The Rivers State Government has called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency in the deeply failed portions of the East-West Road, especially the Akpajo-Eleme axis which has completely broken down and constituting death trap and huge embarrassment to Nigeria.
This call was made last Monday in Port Harcourt in a statement issued by the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Barrister Emma Okah.
According to Okah, the East-West Road belongs to the Federal Government and the Akpajo-Eleme axis leads directly to critical economic infrastructure like the Oil and Gas Free Zone, Onne, Indorama Petrochemical and Fertilizer Companies, Port Harcourt Refinery, Eleme, Notore Fertiliser Company, among others.
“But sadly, while other federal roads in the country are receiving fair attention of the Federal Government, the East-West Road has remained neglected, abandoned and left to further deteriorate”, he lamented.
Okah further said that it was for the reason of acute dilapidation of the road that the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration, together with some stakeholders, made huge contributions to stabilise the portion of the road with the expectation that the Federal Government will take a cue from there.
He regretted that “unfortunately, and as it has been our lot in this administration, the Federal Government neither appreciated these patriotic efforts and sacrifices of the state government and the other contributors nor repaired the road.
“The East-West Road has become a source of anguish to the people of Rivers State, and our lamentations have only fallen on deaf ears,” Okah said.
The commissioner noted that the deep decay of the road has resulted in huge loss of man-hour, accidents involving trucks and attendant loss of property and human lives which could have been avoided by repairing this axis of the road, hoping that this insensitivity on the part of the Federal Government of Nigeria will end soon.
“For the records, the East-West Road is the most economically strategic road in the Niger Delta region,” Okah reminded the Federal Government.
Reps Want Raid On Justice Odili’s Residence Probed
House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary has called for urgent discreet investigation into the siege laid to the residence of Justice Mary Peter-Odili.
Odili is a justice of Supreme Court of Nigeria.
The committee said the investigation will help to unmask the perpetrators believed to be security operatives.
The Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Onofiok Luke, in a statement he personally signed, yesterday, condemned the siege, saying it was an action capable on setting the Executive and Judicial arms of government on a warpath.
He said that the siege was a repudiation of judicial independence and an assault on the sanctity of the nation’s judiciary.
The statement read: “It is mind-boggling that in the dusk of October 29, 2021, the Judiciary was once again exposed to public opprobrium, due to the uncanny manner in which the residence of the Honourable Justice Mary Peter-Odili of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, was invaded by law enforcement officials purportedly on an assignment to execute a search warrant, issued by a Magistrate.
“Also disturbing is the fact that the said warrant was revoked by the issuing Magistrate who had discovered that it was procured by the Applicant on the premises of misrepresented facts.
“As a committee currently interfacing with the Judiciary for an improved judicial reform and justice system, we wish to lend our voice once again, to the repeated call by His Lordship; the Honourable Justice Tanko Muhammed CJN, on all Judicial Officers on the need to exercise more caution in issuing ex-parte, conflicting and questionable orders that are capable of bringing disrepute to our Justice system.
“This unfortunate development is also a wake-up call to tighten administrative and supervisory control over the operations of law enforcement agencies in the country. To this end, we empathize with the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation who is constitutionally accountable for the actions and inactions of the law enforcement agents that purportedly executed the said warrant, placing on the AGF, the unavoidable burden of defending his office before the populace.
“On this note, the House of Representative Committee on the Judiciary calls for a discreet investigation to unravel the persons behind this ignoble act, which is capable of straining the existing relationship between the Judiciary and the Executive arms of our democratic government.
“The siege is reminiscent of the 2016 incident, wherein the beat of the night, security agencies invaded private residences of judicial officers, which subsequently turned out as an underserved phenomenon, and a dent on our professed independence of the judiciary, and demanding protection for our judges.
“As we already know, the judiciary harps on due process in the dispensation of justice and the House Committee on the Judiciary avows to collaborate with the judiciary and relevant stakeholders to secure the nation’s democracy, since the confidence and respect of citizens in the judiciary may likely wane if the incidence of this nature continues unchecked.
“We, therefore, condemn in totality such ignoble action, and pledge to every effort at ensuring the sanctity of the nation’s judiciary while giving our continuous support to the independence of the judiciary”.
Bloody Friday: Bandits Kill 10 In Kaduna Villages
Some bandits have invaded communities in three local government areas of Giwa, Igabi and Chikun in Kaduna State, killing 10 people, including a community leader, while injuring no fewer than four persons in the attacks.
The state Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, who confirmed the attack and counter-attacks, yesterday, was, however, silent on when the attack occurred.
Aruwan also disclosed that crisis was brewing between members of Borno community in the state and the Nigerian Army in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of the state, assuring that the state was in control of the situation.
According to the commissioner, security agencies have reported that bandits invaded Na’ikko Village in Giwa LGA, killing three residents of the area.
“The community volunteers engaged the bandits and in the ensuing gun duel, three residents were killed,” he said.
The commissioner gave the names of those killed as Alhaji Shafiu, Alhaji Balailu Sani and Abdulsamad Hussaini.
He added that in a reprisal attack, youths of Na’ikko Village attacked a nearby Fulani settlement, Rugan Abdulmuminu, and killed two persons whom they alleged to be involved in the earlier attack while identifying those killed as Abdulmuminu Agwai and Samaila Agwai.
Similarly, the commissioner said some bandits also invaded Dakyauro Village, Sabon Birni, Igabi LGA and killed four persons after rustling about 25 cows.
“The four persons killed were listed as Musbahu Yusuf, Basiru Jaafaru, Ja’afaru Yahaya, Umaru Sulaiman. Two persons were injured in the attack: Anas Ibrahim, Aisha Abbas,” he added.
Meanwhile, the commissioner said bandits killed a community leader, Dauda Adamu, at Ungwan Ayaba in Chikun LGA of the state.
“Bandits also invaded farmlands on the outskirts of Gigani Village, Kerawa, Igabi LGA and rustled about 14 bulls being used by farmers to plough the land,” he added.
The commissioner said that the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, while receiving these reports, sent condolences to the families of all those who lost their lives in the attacks as well as prayed for the repose of their souls.
“The governor noted with deep concern the incidents in Na’ikko Village in Giwa LGA and appealed to residents to embrace recourse to law.
“He implored them to avoid killings and reprisal actions that would prove utterly detrimental to peace in the area, as government was working closely with security agencies and stakeholders.
“Governor El-Rufai assured farmers in the Giwa, Igabi, Birnin Gwari, Kajuru and Chikun LGAs of the government’s awareness of their plight, and that active steps are being taken towards ensuring that they would continue to pursue their livelihoods in safety,” he said.
He added that the governor also addressed reports received on brewing tension in Bomo community, Sabon Gari LGA, between residents and the Nigerian Army.
He said, “The governor appealed to members of the community to maintain calm, as the matter had been reported and steps were being taken in conjunction with His Royal Highness, the Emir of Zazzau, to address the situation.
“The Kaduna State Government has urged private schools operating in high-risk areas to adhere to the security advisories issued to them. This followed reports that some schools have continued to operate outside of the guidelines presented to them by the security agencies for the safety of their students and staff.
“The governor is also monitoring the developments in Kauru, Jema’a and Zangon Kataf LGAs, and working assiduously to enhance security and peace in the identified flash-points in these LGAs,” the commissioner added.
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