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RSG Threatens To Acquire Disputed OgoniLand Over Communal Crisis

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The Rivers State Government has threatened to acquire a disputed land between Bomu and Lewe communities in Ogoni, if the indigenes of the communities fail to end their communal war.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who gave the hint, said that the state government would be compelled to acquire the disputed land, if the two Ogoni communities fail to end the protracted conflict that has claimed several lives.
The governor made the assertion during the flag off of the reconstruction of Government Secondary School, Kpor in Gokana Local Government Area of the state, last Wednesday.
He noted that after the crisis that culminated in the killing of prominent Ogoni leaders in 1990s, fratricide should have been considered an unpardonable taboo in Ogoni by now.
“Prominent people in Ogoni have died. The few remaining, you want to still kill them. If I were you people, what had happened to Ogoni should have made everybody to be together, to forget about killing one another again. Are you not tired of killing yourselves?”
Wike, who described the communal crisis between the two communities as saddening and regrettable, warned that after meeting with the two communities, and they fail to resolve the dispute, the state government would acquire the land for public use.
“I will meet with the people of Bomu and Lewe. If you don’t agree, I will acquire the land. But I will give you the opportunity first, and if you don’t agree, I will come and take the land and build what I want to build.”
Wike commended Ogoni people for being supportive of his aspiration to govern the state since 2014 when he declared his intention.
According to him, the reconstruction of Government Secondary School, Kpor, was in fulfilment of some of the promises he made to the people of Ogoni during his campaign.
He criticised the immediate past administration in the state for allowing old secondary schools to dilapidate just because they wanted to build so-called model secondary schools that each cost the state, at least, N6billion.
“In this country, we believe that we must destroy to make our own name. These are schools that have produced prominent Nigerians and Rivers people.
“We have the Government Comprehensive School, Enitonia High School, Birabi Memorial Grammar School, County Grammar School, and others. All they do, is to bring down these schools and build their own.”
Wike insisted that only the best quality would be accepted from the contractor, and directed that every fund required for the project should be released in order to speed up the work.
The governor also said that a police station would be built near the school as part of the policy to beef up security around learning institutions where boarding facilities were provided for students.
Performing the flag-off, the senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Senator Barry Mpigi, expressed appreciation of Ogoni people for the several educational and road infrastructure projects, including police station provided in the area by the Wike-led administration.
“This school was established in 1976 but it started academic activities in 1979. This school has produced three prominent persons, among the ones we can mention. A professor in Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, one of your commissioners and the auditor general in the local government system. Such a school deserves more. People have ignored this. But thank God today, you have remembered this school.”
Giving the description of the project, Special Adviser to the Governor on Special Projects, George-Kelly Alabo, said that the event marks another phase of planting of the seed of development characteristic of the Wike administration.
“We have structures here that are dilapidated, and you have graciously approved the reconstruction of this school”, he said.
He explained that 20 structures would be built in the school comprising of two dormitories of 288-capacity each, one for males and another for females (totally 576).
“There will also be two one-storey structures, and each will have 12 classrooms.
“There will be workshops, science and art laboratories, Assembly Hall. Quarters for the matron, principal, vice principal, staff, and of course, external wall works, water and electricity supply.”

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG

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The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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Expedite action on minimum wage – NAAT tells Tinubu

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The leadership of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has called on President Bola Tinubu to expedite action on the new national minimum wage for workers.

Mr Ibeji Nwokoma, NAAT President said this in a statement on Sunday in Abuja.

Nwokoma said the union was worried over the continuous delay by the President in transmitting the new National Minimum Wage Bill to the National Assembly.

“NAAT, as an affiliate of Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), stands by the position of the organised labour and call on the federal government to expedite action on the matter to avoid industrial action,” he said.

He said the union condemned in strong terms, the unpatriotic position of State Governors claiming inability to pay even the N62, 000 proposed by federal government, though, rejected by the organised labour.

“The refusal of the Governors Forum to recognise the efforts of workers in creating wealth and prosperity in the states and the country in general, is most unfortunate.

“This undermines the essence and model adopted for national minimum wage. We therefore, demand that the Governors Forum should reconsider the position and toe the path of honour.

“The proposal by the governors to pay minimum wage based on their peculiarities is condemnable and rejected in its entirety,” he said.

He stressed that the constitutional provisions, on issues of minimum wage is contained in the exclusive legislative list.

The NAAT president also called on the federal government, to immediately implement the payment of the withheld salaries of its members and the resolutions of all other outstanding issues.

“NAAT is compelled to issue this press statement as a response to the non-payment of five and half months withheld salaries, non-payment of 25 per cent and 35 per cent salary increment arrears.

“Others issues are, the non-payment of Occupational Hazard and Responsibility Allowance arrears, release of enabling circular for CONTISS 14 and 15.

“Also, the non release of arrears of Earned Allowances as contained in Memorandum of Understanding (MoUs) of 2020, 2021 and 2022,” he said.

Nwokoma recalled that the union embarked on a three-day warning strike in March, 2024 and had also met with the Minister of Education, Prof.Tahir Mamman and the
the House Committee on University Education and yet nothing came out of the steps taken

He added that in all the meetings, assurances were given, especially the withheld salaries, but, unfortunately, nothing had been done in that respect by the federal government.

“Having waited this far, the National EXCO at the end of its emergency meeting held at the National Secretariat, University of Abuja, resolved to toe the path of diplomacy and advocacy in actualising its demands.

“However, if this fails, the issue will be referred to the National Executive Council (NEC) at her regular meeting scheduled to hold this July 2024 for next line of actions,” he said.

Nwokoma, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians, religious leaders, traditional rulers, National Assembly, among others to prevail on government and ensure implementation of all the outstanding issues for a sustainable industrial harmony.

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