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‘Insecurity Responsible For Economic Instability In Nigeria’

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A cleric and the Chief Imam, Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, Ogun State, Dr. Abdulhakeem Akanni has attributed the rising security threats in Nigeria as factors responsible for economy instability in the country.
He also noted that kidnappings and herdsmen-farmers clashes across the country has prevented farmers to work on their farmlands, thereby forcing Nigerians to buy the few available farm produce at high rate.
Akanni, who spoke in Abeokuta, yesterday at the 14th Annual lecture of The Muslim Congress (TMC), Ogun State chapter, however, blamed Nigerians for the precarious situation.
He stressed that government’s failure to provide good roads, stable electricity, unbiased judicial system, payment of pension and gratuities, employment generation and equity in the sharing formula has forced many Nigerians to seek alternative means of sustainability.
Delivering his lecture on the topic: “Security and Economic Stability: Imperative for good governance in Nigeria”, the Islamic scholar equally blamed the citizens for their insincerity and disobedience to rule of law.
“You will observe that the precarious situation we found ourselves in this country got to this stage as a result of what both leaders and followers have done. We are all stakeholders in this and we all contributed into what this nation is today by our nefarious activities.
“We blame government officials for unemployment, bad roads, non-provision of electricity, non-payment of gratuities, non-payment of pension, non-remittance of cooperative deductions, lack of facilities in our hospitals and schools, but as Nigerians too, we also contributed to some of these problems.
“Some Nigerians support smugglers, some cheat in exams, parents enrol their children in special centres to participate in exam malpractices, teachers write answers on chalkboard for students during examinations, religious leaders don’t speak the truth anymore. These are the things that have brought our country to this precarious situation.
“For us to move Nigeria forward we need attitudinal change and for the leaders, they should be accountable to the masses and do self-assessment of their performance.
“There is too much bloodshed in the country. There is injustice in our VAT system. The federal government should stop robbing some regions to satisfy the interest of other regions. Let us stop our corrupt practices and seek the face of God,” the scholar stated
Speaking on the theme of the lecture: “Insecurity and National Unity: The Nation on trial”, Ustadh Muhammad Jamiu Tirimidhi Akano maintained that, the political instability, insecurity, and banditry were caused by tribal and religious crisis.
Akano, who is the Chairman, Committee of Experts, Zakat and Sadaqat Foundation, expressed disappointment in Nigeria political leaders, saying in spite of their religiosity, adherents have failed the nation.
He called on Nigerians to demonstrate unconditional love for one another, irrespective of religion, tribe, race and position.
According to him, merit in national appointment as against states and ethnic based nomination and inclusion of religious and moral instruction in school curriculum and constitution would return the country to the path of glory.
In his welcome address, the Waali of the Ogun State chapter of TMC, Dr. Ogunkoya Ibrahim maintained that, the theme for the lecture centred on finding the right mix of governance, leadership and political stability with particular reference to the roles of religious and political leaders.
He said the wave of overlapping security crises and political discordances rocking the nation, especially at a time the country was wallowing in the throes of economic downturn has necessitated the group to contribute its quota to the development of the country.
He expressed bitterness that, Nigeria which has once provided continental leadership in the economic sphere and in international diplomacy, including military and political leadership, was now groping in the dark, and struggling to find its feet.
Ogunkoya noted further that, the abject lack of commitment, by both the leaders and the citizens, to a united, stable, developed and prosperous Nigeria has put the country on the brink of collapse, as hard-line separatists and ethnic jingoists are springing up with agitations for separation and outright balkanization of the country.
“However, in spite of these precarious circumstances, we believe there is hope for a better tomorrow as every cloud has its silver lining. Change is indeed possible. This independence anniversary offers a veritable opportunity for us to begin a sincere process of national healing.
“First, there must be a top-down approach to a mental and moral reorientation. From the politician in the office, the faith leader in the sanctuary, to the common man on the street, we must all come to the realization that it is the wish of the Almighty Allah (SWT) that we dwell in this geographic expression called Nigeria as a people of an undivided nation and there is no other place we can rightfully call our own.
“Therefore, a good starting point for a change towards national integration is for us to disabuse ourselves of the out-dated perception of seeing ourselves as being from a part of the country before recognizing that we are Nigerians. As such, all hands must be on deck to ensure we take a clean break from our ugly past and chart a new beginning for our political and economic future”, he submitted.

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Dislodge Illegal Oil Refinery Operators, Wike Tasks Monarchs

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has urged traditional rulers in the state not to allow illegal crude oil refining (Kpo-fire) activities to take place in their domains anymore.
Wike gave the charge at a meeting he held with traditional rulers in the state at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Friday.
The meeting was also attended by heads of security agencies and chairmen of the 23local government areas of the state.
Wike told the traditional rulers that those involved in illegal oil refining activities were sabotaging the economy.
He regretted that the Federal Government, which controls the oil industry and the security agencies, has been indifferent to the soot pandemic and the damage it was inflicting on the health of the residents of Rivers State.
“I should think that the way Federal Government intends to fight insurgency is the way they should fight illegal oil bunkering, because it is sabotage on the national economy. Very big sabotage! It affects our own revenue.
“If we are supposed to produce two million barrels, for example, we are now producing 1.2million. And that 1.2million barrels, it affects Rivers State because we are not producing up to the volume we are supposed to produce, and then, we cannot get the money to do whatever you want us to do.”
The governor also said that illegal oil refining activities constitute environmental hazard capable of causing cancer-related illnesses in the state.
According to him, his primary concern was to ensure that the health of residents of the state was not jeopardised.
“It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to see how this thing can be stopped. As I speak to you, nobody has called me from the Federal Government to say how they can support us. But that is not my business. My business is the health of my people. I will not because the Federal Government is not interested to stop it, therefore, my people should die. If everybody dies, who are you going to govern?”
The governor, therefore, urged the traditional rulers not to be less concerned about the activities of illegal oil refinery operators, but to frantically mobilise members of their Community Development Committees (CDCs) and the leadership of their youth groups to work in synergy to dislodge them from their domains.
Wike berated the Nigerian Police for being complicit in the criminal act of illegal oil bunkering, which is why they were not committed to the fight to stop the illicit business.
He also described as embarrassing how officers of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) have continued to be complicit in the act and shamelessly involved in sabotaging the national economy.
“I don’t know how I can be a security officer sent to a place to protect people, to protect whatsoever belongs to the Federal Government, at the same time, I’m involved in sabotaging the national economy. I don’t understand how I can wear uniform and be involved in that. If they do not want to support us, we have no choice but to expose all the atrocities that are going on in this state.”
Wike said he recently received intelligence that an Army Major was providing exit services to illegally refined petroleum products, and had to send security personnel to thwart it.
“In fact, I had to send my special security to go and intercept a major who was trying to escort some of these illegal products.”
The governor declared that his administration would not hesitate to expose any security personnel involved in such illegal oil refining activities.
Wike frowned at the inability of the Nigeria Police to arrest Chief W. J. Wocha; Fubara Ohaka; and other members of the illegal bunkering cartel operating at Ibaa community in Emohua Local Government Area.
He said the names of all indicted persons would be published soon and they would be declared wanted.

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Rivers Rating In Ease Of Doing Business Rises -Banigo

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo has said that the sub-National Ease of Doing Business Baseline Survey indicates that Rivers State was doing great in the Ease of Doing Business Index in the country.
Banigo stated this at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, last Thursday, shortly after her arrival from Abuja, where she represented the State Chief Executive, Chief Nyesom Wike at the Nigerian Governors’ Forum and the National Economic Council meeting.
Banigo disclosed that the factors, which determine this survey, include infrastructure, security and healthcare.
“With the 10 flyovers the governor was constructing in Rivers State, and of course, with all the other infrastructure in health, education; and the monumental improvement in security as well as the clearing of the hideouts of criminals, obviously gave us a head way in doing very well in this baseline survey”, the deputy governor further stressed.
According to the public health physician, the response of the state to the COVID-19 pandemic, under the watch of the governor as the incident manager, has been tremendous in terms of healthcare delivery.
“I want to encourage the citizens of the state to maintain the non-pharmaceutical measures like the correct wearing of face masks, regular washing of hands with soap and running water for, at least, 20 seconds, social distancing, coughing and sneezing into one’s elbow as well as the improvement of personal and environmental hygiene. I also want to encourage Rivers people that vaccination actually reduces the mortality and morbidity that arises from COVID-19″, Banigo said.

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Ex-Agitators Beg Firms To Return To N’Delta

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Ex-agitators have pleaded with companies especially oil companies that relocated from the Niger Delta region following spate of insecurity triggered by militancy to return to the region promising uninterrupted peace.
The former warlords also called on interventionist agencies to work together to sustain the peace and ensure development of the region.
They spoke in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, during a regional peace summit to sensitize people on the need to advance the peace currently enjoyed in the region.
The ex-agitators also condemned proliferation of illegal refineries and lamented its adverse effects on development.
One of the participants at the summit and ex-freedom fighter, Pastor Nature Dumale Kieghe said as ex-agitators, who keyed into the vision of the Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), they have resolved to work for a new and better Niger Delta.
“It is important to sensitize our people towards a peaceful Niger Delta and create a friendly environment that will attract development, Multinational companies and other foreign investors to the region.
“We, who once carried guns, are now here to preach the message of peace to our people in the region. Peace is the only way we can have the developed environment that we dream of. Peace is the only way to attract the multinationals, investors and also be gainfully employed,” he said.
According to Nature, peace remained a vital tool to attract investors to the region which would in turn create business and job opportunities for the people.
“Companies that have left the Niger Delta because of insecurity need to return, this is the purpose for sensitization. We are blessed with an environment that is supposed to prosper us, we can only enjoy our natural resources if there is a peaceful environment, “ he added.
Nature pointed out that a major setback to the development of the Niger Delta was the absence of proper coordination among key stakeholders.
He said with the right synergy, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Presidential Amnesty office, could hasten the needed development of the region.
On illegal oil refinery, Nature explained that beyond hampering the development of the region, illegal refining of petroleum products was life threatening and dangerous to the ecosystem.
The sensitization programme commenced in Bayelsa state with 150 Niger Delta youths in attendance and would be held across the nine states of the region to create adequate awareness.

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