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Niger Delta

Diri Tasks FG On Maritime Assets Protection Policy

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The Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has called on the Federal Government to review its policy of using non-state actors in its effort to secure the maritime environment of the country.
Senator Diri,who expressed concern that the continued use of such unconventional security agents might cause greater security challenges in the near future, called for the strengthening of the Nigerian Navy to perform its constitutional responsibility.
He made the call Monday during a courtesy visit by the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogala, at Government House in Yenagoa.
The Bayelsa Chief Executive who was represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, stressed that private individuals and groups should not be allowed to execute oil pipelines surveillance and protection contracts independent of the supervision of conventional security agencies.
He pointed out that safeguarding the nation’s territorial waters is the exclusive preserve of the Navy and should be supported in every way possible to enable it effectively secure oil and other critical national assets in coastal communities.
According to him, ‘already there had been reported cases of violation of human rights and security breaches by surveillance contractors in local communities around the state.”
The governor used the opportunity to commend officers and men of the Nigerian Navy serving in the state for demonstrating professionalism in discharging their official duties, which he noted, had helped Bayelsa to remain one of the most peaceful states in the country.
While calling on the Navy to sustain the tempo, Governor Diri suggested to the Chief of Naval Staff to give official recognition and rewards to the officers for their professional efficiency so far.
“The cry of the Bayelsa State Government is that non-state actors are not the best to protect our oil assets. In the name of oil pipeline protection contracts, most of them violate the rights of our people in our localities.
“Let us not do things that we will regret as a country tomorrow. What the Federal Government is doing right now is like cutting the nose to spice the face.
“You don’t need to cut off your head because you have rotten teeth. You simply look for took brush. You will be surprised that we will get to a point where some of these non-state actors will start to challenge is.
“I will suggest that the Nigerian Navy should be allowed to play that role to protect our critical oil assets. The Federal Government should therefore rejig or reinvent its security strategy to securing these assets”, he said.
“Bayelsa State and the Nigerian Navy are one. The Navy is part of us, and we are part of the Navy.
“The naval officers in Bayelsa State are very professional in their duties. I’ve to commend them for that. They’ve helped make Bayelsa one of the safest states in Nigeria.
“The Navy should give these officers an official recognition and reward them accordingly for their high professional efficiency”, he added.
Earlier in his remarks, the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Emmanuel Ogala, said the Nigerian Navy could not do without Bayelsa State in view of the state’s strategic location and the critical oil and gas facilities it is hosting in the Niger Delta.
Admiral Ogala, who described the recent electoral victory of the Governor and his Deputy as a true victory for the people of Bayelsa, appealed to the Government and people of the state to sustain their goodwill towards the Navy for better services.
The Chief of Naval Staff particularly called on oil bearing communities to see the Navy as a friend and to show cooperation in the provision of credible information to curb criminality in the state.
“Your victory is a victory for the people of Bayelsa State. You’ve done well in your first term and you will even do more in your second term.
“Bayelsa and the Nigerian are partners because Bayelsa is in the core of the Niger Delta. Bayelsa holds a lot of resources in oil and gas, and the protection of these assets is a key role of the Navy.
“The Navy’s duty is to create an enabling environment for the oil companies to produce their maximum output, and there has been significant improvement so far in the last six months.
“This is possible with the cooperation of the Bayelsa State Government and the people; the Bayelsa State Government has also provided resources to the Navy. So we have a cordial relationship with the oil-producing communities, and we need more cooperation in intelligence and information to curb criminality around the facilities”, Admiral Ogala added.
The Tide reports that on the entourage of the Chief of Naval Staff’s visit were several top-ranking naval officers, including the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral S.J, Bura, and the Commander of NNS Soroh, Commodore A.O. Ojebode.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Ibom Developers Prioritise Health Through Medical Outreach Programmes In A’Ibom

