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‘I’ve No Regret Joining N’Delta Struggle’



Former leader of the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Victor Ben Ebikabowei aka Boyloaf, has said he has no regret joining the Niger Delta struggle.
Boyloaf, in conjunction with Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo, Eris Paul aka Ogunboss, Bibopere Ajube aka Shoot at Sight etc. were the brains behind MEND which took the Niger Delta struggle to another dimension prompting the Nigerian government-led by the late Umaru Yar’Adua to declare Presidential amnesty to all ex-agitators.
Boyloaf, in brief remark during the celebration of his 50th birthday and formal launch of the Boy Child Project by the Boyloaf Foundation in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital over the weekend, said he and others were pushed to rise up and defend the people.
According to him, the Niger Delta struggle became a symbol of strength because of the neglect and perceived injustices meted out to the people of the region.
Boyloaf, who insisted that he had no regrets defending his people said, his desire to give back to the society led to the establishment of his foundation.
The Interim Administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd), Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri; the President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba; among others, took turns to pay glowing tributes to Boyloaf.
Dikio, Diri and Okaba described the former warlord as a phenomenon and commended him for his agitation towards the emancipation of the Niger Delta region.
Delivering a keynote address on the topic, “Peace a Priceless Asset for Niger Delta Growth and Development”, Dikio remarked that peace remains indispensable in the quest to make the Niger Delta the safest place to live and do business.
According to him, the struggle for a better deal for the Niger Delta can be achieved if there was a change of approach and tactics.
Dikio, who said he was excited about the achievements of the celebrant after leaving the creeks and dropping his weapons, urged him to continue to be a worthy example and lead the way for others to follow.
He also commended Boyloaf and other ex-warlords for their efforts which brought the attention of the world to the issues bedevilling the region but added that there was still a lot to be done for the Niger Delta.
“Ebikabowei Victor-Ben, Tompolo, Bibopere Ajube and others have fought their own battles. This generation and future generations will also have their own battles to fight”.
“The present and future battles cannot be fought the same way; they are more intellectual and economic battles than muscle. We need to prepare and get into the space where we can win and win for the region and Nigeria in general.”
Diri, who was represented by the Secretary to the Bayelsa State Government (SSG), Konbowei Benson said Boyloaf played a significant role in sustaining the peace and stability in the region.
In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion, and President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Benjamin Okaba; went down memory lane to what led to the proclamation of the amnesty programme, and also paid tributes to those who had been part of the struggle for environmental and social justice for people of the region.
He decried the seeming unwillingness to inaugurate a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) as one of the actions militating against its development.
He said: “The sustainable peace and development in the Niger Delta must be anchored on justice, equity and fairness. These ingredients have been lacking because of government’s approach to solve the region’s problems which includes the age long neglect of the area”.
Okaba lauded Boyloaf for floating a foundation aimed at tackling the problems of the boy child and appealed to well-meaning Individuals and groups to support the course.
He also thanked him for his commitment to peace and capacity building in the region, and charged other leaders of the Niger Delta to invest in the area and on the people.

By: Akujobi Amadi

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Akeredolu will be remembered for truth, justice – Aiyedatiwa



Gov. Lucky Aiyedatiwa of Ondo State on Wednesday said the late former Governor of the state, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, would be remembered for his good deeds, especially standing for truth and justice.

Aiyedatiwa stated this during a special court session held in honour of the late former governor at the Ondo State High Court in Akure.

He explained that the former governor used his knowledge, ebullience and capacities to defend the human peaceful existence.

Aiyedatiwa added that the deceased deeds during his life time were greatly impactful.

According to him, the deceased was after justice and rule of law.

Aiyedatiwa said that late Akeredolu was always not pleased when justice was not served.

He described the honour bestowed on the late governor as a well deserved because his life evolved around the legal profession.

“He was an achiever with success stories. He stood firm and was committed to truth and justice,” he said.

Also speaking, the Chief Judge (CJ) of the state, Justice Olusegun Odusola, said that late Akeredolu remained celebrated in death more than being alive considering a reference to his achievements and attainment in life.

Odusola said that the late governor was a courageous fighter, who faced the serious security challenges in the state with ingenious courage that had become a national model.

He stated that it was more-worthy that the late governor did not interfere with judicial activities, even when it did not favour his desires.

According to him, late Akeredolu was a man that lived with his words.

“In my last encounter with him at a time when his health was obviously failing, Arakunrin still reiterated his desire to construct a judiciary complex that will be the envy of other states in the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“He also spoke about judges’ welfare and I wondered how a man in such a condition could still love the judiciary so much as to remember the little promises he made,” he said.

The CJ said that late Akeredolu was an outstanding legal icon and a political colossus, a man who was an exemplar of indefatigable courage, principled resistance with honesty and self-respect.

He stated that late Akeredolu would continue to be a good reference point in humanity.

In his remarks, the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau, described the late governor as a man with keen passion to help humanity and secure peace.

Maikyau added that the deceased was a person of humility known for truth and justice, and asked the deceased family to take solace in the good deeds of the late governor.

Dignitaries present include Gov. Abdulrasak Abdulrahman of Kwara; Ondo State Deputy Gov, Olayide Adelami; Chief Olusola Oke, SAN; and APC Chairman in Ondo State, Mr Ade Adetimehin.

Others are human rights lawyer, Mr Kayode Ajulo; Ambassador Sola Iji, Speaker Ondo State House of Assembly; and former Inspector of Police, Mr Sunday Ehindero.

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Gunmen Kill Police Inspector In Rivers 



The Rivers State Police Command said an Inspector was killed by gunmen who ambushed and attacked its men on a stop and search duty at the Eliozu Flyover in Obio/Akpo Local Government Area of the state on Wednesday night.

The spokesperson of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, disclosed this in a statement issued yesterday.

Iringe-Koko said the gunmen who were spotted in a carton-colored Sienna bus with fully tinted glasses drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, near Port Harcourt where they launched the offensive which claimed the officer’s life.

She, however, said the team rose to the occasion and returned fire and neutralised one of the miscreants who wore masks, but that other gang members escaped by the whisker.

The statement reads, “We are deeply saddened to announce a heinous incident that occurred on 21st February 2024, involving an attack on policemen attached to Operation Sting of the Rivers State Police Command.

“At approximately 2145hrs, while conducting routine stop-and-search at Eliozu flyover, the officers were ambushed by unidentified hoodlums operating in a carton-colored Sienna bus, with fully tinted glasses.

“The registration number of the vehicle remains unknown at this time.

“The assailants drove in from the Rumuodumaya axis, and opened fire on the police team, resulting in the tragic loss of one Inspector who valiantly gave his life in the line of duty.

“Undeterred, the police team responded with bravery, engaging the attackers and managing to neutralise one of them with a mask on his face, while the others managed to escape, potentially sustaining gunshot wounds.

“The command has launched a thorough investigation into this despicable act and has already identified the group responsible.

“Rest assured, we will relentlessly pursue these criminals and bring them to justice. No amount of intimidation will hinder our officers’ unwavering commitment to safeguarding the lives and property of the citizens.”

While noting that such acts of aggression against security forces detrimentally impact the safety and security of our entire society, she stressed that the command remains resolute in its duty to maintain peace and protect the well-being of the populace.

“The Commissioner of Police, Olatunji Disu, reiterates unequivocally that those who perpetrate violence against policemen or any citizen will face the full weight of the law.

“We urge all law-abiding citizens to continue with their daily activities without panic, as we are determined to uphold our mandate of preserving lives and property in the face of such challenges.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family and colleagues of the fallen inspector, and we assure them that his sacrifice will not be in vain. Our resolve to serve and protect remains unwavering as we stand together against those who seek to disrupt the peace and harmony of our society”, she said.

Recall that last year, a former Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, was ambushed and killed by a cult gang.

Since the death of the cop, the command has been on his trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were gunned down previously.

However, on Monday, Grace Iringe-Koko,  said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cult kingpin was killed in a recent joint security raid in the Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State.


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Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.46% In Q4 2023  -NBS



Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product grew by 3.46 per cent year-on-year in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023, the National Bureau of Statistics has disclosed.

In its ‘Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report (Q4, 2023),’ released yesterday, the NBS said the growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent

It added that the service industry was responsible for the growth in the quarter.

Both the IMF and World Bank expected Nigeria’s economy to grow by 2.9 per cent in 2023.

The report read, “Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.46 per cent (year-on-year) in real terms in the fourth quarter of 2023.

“This growth rate is lower than the 3.52 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022 and higher than the third quarter of 2023 growth of 2.54 per cent.

“The performance of the GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 was driven mainly by the Services sector, which recorded a growth of 3.98 per cent and contributed 56.55 per cent to the aggregate GDP.”

In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022.

“The agriculture sector grew by 2.10 per cent, from the growth of 2.05 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. The growth of the industry sector was 3.86 per cent, an improvement from -0.94 per cent recorded in the fourth quarter of 2022. In terms of share of the GDP, industry, and the services sectors contributed more to the aggregate GDP in the fourth quarter of 2023 compared to the fourth quarter of 2022. On an annual basis, GDP grew by 2.74 per cent in 2023 relative to 3.10 per cent in 2022,” the report added.



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