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Niger Delta

Again, Diri Relives 2019 Election Crises In Nembe

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on politicians to avoid actions that would lead to bloodletting in the forthcoming 2023 elections.
Diri made the call recently in Yenagoa, the state capital, at the just-concluded Armed Forces Remembrance Day celebration.
A statement issued by the governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Daniel Alabrah, quoted the governor as saying the outcome of elections should be determined by the ballot box and not the strength of the gun.
The statement added that the ultimate power to enthrone leadership lies in the hands of God, recalling the bloodletting that characterised the 2019 governorship campaigns in Nembe community. The Governor cautioned that all political players should never allow the killing of youths in the state because of elections in spite of their ambitions.
He appreciated the sacrifices of fallen heroes and serving members of the Nigerian Armed Forces to protect the territorial integrity of Nigeria, adding that the Remembrance Day should remind Nigerians of the sacrifices of the military and the need to live in peace and unity.
He called on all to support projects and intervention programmes initiated to care for the loved ones of fallen heroes and servicemen as a token of appreciation for the sacrifices the military men are making for the safety of all.
The Bayelsa helmsman also called on Bayelsans to unite and support his administration’s programmes to tackle under-development and poverty in order to achieve a prosperous Bayelsa.
“This 2022 will trigger another episode in the political dynamics of our nation’s democratic growth. I believe this occasion is ideal to reiterate my often-stated optimism that elections should be about ballots and not bullets. That we should count ballots and not bodies.
“I give this admonition with the greatest sense of responsibility because the many wasted lives cut down in the prime of their lives at Nembe during the 2019 governorship elections in this state remain indelible in our memories.
“Let us collectively vow that never again will the blood of Bayelsans water the ambitions of desperate politicians. Whereas the temptation to overzealously take matters into our own hands exists, let us pause and appreciate the fact that, ultimately, all power belongs unto God”, Diri said.
“Our debt of gratitude to those who choose to die for us even when they did not even know us should be immense.
“The essence of commemorating this day is not to glorify war. Rather, it is to recall the price that others had to pay for us to live in peace and thus commit ourselves to live in such a manner that future generations will have no need to fight wars. The labour of our heroes past should never be in vain.
“Let us continue to show love to our heroes and their loved ones by supporting the various projects and interventions that have been set up to care for our men and women in uniform. This includes but not limited to making financial commitments to yielding our place in queues.
“Bayelsans cannot afford to be separated in interest or divided in purpose at this crucial time in the history of our state and Nigeria. And as we have demonstrated several times over the nearly two years of this Government of Prosperity, we are better together. Let us unite to fight poverty, lack, ignorance and any other vices. These are our common enemies”, the Governor added.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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