Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has expressed worry over the insecurity occasioned by sea piracy, drugs, human trafficking and other criminal activities in the Gulf of Guinea.
Diri stated this at a workshop on combating piracy and maritime insecurity in the Gulf of Guinea which held in Yenagoa,the state capital.
The Tide reports that the governor spoke at the opening ceremony of the three-day event backed by the United Nations.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as decrying the level of insecurity in the gulf, noting that the maritime industry was the backbone to the global economy and that no effort should be spared in tackling the menace.
He appreciated the initiative of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) on curbing the menace, saying that his administration would support the body to actualise the goals of the project.
The governor also expressed the readiness to host the Gulf of Guinea Security Conference in collaboration with major stakeholders in order to unravel the root causes and design a regional approach to combat the scourge.
“The malady might be preponderant in the Gulf of Guinea but it is equally a crisis of global dimension. Sadly, sea piracy is not the only security threat undermining us at sea and along our waterways. It has also focused spotlights on wider complications of maritime insecurity such as trafficking and smuggling of humans, weapons, narcotics and unregulated and illegal fishing.
“Bayelsa State is prepared to provide leadership and embrace international best practices to fight and prevent crime. I have no doubt that this project would be fundamentally beneficial to our people and state. We have traditional ties, through trade, religion, culture and ethnicity across the subregion, and this creates a platform for our modern security collaboration”, Governor Diri said.
He equally called on the United Nations, its agencies and partners to support his administration to empower the youths for development opportunities and make crime induced by drug abuse less attractive, stating that to create an enabling environment to attract investors, his administration was rejigging the security architecture of the state and the enabling laws through collaboration with relevant security agencies.
He called on the Federal government to ensure equity in the allocation of resources to bring about peace as a lot of evidence show that there was disquiet in the Niger Delta due to frustration resulting from unsatisfactory and unequal allocation of the resources from the region.
In his opening remarks, the United Nations Country Director on Drugs and Crime, Dr Oliver Stolpe, revealed that the Gulf of Guinea was the most dangerous maritime area in the world with 25 sea piracy attacks in 2020,just as he described the rate of drug use in Nigeria as three times higher than the global average, noting that effective fight against insecurity can only be attainable if drug use was effectively controlled.
While appreciating the Diri administration for the initiative, he said it would enable local communities to put strategies and interventions in place to prevent crime, calling on stakeholders to leverage on the community-based approach to address drug use and prevention.
According to Stolpes, the programme, which is a pilot initiative to test approaches, expressed the hope that it would be effective for other states to emulate and attract support from federal government and international bodies.
Participants at the three-day programme are traditional rulers, top government functionaries and civil society groups from Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Cross River states that are part of the Gulf of Guinea area.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
2023: I’m Only PDP Presidential Aspirant To Defeat APC–Wike
Wike, in company of some PDP chieftains, made this remark when he met national delegates of the Lagos chapter of PDP in Ikeja, last Saturday.
The aspirant, who noted that he was not running to be vice president to anybody, said that if elected, peace, security of lives and property would be prioritised to strengthen the nation’s sustainable infrastructure, food security, prosperity and economic turnaround.
He said the nation needed a strong and courageous leader like him now, adding that with a courageous leader, difficult decisions would be taken to tackle the nation’s challenges.
“The issue now is who can win election for PDP. Who has the capacity to face the APC? Who will win election for PDP? That is me here.
“I will face APC squarely. If you give me this ticket on May 28 and May 29, go home and sleep with your two eyes closed,” Wike said.
The governor said that PDP must do everything possible not to lose the 2023 presidential election.
“If we lose the presidential election in 2023, we can as well forget PDP.
“I have been tested in terms of performance. Mine is ‘talk and do’,” he added.
Wike, who promised to replicate his outstanding performance in Rivers State across Nigeria, said that he would provide a leadership every Nigerian would be proud of, home and abroad.
The aspirant pleaded with the Lagos delegates and leaders to be united and work for his emergence at the primaries.
