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Again, Diri Advocates Better Deal For Serving Military Officers

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Serving officers and men of the Nigerian Armed forces have been described as the bastion of national unity that deserve more from government while in active service to their fatherland.
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, made this assertion while speaking at a special thanksgiving service held in honour of ex-service men at the King of Glory Chapel, Government House, Yenagoa.
The Tide reports that the service was held as part of activities lined up for the 2022 Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.
Underscoring the vital role played by the Armed forces to secure and keep the nation together, governor Diri said government could not gratify military officers in commensurate measure considering the sacrifices they had made and have continued to make for the country.
Diri who spoke through the State Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, noted that Nigeria was standing as one indivisible nation because of the sacrifices made in the past and still being made by military men, despite the pockets of separatist agitations across the country,
He said over 80 percent of serving military officers were not living together with their families, leaving the mentorship of their children in the hands of others.
Recalling the most recent killing of about eight soldiers in a battle in Zamfara State earlier, the Bayelsa helmsman pointed out that the nation would be doing itself a great disservice if its love for the living and fallen military heroes is limited to just a ‘one-day, yearly remembrance celebration.’
The governor reiterated his earlier call on the National Assembly to come up with a legislation to adequately provide for the care and educational training of children of officers who die in the line of duty, restating the need for the eight local government chairmen to put modalities in place to celebrate the Armed Forces Remembrance Day in their various council headquarters of the state.
“I really want to use this opportunity to call on the Federal Government, that we need to do more than we are doing currently for the service men in uniform.
“The sacrifices they make are unquantifiable and inestimable. Nigeria is united today because people risked their lives to keep Nigeria united. Even as I speak to you, there are various frontiers of discontentment and agitations, whereby some people are trying to pull the nation apart because they want to go their way.
“About 80 percent of the serving officers seated here do not have their families by them here. So what happens is that their families are at the mercy of other persons to mentor. Your mentoring is a key facility for you to bring up children like you.
“Only yesterday we heard that we lost eight soldiers in Zamfara State. Every other day we hear our men in arms giving up their lives for the nation,” Governor Diri said.
In a sermon entitled, ‘Honouring A Life of Sacrifice’, a clergy, Senior Apostle Michael Makpah, urged people to emulate the life of the biblical Abraham, stressing that anywhere sacrifice is offered, there is the need for honour to be given.
Makpah noted that members of the Nigerian Armed forces were driven by love for the country to put their lives on the line for the maintenance of peace, security and territorial integrity of the nation, and therefore must be better appreciated.
Dignitaries at the thanksgiving service were, the state First Lady, Dr. (Mrs.) Gloria Diri, the state Chief Judge, Justice Kate Abiri, service commanders, commissioners, other top government functionaries as well as the State Executive of the Nigerian Legion led by its Chairman, Mr Ogele Okubokeme.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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2023: I’m Only PDP Presidential Aspirant To Defeat APC–Wike

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Rivers State Governor and leading presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Nyesom Wike,has said that he remained the only PDP aspirant that could win election against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike, in company of some PDP chieftains, made this remark when he met national delegates of the Lagos chapter of PDP in Ikeja, last Saturday.
The aspirant, who noted that he was not running to be vice president to anybody, said that if elected, peace, security of lives and property would be prioritised to strengthen the nation’s sustainable infrastructure, food security, prosperity and economic turnaround.
He said the nation needed a strong and courageous leader like him now, adding that with a courageous leader, difficult decisions would be taken to tackle the nation’s challenges.
“The issue now is who can win election for PDP. Who has the capacity to face the APC? Who will win election for PDP? That is me here.
“I will face APC squarely. If you give me this ticket on May 28 and May 29, go home and sleep with your two eyes closed,” Wike said.
The governor said that PDP must do everything possible not to lose the 2023 presidential election.
“If we lose the presidential election in 2023, we can as well forget PDP.
“I have been tested in terms of performance. Mine is ‘talk and do’,” he added.
Wike, who promised to replicate his outstanding performance in Rivers State across Nigeria, said that he would provide a leadership every Nigerian would be proud of, home and abroad.
The aspirant pleaded with the Lagos delegates and leaders to be united and work for his emergence at the primaries.
“I know APC very well, allow me to face them. I am begging you, delegates, allow me. Support me to take the power from APC and bring back to PDP.
“I depend on the South-West, if the South-West gives me the votes, I have won the election. Donate all your votes to me,” he said.”
The PDP chieftain lamented that some party leaders aspiring to contest for PDP presidential ticket now, were the ones that threw the former ruling party into being opposition when they left the party in 2015.
Wike, who noted that he had been with PDP since 1998, said: “I will never leave this party. Whatever I am today, by the grace of God, God used PDP for me”.
He, however, said that he would never leave PDP even if he did not win the primaries, pledging to support whoever won.
The governor, who appealed to the Lagos PDP to end all infighting and division, said that if the party was not united, it would not win in the state.
In his remark, former Governor of Gombe State, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, who led Wike’s delegation, described the presidential aspirant as a fearless and courageous leader, with strong capacity to drive Nigeria forward.

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Army Bombs B’Haram Commander’s Convoy, Kills Scores, Destroys Gun Trucks

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Troops of the Nigerian Army under the auspices of Operation Hadin Kai have bombed a convoy of a Commander of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest, Abubakar Sarki, killing scores of terrorists who were with him.
Sources said the offensive was coordinated by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), Maj-Gen Waidi Shaibu on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Yuwe location, within the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Army was said to have deployed a massive artillery gun after sighting eight moving convoys conveying Abubakar Sarki and unconfirmed numbers of fighters in devastating hits.
The source said that based on intelligence information, Abubakar Sarki and his team were heading toward Abu-Ubaida’s camp to engage its rival fighters from the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), in a battle of supremacy.
Counter Intelligence expert with knowledge of terrorists activities in Lake Chad, Zagazola Makama confirmed the artillery bombing of the BH Commander’s convoy.
“A ground assessment confirmed that three guntrucks with all its occupants were completely destroyed, while the remaining five vehicles, including Abubakar Sarki escaped” the source said.
The source added that the terrorists, however, aborted the mission and evacuated the dead and wounded fighters towards the axis between Pulka and Banki.
The sources said that the troops were mandated to go after the fleeing terrorists and eliminate them completely.
The infighting between the two terrorists groups had intensified with the ISWAP hunting Boko Haram during the day time while the Boko Haram are coordinating reprisal attacks at night because of their knowledge of the terrain.

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NDDC Fund, Account For Alleged N700b, Inaugurate Board, Monarch Tasks FG

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Barely three days after some ministers resigned, including Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, the Paramount Ruler of Idjerhe Kingdom of Delta State, King Obukowho Monday Whiskey, yesterday, called for urgent inauguration of the already screened and confirmed board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) just as he called on the Federal Government to the over N700billion he alleged has been allocated to investigate the commission in the last three years.
He said these steps by the government would help resuscitate the agency and rekindle hope of the people whose regional resources, he alleged, were criminally plundered by the leadership of Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
In a press statement personally issued by the monarch and made available to journalists in Benin City, Whiskey said, “Having voluntarily resigned as Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, our beloved son, Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio, should come out clean to explain to fellow Niger Deltans the whereabouts of the three years running budgetary allocations of the NDDC which inside sources claimed were more than N700billion.
“For presiding over the ongoing illegality in NDDC, Akpabio is not fit to be president.
“The Federal Government and Akpabio, who held the region perpetually captive and denied her of her developmental agenda because of an inglorious forensic audit that never brought out anything should now explain to our people of our collective regional wealth.
“The father of the nation, Mr. President must have seen now that those he entrusted with the developmental agenda of the oil and gas bearing communities of Nigeria had their own nefarious intentions to swindle and cause more havoc and deny the people their collective dreams of development.
“It is instructive to note, Mr. President, that three options are still available to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The first being the immediate inauguration of the screened and confirmed board of the NDDC under the Chairmanship of Dr. Pius Egberavwe Odubu, and Olorogun Bernard Okumagba as managing director. Secondly, immediate dissolution of the illegally constituted sole administrator that is alien to the NDDC Act 2000, and thirdly, every of the allocation to the NDDC from 2019 to 2022 except for those used for staff salaries and sundry expenses, every other monies of the over N700billion be recovered from whoever were part of the Macabre dance of shame in the past four years.”
The traditional ruler stressed that the inauguration of the already screened and confirmed board would rekindle hope and restore the Federal Government’s integrity before Nigerians and the international community.

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