Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has urged the Federal Government to ensure sanity and reduce economic sabotage to the barest minimum in the oil and gas sector by locating and clamping down on the cartel engaged in crude oil theft.
Governor Fubara gave the charge while addressing the Joint Presidential Committee on Crude Oil Theft on facility visit to the Niger Delta, who paid him a courtesy call in Government House, Port Harcourt, on Saturday.
Governor Fubara said the clamp down on this powerful cartel and their syndicates will address the depletion of national resources and huge revenue losses as a result of illegal bunkering activities and pipelines vandalism.
The Governor faulted the placement of surveillance roles and oil pipelines security in the hands of individuals, noting that the approach has remained counter-productive, while recommending a more wholesome approach in which all critical stakeholders, including host communities, will be involved in the security of oil and gas assets to achieve positive results.
He said, “We’re one of the first States that was able to break the rank of illegal bunkering. My predecessor had a special team; he funded them and he fought the cabal. We’ve sustained that committee; we’ve been giving the necessary support to security agencies and it has been yielding results. What brings all these is unemployment and poverty.
“The big people in this business aren’t from here, they are those in Abuja who have licence to operate. If they are not encouraging it, I don’t think it will thrive. We need to work, not just on the locals, but also see what we can do to really clamp down on those big ones that sit in Abuja that are also part of this.”
Governor Fubara who restated the commitment of the Rivers State Government to fighillegal bunkering activities in the State, called on relevant agencies and stakeholders to join the fight against economic sabotage.
He decried the neglect of critical infrastructure in Rivers State, citing the deplorable state of the East-West Road which is yet to receive any attention from the Federal Government despite its strategic importance to the economic development of the country.
In his remarks, the National Security Adviser, Nuhu Ribadu, who led the delegation thanked the Governor for the audience, stating that the team was on a facility visit of the Niger Delta to ascertain the state of activities in the oil rich region.
He said beyond the resources in the region, the Niger Delta deserves peace and a better standard of living, and assured the commitment of the Federal Government towards the challenges of insecurity in the region.
Also speaking, the Minister of Defence, Mohammed Bagudu said the team had the marching order of the President to visit facilities in the Niger Delta and work with the states to promote peace in the region and ensure that national assets are protected.
On Friday, Governor Fubara condemned the recent robbery attack and molestation of students at the Rivers State university, assuring that proper investigation will be done on the matter to bring the perpetrators to book.
Speaking to newsmen at Government Secondary School, Eneka, shortly after the inspection of ongoing projects in parts of the state ahead of the celebration of his 100 days in office, Governor Fubara frowned at the security lapses in the institution which paved way for the attack.
He said, “I heard what happened in the Rivers State University this morning, it’s not an issue that we should be talking about in this jet age, people invading campuses to molest students; we aren’t going to treat it with kid gloves, it’s something that I’ve to take seriously. I’ll be there to see what the school authority is doing about the security of the students.”
Addressing the students community during a solidarity visit and fact-finding on the unfortunate incident in the school, the Governor who empathised with the victims, assured them of proper medical attention, stating that the security of the students would not be compromised.
Governor Fubara, who inspected projects in four local government area of Eleme, Oyigbo,Tai and Obio Akpor in company of the Commissioner for Works, Dr Alabo George- Kelly, and the Commissioner for Education, Prof Chinedu Mmom expressed satisfaction over the pace of work done by the contractors handling the various projects.
He said the old Bori road connecting Ogoni, Andoni and Opobo will be flagged off for reconstruction during his 100 days in office celebration.
Projects inspected included Comprehensive Secondary School, Alesa Eleme in Eleme LGA; Botem, Gbeneue, Horo Road in Tai Local Governent Area; Government Secondary School, Koroma, also in Tai LGA; Okoloama-Afam Road in Oyigbo LGA and Government Secondary School, Eneka in Obio /Akpor LGA.
By: Beemene Taneh
Ex-Women Affairs Minister, Tallen Felicitates Tinubu’s Wife @ 63
Former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Dame Pauline Tallen, has felicitated First Lady, Sen. Remi Tinubu on the occasion of her 63rd birthday.
Tallen, who congratulated the President’s wife in a statement on Friday in Abuja, eulogised the First Lady, who she described as “a rare gem and rare gift to the nation.”
