Leadership of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC), has cautioned the northern youths under the Arewa Youths Assembly over the use of derogatory comments against a foremost former Niger Delta freedom fighter, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo, in handling the crude oil surveillance contract awarded by the Federal Government.
The leaders also declared that the northern youths lacked the right to fault the NNPC and the Federal Government’s decision on the award of the N4billion oil surveillance contract.
They warned that the Arewa youths should be ashamed that Tompolo and others are protecting the source that feeds the nation while they are idle and allowing insecurity to fester in the northern states.
According to the IYC, despite the vexatious and provocative nature of the comment and threat of protest by the Arewa Youths Assembly, the youths of the six states of the Niger Delta region are totally in support of the decision to award the surveillance contract to Tompolo and assure that his capacity can never be questioned by meddlesome interloper youths, such as the Arewa youths.
In a statement made available to newsmen by the IYC, through its National Spokesman, Comrade Ebilade Ekerefe, the group warned that instead of the northern youths becoming hired hands to criminal elements involved in the oil theft in the region and castigate the person or leadership of High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, they should focus their energy to support the security agencies in tackling of the rising cases of kidnapping, banditry, terrorism in northern region of the country.
“While the likes of Tompolo and many sincere youth leaders were working to protect the peace and security of the Niger Delta, what are they doing to contribute to the needed security in the North? Tompolo has worked tirelessly for the peace in the Niger Delta and will continue to sustain and protect the wealth of the nation in collaboration with other stakeholders,” it said.
Earlier, another group, the Amalgamated Arewa Youth Groups (AAYG), a coalition of 225 youth groups in the North, had asked the Federal Government to immediately withdraw the N4billion pipeline surveillance contract awarded to former Niger Delta militants, Government Ekpemuopolo, better known as Tompolo.
The Arewa youths, while lamenting what they termed an alleged romance between the Federal Government and Tompolo said: “We received the news of the award of pipeline surveillance contract worth over N4billion, by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited to Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, a former leader of the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta with rude shock.”
Spokesman of AAYG, Comrade Victor Duniya, in a statement issued in Kaduna, said: “Our group gathered that the said contract is meant to end illegal bunkering, illegal refining, and other forms of oil theft in the Niger Delta.
“We are particularly concerned that in the early days of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration when Tompolo was declared wanted by the EFCC, there was the uncontrolled bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, which contributed in so small measure to dragging Nigeria into recession.”
The northern coalition lamented that “it is most unfortunate that the our government and management of the NNPC Limited will submit themselves cheaply to the blackmail of a man whose major business initiative is to raise arms against the state, and assemble cultists from his region, in his country home to do his bidding, as the major qualification to be awarded contract to protect oil installations in the Niger Delta region of our country.”
Duniya pointed out that “the seeming triumph of people like Tompolo over our armed forces, is a clear case of abdication of responsibilities,” stressing “otherwise 1, 000, 000 of his likes wouldn’t succeed against 200, 000,000 Nigerians.”
He said: “We are however not surprised that the Chief of Defence Staff, General Lucky Irabor, who ought to have rallied the armed forces to restore peace in the Niger Delta, the same way he is doing in the South East, South West and the Boko Haram ravaged North East, shows that he has allowed the Niger Delta solidarity to overtake national interest, a virtue our armed forces is known for”, while calling for his resignation, along with other service chiefs.
Duniya remarked that reports at the disposal of the Arewa Youths, “attributed the award of the contract to the roles Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum, Chief Timipre Sylva, and Group Executive Director of the NNPC Limited, Upstream, Engr. Adokiye Tombomelye played,” alleging that “they are said to be people who brokered the deal.”
Subsequently, they called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Sylva, and Tombomelye, for promoting ethnic and regional interest over national interest and Mele Kyari, NNPC’s GMD for using his office to reward criminality and treasonable tendencies instead of patriotism.
They also want the CDS, Irabor, and service chiefs sacked for failure to use the instrument of coercion at their disposal to end oil bunkering in the Niger Delta, we wish to also, suggest that Tomopolo be appointed as the Chief of Defence Staff since he has been found competent to whip oil thieves to the line, the role the service chiefs have consistently failed to play.
I’ll Provide Solid Representation, If Elected -Banigo
Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has assured the people of Abua/Odual Local Government Area that she would provide undivided representation if voted into the Senate in 2023.
Banigo gave this assurance when leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party had a meeting with her, at the Government House in Port Harcourt to map out campaign strategies, yesterday.
The deputy governor said, she was excited that the meeting was held for the stakeholders to understand themselves, to ensure the party wins at the elections in 2023, adding that by the grace of God the local government area would be better than what it is now, if she emerges as the Rivers West senator.
In a related development, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is the Rivers West Senatorial District Candidate of the PDP in the upcoming polls, has also met with leaders of the PDP in Ahoada East Local Government Area, where she urged them to reach out to their constituents and encourage the collection of PVCs.
