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Ex-Militants In Ondo Seek Inclusion In Pipeline Surveillance Contract

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Some ex- militants in Ondo State have called for inclusion in pipeline and waterway surveillance contract awarded to former militants by the state government.
The ex-militants, formerly under the aegis of Sea Wolf Avengers, made the appeal in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday by their leader, Deji Ehinmowo.
Ehinmowo expressed displeasure with the exclusion of the group in the surveillance contract.
According to him, in 2017 when Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was the Acting President, he came to Igbokoda where the youths told him that “our major problem is amnesty and surveillance.”
“We told the vice president that we need amnesty and surveillance contract and he directed Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu to immediately address the issue.
“After the governor met with the Federal Government, he advised all the militants to surrender their arms and a meeting was held at the International Culture and Event Centre (The Dome) in Akure on Nov. 9, 2017 where Amnesty programme for ex-militants was flagged-off.
“After the programme, we were given twenty-one days to surrender our arms with a promise that we would be paid stipends as well as expose us to training on skill acquisition programmes.
“At the event, there was also a promise that some us would be sent abroad to acquire more skills”, he said.
Ehinmowo expressed regret that while the former militants had fulfilled their own side of the amnesty deal, the government failed to fulfill its own side of the agreement.
He particularly expressed disappointment that government had not kept it promises to the group on their inclusion in the amnesty programme.
“We have made several reports and nothing has been done up till now.
“Some militants were disarmed in Edo and they are getting paid. Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, offered amnesty to some militants in Rivers State and they are being paid.
“Why are they not paying us in Ondo State. Do they want us to go back to our vomits?
“When we talk about amnesty in Ondo State, we in the Ilaje/Ese-odo Federal Constituency, we don’t depend on the state allocation, what we depend on is the Ondo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (OSOPADEC) and Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
“To our greatest surprise, government is doing empowerment through OSOPADEC for the youths of the region, that is pipeline security surveillance, but excluded us.
“In Ilaje and Ese Odo Local Government areas, we have the old amnesty when militants surrendered arms during the tenure of the former President Musa Yar’Adua which was the first phase of the amnesty.
“We also have the new amnesty. This group under the aegis of Sea Wolf Avengers under my leadership as the most senior general, surrendered arms in the 2017 amnesty programme.
“We are the major camp in the new amnesty programme that submitted arms and ammunition in 2017 in Ilaje,” he said.
Ehinmowo said the former militants worked for the re-election of Governor Akeredolu as part of their commitment to ensure the sustainance of the amnesty programme in the state.
“We worked for the re-election of the Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, and we believe we should benefit from the amnesty programme and the government is supposed to use the surveillance contract to take care of us.
“It is our turn to be empowered with surveillance job. If the state government wants to give it to Ilaje, it should be between the old and new amnesty groups.
“We leant that N300,000 would be given to each camp which would be about N30,000 per slot out of N28 million surveillance contract.
“We are urging the government to separate the old amnesty from the new amnesty,” he added.

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NDLEA Arrests 774 Suspects, Seizes 3,874.3kgs Of Drugs In Benue, Nasarawa, Plateau

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NDLEA arrested 774 suspects and seized 3,874.3kgs of various narcotics and psychotropic substances in Nasarawa, Benue and Plateau State in the first half of 2022.
The three states make the Zone D of the narcotics agency.
Zonal Commander in the zone Umoru Ambrose, said this in Lafia yesterday while marking the 2022 UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.
He said 134 drug suspects were prosecuted during the period, while 378 drug users were counselled and rehabilitated.
He added that states in the zone had intensified their operations in the War against Drug Abuse and sensitisation.
Ambrose called on all stakeholders to get involved in curbing drugs menace in the zone.
In his remarks, NDLEA Commander in Nasarawa State, Peter Odaudu, said the celebrations underscored the need for access to proper treatment for people with drug disorders.
He stressed that the war against drugs must be intensified in Nasarawa State especially given its position as the second highest drug prevalence state in the North Central after Kwara.
“Statistics from the 2018 drug survey showed a very alarming trend, the involvement of females in drug issues.
“We have at least one female out of every four drug users; this development is worrisome and must be reversed,’’ he said.
Odaudu thanked Nasarawa State’s Governor Abdullahi Sule for his support for the NDLEA and solicited urgent intervention in the provision of operational vehicles and the construction of a rehabilitation centre.
Guest speaker, Mr Nwora Okpalaeke, who is coordinator of the Pharmacists Council of Nigeria in Nasarawa State, said 494,000 users died of drug abuse in 2019.
He spoke on “Illicit Drugs in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’’
He said drug abusers suffered liver cirrhosis, stroke, hepatitis, kidney and heart failure, noting that 14.3 million Nigerians are drug addicts, while three million are suffering from drug-related disorders.
“Government should strengthen the system to prevent proliferation of drugs and pay attention to agencies charged with reversing the situation.
“Drug abuse affects economic growth; the higher the abuse the higher the level of insecurity and poverty,’’ he said.
Senior Special Assistant on Primary Healthcare to Governor Sule, Margaret Elayo, commended the NDLEA in the state and assured of partnership to curb drug abuse in Nasarawa State.
The theme for this year’s celebration of the Day is: “Addressing Drug Challenges in Health and Humanitarian Crises.’

