Connect with us

News

Civil War Looms In Guinea

Published

on

Observers of Guinea’s political crisis have raised concern that the seeds of Africa’s next civil war are being sown in that country. Giving credence to this alarm is a sprawling camp, where white contractors are getting military training to an estimated 1,500 to 4,000 men from one of Guinea’s smallest ethnic groups.

The trainees, say a camp employee, a government official and several diplomats, are almost all Guerze, the tribe of Guinea’s troubled leader.

The camp is one more sign of the growing instability in this West African nation of 10 million, where President Capt. Moussa “Dadis” Camara was shot at and lightly wounded by his own presidential guard last Thursday. Isolated and increasingly fearful for his safety, Camara appears to be tapping the dangerous sentiment of tribal allegiance in a bid to hold onto power.

Dictators have used such tactics throughout the continent, in some cases plunging countries into civil war. War in Guinea could also spread across the region along ethnic lines, because Guinea shares its largest ethnic group, the Peul, with five neighboring countries.

“We worry that he is recruiting and training this ethnic militia so that it can carry out blows below the belt,” said Mamadou Baadikko, president of the Union of Democratic Forces, an opposition party. “If this doesn’t stop, the risk of civil war is real.”

The 45-year-old Camara led a military coup last December, hours after the death of former strongman Lansana Conte. His first speeches were stirring, promising to crack down on corruption in the dirt-poor country and to hold elections in which he would not run. Many hoped he would reach out beyond his immediate clan because it makes up just 0.05 percent of the population, and because he is Christian in an 85 percent Muslim country.

But nearly all the top ministries were handed to men from his ethnicity. And only a few months later, Camara, 45, began hinting that he planned to run for office.

When opposition leaders led a rally on Sept. 28 to demand he step down, the presidential guard opened fire on the thousands of protesters, killing at least 157. Witnesses say the protesters were mostly Peul, while the soldiers who attacked them were overwhelmingly ‘forestier,’ the ethnic groups from Guinea’s forested southeast, including the Guerze.

It was just a few weeks before the massacre that residents of Forecariah, a dusty town 80 miles south of the country’s capital, began seeing buses arrive loaded with young men who spoke only forestier dialects.

The training camp for the militia is inside the former campus of the national gendarmerie academy in the village of Kalia, 2 1/2 miles up a dirt road from Forecariah, said a camp employee who requested anonymity for fear of retaliation. He said that in mid-summer, the academy’s director and staff were replaced by men from the president’s ethnic group.

Eighty percent of the recruits, he said, are Guerze. The rest are from the related forestier tribes. Only a handful are from the country’s major ethnicities, including the Peul, which make up 40 percent of the population, and the Soussou, which account for 20 percent.

Local residents said the foreign trainers were speaking English and two other languages which sounded like Hebrew and Afrikaans.

Parked outside were several four-wheel drive vehicles and a large bus with license plates beginning with “AG,” designated for the “Armee Guineene,” French for the Guinean Army. Locals say the bus ferries the men to and from the camp.

Idrissa Cherif, the junta’s minister of communication, said media reports that mercenaries are in Guinea are “lies.” He said Israelis are at the camp in Kalia on an official mission to train the Guinean army.

“Yes, there are Israeli citizens here,” Cherif said. “They are training our army … why do they want to tarnish the image of my country by calling them mercenaries?”

But the Israeli government said no permits have been issued to Israeli companies or individuals to operate in the security sector in Guinea. “Those doing so are acting in violation of Israeli law and may face criminal charges in Israel,” said Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Group Urges Buhari To Inaugurate NDDC Board

