NSCDC Arrests 186 Over Oil Theft
The State Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Rivers State Command, says it has made 186 arrests within 10 months including 408 suspects while securing convictions of 21 persons at the Federal High Court.
Already, 41 convicts are serving jail terms, while over 42 forfeitures have been made and based on the passing into law of the Proceeds of Crime (Recovery and Management) Act, 2022 by the National Assembly.
State Commandant of NSCDC, Michael Besong Ogar made the revelation while hosting the Executive Director of the Youth Environmental Advocacy Centre, (YEAC-NIGERIA and United Kingdom) in his office in Port Harcourt.
He said the agency is open 24 hours to receive information that would enhance the arrest of suspects dealing illegally in petroleum products, as he further restated the Command’s commitment in stemming the spate of crime and all sorts of vices in the State.
“Let me officially welcome you to my office; meanwhile, this is also your office because as a concerned citizen and a strong advocate against oil theft and as an environmentalist, we have a lot to do together. Our strong synergy will definitely rid the nation of economic saboteurs and savage Rivers State from all forms of health hazards emanating from aquatic pollution, air pollution and most especially environmental degradation”.
“Within my 10months of assumption of office as the 13th substantive State Commandant of NSCDC, Rivers State Command, we have stood very firm in the fight against illegal dealings in petroleum products, all our operatives on land and the marine signed an oath of allegiance to refrain from connivance or aiding and abetting oil bunkering activities”.
The Rivers State Commandant who later spoke with the foreign journalists from Seoul, South Korea lauded the Federal Government for the unflinching support in the provision of necessary logistics that have enhanced the corps in anti-vandalism and the fight against oil theft across the nation.
He further advised those stealing from the proceeds through illegal deal in petroleum products to look for other meaningful and rewarding businesses or be ready to face the full wrath of the law.
Speaking, the Executive Director, Youth Environmental Advocacy Centre, Fyneface Dumnamene expressed his readiness to work with the NSCDC in order to fight illegal oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.
He commended the State Commandant for the numerous achievements and promised to collaborate with the command through the advocacy centre, noting that the NSCDC as the lead agency in safeguarding oil pipelines and other critical national assets and infrastructure in the nation must continue to work with both local and foreign bodies to actualise their statutory mandate.
By: Kevin Nengia
Drivers, Travellers Groan Over Bad Road At Mbiama
Drivers and passengers have decried the poor state of the East-West Road from Ahoada axis up to the Mbiama axis of Rivers State.
They said, Mbiama and Akinima axis is the worst hit as long vehicle fall and block the road always.
Last Tuesday, youths and indigenes from Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, protested over the dilapidated condition of the road.
The youths, who were led by the President of Igbuduya Youths Federation of Okogbe Community, Comrade Ifeanyi Madu, said they blocked the ever busy East-West Road in a peaceful protest against the Federal Government for failing to rehabilitate that portion of the road almost a year after flood swept through the area.
Travellers were trapped for several hours on Mbiama-Ahoada axis of East-West last Tuesday as youths from Ekpeye Kingdom in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State were protesting against poor state of the road
Eyewitnesses told The Tide Metro that it took several hours of negotiation and appeals before travellers were allowed to pass through the ever-busy Trunk A federal high way.
A driver, Jude Ede who spoke to The Tide Metro said their vehicles breakdown often on the road.
He said, “some parts are motorable, as Setraco graded some parts after the flooding.”
Ede lamented that many drivers avoid the route and as a result transport fare has risen. For saloon cars, passengers pay N3, 000 from Port Harcourt to Yenagoa as against N2,000 last year.
On the other hand buses charge passengers N2,500, as against N1,800 previously.
He also blames the situation to hike in price of fuel and cost of maintenance,” even the price of fuel comes down we will reduce the fare, but for now there is nothing we can do.”
The same view was expressed by Prince Olalekan who plies the route from Port Harcourt, “the road is not accessible on Tuesdays”, he said, “most of drivers avoid the route because of the market at Mbiama.”
Besides, he also decried the poor security, noting that between Emohua and Ahoada axis is danger zone as kidnappers waylay vehicles.
Olalekan recalled that last Monday, some passengers were kidnapped on the route.
Calling for the security agencies to beef up surveillance, the commercial transport dealer said poor state of the road makes it easy for vehicles to be attacked by hoodlums.