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NDLEA Arrests 218 Suspects, Seizes 1,471.314kg Of Drugs In Imo

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The Imo State Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has arrested 218 drug suspects made up of 171 males and 47 females.
The agency has also seized 1,471.314kg of drugs between July 2021 and June 2022.
The state commandant, NDLEA, Mr. Reuben Apeh, disclosed this while speaking to The Tide ahead of this year’s International Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Drugs Trafficking.
He said that 1,458.49kg of Cannabis Sativa, 1,0513kg of cocaine, 0.2077kg of Heroine, 3.896kg of Methamphetamine and 3.184kg of Tramadol were exhibits seized within the period under review.
Apeh disclosed further that cannabis farm in hectares was also destroyed in Imo State while 0.5278kg of Rohypnol and 2.5135kg of diazepam were among the seized exhibits.
He stated that some of the arrested suspects had been arraigned and convicted for drug related offences at the Federal High Court.
According to him, “Within the period covered, 51 were convicted and 145 were charged and their cases are still on going”.
Apeh described the drug situation in Imo State as worrisome, saying women have joined the illicit trade for financial gains.
He lamented that drug peddling was alarming among the younger generation in the state.
He, therefore, called on the stakeholders to partner with NDLEA to sensitize the society on the dangers of drug abuse.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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NDE Trains 750 Youths On Apprenticeship Skills In Imo

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The National Directorate for Employment (NDE) has commenced the training of 750 youths on various apprenticeship skills in Imo State.
Director-General of the NDE, Mallam Abubakar Nuhu-Fikpo, made this known while flagging off the training programme in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
The Tide reports that the training is captured under the Advanced National Open Apprenticeship Scheme (A-NOAS) and Basic National Apprenticeship Scheme (B-NOAS) of the Directorate’s Department of Vocational Skills Development (VSD).
The training skills include barbing, basic tailoring, hairdressing, welding, event planning, make- up, confectionery and auto mechanic, among others.
Nuhu-Fikpo, represented by the State Coordinator of the NDE in Imo State, Mrs Ngozi Ihenacho, explained that the trainees include youths and women drawn from the 27 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the intensive training programme will take place in the Directorate’s training centres, one in each senatorial district of the state, and last for three months.
He urged the trainees to utilise the opportunity provided by the training programme to acquire viable skills that would enable them become self-reliant, and thereby decongest the labour market, and reduce poverty and hunger.
“In today’s world, opportunities such as these are rare and hardly come on a platter and I  urge you, my dear beneficiaries, to take this opportunity serious, be punctual at the training venue with the aim of liberating yourselves from the chains of poverty and unemployment”, he advised.
Also speaking at the programme, Director of the VSD, Mallam Isa Abdu, explained that the training scheme would run simultaneously, with the beneficiaries receiving transport allowances for the duration of training.
Abdu, represented by a senior staff in VSD, Mr Onyekwelu Igwesi, said that expert trainers had been hired to conduct the training and urged the trainees to justify the opportunity given them to become employers of labour.
“All over the world, as the value of money depreciates, entrepreneurs are adjusting with the times, hence the need for viable skills that can drive the economy. Learn the skills and be your own boss”, he said.
One of the trainees, Miss Oluchi Uchenna, who responded on behalf of his colleagues, thanked the NDE for creating the opportunity for them to thrive in their quest to become economically independent.

By: Joe Nwachukwu, Owerri

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