Published

on

Following the delay in the inauguration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) substantive board, the Ijaw Interest Advocates (IIA) has again asked President Muhammadu Buhari to take charge, absolve himself from the minister’s delay tactics and inaugurate the NDDC Governing Board.
In a statement, President of IIA, also known as Izanzan Intellectual Camp, Amb. Salaco Yerinmene, told Buhari to immediately inaugurate the NDDC substantive board to avert the looming crisis in the region.
According to him, “for long, we have observed that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godwin Akpabio’s tactics to perpetrate illegality in NDDC is for personal financial gains.”
The president of the group, Salaco, who said Akpabio has done more harm to NDDC than ever, accused Akpabio of toying with the commission, adding that Buhari should distance himself from his activities if he was not selective in the fight against corruption in the country.
The Ijaw advocates added: “Akpabio is only a supervisory minister and that does not mean he alone owns the commission. Major stakeholders, well-meaning leaders and people of the Niger Delta are supposed to be part of the NDDC but today Akpabio has sidelined them.”
The group queried what the minister is doing with the money that comes to NDDC because contractors are not paid as contractors have pulled out of site.
It would be recalled that the Association of Contractors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (ACNDDC), had last Thursday, embarked on a protest march at the premises of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Abuja, and decried the ongoing mismanagement of monthly funds accruing to the commission, and appealed to the Federal Government to pay outstanding debts it owes NDDC contractors.
Salaco regretted that “the commission has been largely engaged with internal matters and has been redundant since Akpabio took over two years ago and one will expect that so many saving would have been made but empty treasury is the reality.”
The group, however, warned that “some key stakeholders who have been involved selflessly and silently in making efforts for peace in the region are almost giving up gradually on their peaceful roles mainly because of lack of sincerity from the Presidency. Well-meaning Niger Delta persons, groups, traditional and government authorities have made inputs by advising the President to ignore Akpabio and do the right thing.”
Salaco regretted that “the multi-national companies are now suffering silently, they have been exposed to confront host communities on their own. Nigeria as a major oil producing nation cannot meet up their OPEC production quota just because of some selfish individuals who want to line up their pockets with funds meant to sustain peace and development of a sensitive region like the Niger Delta.”
Izanzan Intellectual Camp, therefore, advised that “President Buhari should not take the role of stakeholders, mostly the various ethnic nationality representatives who are silently maintaining peace in the Niger Delta region for granted. It is in the best interest of the government led by President Buhari to Ignore Akpabio, and do the bidding of the people for peace, development and progress of the region especially now that the unrest deliberately fuelled by Akpabio is yet to explode.”
It would be recalled that Buhari had promised the nation on June 24, 2021, while receiving the Ijaw National Congress (INC) at the State House in Abuja, that the NDDC Board would be inaugurated as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted.
The president said: ‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedevilled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.”
However, the forensic audit report has been submitted to President Muhammadu Buhari since September 2, 2021, prompting the Ijaw National Congress (INC) to caution that “any further delay in the inauguration of the NDDC Board is a clear betrayal of trust and display of state insensitivity on Ijaw nation and Niger Delta region.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Police Nab Three Dowen College Students Over Sylvester’s Death

