A celebrated philosopher of his time, Zig Ziglar once said, “success is the maximum utilization of the ability that you have”. Ziglar’s philosophical statement aptly describes the success story of Dr Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, especially his recent ascension to the position of president of the country.
Right from his good old days as Deputy Governor of Bayelsa State, Jonathan has left no one in doubt that he has all it takes to utilize, to the best of his ability, any opportunity that comes his way to the glory of God and service to humanity.
Indeed, penultimate Thursday, May 6, 2010, was yet another red-letter-day in the history of Nigeria, the acclaimed giant of Africa. On that fateful day, Jonathan was sworn-in as the President and Commander-in Chief of Nigerian Armed Forces at the council chamber of the Presidential Villa, Abuja by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Aloysius Katsina-Alu, at about 9.30am.
As it were, Jonathan’s swearing-in was as a result of the demise, on Wednesday night, at about 9.00pm, of President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua aged 58, after a protracted heart disease called “acute pericarditis”, the inflammation of the outer layer of the heart.
Addressing Nigerians shortly after the swearing-in ceremony, President Jonathan listed what could be termed the agenda of his administration, prominent among which is the desire to ‘intensify efforts at sustaining peace and development in the Niger Delta region”.
As Jonathan, an indigene of Bayelsa State, a core state in the Niger Delta region, takes over as President of this country, there cannot be a better time than now to take pragmatic steps to accelerate the development of the region. Undoubtedly, this will convince the poor indigenes about the commitment of the Jonathan-led administration to the socio-economic transformation of the long-neglected Niger Delta area.
Happily, with the relative peace being witnessed in the region now, following the amnesty programme, mid-wifed by late President Yar’Adua, there are very strong indications that the oil-rich Niger Delta region would begin to witness concrete steps in terms of projects delivery than mere talk shops.
Sadly, the politics of the development of the Niger Delta area had, for too long, been lingering with the region being enveloped in under-development. Therefore, Nigerians and indeed, Niger Deltans would be sleeping with their eyes open to see what the Jonathan –led regime has in stock for the region.
Being a Niger Deltan, and a former Bayelsa State Governor, Jonathan is certainly not a stranger to the problems of the oil-producing communities in the area. Therefore, as president of the country now, it behoves him, to begin to focus on the mega-projects that would, in no distant time, turn things around for the better in the oil-rich region..
What’s more, Jonathan is not a novice to the problems of the area; he knows the terrain very well, and more importantly, he understands the mentality of ex-militants and he is fully abreast of the yearnings and aspirations of his people in the Niger Delta region.
Yes, such credentials are quite necessary because there is really no time for Jonathan to waste on formulating new plans. Well, no one is expecting him to re-invent the wheel to develop the region. The erstwhile Niger Delta Technical Committee, chaired by Ledum Mitee, has already charted the way forwards, as it synthesizes the reports and recommendations of previous bodies set up by successive regimes, ostensibly to develop the neglected region.
To make things more easier, the Jonathan-led administration should, as a matter of urgency, adopt the already (well-laid out) Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan, facilitated by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Again, another sure way to turn things around for the better in the region , is for Jonathan to spear-head (so to speak) the implementation of the Ledum Mitee-led technical committee’s report, as well as the master plan. This appears to be the surest strategy to make an enduring impact in the region within the short time available to Jonathan administration.
Unlike in the past, when communities in the oil-rich region were contented with freebies and tokenism, the stage has come in the struggle for the emancipation of the region where drastic and urgent steps must have to be taken to provide succour for Niger Deltans.
As president of the country now, and a Niger Deltan, Jonathan may be the “Joshua” that would take the long- neglected Niger Deltans to the ‘Promised Land.” Well, posterity will judge him!.
Mexicans Set Up Labs In Nigeria To Produce Meth, Reps Confirm
House of Representatives, yesterday, explained that since 1990 the production of crystal meth had been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers, who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.
The lawmakers then mandated the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), to go after peddlers of Methampheramine nicknamed Mkpuru-Mmiri and other hard drugs in the country with a view to stamping them out.
The House also asked the agency to reintegrate and strategize further on its enforcement and enlightenment capacity to cover the mode and cure for meth addiction which, it said, has no medical treatment at the moment.
The resolution followed a motion titled “Urgent Need to Sensitize Nigerians on the Danger of Widespread Meth Epidemic and Effect of Crystal Meth on the Nigerian Youths”, moved by Henry Nwawuba at the plenary.
Presenting the motion, Nwawuba noted the widespread meth epidemic and the effect of crystal Meth on Nigerians, especially the youths.
He also noted the highly addictive street form of the pharma grade amphetamine and the ill-equipped handling or stopping of the spread.
“Many homes in the south east are currently facing the dangerous effect of Methampheramine nick-named Mkpuru-Mmiri which translates to seed of water.
“Crystal meth is a crystal narcotic hallucinogen that is capable of destroying a person mentally.
“An estimated 75percent of the users in our society are adversely affected and they have become a burden to their families and communities.
“Since 1990 the production of Crystal Meth has been hijacked by Mexican drug dealers who set up laboratories in Nigeria for the production of Mkpuru Mmiri in 2016.
“Methamphetamine also known as Crystal Meth or Mkpuru mmniri was developed in Japan in 1919 and grossly abused during World War II when it was issued to pilots on suicidal mission then called KamKaze.
“After the world war, it was used briefly as a medication for depression and for controlling obesity, but it was quickly abandoned and banned thereafter, especially in the 1970s.