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On February 6 and 7, 2024, Ibom Developers took a significant step towards improving the health and well-being of residents in the Ikot Okwo, Ikot Ikwot, and Ndauku communities of Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State through its two-day comprehensive medical outreach programmes. Operating under the theme ‘Good Health Your Greatest Asset,’ the initiative’s primary goal is to facilitate the early resolution of community health issues, recognising the pivotal role that timely intervention plays in safeguarding the overall well-being of the community.
Good health is vital for the sustainable development of host communities, serving as a foundation for economic and social progress.
A healthy population is more productive, enabling greater workforce participation. Sound health reduces healthcare costs, encouraging economic stability. Socially, it enhances the quality of life, ensuring communities thrive.
Speaking at the events, Mrs. Dorothy Akpan Robert said, ‘‘Our community is grateful for this generous gesture, and we sincerely acknowledge Ibom Developers’ dedicated efforts and compassion. This initiative by the company empowers the community by fostering a culture of health consciousness and preventive care.’’
Public health involves preventing diseases, promoting health, educating communities, providing healthcare access, maintaining a healthy environment, and being prepared for emergencies. This helps build resilient communities, a priority for the company.
Also speaking, Chief Ukpe Uyo Amanama said, ‘‘Ibom Developers’ medical outreach programme is a testament to the transformative impact that community-driven health initiatives can have on the lives of individuals and the health landscape of a region.’’
The medical camps, conducted by Ibom Developers, targeted prevalent health concerns in the region, addressing key diseases that have a substantial impact on the communities, such as malaria, typhoid, blood pressure, cough, and skin rashes. Medical supplies were provided during the medical outreach programmes. Sugar tests were also conducted given the increasing rates of diabetes in the region. Those diagnosed were provided with guidance on lifestyle changes.
Dignitaries present at the programme were Mrs. Dorothy Akpan Robert – Women Leader, Ndauku Community; Prince Felix Albert – Vice Council Secretary, Ndauku Community; Chief Happy Negro Dickson – Compound Head of Dickson Family, Ndauku Community; Chief Akpan Amos – Compound Head of Ikot Esighe Family, Ndauku Community; Chief Akpan Amos – Compound Head of Ikot Esighe Family, Ndauku Community; Chief Ufot Frank Udoekpo – Compound Head of Udoekpo Family, Ndauku .

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Niger Delta

Edo Labour Party Aspirant Writes INEC Over Party Congress

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Labour Party (LP )aspirant for the Edo State governorship election, Olumide Akpata has said the political party is not ready for its primary poll.
The former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA), said this in a letter dated February 18 and addressed to Mahmood Yakubu, Chairman of the Independent National ELectoral Commission (IINEC) and alleged that the party leadership is plotting to handpick a candidate for the election.
It would be noted that the Labour Party had initially fixed February 22 as the date for the conduct of its primary but later shifted it to February 23.
The letter reads, “i write to you in my capacity as an aspirant for the Edo State gubernatorial ticket on the platform of the Labour Party.
“The purpose of this letter is to bring to your attention the lack of preparedness and transparency surrounding the labour party’s planned primaries to produce a gubernatorial candidate for the forthcoming gubernatorial elections in edo state.
“As you are aware, the Electoral Act 2022 mandates political parties to conduct transparent primaries to produce candidates and also mandates the Independent National Electoral Commission (“INEC” or “the commission”) to stipulate timelines for conducting these primaries.
“Numerous aspirants, including myself, have observed with dismay the conspicuous absence of transparency in the process, which has led to a mass exodus of aspirants from the race.
“All of the aspirants, without exception, who have withdrawn from the process so far, have voiced concerns about its undemocratic nature.
“While some have diplomatically cited “personal reasons” for withdrawing, others have been more forthcoming in directly alleging that the party leadership plans to handpick a preferred aspirant regardless of the outcome of any primaries held.”
Akpata added that his attempts to get the leadership of the party to provide accountability fell on deaf ears.
“I have become constrained to speak out at this point because my repeated attempts to get the party leadership to see reason and provide transparency around preparations for the primaries have failed to elicit any positive response.
“Rather, my candid inquiries have been met with disdain and an attempt to bully me into silence.
“I am aware that INEC has demonstrated courage in the past to stand on the side of due process in political parties and entrench internal party democracy. the LP’s primaries in Edo State provide you with another opportunity to walk the talk.
“Mr Chairman, if things go awry, it could result in pre-election disputes to which INEC will inevitably be joined as a necessary party, thereby tying down its already meagre resources and leaving the commission to grapple with yet another unnecessary and avoidable display that could have been averted had the right thing been done and the warning signs heeded.”

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Niger Delta

Gunmen Shoot Dead Councillor In Delta As Police Launch Manhunt

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A Councillor representing Owhase Ward in the Udu Local Government Area Legislative Council, Delta State, identified as Honourable Festus, has been shot dead by unknown gunmen.
The Tide’s source gathered that the councillor was shot in the head by gunmen on Monday at his residence.
The source who confirmed the incident to our source said his death was related to cult activities.
The State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), DSP Bright Edafe, who also confirmed the incident stated that the police had begun intense discreet investigation and manhunt of the assailants.
“Yes one Festus was shot on his head by unknown assailants, the wife informed the brother. We are searching for his killers,” Edafe said.

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