“I know APC very well, allow me to face them. I am begging you, delegates, allow me. Support me to take the power from APC and bring back to PDP.
“I depend on the South-West, if the South-West gives me the votes, I have won the election. Donate all your votes to me,” he said.”
The PDP chieftain lamented that some party leaders aspiring to contest for PDP presidential ticket now, were the ones that threw the former ruling party into being opposition when they left the party in 2015.
Wike, who noted that he had been with PDP since 1998, said: “I will never leave this party. Whatever I am today, by the grace of God, God used PDP for me”.
He, however, said that he would never leave PDP even if he did not win the primaries, pledging to support whoever won.
The governor, who appealed to the Lagos PDP to end all infighting and division, said that if the party was not united, it would not win in the state.
In his remark, former Governor of Gombe State, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, who led Wike’s delegation, described the presidential aspirant as a fearless and courageous leader, with strong capacity to drive Nigeria forward.
Army Bombs B’Haram Commander’s Convoy, Kills Scores, Destroys Gun Trucks
Sources said the offensive was coordinated by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), Maj-Gen Waidi Shaibu on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Yuwe location, within the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Army was said to have deployed a massive artillery gun after sighting eight moving convoys conveying Abubakar Sarki and unconfirmed numbers of fighters in devastating hits.
The source said that based on intelligence information, Abubakar Sarki and his team were heading toward Abu-Ubaida’s camp to engage its rival fighters from the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), in a battle of supremacy.
Counter Intelligence expert with knowledge of terrorists activities in Lake Chad, Zagazola Makama confirmed the artillery bombing of the BH Commander’s convoy.
“A ground assessment confirmed that three guntrucks with all its occupants were completely destroyed, while the remaining five vehicles, including Abubakar Sarki escaped” the source said.
The source added that the terrorists, however, aborted the mission and evacuated the dead and wounded fighters towards the axis between Pulka and Banki.
The sources said that the troops were mandated to go after the fleeing terrorists and eliminate them completely.
The infighting between the two terrorists groups had intensified with the ISWAP hunting Boko Haram during the day time while the Boko Haram are coordinating reprisal attacks at night because of their knowledge of the terrain.
NDDC Fund, Account For Alleged N700b, Inaugurate Board, Monarch Tasks FG
He said these steps by the government would help resuscitate the agency and rekindle hope of the people whose regional resources, he alleged, were criminally plundered by the leadership of Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
In a press statement personally issued by the monarch and made available to journalists in Benin City, Whiskey said, “Having voluntarily resigned as Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, our beloved son, Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio, should come out clean to explain to fellow Niger Deltans the whereabouts of the three years running budgetary allocations of the NDDC which inside sources claimed were more than N700billion.
“For presiding over the ongoing illegality in NDDC, Akpabio is not fit to be president.
“The Federal Government and Akpabio, who held the region perpetually captive and denied her of her developmental agenda because of an inglorious forensic audit that never brought out anything should now explain to our people of our collective regional wealth.
“The father of the nation, Mr. President must have seen now that those he entrusted with the developmental agenda of the oil and gas bearing communities of Nigeria had their own nefarious intentions to swindle and cause more havoc and deny the people their collective dreams of development.
“It is instructive to note, Mr. President, that three options are still available to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The first being the immediate inauguration of the screened and confirmed board of the NDDC under the Chairmanship of Dr. Pius Egberavwe Odubu, and Olorogun Bernard Okumagba as managing director. Secondly, immediate dissolution of the illegally constituted sole administrator that is alien to the NDDC Act 2000, and thirdly, every of the allocation to the NDDC from 2019 to 2022 except for those used for staff salaries and sundry expenses, every other monies of the over N700billion be recovered from whoever were part of the Macabre dance of shame in the past four years.”
The traditional ruler stressed that the inauguration of the already screened and confirmed board would rekindle hope and restore the Federal Government’s integrity before Nigerians and the international community.
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