“As a stimulant, it has a powerful euphoric effect similar to those of cocaine.
“Meth typically keeps users awake depriving them of sleep, making them react violently and takes a toll on the physical look of its users,” he said.
Contributing to the motion, the Deputy Minority Leader, Hon. Toby Okechukwu asked NDLEA to trace the manufacturers and others in the chain.
“Who are the manufacturers? Where is the factory? Where is it manufactured? Who are the traders?
“When you beat young people, it is like double jeopardy. Somebody is a victim of the drug and you are still beating them.
“NDLEA should trace, and we should ensure rehabilitation of the victims and make sure we take meth out of the market.
“That is the quickest thing we can do; after taking meth out of the market, then we will know what to do with our citizens who are already victims,” he said.
Also speaking, Lynda Ikpeazu said that many youths of young ages were involved in the consumption of the drug.
“It does sound like a joke, but it is actually very serious and killing a lot of people.
“In the next 10 years, if we don’t stop it, we are going to have a zombie society.”
Join Campaign To End Violence Against Women, Girls, Banigo Tells Nigerians
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has called on all well- meaning citizens, especially the male folk to join the campaign to end violence against women and girls.
Banigo made this call in her goodwill message in Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, to commemorate the 2021 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.
The deputy governor, who urged the male folk to be strong advocates in the quest to eliminate violence against women and girls, noted that violence against women and girls increase in the society during crises.
She said it manifests in physical, sexual and psychological means and most times perpetrated by trusted family members, while the rest of society look the other way, adding that sometimes women are also culpable when it comes to violence against fellow women.
Banigo said the state government under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike takes the security and wellbeing of women as top priority with zero tolerance for violence against women.
It would be recalled that November25 each year is set aside to commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
It also marks the launch of 16 days of activism that would end on December 10, 2021, which is the International Human Rights Day.
The theme for this year’s celebration is: “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”.
Similarly, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo has said that every girl-child must be intentional and focused in order to achieve success in life.
Banigo stated this while speaking during the Girl Child Initiative, Just Girls Talk Programme at the Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta (UBE), last Wednesday, organised by the Youth Church of the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries in Port Harcourt.
Speaking through the Coordinator, Protect the Girl Child Initiative of the Deputy Governor’s Office and Senior Special Assistant to the Deputy Governor, Barrister Inegogo Fubara, Banigo said women are leaders created by God to solve problems.
“We are problem solvers, do not ever think of yourselves as being little because you are wonderfully created for a purpose. We are here to tell you that you can be whatever you want to be, but you have to work it out, education is very important and you must take it very seriously and be diligent in what you are doing”, Banigo said.
The deputy governor, who described Wike as the most gender friendly governor in the country said apart from having a female deputy, he has continued to appoint women into positions of trust and has encouraged women to run for elective positions.
Banigo commended the school authorities and the Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries for the putting up the Just Girls Talk Programme.
In his remarks, the Regional Overseer of the youth church, Pastor Chinedu Udechukwu said the Just Girls Talk Programme, has been going on in the church for years, noting that after the pandemic they decided to re-strategize and take it off to schools to talk to young girls about their vision and expose them to our Lord Jesus Christ who is the author and finisher of our faith.
Also speaking, the Coordinator of the Just Girls Talk Programme, Mrs. Esther Udechukwu said the Just Girl Talk was organised to enlighten young girls on the consequences inherent in premarital sex, the physical and spiritual aspects, as well as to empower and sharpen them for the future.
Police Smash Four Deadly Kidnappers In Rivers
Operatives of the Force Intelligence Response Team (IRT) in collaboration with policemen from the Rivers State Police Command, have arrested a kidnap syndicate that specialised in using Facebook and WhatsApp to lure their victims, in Port Harcourt.
The suspects admitted during interrogation to have kidnapped, tortured, raped and robbed their victims.
They admitted that their targets were usually female and that they have successfully collected ransoms from at least ten 10 female since January, 2021, with N5million their highest ransom.
The nabbed suspects are: Izunna Fidelis, 21; Humble Unity Okeregwu, 24; Izuchukwu Nwaobiri, 22; and Chibeze Nwike,23.
They were arrested in Choba and Etche areas of Rivers State.
According to the police, for suspects to get the attention of their victims, they take to their respective Facebook pages posing as foreigners working in multinational oil companies in Rivers State and professing love as well as proposed marriage to their Facebook girlfriends, all in a bid to trap them.
The police said their arrest followed report of kidnapping for ransom and the gang-rape of a 27-year-old lady identified simply as Happiness, on August 28, 2021.
According to leader of the gang, Nwaobiri, “The first thing we do is to check Facebook profiles for beautiful girls. Then, we would add them to our friend lists. Each of us works on different persons. I would start up a conversation with my supposed girl, exchange pleasantries and tell her that I worked with an oil company. I also asked if she was married or single.
“It takes time to familiarize with them, say two to three months. Thereafter, we would progress to WhatsApp chats and then telephone calls and when friendship has been established, we will invite them over to the company’s base which is a bush where they would be blindfolded and calls put across to their families.”
Nwaobiri added: “I started earlier this year because of circumstances. My mum is late, my dad has a stroke and I have been the one catering for everything. I have been involved in seven cases but succeeded in four.
“We only rape our captives if they don’t cooperate. That is, if they don’t mount pressure on their relatives to pay ransom.”
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