Published

on

The Lagos State Police Command, yesterday, arrested three students of Dowen College in connection to the death of Sylvester Oromoni Jnr.
Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, also confirmed that three out of the five students were already in custody, while two were currently at large.
This is as one week after the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni Junior; the Parents’ Forum of the school has demanded justice and also a change in the school management.
It would be recalled that late Sylvester Oromoni had mentioned five senior students allegedly responsible for the injuries he sustained when he was attacked at the Dowen College.
Sylvester was allegedly attacked by senior students of Dowen College, where he reportedly sustained internal injuries that resulted in his demise.
Over 100,000 had signed petitions to prosecute the perpetrators of the sad incident.
The Lagos State Government has since shut down the school, while the police have also commenced investigation into the matter.
However, one week after the death of 12-year-old Sylvester Oromoni Junior, the Parents’ Forum of the school has demanded justice and also a change in the school management.
The parents also demanded a change in hostel teachers and the installation of CCT cameras in the school.
The decisions were reached at an online meeting. In strong words against the death of the 12- year -old student, the parents said justice for Sylvester is justice for all and insisted that those involved should be brought to book.
A statement, yesterday, signed on behalf of the parents’ forum by Aituaz Kola-Oladejo, Waheed Adeoye, Oluwaseun Bolanle Ajila and Kingsley Kema Agu, reads: “This will not only bring this unfortunate incident to a closure for the family but will also serve as a deterrent to other juvenile delinquents in all schools in Nigeria.”
The parents demanded a change of school management team, hostel teachers, installation of Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras in all strategic places and overhaul of the school security system.
They decried the incident, and urged the school management team and other stakeholders to cooperate with the authority in the ongoing investigation into the death of Sylvester.
The parents’ forum agreed to organise candlelight on today, at Dowen College, adding “the lighting of candles is to pay tribute to a life ‘passed’, and keeping the light burning signifies that the memory still lives on and burns bright.
“Dowen College parents are startled and deeply saddened by the unfortunate incident that led to the death of Sylvester Oromoni. Our hearts go out to the family of the deceased and pray to God to give them the strength to bear the irreparable loss.
“As parents of Dowen College students, we are still in shock and could not come to terms with this incident and the accounts so far provided by the school management, students and the media.
“We are, however, temporarily relieved by the swiftness with which the authorities intervened and commenced investigation towards unravelling the cause of Sylvester Oromoni’s death.
“We urge the school management team and other stakeholders to fully cooperate with the authority in the ongoing investigation. While we would have loved to bring Sylvester back, if humanly possible, unravelling the cause of his death and bringing whoever was responsible or might have contributed in whatever way to book, will not only bring this unfortunate incident to closure for the family but will also serve as a deterrent to other juvenile delinquents in all schools in Nigeria.
“On our part as parents, we will work more closely with the school (management/board) to ensure that necessary measures are put in place to prevent recurrence of this unfortunate incident and stamp out bullying in any form from the school.
“We will also continue to appeal to parents, through all available means, to show more interest in what their children do and who they associate with in school and at home.
“We appeal to the public to see this incident as an inflexion point, not only for Dowen College but also other schools in Nigeria, as recent events have shown that bullying, molestation and other vices among students are common in our schools.
“Therefore, we rely on the authorities for justice regardless of the social status of whoever is involved.
“What happened to Sylvester could have happened to any other child in the school. To many of the traumatised students, Sylvester was a classmate, a roommate, a schoolmate or a friend.
“We, therefore, earnestly ask for a resolution that will bring some relief to the bereaved family, other parents, students of Dowen College and the public. These should include a change of the school management and hostel teachers, installation of Closed Circuit Television cameras in all strategic places and overhauling of the school security system.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

