Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State says there is no justification for Nigeria’s per capita income (PCI) to be lower than those of Ghana and Cameroun, judging by the country’s huge earning from oil since independence.
The governor said that within this period, oil productions have generated about $300billion for the federal government but regretted that the per capita income still stands at an abysmal $2.748
Governor Amaechi, who made the observation, Monday, in a paper delivered at the Royal African Society Forum at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, titled “Militancy and Amnesty, Good and bad governance in the Niger Delta”, said the country’s Per Capita Income is abysmally low when compared to Ghana’s $10,748 and Cameroun’s $10,758 amongst others.
He described the standard of living in Nigeria, as worse when compared to the independence era, noting that the situation in the Niger Delta area was even worse, citing the example of Rivers State which had not felt the presence of the federal government for over 20 years.
The State Chief Executive explained that the Niger Delta region remains the centre of oil production in Nigeria with the people suffering the hazards associated with the exploration and exploitation of the black gold which generates billions of dollars to the federal government.
Governor Amaechi maintained that it was not strange that discussions about the Niger Delta in circles continue to revolve around the issue of violence, militancy and disruptions of oil production because the people live in abject poverty and misery,
Tracing the origin of militancy in the Niger Delta, the governor said, one of the conditions for independence as proposed by the political class from the Oil Rivers Protectorate was the assurance of protection from the dominant groups in the federation.
According to him, these agitations were pioneered by Harold Dappa Biriye and his colleagues from the minority ethnic groups in the South-South, which led to the setting up of the Henry Willinck’s Commission and the eventual constitution of the Niger Delta Basin Development Authority.
Governor Amaechi said the inability of government to allay the fears of the people, in spite of the recommendations of the Willinck Commission, may have snowballed into what their descendants in the present -day oil rich Niger Delta seem to be clamouring for, but regretted that in later years criminality overtook the struggle.
The governor, who faulted the oil companies, federal government, foreign and local businessmen, political and military leaders for contributing’ to the unrest in the region, noted that Rivers State Government’s effort to rehabilitate ex-militants predates the federal government amnesty programme.
He appealed to the federal authorities not to renege on the promise to the ex-militants that embraced the amnesty offer.
“We must objectively ask ourselves, why did the boys in the creeks take up arms against the federal government in the first place? We cannot just sweep the issue of resource control under the carpet, until the aggrieved party is truly assuaged and fully re-integrated”, Amaechi contended.
The State Chief Executive said that bad governance and corrupt leadership could only serve as catalyst for brigandage in an unfriendly environment, pointing out that his administration had entered into an unwritten agreement with Rivers people to change the developmental indices and deliver good governance that would be remember generations to come.
Church Celebrates Advent Liturgy Service
The Lynn Chancel & Towers mission, Port Harcourt, has celebrated the Advent Liturgy Service to herald the beginning of a new ecclesiastic calendar year.
The advent liturgy which is an Anglican rites, is celebrated among Anglican, Catholic and Methodist faithful as a season of expectations by the church in celebration of the second coming of Jesus Christ and also His coming as a judge at the end of time.
Therefore, this year’s celebration is the second season organised by the Chancel of Our Lady Lynn and Towers Mission, Woji in Port Harcourt, Rivers State since its establishment and was specially designed to give hopeful edification for Christians and friends of the mission.
Speaking at the Advent Liturgy Service and Worship held at the Chancel of Our Lady Lynn & Towers Mission, Woji yesterday, the Presiding Priest and cleric, Ven. Fyneface Ndubishi Akah said the essence of the celebration was an expression of gratitude of God’s kindness and His benevolence and grace in ushering mankind into another new year through forgiveness of our sins.
Akah said the advent liturgy, an annual spiritual ritual, observed and celebrated by the Catholic, Anglican, Methodist and Eastern Othordox churches is marked four weeks to Christmas and kick starts the commencement of a new ecclesiastical calendar year.
He said it is an opportunity God offers to mankind to take a sober reflection of his or her past life in the past year ended with a view to having a renewed Christian life, adding that “the stock taking of our life activities should be both in our stewardship and relationship with one another”.
