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Niger Delta

Ijaws In Diaspora Seek Enhanced Living Condition In N’Delta

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The Ijaw Diaspora Council (IDC) says it is committed to surmounting the developmental and environmental challenges confronting the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
President of the group, Prof. Monday Gold, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Yenagoa and made available to The Tide’s source.
Gold stated that the group had resolved to join forces with like-minded interest groups, state and federal governments to enhance the living condition in the region.
He explained that the resolution was reached at the just-concluded 2022 IDC Convention in the U.S.
He further stated that the council, which draws its membership from different continents, is bound by the peoples shared culture and values.
According to Gold, the council undertakes teaching and enabling millions of Ijaw people to speak and act as one “in the face of environmental and economic injustice”.
He said: “Oil spills in Ijawland, shootings, terrorist attacks and massive public protests have all jolted the Ijaw Diaspora in unprecedented ways.
“Oil prospecting has wrecked the limited agricultural land surface, sea, rivers, streams and lakes in the region.
“In disasters, like the Nembe spill, oil has moved thousands of kilometres across the sea surface, killing millions of seabirds, marine mammals and sea turtles”.
He stated that people, who lived near oil and gas facilities, were more likely to be exposed to contaminated groundwater and polluted air.
Other health challenges, he added, included cancer, birth abnormalities, liver damage, respiratory, cardiovascular and other disorders.
“In the Ijaw territory, these diseases are directly linked to a significant percentage of mortality.
“Things would go extremely wrong, if we in the diaspora refuse to act or chose to run away from our responsibility, not just for us but also for you and the next generation.
“We must resolve to overcome all obstacles in order to defend Ijaw territory and contribute to Nigeria’s peace, stability and progress,” Gold stated.
He mainained that “In spite of the challenges, IDC not only endured but also grew stronger than before.”
He noted that the challenges of the region had made many Ijaw to lose the sense of belonging and connection they once enjoyed.
He, however, noted that “there is hope with vision, convictions, devotion and courage”.
He explained that there was need to build a sense of genuine closeness and acceptance and for all to speak with one voice for a better Ijaw ethnic nationality.
He stated that the group was committed to working with all Nigerian neighbours and worldwide partners on an equal and mutually beneficial basis for the future generations.
He listed the immediate priority of IDC to include pulling Ijaw people out of poverty and providing them with a life of peace, prosperity, decency and dignity.
He further stated that the construction of the Oloibiri Museum and Research Center was also in the council’s priority list.
Other priorities included the construction of the Ijaw Diaspora Village, in collaboration with the Federal Government and other partners, to develop the Ijaw nation.

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Niger Delta

Police Kill Five Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Victim

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Police operatives in Edo State have rescued one Innocent Achebe, 38, from a kidnappers den, killing five suspects in the process.
Achebe was rescued on Sunday in Ughosi-Afe bush in Ibilo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the State, where the victim was held in captivity for days.
This is contained in a statement by Deputy Public Relations Officer, Edo Police Command, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, on Monday in Benin.
She said that the operation was part od the command’s commitment to rid the state of violent crime, including kidnapping.
“This feat was achieved following credible information at the command’s disposal that hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers were operating in Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA, Edo State.
“On receipt of the information, the command immediately mobilised its tactical team of operatives from the Ibillo sector in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to the scene.
“The kidnappers on sighting the operatives opened fire on them which led to a gun duel that left five of the kidnappers fatally injured and were later confirmed dead,” Iwegbu said.
She added that the victim, who was rescued unhurt, had been reunited with his family.
The police spokesperson said two locally made pistols, charms and cartridges were recovered from the scene.
Iwegbu said the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, commended the gallantry exhibited by the operatives and pledged that the command would work with relevant stakeholders and law-abiding citizens to secure the State.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Spends N3.52bn On Debt Service

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Bayelsa State Government said it spent N3.52 billion on servicing its loan obligations to commercial banks for the month of May.
The Tide’s source reports that domestic debt stock data from the Debt Management Office for Bayelsa as of March 31, stood at N151.41 billion.
Technical Adviser to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Treasury Matters, Mr Timipre Seipulo, stated this while giving an update of the state’s income and expenditure profile for the months of May and June in Yenagoa.
According to the financial highlights, the state generated some N1.68 billion from internal sources in addition to a gross inflow of N22.86 billion from the federation account to make a total of N22.91 billion for May.
Of the amount, derivation revenue, a 13 per cent of value of crude oil produced within the state for May stood at N17.82 billion.
On the other hand, non oil revenue of N124.69 million accrued to the state for the month under review.
According to Seipulo, the state’s wage bill for civil servants and political appointees gulped N6.2 billion.
For the month of June, Bayelsa got N18.67 billion after deductions at source from the federation account.
Oil derivation accounted for N14.02 billion, while the internally generated revenue was N1.99 million.
The total wage bill for the month of June was N6.14 billion.

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Niger Delta

Delta Seals Gas Plant Over Student’s Death

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The Delta Government sealed a gas plant over outbreak of seizure leading to the death of a student in a close-by school.
The gas plant closure followed the report of an emergency committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of the Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College.
It was recalled that on July 16, 10 students of Mary Mount College, near Handeskia Gas Plant in Boji-Boji, Agbor, were suspected to have showed signs of strange ailments and seizure due to gas emission.
One of the affected students died few weeks after her parents took her to the hospital.
Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, the state Commissioner for Environment, warned the gas company that stiffer sanctions would be meted on it, if the seal was broken.
“The activities of the company has posed ecological and health threat to students of Mary Mount College, Agbor, situated in the environs.
“The management of Handeskia Oil and Gas should desist from causing havoc to residents of the host community,” Asiuwhu said.
The commissioner frowned at the unruly behaviour of staff of the gas company, saying that the state government would not condone any attempt by the company to unseal the premises.
According to him, a task force will be set up to monitor activities of the gas company after it had been sealed to ensure they did not return back to business.
Also, Mr Victor Ebonka, the Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area, said the council had earlier sealed the gas company twice, adding that they later went back to unseal the premises.
“Since the activities carried out by the company were endangering the lives of residents, there is every need to seal the gas company and put a stop to all their activities,” Ebonka said.

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