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Committee To Resolve C’River, A’Ibom Boundary Problem

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The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio has said that the committee that would resolve the Cross River and Akwa Ibom states boundary dispute would be set up soon.

He said the committee which would be made up of elders will mediate on the boundary and maritime problems.

The governor dropped this hint at the weekend during the lying-in-state of the first elected governor of Akwa Ibom State, the Late Obong Akpan Isemin at the State Executive Council Chambers, Government House, Uyo.

Governor Akpabio while reacting to negative media reports and public misconception said that the committee would comprise eminent persons from both states to holistically resolve the thorny issues once and for all.

He noted that his Cross River State counterpart, Senator Liyel Imoke had accepted the idea and expressed the hope that the committee when inaugurated would make recommendations to be implemented by both states.

He said “we have no problem with Cross River State. About 30 per cent of Akwa Ibom people are residing in that state.  I am a sticker for justice and I believe strongly that what belongs to us mainly the oil wells should be returned to us.  Any time I find any oil well in our state which does not belong to us, I must return to the owner.

Akpabio recalled that the state had so far recovered 267 of the 300 oil wells belonging to the state saying “we are still pursuing the balance.

He acknowledge that the late Isemin stood for justice and fought abolition of the on-shore/off-shore oil dichotomy.

“Obong Isemin was a man of truth.  In 1992, the late governor stood firm and fought relentlessly against the obnoxious on-shore/off-shore oil dichotomy Decree which President Ibrahim Babangida later abrogated,” the Akwa Ibom governor recounted.

Akpabio also emphasise the need for Nigerian leaders to embrace justice in order for the country to attain greater heights, harping “Let us permanently abolish injustice in our country otherwise South Africa, Ghana and even Niger Republic may overtake us in the scheme of things.”

Earlier, the then Deputy Governor, Ambassador Etim Okpoyo, enumerated the achievements of the Isemin administration to include building the present Governor’s Office, payment of bursary to students in tertiary institutions, and the abolition of ethnic division and purchase of 11 rigs for borehole drilling among others.

The solemn ceremony was attended by some past military administrators of the state, including Air Commodore Idongesti Nkanga, Navy Captain Joseph Adeusi, Lt. Col. Yakubu Bako and Air Commander John Ebiye.

Also in attendance was the Secretary to the Akwa Ibom State Government, Obong Umana O. Umana, who moved a motion that the state executive council had bidden the late governor farewell.

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Niger Delta

Ayade Suspends Carnival Over Insecurity, COVID-19

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Yesterday suspended the 2021 Carnival Calabar over fears of a renewed outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The governor disclosed the decision after a prolonged debate among his aides including Commissioners, special advisers special assistants, speaker of the House of Assembly, council chairmen, during an enlarged executive council meeting.
Announcing the suspension, Ayade cited the health concerns arising from the outbreak of Covid-19 variant, Omicron, as well as the prevailing security situation as reasons for the suspension.
He said he would not as a governor and leader compromise the lives and safety of the citizens for the fleeting excitement of the carnival.
Before announcing the suspension, Ayade had subjected the decision to popular votes, following which the majority of the stakeholders voted for the suspension of the carnival.
“We voted more than three times to arrive at No Carnival this year for the best interest of Cross Riverians!
“I’m sad of course as I wanted Carnival for 2021 but the majority carried the day. Dear Cross Riverians, we need to be alive first to enjoy Xmas and Carnival.
“The New Covid-19 Variant is dangerous and won’t portray a good image for the Governor who is the hero of Covid-19 prevention,” the governor told the people of the state.
One of the speakers and former Minister of Culture and Tourism, High Chief Edem Duke even opined that it would be a mockery for a state whose Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, is the Chair of Nigerian Commissioners of Health Forum to hold a carnival amidst the dangers of the new Covid-19 wave.

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Niger Delta

Lawmaker Empowers Edo Youths, Women

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Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Matthew Urhoghide, has trained and supported over 222 youths and women in the state with starter kits to commence businesses.
The training, facilitated by the senator, was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Cross River Basin Development Authority, as part of the lawmaker’s effort to improve livelihood of unemployed persons in the state.
Addressing newsmen at the training session in Benin City, the senator, who is the chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, said he had so far upgraded skills and empowered over 7,000 persons across the seven local government areas that make up the senatorial district in the state.
Urhoghide, represented by Pet Eghobamien, legislative aide to the senator, said: “The programme is facilitated by Senator Matthew Urhoghide. He promised all of these things during electioneering that he will improve lives and livelihood of Edo people.
“There are different classes of participants. For metal works, we have 200 and for barbing, hair making and fashion, we have 22 persons. Those that will be trained on metal works and local fabrication will go home with N50,000. We are not giving the other ones money but we have given them full complement of what they need to start their businesses.”
Ogbomo Tona, chief resident officer, Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, who represented the Edo State controller of the ministry, congratulated the trainees, pointing out that capacity development is key to nation building.
Items distributed were generators, sewing machines, and dryers, among others.

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Pirates Kill Three, Abduct Seven Oil Workers

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Gunmen, suspected to be pirates, in the early hours of Sunday, attacked two oil installations, killing three and abducting seven oil workers in Bayelsa State.
The Tide learnt that the pirates ambushed their unsuspecting victims in Okoroma and Ogbokiri-Akassa communities of Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State.
Sources close to the affected oilfields said the gunmen reportedly shot dead two staff of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and a personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The driver of their boat, an indigene of Okoroma community, is still missing, according to the local sources who witnessed the incident.
According to the sources, in the ambush that occurred at Ogbokiri-Akassa in Brass Local Government Area, six oil workers said to have been doing maintenance job close to their platform were abducted.
The Agip oil workers and their security guards, it was gathered, came under attack at about 6 a.m., while working close to a manifold in the deep swamp.
The NSCDC spokesperson in Bayelsa, Ogbere Solomon, confirmed the incident on Sunday evening.
Mr Solomon said a civil defense officer died in the ambush, while two others, who were missing, have been found and are currently receiving treatment at a medical facility in Yenagoa.
“Yes, our officers were ambushed and attacked by some unknown pirates while on their lawful duty of providing protection to some Agip oil workers close to Obama manifold in Okoroma community of Nembe Local Government Area.
“One personnel was killed while the other two that were missing have been found and are responding to treatment,” he said.
The youth president of the Okoroma Clan, Tarinyu Joseph, said indigenes of the area had recovered the corpses of those killed.
He said those injured were taken to the hospital while the boat driver is still missing.

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