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Niger Delta

Forum Unveils Vision, Commends Diri On Project Execution 

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A group, the Bayelsa State Founding Fathers Forum (BSFFF) has vowed to continually pursue the vision behind the struggle for the creation of the State.
Chairman of the forum, Sir Itelemo Frank Omiebi, stated this yesterday during an interview with The Tide in Yenagoa, the State Capital.
He said though the BSFFF has reservations about recent calls on its leadership to speak up against perceived marginalisation of the State by the Federal Government and associated MDAs, he noted that there is the general notion that the forum was made up of responsible, patriotic and capable statesmen in their own right.
The Tide learnt that the BSFFF is a group of statesmen of the Ijaw extraction, mostly of Bayelsa origin, who played prominent roles in the struggle for the creation of the State out of the Old Rivers State in 1996 under the late Genenera Sani Abacha military junta.
Omiebi disclosed that though as statesmen, the forum for sometime decided to keep mum on certain issues to avoid unnecessary heating of the polity, the rationale behind the convocation of the forum, he said, stemmed from the need to create a homogeneous Ijaw state out of the Old Rivers State which the forum has achieved far back in 1996.
He, however, stated that while issues bordering on marginalisation of the State were worrisome, the forum had continued to play an advisory role to successive administrations of the State.
“The vision of the BSFFF is tripartite: we’re to work towards the creation of an egalitarian State capable of raising committed, responsible and patriotic leaders.
“The forum is also to effect overall infrastructural and sectoral development of the State, and to promote human capital development with particular reference to education, so as to reverse our disadvantaged State in the comity of States in Nigeria”, the forum said.
The chairman also noted that there were consummate professionals from all walks of life willing to render needed support and services to the State in the group whenever they are consulted on matters affecting the development and well being of the State.
The forum’s leadership, which also bared its mind on the present administration of the State, described the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, as a bonafide member of the forum, saying the workings of his administration were in tandem with the vision of the forum.
“But we like to commend Governor Diri who himself is a member of the forum. The Governor has been  working according to the vision of the BSFFF in the provision of infrastructure and, in other areas of governance.
“We want to especially thank him for the peace we’ve in the State. And we also want to commend him for the security of lives and properties of citizens across the State”.

“On infrastructure, we want to thank Governor Diri for continuing the Senatorial roads projects in the state. These and many more were part of the vision of the forum”, the BSFFF leadership added.

Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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