For Tonye Ekine, the axis between Okogbe and Ahoada should be fixed to reduce their challenge.
He also complained about the Mbiama market which causes traffic jam on the road, especially on Tuesdays,” most of us now use the old bridge which is not safe.”
Ekine, who is a bus driver suggested that the contractors handling repairs should ensure that the failed portions should fixed as the rains come.
“If you look at some parts of the road that were graded last year, it has started to fail. And the Mbiama market needs to be relocated as well.”
By: Kevin Nengia
Diobu Cult War: Police Raid Hideouts, Arrest Suspects
The Rivers State Police Special Joint Taskforce has raided hideouts for cultists around the Diobu axis, following a fratricidal clash that led to up to five persons dead in the last one week.
The Tide Metro was reliably informed that the raid was ordered by the State Commissioner of Police, Okon Effiong Okon as the taskforce commanders swung into action.
The raid in Diobu was from the Mile 1 area up to Mile 4 area of Port Harcourt last Monday.
The operation targeted criminal hideouts and resulted in the arrest of 31 male suspects, who are believed to be largely members of the notorious secret cults terrorising the neighbourhood.
For the past three weeks, the area had witnessed a spate of shootings, especially from Njemanze axis up to Mile 3, Diobu.
Confirming the raid to The Tide Metro, Police Public Relations Officer, Sp. Grace Iringe-Koko said the action of the police was to restore peace and security around the area.
She added that the suspects are being profiled, while investigations are ongoing, assuring that once it is completed, those found wanting would be charged to court.
Recall that a forthnight ago, Chairman of Rumuwoji Community Development Committee, Comrade Ike Wigodo raised an alarm over shootings, stealing and harassment of residents and businesses around the Rumuwoji and Mile One area.
Wigodo who made a plea to the police and government for intervention warned that if the situation was not arrested, it might lead to loss of live and property as well as disrupt business in the area, thereby inflicting economic hardship on residents who were already living in fear.
By: Kevin Nengia
Rivers Monarch Gets Staff Of Office As Community Celebrates
Umuokobo clan in Ndoki in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State was agog on Tuesday when the traditional ruler of the clan got elevated to a second class and was given staff of office by the Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
The people rolled out their drums to celebrate the milestone as Eze Nwankwo Nwankwo ,Ezeala Umuokobo Ndoki IX received his traditional staff of office from the Rivers State Government.
Governor, Wike on that day recognised and handed over staff of office to 33 Rivers State traditional rulers.
The people of Okobo clan comprise Umuagbai, Azuogu, Ngbuo- Azuogu, Obete, Marihu and Okpontu.
The fanfare started in Government House, Port Harcourt from where they accompanied Eze Nwankwo who received staff of office with drumming and dancing and proceeded to his palace at Umuokobo community in the local government.
The various roads linking the palace were blocked by the jubilant crowd of subjects and a local canon shot was fired on his arrival.
With the canon shot which heralded the historic welcome of the King, a fresh ceremony began in the palace as chiefs and traditional rulers took turns to pay obeisance.
On arrival, Eze Nwankwo and his jubilant crowd proceeded to the Methodist Church Nigeria, Umuagbai Ndoki to thank God .
In his brief sermon, the resident Minister, Rev. Okere Innocent urged Eze Nwankwo to serve God and do what is right at all times.
In his reaction, Eze Nwankwo thanked God for using the governor to actualise the dreams of his people.
Eze Nwankwo said “Today, we remain grateful to God for using Governor Wike to address justice, equity and fairness
“This stool in question has been since 1961 we had independence. It got docile after the Civil War and when Eastern States were created, it was not revalidated including when Imo State unlike other sister clans of Ndoki that had the privilege of classification by the then Eastern Nigeria under the leadership of Late Dr. Akanu Ibiam as Governor and Mbanefo as the Attorney General ,” Eze Nwankwo recalled.
In Rivers State, he lamented that it was not also revalidated until God used Governor Wike to rewrite the past.
He said, “Governor Wike in his wisdom knew it is an old ancestral stool that was created a year after the independence of Nigeria and he has deemed it worthwhile to now give it an official recognition.
He thanked God for giving the clan a sense of belonging in Rivers State and Nigeria in general.
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