She prayed for more years of God’s exceeding grace on Mrs Tinubu, describing her as extremely humane, an epitome of humility and an indispensable strong pillar of support to her husband.
Tallen said, “Your Excellency, on this milestone and auspicious occasion of your 63rd birthday, I join millions of your well-wishers across the globe, especially the womenfolk, to celebrate with you, while thanking God for His exceeding grace upon you, while wishing you the best that life can offer in the many decades ahead.
“As a wife, mother, fervent preacher of the gospel, as well as an iconic political leader, who exemplifies the struggle for women in politics, you will remain a veritable source of inspiration and pride for women for generations yet unborn.
“Indeed, we could not have asked God for a better First Lady at this time, considering your rare track record of achievements, as your life has been a gift, not just to Nigerian women after your breaking of many barriers for women and setting a perfect example for young girls over the years.”
The former Deputy Governor of Plateau and one-time Minister of State, Science and Technology, said that the people of Plateau would remain eternally grateful to Mrs Tinubu, particularly for her recent visit to the state and donation of a whooping sum of N500 million to families of crisis victims in the state.
She said that through her Renewed Hope Initiative, as Nigeria’s First Lady, Mrs Tinubu has demonstrated her empathy, humanity and philanthropic gesture by pursuing the well-being of others with unquantifiable compassion and zeal to help the less privileged, the challenged and those in need.
Tallen, therefore, prayed for long life, good health, increased grace and wisdom for the First Lady and her entire family.
Tani Olorun Not Against Out-Of-Court Settlement, Says Lawyer
The legal team of embattled Isese advocate in Ilorin, Kwara State, Abdulazeez Adegbola, alias Tani Olorun, has said they are open to an out-of-court settlement of the case of criminal defamation brought against him by the police.
Tani Olorun’s lead counsel, Ademola Bank, disclosed this in an interview with The Tide source.
Tani Olorun is standing trial on five counts of alleged criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbance, disturbance of public peace, criminal defamation of character, and intentional insult before a Kwara Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Ilorin.
In a separate case, he is also standing trial before the Kwara Upper Area Court sitting in Ilorin, alongside the Oluwo Nla of Tede, Chief Ademola Olawoore.
The offence, according to the prosecution, was contrary to sections 97, 210, 392, and 114 of the Penal Code Law of Nigeria.
Speaking in an interview with our source in Ilorin on Saturday, Tani Olorun’s lead counsel, Bank, said, “If an agreement for an out-of-court settlement comes up, why are we not to agree? The court allows it, the law allows it, and wisdom allows it. The law does not frown on it, the court does not frown on it, and wisdom does not frown on it. Parties can agree to an out-of-court settlement at any time. If it comes, so be it, if the situation allows it.”
He was, however, silent on whether the agreement for an out-of-court settlement would come from the defendant, saying, “It is the situation that dictates it. If it comes from the parties, we will not stand against it. The lawyer will not stand against it. No lawyer will oppose any bid for settlement by parties; it is for peace to reign.”
I’m Not Afraid Of Appeal – Gawuna
The All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate in the March 18 governorship election in Kano State, Nasir Yusuf Gawuna, has said he is unafraid of the appeal challenging his victory at the tribunal.
The Kano Governorship Election Petition Tribunal had, last Wednesday, declared the APC candidate winner of the election and sacked Governor Abba Kabir Yusuf.
The three-man panel ordered a certificate of return to be issued to Gawuna and the withdrawal of a certificate of return presented to Yusuf.
The court noted that ballot papers of 165,663 votes were not stamped or signed and, therefore, were invalid and deducted the 165,663 votes from Yusuf’s total.
Speaking with BBC Hausa in an interview while commenting on the tribunal judgment, Gawuna said, “I am grateful to Allah for our victory in the Kano State election, which was affirmed by the court today (Wednesday). I thank Him for His will, which chose us to lead. I also thank our lawyers and the general public for their prayers and support.”
He noted that the New Nigeria Peoples Party (NNPP) was initially declared the winner of the election but believed that Allah had already decided the outcome, saying they had the right to challenge the results in court, and they did so.
Gawuna said that anyone who believes that nothing happens without Allah’s will will never worry or take governance as a do-or-die affair, stressing that whatever happens to them, they believe it is the will of Allah.
According to him, “We are not intimidated or afraid, because we know that whatever happens is for the best. Allah never makes mistakes.”
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