Connect with us


IYC, Ex-Militant Leaders Tackle Senate Over Threats To Issue Bench Warrant On Dikio



The Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) and ex-militant leaders have cautioned the Senate Public Accounts Committee following its threats to issue a bench warrant on officials of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), including the PAP’s Interim Administrator, Col. Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd).
The Chairman of IYC, Abuja branch, Adam Marbo, said the council was surprised at the committee’s claim that the warrant was to compel Dikio to appear before it to explain an alleged N10billion unaccounted for by the amnesty office contained in Auditor-General’s report of 2018.
Marbo said the council was further amazed that the report referred to by the committee was based on transactions that occurred in 2015 fiscal year.
The IYC boss described the posture of the Senate committee as witch-hunt, explaining that the transaction and the audit report happened years before Dikio was appointed as the interim administrator of the programme.
He said: “We can recall that Dikio was appointed towards the end of 2020. What the Senate is investigating is a transaction that occurred in the amnesty office in 2015 but was mentioned in the Auditor-General’s report of 2018.
“The matter does not concern Dikio at all. Why will the Senate Committee become so fixated on Dikio that it descended to the arena of desperation with the threat of a bench warrant? What are they looking for? The committee cannot feign ignorance of persons at the helm of affairs in amnesty office when the transaction took place”.
Marbo urged the committee to stop distracting Dikio and allow him concentrate and deliver his vision for PAP, insisting that the current amnesty boss should only be held accountable for his actions and inactions during his tenure.
He said: “The entire stakeholders in the Niger Delta are passionate about Dikio because of the difference he has made since he assumed office as the interim administrator of PAP. We like his style because it has deepened discussions and restored peace in the Niger Delta.
“Dikio has reformed the amnesty programme, and we won’t allow any baseless attack on him. The Senate committee should judge Dikio by his deeds in the amnesty office and not by the actions and misdeeds of others before him. We perceive any attempt to do otherwise as a deliberate attempt to distract the amnesty boss and destabilise the Niger Delta”.
Ex-militant leaders in a separate statement signed by Chairman, First Phase Ex-Agitators, Henry Binidodogha aka Egbema One; and Chief Andabafa Namah aka Opunamah, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to hold the Senate responsible should there be renewed hostilities in the Niger Delta.
They said the lawmakers were on a mission to disrupt the existing peace in the region with their scripted plans to destabilise the good works of Dikio.
The former warlords said the committee was on a mission to embarrass Dikio and make a mess of all that he had achieved within a short period of time since he took over.
They also said the issue listed in the probe predated the tenure of Dikio, and wondered why the Senate Public Accounts Committee would be disturbing him about it.
They said: “Our attention has been drawn to a report in the media by the Senate, inviting our boss, Colonel Milland Dixon Dikio (rtd) to appear before them, else they would arrest him. We want to say that this move is capable of causing a breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta region.
“Before we go further, let me reiterate here that we have never seen anyone manage this amnesty programme since its inception as Dikio has done. And so, we see the invitation of the Senate as a witch-hunt because the matter happened in 2018, and as then, Dikio was not in- charge of the programme.
“Even with the malfeasance he met, he has not blamed anybody or accuse anyone but has been working seriously, transforming the programme and affecting positively lives of the people, particularly the PAP beneficiaries. His achievements are visible for all to see.
“For the records, this is the first time ex-agitators are going for training with the assurance of being engaged immediately after the training under the Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) scheme. It has never happened before.
“This is also the first time we have experienced a non-violent approach to issues. No more protests and counter protests as it used to be. This is also the first time that the monthly stipends are paid as at when due.
“We do not want to believe that the Senate committee is trying to subdue our leader and brother who have come to change the narrative and perception of the PAP. Let us put them on notice that we will resist it with all our strength and might. As delegates and critical stakeholders in the region we will not allow them to rubbish him and the amnesty programme”.
The ex-militant leaders said while the Senate committee headed by Senator Matthew Urhogbide had the statutory right of carrying out their oversight functions, they must be careful and be sincere, especially when it had to do with the Niger Delta.
They insisted it made no sense whatsoever to compel a man to answer for an alleged offence that he knew nothing about, and urged the Senate committee to stop the sponsored media trial and invite those responsible to answer for themselves what transpired in 2018.
They said: “We are surprised that an institution like the Senate will allow themselves to be used by desperate people who are trying to fight back because of their hatred for Dikio. Let me say this, we will take this matter to any length. We will not allow evildoers to hold us to ransom. Never again!
“Those who have been fired from the PAP deserved it because they were not adding value to the system. They have for too long stifled the smooth operations of the programme because of their greed. What we are seeing is a revival of PAP to meet its expectations.
“We know the pressure Dikio is going through because he refused to offer contracts to people who are not capable of handling such contracts. We don’t want to believe that the senators are guilty of this.
“Dikio has said contracts can only be awarded to people who meet the expected standards and we stand by that. Only recently, he terminated a contract because the company breached the terms and we supported him”.

By: Akujobi Amadi

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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.


Continue Reading


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.



Continue Reading