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NSCDC Arrests 186 Over Oil Theft

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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

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Rebisi Natives Reminisce On Heritage

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It was supposed to be a book launch but fate turned it into a day of reminiscence for natives of Rebisi in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State.
For over 113 years when their great grandfathers ceded some parts of their land to colonial masters and named it after Sir Harcourt then Secretary of Colonies in 1913, natives of Port Harcourt became part of the new metropolis now called Port Harcourt.
According to Eze Apara Rebisi, HRM Isaiah Elekwu, about 25 square miles of their land were ceded to develop the new city which included a new port and railway at the time.
Fortunately, the book launch turned to a historical forum as speaker after speaker spoke of the past and the rich heritage bequeathed by their fathers.
It was this backdrop that made the paramount ruler of Port Harcourt, HRM Elekwu to charge historians to begin earnest documentation of Rebisi people as a way to preserve their heritage.
The royal father gave the charge during the launch and public presentation of the book, ‘Rebisi Natives of Port Harcourt: History and Developments’ written by Arthur Kalagbor held on Wednesday in Port Harcourt.
The monarch said intellectuals in the Kingdom should engage more in written than oral history, as he commended Kalagbor for leading the light in documenting his people.
He described the book as the beginning of a new era in Rebisi Kingdom and quest to ensure that there is cohesive and united front among the people.
Calling on elites in Rebisi to rise to the challenge of leadership, Eze Elekwu said time has come to save the future of the Kingdom.
Part of the charge by the Rebisi monarch was to make sure that the struggles of their great grand fathers were captured.
For instance, he recalled that while the 1913 agreement made both by Okrika and some Rebisi chiefs were rejected, the colonial authorities were forced into accepting it.
Earlier, Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Sunny Amadi said he was elated that a new awakening has started in Rebisi Kingdom with the book.
The university teacher however, advocated for a new economy for Rebisi as he called for use of estate development to drive future growth of the people.
“In his words, Today most parts of Rebisi have been overtaken by development and that is why I urge our people to see opportunities from the estate , and built environment to preserve the future of children.”
Reviewing the book, Dr Chris Akani described the work as historical legacy, that seeks to throw light on the ontology of the people.
He stated that the seven-chapter book with 106 pages is fluid and easy to read, with special focus on the origins of Rebisi people.
Akani added that, “it’s an exciting book that has come at the right time and I think the author should be given a resounding ovation”.
The book reviewer noted that the book is a response to the desire of indigenes to know their roots.
Following the expansion and migration by Rebisi children which included, Okuta. Abali; Ola Ekenigbo and others.
Said he, “Rebisi had four wives, and he was a young man aching for success. And so the children did not relent to expand like Orubom and Abali who were adventurous.”
The expansion according to the university don was as a result of wars and skirmishes and this took place between 1700- 1734. And this led to the conquer of Elekahia.
While launching the book, former House of Representatives member representing Port Harcourt Constituency, Hon. Ken Chikere described history as key to the future.
He said, “if we know our history, then, we will be fully guided.”
Hon. Chikere, a former Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General added,” “What is important is to know where you come from. We need to learn our history, so that no one writes our story for us.”
In his remarks, the book author, Arthur Kalagbor disclosed that the book is an outcome of a study group set up by Rebisi Monarch in 2014.
In the view of Kalagbor, the book is not a folklore, but rather a collation of oral history compiled and confirmed by various sources.
He said,” Even with the lack of reading culture, we still need to write with information that are verifiable and evidence-based.”
With the completion of the assignment to collate history of the Kingdom, he noted that he was compelled to expand the frontiers to cover other areas of culture and origins to educate the young generation.
Kalagbor reiterated that the book is dedicated to the future generations who have little knowledge of their history, and thanked royal fathers, and local sources for support, including former President of Ogbakor Ikwerre Organisation Worldwide, Prof. Otonti Nduka for writing the forward of the book.

Kevin Nengia

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Adaka Boro Day Lights Up PH

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Stretching from the old Port Harcourt Township down to D-Line, youths under the banner of Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) processed in colours of white, red and green to mark this year’s Adaka Boro Day.
By 8am yesterday morning, starting from Aggrey Road, down to Lagos Bus Stop, traffic built up to the gate of Government House, Port Harcourt, where the group took a break for a solidarity visit to the state governor, Sir. Siminalayi Fubara.
Chairman of IYC, Eastern Zone, Mr Tamuno Kpokpo, who led the procession and parade, spoke on why they visited the governor.
He said their visit is not an ethnic war but to lend support in protection of the interest and continuous development of Rivers State.
He assured that the group will stand to resist anybody or group of persons anywhere who dare to cause any distraction of governance anymore in the State, and appealed that the Governor be allowed to govern the State peacefully.
On his part, the National President of IYC, Mr Jonathan Lokpobiri, described the day as historic because Ijaw people were meeting with their governor on memorial of Major Isaac Adaka Boro.
Mr Lokpobiri said it affirms that the gods of Ijaw people are at work, and warned all detractors to retrace their steps, and allow the Governor, who has the full mandate of the people, to discharge his duties to Rivers people.
He commended Governor Fubara for his courage, bravery and commitment to good governance, insisting that his struggle and triumph resonate with the hope of all Ijaw people.
Addressing the youths, Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara acknowledged with delight the assurances of brotherly support from the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), and urged Ijaw Nation to key into the ongoing celebration of the liberation the State is enjoying now.
The solidarity walk was staged as part of activities to celebrate the heroic exploits of the late Major Isaac Adaka Boro, 56 years after his death, which is observed on 16th May every year.
Governor Fubara noted that Major Isaac Adaka Boro genuinely stood for equity, justice, and fair play, and pursued his cause to ensure liberation for the Ijaw people and their clans.
The Governor emphasised that every genuine Rivers man is a liberator, adding that he was delighted to receive them on such auspicious day to re-enact the common purpose of liberation that they shared.
Governor Fubara, who thanked the large crowd for their assurances of being available to respond to his call and stand by him, should the need arise, said there would not be any need to cause disruption of the peace, as according to him, the enemies of the State have been defeated already.
He said, “Because he stood for that unique thing, even after his death, we still celebrate him because he was a liberator.
“Every Rivers man, it doesn’t matter whether you are Ijaw or upland, the most important thing is that every genuine Rivers man must be a liberator.
“And I’m happy that you have come here today. I have also received you because we have one common purpose: to liberate our dear State. We are not going back on that.”
Governor Fubara said, “I am happy that you’ve told me this morning that when I call on you, you will respond. But there is nothing to call on you for. Because we have already defeated them.
“By the special grace of God, what they thought that they would have done to us while we were celebrating our one year in office, they are the ones sleeping with their two eyes open. It shows that we have the Ijaw blood. And what is that blood: it is the blood of action; less talk, more action.”
Governor Fubara appealed to Ijaw youths to conduct themselves peacefully as they celebrate the Major Isaac Adaka Boro Day, and also be good ambassadors of the entire Ijaw Nation.
He emphasised that it should be done in the same spirit that had enveloped the State now celebrating victory over his political detractors.
Governor Fubara promised to support the IYC Eastern Zone to have a befitting Secretariat in Rivers State.
Meanwhile, former Zonal Chairman of of IYC Western Zone, Comrade Kpemi Daubotei Eric decried the poor state of many Ijaw States in the federation.
Comrade Eric, who was part of the Boro Day procession said 56 years after, the struggle of late Major Boro has not been actualised.
He said,” We are still dancing,when we are supposed to be in sober reflection.”
The Ijaw youth leader said it was sad that after over 50 years, the vision and quest made by the late Ijaw hero have been swept aside for personal aggrandisement by those who supposed to push for the actualisation of a better Ijaw nation.
Eric insisted that” “We owe Boro a debt because the whole Niger Delta is backward.”
He condemned the activities of multinationals and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for falling short of expectations of the Ijaw people.
In the same light, Comrade Kpokpo reiterated Eric’s view, as he stressed that the legacy of the late Major Boro will not be swept away.
Kpokpo said the Boro Day is meant to draw attention to the yearnings of the people and to enliven the struggle by the Ijaws for a better polity.

Kevin Nengia

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When LG Workers Dazzled Fubara

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Members of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) drawn from the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State shut down traffic along the Aba Road through Azikiwe Road to Government House Drive recently in a solidarity visit to Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Apostle Clifford Paul, told the governor that they were on a Thank-You Rally to show appreciation for his love for the workers.
Apostle Paul stated that Governor Fubara has changed their fortunes and restored hope in them when he directed the payment of N30,000.00 minimum wage to the workers, and lifted the ban on promotion, which has now placed them at par with their counterparts across the country.
On his part, the Deputy General Secretary of NULGE, Comrade Ajewole Ayedele, who represented the National President, said they were delighted with the pro-people policies of Governor Fubara, particularly for ending the stagnancy and frustration workers suffered.
Comrade Ayedele assured the governor of the continued support of the union to his administration, both at state and national level.
“At our last NEC meeting, when he (State Chairman) was reporting to us that you have done series of things to local government staff, because from history, Rivers State has been a source of mockery to other states in Nigeria when it comes to welfare of local government staff.
“When he said it, somebody from the north said, that means this new governor has tried to part ways from what he met on ground, because we have been asking how on earth is it possible that workers will be on duty for eight years without promotion?
“But for your wisdom that you have done it for us, we too are going to reciprocate. And I want to assure you, Your Excellency, that anytime you call on us, we are going to come out enmasse to associate with you, to solidarise with you, to continue to pray for you, because of your commitment to our welfare and service,” the national officer added.
On his part, the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Alex Agwanwor, said workers have resolved to stand with Governor Fubara because he has demonstrated his love, put smiles on their faces and advanced the welfare and growth of the State.
Comrade Agwanwor warned that the NLC would not hesitate to occupy anywhere used by the Rivers State House of Assembly members led by Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, should they begin another impeachment proceeding against the governor.
He noted that in addition, organised labour would be forced to withdraw their members working with the lawmakers if they decide to throw caution to the wind.
Governor Fubara, who had received members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) from the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State on a solidarity rally at Government House Gate, in Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, said their large number further goes to prove the nature of the organic support his administration has continued to enjoy from the people of the state.
“Some days ago, somebody said we are busy renting crowd for thanksgiving. But what I have seen here today, it’s not different from what is happening at those thanksgiving rallies. People are just appreciating God and good governance.”
Governor Fubara stated that he was mindful of the legacy he would bequeath after his tenure, adding: “It should also be about the lives that have been touched genuinely; about the policies implemented without any inducement to better the lives of the people and the society.”
The governor urged the people to continue to support his administration, show understanding over actions taken, and obey the rules in a peaceful manner.
“When you are doing what is right, I will stand by you. Nobody, whether full or half is going to intimidate you. Brace up, I say brace up, because the next step, it will be fire for fire in Rivers State. Everything will be implemented.”
Governor Fubara said that already, local government workers have started receiving N30,000.00 minimum wage with promotion to be implemented beginning from April’s salary payment.
He also promised to set in motion plans to finalise modalities for the implementation of the Consolidated Salary Scale for Grade Level 17, and regular payment of benefits to the local government service retirees.
“For our people, the great and wonderful people of Rivers State, we will continue to lead you with the fear of God.
“Maturity is not about age, maturity is in the person. It is what defines the character of a person. I choose not to respond to people that I assumed are matured, but are obviously immature in attitude.
“I will continue to be mature, not minding my age, but I will not for any reason allow myself or anybody who is working with me in this administration to be messed with, maltreated or abused in the cause of administering this governance,” the Governor said.

Kevin Nengia

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