News

Eunisell Restates Commitment To Innovation

Published

on

The Group Managing Director of Eunisell Limited, West Africa’s largest specialty chemical and oil and gas engineering solutions company, Mr. Chika Ikenga, said innovation remains critical in enhancing productivity in the Nigerian business space, especially the energy sector.
Ikenga noted that for over 27 years, the company has been at the forefront of introducing and deploying latest world-class technologies and tools used in providing critical solutions and enhancing efficiency for the energy sector in the region.
In a statement, Ikenga said, “Eunisell has been a key driver of innovations in the West African energy sector, deploying latest global solutions locally for enhancing performances, significantly upscaling outputs and driving business growth for our wide range of customers.
“Eunisell is promoting a new technology called the Sage Rider PMT (paraffin melting tool) that is ingenious and charting a new course in the well intervention space in terms of wax and paraffin cleaning from oil wells. This has proven to reduce operational time and cost by 70%, with 99.8% effectiveness and efficiency.
“The Sage Rider Paraffin Melting Tool can reach an extremely high temperature to renew the well to full bore drift. As a revolutionary solution, the Paraffin Melting Tool eases the cleaning and maintenance of wells susceptible to paraffin build-up to increase production and efficiencies.
“Engineered as a rechargeable battery powered tool, the Paraffin Melting Tool performs on all forms of wireline, including slickline, braided line, and e-line utilizing a cutting system along with heat that can reach greater than 315°C (600°F), and easily removing costly paraffin.”
Further highlighting benefits of the new solution, the Eunisell boss said, “This new approach aids in getting tubing to achieve full drift, reduces maintenance time and frequency, increases tubing production efficiency, allows logging and well servicing operation to perform as designed and extends time for paraffin to build back up.”
In addition, Eunisell has also partnered global industry leaders in deploying cutting-edge water treatment solutions for delivering high quality streams and precision cleaning needed to meet the most rigorous specifications for water, food, beverage and industrial hygiene, including bio-degradable aluminium beverage cans.
Ikenga, who founded the Eunisell Group, including Eunisell Limited and Eunisell Interlinked Plc, also noted that the company’s vision remains being the leading specialty chemicals, engineering solutions and environmental management provider in Africa, offering a full range of technical services to complement wide range of specialty products.
“In line with high ethical standards and regulatory compliances, our ISO 9001:2015 and TRACE International certification for anti-corruption compliances are a significant testament for Eunisell, underlining its resolve to sustaining global best practices in quality management systems, processes and service delivery in a manner that truly promotes green environment and assures overall human and environmental safety,” he concluded.
Meanwhile, the Founder of Eunisell Limited, Chika Ikenga, was at the weekend conferred with Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa) by the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State.
The degree, which was presented at the 10th Convocation ceremony of the institution, was in recognition of Ikenga’s monumental achievements as a renowned industrialist, who has ensured the growth of Eunisell specialised chemicals and oil and gas production solutions as an indigenous company as well as boosting the energy industry.
In his address, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Maduebibisi Iwe, said the conferment was in recognition of contributions to humanity and economic development.
“It’s an honour we expect should stimulate the recipients to partner more closely with our university and cause their success stories to rub on the development of agriculture, science and technology in our university,” the VC noted.
He said 90 out of the total 6,606 graduands, including 4,115 from the 2018/2019 session had first class while 243 graduated with doctorate degree and 454 with Master’s degree.
Iwe, who is the sixth vice-chancellor, explained that the university had recorded many breakthroughs and called for significant infusion of funds for the upgrade of its physical environment.
In his acceptance speech, an elated Ikenga pledged to continue his support for education by donating significantly towards boosting the school infrastructure, establishing an endowment fund and partnering the chemistry department for joint researches with Eunisell.
He also called for improved collaboration between the academia and business sector to assure tangible growth and development for the nation and its people.
In 2018, Ikenga introduced the Eunisell Boot, an award that pays a premium of N200,000 per goal to football players with the highest score in the Nigerian topflight every season as a way to revitalise goal scoring by strikers in the NPFL.
Nasarawa United’s Silas Nwankwo and Akwa United’s Charles Atshimene were joint winners of the Eunisell Boot award for the 2020/21 season, with a cash prize of N7.6million for scoring 19 goals.
Over the years, the company has also helped in growing the Nigerian professional football league by sponsoring the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt.
Ikenga added that having applied the knowledge of chemistry in the larger society, Eunisell will partner the Chemistry Department of MOUAU and facilitate joint research programs to benefit the nation.
The Eunisell founder was honoured alongside President/CEO, Coscharis Group, Dr Cosmas Maduka; the Owaloko of Iloko-Ijesha community, Osun King Akeem Olusayo Ogungbangbe; and Founder, UYK Nigeria, Alhaji Usman Yahaya Kansila.
Earlier in his address, Prof Iwe said 90 out of the total 6,606 graduands including 4115 from the 2018/2019 session had first class while 243 graduated with doctorate degree and 454 with Master’s degree.
Iwe, who is the sixth vice-chancellor, explained that the university had recorded many breakthroughs and called for significant infusion of funds for the upgrade of its physical environment.
Meanwhile, President Muhammad Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Mohammed Abubakar at the occasion, challenged universities of agriculture in the country to bridge the gap of food insecurity and address the nation’s dependence on Imported foods.
He urged specialised universities to play their crucial role of catalysing the development of agricultural sector, and helping Federal Government achieve its goal of sustainable green economy.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending