could have been avoided if the concerned safety managers had been responsive in their duties,” he said.
Oyeyemi said that recent findings by the corps have also revealed a low level of compliance on the installation of Speed Limit Device and associated sharp practices among some fleet operators.
He noted that these practices included tampering with Speed Limit Device and connivance with vendors to deceive enforcement operatives.
This, he said, was with compliance certificates without actual installation of the device, calibration above the approved speed limits and others.
According to him, these shall no longer be tolerated as the corps will not hesitate to sanction violators henceforth.
Oyeyemi urged relevant stakeholders to address the decline on the proper vehicle maintenance as well as implementation of the passenger manifest by fleet operators and the drivers’ recruitment policy.
“We all know the essence of the passenger manifest and the significance of its proper implementation. You are therefore urged to take these issues seriously in the interest of safety.
“Passenger manifest is considered pivotal, thus its enforcement should continue along other traffic offences to compel the needed compliance. It is therefore pertinent that strict adherence to the existing policies be sustained,” he said.
“There is need for fleet operators to introduce improved practices to ensure the safety and comfort of their passengers in compliance with traffic regulations.
The Director-General, Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, Mr Babatunde Irukera, commended the efforts of the corps on road safety.
Irukera noted that injury and fatality on the road were caused by speed, describing speed as a catalyst, aggravator and mitigator.
He urged motorists to take cognisance look into installing Speed Limit Device to avoid road traffic crashes and save lives and property.
He, however, assured FRSC of the commission’s support to punish violators, saying that excessive speed attracts a penalty.
Sokoto Assembly Approves 2021 Virement Request Of N155m
The Sokoto State House of Assembly yesterday approved Governor Aminu Tambuwal’s request of N155 million virement warrant on some capital projects in 2021 approved budget.
This approval followed the consideration of a letter by the state governor presented at the plenary by the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Achida.
Alhaji Bello Ambarura, the All Progressives Congress (APC) leader in the assembly, had moved a motion asking the lawmakers to consider the request at its plenary session.
Ambarura said that the request was necessitated by the present administration’s commitment to addressing a number of developmental projects.
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