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Niger Delta

Group Wants Expanded Scope For N’Delta Ministry

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Community Watch of Nigeria, a non-governmental organisation in Eket, Akwa Ibom, has urged President Goodluck Jonathan to expand the scope of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to include micro-projects.

Chief Samingo Etukakpan, President of the organisation, made the appeal in an interview with newsmen in Eket.

Etukakpan noted that granting approval to the ministry to execute short and medium term intervention projects in addition to mega projects would speed up the development of the Niger Delta  region.

He said that micro projects in areas of capacity building and soft loans to small scale enterprises were necessary in the area because of their direct impact on the people.  “The initial mandate of the ministry to intervene in all facets of human and infrastructure development was in order”, he said. However, he said, “restricting the ministry to only major projects will deny the people of the much awaited impact of the ministry”. He said the ministry had adequate capacity to serve as a one stop shop for the development of the Niger Delta region. He expressed concern that mega projects would take many years to execute and make minimal impact on the beneficiaries. He said because of the long years of neglect of the region by past administrations, quick intervention projects were desirable.

He appealed to the president to approve the implementation of some quick impact yielding projects in the Niger Delta region.

He said roads, water and electricity projects were captured in 2009 budget and their designs already concluded by the ministry.

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Niger Delta

Oba Counsels CP On Defense Of Nigerians’ Rights

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The Oba of Benin, Oba Ewuare II, has charged the newly deployed Commissioner of Police (CP) to Edo State, Mr Mohammed Dankwara, to defend the rights of Nigerian citizens in the State.
Oba Ewuare II gave the advice when he received CP Dankwara and other senior police officers in the Command in his palace in Benin ahead of World Human Rights Day Celebrations.
The traditional ruler promised to work closely with the CP in looking after the welfare of police personnel in security and thereafter prayed for the personnel in the state and Nigeria.
“We also pray that you do your best to ensure that policing Edo State is fair, taking into consideration fairness, equity, and justice. I will like a close working relationship with you from time to time.
“It is a credit to all of us. It goes to show that we have been looking after the police in Edo State very well. You have our support. We will do our best to ensure that your stay here is peaceful, useful, and impressive. As you know, we have you in our prayers”, the Oba stated.
Earlier, Dankwara paid tribute to the great Benin throne and solicited prayers to succeed in his assignment of fighting crimes and criminality.
“I know the importance of Royalty. I am here (Edo State) to do what is right. Even the Inspector-General of Police, who deemed it necessary and brought me to Edo State, knows why he brought me here”, Dankwara said.

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Niger Delta

Gunmen Abduct Four, Injure One In C’River

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A former Accountant General of Cross River, Mrs Rose Bassey, was abducted on Tuesday along with three others at Uyanga axis of the Calabar-Ogoja highway.
They were abducted by gunmen who laid siege on that axis of the busy highway by shooting at the traveling motorists to force them to stop.
The Tide source reports that a popular evangelist in the state, Edim Edim Omin, was also shot during the process.
The evangelist, who escaped with bullet wounds, is said to be receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital in the state.
The incident is coming barely 24 hours after the State Police Command said it has deployed tactical team, including Anti-Cultism and Kidnapping Squads, to that axis of the highway to safeguard motorists and commuters plying the highway.
Meanwhile, a spokesperson of the State Police Command, SP Irene Ugbo, confirmed the incident, saying the Command “is working to see that the four abducted persons are released unharmed”.
She reiterated that the Command is working to see that normalcy returns to that axis of the highway.
“It is a sad reality for us and as I speak with you, the Commissioner of Police is heading to that axis to assess the situation of things himself,” she stated.
It would be recalled that the Uyanga-Ikomita axis of the Calabar-Ogoja highway has become notorious for kidnappers in the past two months.
About 20 persons, including two medical doctors in the state, have been abducted at that axis of the highway.
The abduction of the medical doctors led to industrial action by the state chapter of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) that demanded for their release unhurt.

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Niger Delta

Ex-Agitators Remorseful Over Protest, Tender Apology

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The Interim Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Major-General Barry Tariye Ndiomu, has cautioned the ex-agitators who were at the National Assembly to protest for their unconscionable conduct.
According to him, such actions will only discourage and retard the wheel of progress.
Gen Ndiomu gave the leadership of the ex-agitators the piece of his mind when he met with them at the conference room of PAP shortly after the protest.
He explained that he is making a deliberate effort to ensure that the ex-agitators live a more fruitful and purposeful life through robust investment opportunities.
“It is sad”, he said, “that the ex-agitators prefer to depend on a monthly handout”.
He, therefore, advised them to be patient, saying that efforts are being made to address their grievances.
He added that he was working assiduously to effect a more sustainable mode of income generation for them in the long term.
Meanwhile, Mr Aso Tambou, one of the leaders of the phase two ex-agitators group who also participated in the protest, apologised profusely for their misconduct, attributing their action to the misinformation peddled by some of their colleagues.
Tambou noted that they never knew that the Interim Administrator has laudable plans in the pipeline to uplift their standard of living in the long term, noting that there is a communication gap between the PAP and the ex-agitators that needed to be bridged.
This, he noted, was largely responsible for their action, promising on behalf of the protesting ex-agitators to show more understanding and care in their actions going forward.
The Tide learnt that others who spoke also apologised to the Interim Administrator for their ineffectual act of indiscretion, declaring that they will pass on the good news to their followers and associates in the creeks.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

 

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