“We must realize that with this new Electoral Act, the votes will surly count, as this 2023 election is not going to be like the previous elections, there will be a difference, people should not be afraid to pick up their cards and vote, they should not be lackadaisical about it, they should keep their cards safe and on the day of election they should come up and cast their vote, because this time every vote will count”.
She said the campaigns would be unit based and urged them to reach out to those in their units.
“Make sure you have unit executives in each of the wards, so we can have a door to door campaign”, Banigo said.
In his remarks at the meetings, the Vice Chairman of the Rivers West Senatorial District of the PDP, Dr. Nname Robinson Ewor, said there is a need for members of the PDP to go out and establish their presence in all units’ wards and constituencies, stressing that the nature of this upcoming election would be different from previous elections.
Ariolu, Others Welcome Ex-Deputy Guber Candidate To PDP
Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barrister George Ariolu, has led other party faithful, including Chairman of PDP, Ward 6, Kingsley Nna; Chairman of PDP, Ward 9, Collins Wobo Chukwu; and Obio/Akpor PDP Secretary, Kingman Ogbonna; to receive a bigwig and stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Rumuogba in Ward 6, Chief Williams Igwe, into the PDP.
Receiving the former Deputy Governorship Candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Obio/Akpor PDP Secretariat, Rumueme, Ariolu expressed delight over his decampment from the APC to the PDP, describing it as an indication that the party was waxing stronger.
Ariolu, who was greeted with euphoria by the LGA PDP Chairman, Chidi Amadi, who also welcomed the former deputy governorship candidate at the secretariat, promised to work closely with Igwe to build the party ahead of the forthcoming election.
He pointed out that the foundation of the PDP was built on togetherness, stating that collectively, the party would achieve more.
Ariolu thanked Igwe for wholeheartedly accepting to come back to the party.
According to him, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has separated governance from politics following his relentless battle to promote the interest of Rivers people.
Also speaking, Chairman of the PDP in Obio/Akpor, Chidi Amadi, said the reception of Igwewas a fulfilment of an age-long dream, and a welcome development for members of the party, expressing joy over the event.
He further commended Ariolu for his strong support and leadership towards the sustenance and growth of the party.
In his remark, Chief Williams Igwe affirmed his loyalty and commitment to the PDP in its quest to oust the APC and fix the broken state of the country’s socio-economic and political fabrics.
He described the reception as a homecoming for himself and his supporters who would be formally received at a formal event which would be organised by the state party chairman, adding that PDP remains a major political party which will unite the nation.
He added that his decision to defect to the party was well-thought-out, and called on others to join hands with the Rivers State Government to rebuild the socio-economic fortunes of the state.
According to him, he believed that it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the Rivers State governor in moving the state forward.
The former Deputy Governorship Candidate was also received by PDP Chieftain, Barrister Temple Ejekwu; Obio/Akpor PDP Woman Leader,Gloria Wonodi; Barrister Kelvin Akani; and members of Obio/Akpor PDP Executive.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
NNPC Posts N674bn Profit
The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has declared a profit after tax of N674billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2021.
The profit represented a growth of 134.84per cent when compared with N287billion profit in 2020 which was recorded under the old Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said this at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja.
“NNPC progressed to a new performance level, from N287billion profit in 2020 to a N674billion profit after tax in 2021 climbing higher by 134.8per cent year on year profit growth,’’ he said.
Kyari also said that it recorded an increase in total assets from N15.86trillion in 2020 to N16.27trillion in 2021.
Speaking on the group’s financial position, Kyari said the corporation’s total liabilities decreased by 8.3per cent to N13.46trillion during the review period from N14.68trillion in 2020.
The GCEO said its shareholders funds position rose N2.81trillion representing 144per cent year-on-year.
“The performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and products theft, among others.
“Details of the performance of NNPC and the respective subsidiaries as well as that of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) will be published on our website www.nnpcgroup.com for stakeholder’s perusal.
“We look forward to achieving greater performance to support our growth aspirations and to create more value for our stakeholders as we drive full commercial operations under NNPC Ltd.,’’ he said.
He recalled that in September 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the publication of the 2020 NNPC Group Audited Financial Statement, in which NNPC declared a profit after tax of N287billion for the first time in 44 years.
Kyari said that in spite of the challenging operating environment, it strongly believed that the corporation had the potential to sustainably deliver better value to it esteemed shareholders.
He said it sought to become a dynamic global energy company of choice to its customers, partners and over 200million shareholders comprising of all Nigerians.
Kyari noted that the corporation in 2019 rolled out deliberate policies and initiatives aimed at reducing costs and eliminating losses while adopting technology to entrench transparency, accountability and performance excellence (TAPE) across its various functions.
He said the NNPC had recorded significant improvement over the past three years, turning up the curve from losses to profits.
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