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.”
N1.8bn Discovery: Recall Buratai For Investigation, PDP Tasks Buhari
The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) recently recovered N1.8billion worth of property owned by a military contractor in Abuja.
The opposition party, in a statement by its National Organising Secretary, Hon. Debo Ologunagba, yesterday, demanded the recall and investigation of Buratai.
PDP said its demand was predicated on the alleged missing $1billion meant to purchase arms to fight terrorism.
It added that corruption under President Muhammadu Buhari’s APC-led administration has led to the upsurge in unhindered terrorism attacks, mass killing of citizens, and loss of many of our gallant fighters.
The statement partly read, “It is therefore of serious interest to Nigerians when reports that the ICPC discovered the sum of N1.8billion in various currencies, expensive cars, and jewellery secreted in a property in Abuja allegedly linked to the former COAS broke out.
“There are already apprehensions that the discovered money is part of the security fund that was criminally diverted. This is especially against the backdrop of the frenzy and spirited efforts by certain quarters linked to the APC to suppress investigation and free flow of information, politicise the matter and sweep it under the carpet.
“Nigerians will recall that our Party has on several occasions alerted that the looting of our treasury is officially sanctioned and enabled by the APC administration with its refusal to prosecute those who were alleged and found to have been involved in massive corruption.
“It would also be recalled that the PDP drew attention to plans of the APC to create a slush fund account from monies fraudulently drawn from the national treasury to finance their plot to rig the 2023 general election.”
According to the PDP, the APC test runs their 2023 rigging plot in the Ekiti State governorship election with massive use of money to prosecute a vote-buying scheme.
The opposition party insisted that the reports of alleged massive looting under Buhari’s watch further confirm the APC administration as a haven for treasury looters.
“Moreover, the recently exposed looting of N80billion by the suspended Accountant General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris, which investigation has now gone cold is suspected to have been engineered by the cabal at the very high level of the APC administration,” it added.
The PDP maintained that Buratai should return to the country and be made to face investigation.
According to the party, this is important because any allegation bordering on the looting of funds meant for the fight against terrorism is of grave national concern and consequence.
PDP requested that Buratai be thoroughly investigated and if found wanting must be made to face the full weight of the law.
King Jaja, Alapu-In-Council Receive Rivers PDP Guber Candidate In Opobo …Say Fubara’s Emergence Represents Riverine Communities’ Yearnings
While receiving the candidate, King Jaja said Fubara’s emergence represents the long yearnings of the riverine communities to produce the governor of the state since creation, and prayed that God perfects his victory at the elections.
The Amanyanabo noted that the kingdom would not take the opportunity of his emergence for granted as he expressed the undying gratitude of his kingdom to Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, who supported the emergence of their son as the candidate of the ruling party.
He urged his people to leave no stone unturned in supporting Fubara to victory in 2023.
Speaking earlier, the PDP flag bearer, Sir Siminialayi Fubara,had told the Amanyanabo and the Council of Chiefs that his visit was to intimate them of his emergence as the gubernatorial candidate of the PDP in the 2023 elections, and to seek their blessings as their son.
He said he considered it proper to do this before party campaigns commence, especially in seeking their prayers and blessings.
Fubara noted that his victory at the primary was not by his effort but grace of God at work, and enjoined the kingdom to join him in applauding Governor Nyesom Wike for supporting his emergence.
He further commended the governor for his developmental strides in Opobo and across the state.
The standard bearer visited the Amanyanabo and Alapu-In-Council along with party stalwarts and elders of Opobo/Nkoro extraction.
Insecurity: Northern Group Backs Matawalle On Self-Defence Order
This, the group, while rising from an emergency meeting held in Kaduna, yesterday, said was because the people of the North-West part of the country had suffered so much from banditry activities over the years.
They, therefore, noted that any lawful measure taken by the state to stop the rampaging terrorists that had consistently invaded the state, was in order.
Consequently, a statement released by the Executive Chairman of the group, Alhaji Zubairu Mustafa, also urged governors from the North-West to emulate the Zamfara State’s helmsman by issuing similar directives to their citizens.
The North-West comprises Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Kebbi, Jigawa, Sokoto and Zamfara states.
The group also knocked the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, and other elites for hastily rebuking and condemning the governor’s order, adding that they were just being economical with the truth over the spate of insecurity in Zamfara State and other parts of the country.
According to them, the insecurity has festered across the country because there was no serious strategy in place by security agencies to end the challenge.
They added that with Matawalle’s order, the insecurity in his state would cease because if citizens were armed, bandits or terrorists or other criminal elements, would rethink before striking.
The statement read in part, “The Northern Elements Group, known as AREWA Development Forum for Peace and Justice, has risen from an urgent meeting of general concern in Kaduna with the resolution to support the idea of Zamfara State Governor, Bello Mohammed Mutawall, on giving permission to citizens to acquire and use weapons for protection against invading bandits in their communities.
“The group pleads with the state governors in the North-West region to set up machinery and measures for the Joint Task Force of able youths as community-based vigilante volunteers in order to complement the efforts of security operatives in the fight against criminal activities in the region like that of the Community Protection Guard (CPG) launched in Zamfara on Saturday.
“The group faulted negative reactions over the suggestion of Zamfara State Governor and bemoans at hurried comments of discouragement by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, and other elites who are economical with the truth of happening on the recent kidnapping, killings and attacks of the communities in North-West region and environs by suspected bandits.
“From Zurmi to Tsafe, from Bakura to Maru to Shinkafi, these bandits have continued with their deadly and dastardly attacks against innocent people because security agencies are overwhelmed with inadequate manpower, precision equipment and logistics facilities to nip the nefarious activities of these blood-thirsty terrorists, insurgents and bandits in the bud.
“In this case, Governor Matawalle is the man wearing the shoe and knows where it hurts, hence, our call on all meaning Nigerians to support his call on locals to legally acquire arms to protect and defend their communities against any form of criminal invasion.
“Therefore, we are supporting any leader that seems to have agreed and made a clear and acceptable decision within the ambit of law to bring lasting peace and security to the lives and properties of citizens.
“Nothing is more important than a leader in playing his role of saving lives and properties of his people than attending funerals or making a sympathy visit and lamentations after attacks.
“Proactive measures that include supporting military & Police operations, provision of logistics and giving communities’ rights of self-defence, are more important and best options for bringing a lasting and assured peace, cohesion and security to people in dire situations like now.”
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