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Niger Delta

Odje Re- Echoes Need For Electoral Reforms

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A legal luminary, Dr Akpo Mudiaga Odje has warned that unless the entire electoral system in the country is reformed, any person appointed to head the electoral body, no matter how tested, will never achieve credible election in Nigeria.

Dr. Odje’s opinion seems to be in line with that of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo who  recently told a Voice of America (VOA) that ‘’Even Jesus Christ cannot conduct 100 per cent free and fair election in  Nigeria’’.

Dr Odje who was speaking in a public function organised by Bayelsa State Council of Nigeria Uninon of Journalists in Yenagoa, said that the removal of Professor Maurice Iwu as INEC chairman will do little to eradicate electoral fraud in the country  unless the  system is reformed in line with international standard.

‘Even if you appoint tested hands such as Prof Wole Soyinka to become INEC chairman, there is little  he can do. The system is corrupt, until the institutions are reformed, we may not be able to conduct free and fair elections’’.

The legal luminary, expressed worry that barely 13 months to the next general elections, there is no sign of  preparations due largely to political crises in the country.

Dr Odje who took a retrospective view on the federal government’s amnesty programme, faulted the way and manner of its implementation. ‘’we called the boys to come out of the creeks and we granted them amnesty but it looks as if we are not prepared for the post amnesty era’’, he said.

According to him, the oil companies too are  not helping matters, because their failure to relocate their headquarters to their operational areas was inimical to the development of the region. He called on journalists to live up to expectations in discharging their duties, regretting  that unlike other countries, they are not protected by the constitution.

To this end, he said while being objective in their reports, they should also be security conscious

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Niger Delta

Gunmen Kidnap DPO, Demand N50m Ransom

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The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Fugar Division in Etsako Central Local Government Area identified as Ibrahim Ishaq has been reported kidnapped near Ise river along the Auchi – Ekperi-Agenebode road.
It was gathered that the police officer was travelling with his orderly last Friday when they were attacked by the kidnappers.
A source close to the police said: “He was coming from Agenebode to Fugar and he passed through Ekperi Road and they were attacked. He was kidnapped but his orderly escaped and the kidnappers have made contact this morning and they are demanding N50million. The incident happened around 6:30 pm on Friday.”
As at the time of filing this report, the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Edo State was yet to respond to a text message sent to him.
But it was gathered that the Commissioner of Police, Philip Ogbadu has ordered immediate deployment of men of the Anti-Kidnapping and Cyber Crime unit, men of the Tactical and Srike teams of the state Police Command to move to the area to rescue the DPO unhurt.
Fear has enveloped the community, with members debating the incident and arguing that “if a DPO can be abducted, who is safe?”.

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Niger Delta

Jonathan Tasks Leaders On Peace, Unity

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged Nigerian leaders to value the interest of every section of the country in order to build a united nation devoid of agitation, disunity and disenchantment.
Jonathan spoke when he led members of the 1981 set of the University of Port Harcourt Alumni Association on Saturday to the king of Opume kingdom in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, King Amalate Turner.
The Tide reports that Jonathan described the country as being blessed with both human and natural endowments, which can only be enjoyed in a peaceful atmosphere.
He urged leaders to focus more on building a united nation where no one society or tribe should be more valued than the other.
“If leaders derail, then there is bound to be disunity and disenchantment from those who feel not being accorded their rightful respect and value,” he said.
Jonathan, who is an alumnus and a member of the pioneer graduate class of 1981 of the University of Port Harcourt, said the reunion programme was part of activities of the alumni aimed at fostering bond among old classmates.
He said it was also a platform to deliberate on issues affecting their alma mater and give back to the school and society in general.
On his part, King Turner said it was a good thing to reunite with his classmates after 40 years of separation.

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Niger Delta

A’Ibom Delegation In South Korea To Drive Seaport Realisation

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A delegation from Akwa Ibom State, comprising members of the Ibom Deep Seaport Committee is currently in, Seoul, South Korea to drive Governor Udom Emmanuel’s vision for the rapid realisation of the seaport.
Among members of the delegation are Secretary to the State Government, Dr Emmanuel Ekuwem, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport, Mr Akan Okon, and Chairman of the Implementation Technical Committee, Mrs Mfon Usoroh.
They are among the Nigerian contingent to the Maritime Sector and Harbour Development programme in Seoul, South Korea.
The Nigerian contingent is under the leadership of the Nigerian Ambassador to South Korea, Ambassador Ali M. Magashi.
Opening up on the essence of the visit, Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Seaport said it was to help offer inputs for the development of lbom Deep Seaport.
According to Commissioner Akan Okon, the visit will also enable Akwa Ibom State tap into the broadening bilateral relationship between Nigeria and South Korea, especially in the areas of maritime security and economic development.
“Having invested so much in the Ibom Deep Seaport, the administration of Governor Udom Emmanuel will continue to seek ways that would ensure the Ibom Deep Seaport is optimally beneficial to Akwa Ibom people, when it is finally established.”
Mr Akan Okon assured that, “on our part, we’ll continue to work tirelessly to drive Governor Udom Emmanuel’s lofty vision for Akwa Ibom State.”

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