“Every year, there is new beginning, men take new resolutions. When we stage Advent Liturgy, we appreciate God for not killing us for our sins because we make mistakes in both spiritual and rational relationships. We are selfish. We fail in our marriage relationships and also in our societal responsibilities. The new year calendar date begins today, advent day, it is seasonal and does not have a regular date like the circular calendar but is celebrated four weeks before Christmas”, he stated.
The Anglican priest, who also doubles as the Executive Chairman of the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board, (RSUBEB) used the opportunity to call on leaders at all levels to discharge the thrust of leadership entrusted to them with the fear of God and ensure that they provide those projects that will impact positively on the lives of the people.
“Our country is grieving. If you are President, governor or local government chairman rule with human face,” he stated.
The Tide reports that the service featured hymns, Eucharist, and climaxed with an award presentation to Ven Fyneface Akah by the Niger Delta Provincial Students Association, Institute of Theology and Paul University, Akwa, Anambra State.
By: Akujobi Amadi
Zamfara PDP Conducts Ward Congress …Says Nobody Can Intimidate Party
The Zamfara State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has conducted its congress in the 147 wards of the State.
Addressing newsmen shortly after the ward congress in Gusau, the state capital, the Acting Chairman of the party, Col. Bala Mande (rtd), said the members adopted consensus method, saying that there was no agitation from members.
“The congress was conducted very peacefully because there were adequate security operatives across the state,” he added.
According to the state chairman of the party, there was nothing like parallel congress. He noted that the electoral committee from the party’s headquarters commended the members of the party for conducting themselves in orderly manner.
“I want to use this opportunity to tell the whole world that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), security agencies were adequately represented.”
When asked to comment on the PDP chances of forming government in the state in 2023, the former military governor said that the conduct of the congress indicated that the party is on ground in Zamfara State.
Mande refuted the claim that the ruling APC in the State has been trying to silence PDP in the State, saying the ruling APC has no constitutional power to stop PDP in the state.
“That was misinformation and empty propaganda which was supposed to be thrown into another basket.”
He urged the teeming supporters of the party to remain steadfast, saying that the fact that APC stole their mandate did not mean that they would not reclaim it again.
Group Backs Ortom On Call To Probe Akume
Zone A Peoples’ Assembly ZAPA, has said that it greatly appreciates the Benue State Executive Council led by Governor Samuel Ortom for taking a very courageous and appropriate step to question, in order to retrieve the over N4billion allegedly embezzled by the Senator George Akume administration that held sway from 1999-2007.
The group said it is convinced that the decision by the current administration in the state will undoubtedly assist the people of the state in dual advantages of first, appreciating how the state commenced on a faulty note the journey after the final resurgence of democracy in the country. Secondly, retrieving monies embezzled by heartless gluttons will help greatly to further add to the development of the State.
ZAPA said it is properly equipped to stand behind Governor Ortom and the Benue State Executive Council in this direction with every legitimate support to go all out in ensuring that those who committed such brazen corruption to the detriment of our people are brought to book, and made to refund the huge stolen funds.
ZAPA, in a statement signed by Fannen Mondo, its National President and Sir J T Ornguga, National General Secretary, said it has also set up a crack team to unearth all files allegedly hidden at the Federal Ministry of Justice, ICPC and EFCC containing petition against Senator George Akume and his government written by some anti corruption crusaders like the Benue Proactive Coalition, Late. Alhaji Abubakar Tsav, amongst others.
“Democracy in this dispensation which began in 1999 was meant to usher in a new lease of life for the people of Nigeria, viz, Benue State through a democratic culture driven by transparency and openness. Unfortunately, Akume who was at the driver’s seat as Governor betrayed the peoples’ hope by starting on a filthy note by amongst other things, elevating corruption during his time to statecraft,” the group said.
“We are calling on all anti-graft agencies, especially the EFCC, to understand that Governor Samuel Ortom led Benue State Executive Council by this action has only answered the consistent yearnings of the people of Benue State including ZAPA.
“We are sending affidavits with documentary evidence of very many white elephant projects and audio projects executed by Akume in the entire of the Benue North East Senatorial Districts”.
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