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SGF Mustapha Confirms North-East Development Commission To Take Off With N55bn

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 5:05am


Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), has said that the North-East Development Commission (NEDC) is due to take off with the sum of N55 billion.

At a parley with newsmen in Yola, Sunday night, Boss gave the figures and said "NEDC was created to address developmental challenges occasioned by the negative impact of Boko Haram activities in the North-East".

Detailing breakdown of the figure, the SGF said the sum of N10 billion was earmarked for the take-off of the NEDC; while N45 billion is the commission's budgetary allocation for the year 2019. "Gen. Paul Tarafa, who hails from Adamawa State, has been appointed to chair the commission," he added.

He said preparations for the commission's take-off were in the final stages, as "the Nigerian Senate is due to approve members of the board of management before the month of March lapses".

Mustapha further said the Buhari-led administration has taken far-reaching steps to ameliorate the suffering of the people of the North-East region ravaged by insurgency.

The steps, according to him, include the construction of dual carriage way from Abuja to Yola, through Gombe and "a standard gauge rail line to link state capitals in the region".

Mustapha also bared his mind on a wide range of issues, including the ruling party's poor performance in Adamawa State in thepresidential and national assembly elections, as well as the raging conflict within the party at the state level.

"I think the APC did not perform woefully as you have asserted. On the contrary we have done very well," he said.

"Don't forget that Atiku Abubakar, the PDP candidate, is from this state; besides, you're talking about an Atiku who has been the Vice President for eight years, with political experience spanning well over 20 years.

"I think it is only proper to commend our performance in Adamawa and to say instead, that Atiku has managed to win his home state with a slim margin of just about 30,000 votes", he said.

Boss therefore expressed confidence that his party, the APC, would retain power in the state, saying: "Let me assure you that feuding parties within our top echelons have closed ranks, and you'll see that at work next Saturday."

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What Can Buhari Do Differently In His Second Coming? By Ogochukwu Paul

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 4:50am


In 2015, there were much high hopes from a lot of Nigerians especially common Nigerians when Muhammadu Buhari for the first time emerged the president of Nigeria. He contested as the presidential flag bearer for the APC - a new opposition party formed on a string of mergers in other to have a strong base to wrestle power from the PDP. The high hopes were as a result of the certainty that his presidency was going to do a lot of great things. Most Nigerians believed that he was going to turn things round for them. That he would abate their sufferings. The root for such beliefs was that he was a man of integrity and honesty. It was the belief that he wouldn’t act like the typical Nigerian political office holders who take to enriching themselves and their family and friends with the largesse of the populace. 

For these reasons, when he won the February 2015 election against former President Goodluck Jonathan – then incumbent president whom Nigerians thought was weak willed and clueless, there were huge expectations placed in him by Nigerians– who voted him into power. Even more rightly so because the party upon which he was elected chanted “change” to signify that they would change for good the lives of Nigerians who were rightly disgruntled and desperate to do way away with the clueless and corruption infested government of Jonathan.  Buhari was the man who prior to that winning the 2015 election had contested 3 times but couldn’t pull through to the winners’ side. But succeeded on the fourth try.  He is now has a second term to do. He was re-elected on Saturday 23rd February 2019. This is his second coming. Did he meet the expectations of Nigerians in his first term? If he didn’t, how can he do better now that he is back for a second term?  While I will go on to name some of those expectations and juxtapose it with his performance in his first term, I will also communicate what he can do differently now. Come with me. 

One, is his promise that he was going to fight corruption to a standstill. If you are conversant with the affairs of Nigeria, you will wholeheartedly agree with me it is easier to steal from government than it is to greet your neighbor good morning. You will agree with me that we are a country known worldwide for being very corrupt. We have consistently been within the top most number on the list of Transparency International as a corrupt country. No thanks to public office holders who brazenly steal public funds and engage in other nefarious activities that are corrupt. What is most worrisome is the little or no consequences for their unworthy actions. Their unworthy actions have left Nigerians poor and were in the most desperate need for a saviour to salvage their situation. This is was why a lot of people expected that Buhari was the right man for the job - to fight corruption. This was the man who has an untainted public life and with the Mr Integrity tag. He is widely known to pursue a sparse lifestyle. He is the man that abhors ostentatious living. Looking at these credentials, one would think that he would make mincemeat of corruption in his first term. He didn’t.

Buhari showed to be selective in his war against corruption. He was quick to order the EFCC to jail his enemies and leave out his friends even when the both sides are culpable of the same crime of public pilfering. Take the case of Babachir Lawal, the former SGF – investigation had proved he made unholy big cuts from a contract job. Yet he was living and working with the president who pretended not to have known about his SGF’s lootings. Lawal would later be suspended by the vice president in the absence of Buhari who had gone on medical leave in the UK. So much for a man who is reputed with integrity. His government has shown to welcome corrupt persons who are undergoing trial in course cases filed by the EFCC. Once they join his party, the APC, they become saints whose old sins have been washed away. If you think I am making this up, try to find out the party upon which Orji Uzor Kalu has been elected senator despite still undergoing trial for the humongous sum he is alleged to have stolen from Abia state when he was governor. Orji Uzor Kalu is not the only example in this kind of matter. There is Abdulrasheed Maina. Remember him? The guy who is alleged to have stolen millions of pensioners money. He is here with us, free and living a beautiful life with stolen funds. He has gone to do a newspaper advert congratulating Buhari on his re-election. Well, I’m hoping that in this second coming of the president, he will do away with partial treatment by allowing justice to take course on both his foes and friends found to be corrupt. There should be that official and unofficial non-interference with the work the EFCC do that goes beyond media trial. Buhari should fight corruption this time around for real regardless of who is involved.

Two, is the poverty level of Nigerians – a sad reality he had promise to eradicate when he becomes president. The majority of folks in this country are common people living life on the grind mill. I know I am a wailer. I have been wailing ad infinitum about the level of desperate hunger and poverty that Nigerians grapple with. And this is something that doesn’t have to be. It is largely due to bad leadership. Our political leaders are perpetual selfish folks who are more concerned with feeling up their pockets than offering any bit of selfless service. Nigerians are constantly trying to egg out a living on some government policies that does not want them to live. Take for instance, you are a small business owner trying to do business and earn a living and hopefully expand within reasonable time and employ people, the business policy here will suffocate the life out of your growing business. The amount of money small business owners are mandated to pay regulators is outrageous and overbearing. I feel the taxes and levies they charge all in the name of ensuring best practices are purposely designed to make sure that SMEs do not survive beyond one year of doing business and this is a fact. Statistics show that SMEs die within their first year of operation. And this is due to the harsh business climate here. I’m not saying the government shouldn’t do their job but what the heck is that job when the businesses you are regulating die off within a short period? 

How can Buhari in this his second coming change this? I would propose that he engages his policy makers in charge of business agencies to demystify the harsh reality of doing business here. There is a way to carry out and sustain regulations without stuffing the business life out of your people. The ease of doing business is something that must be pursued. SMSE are the drivers of the economy. The United States which we all envy was built and is being sustained by the private sector business which provides jobs more than the government. I ask that Buhari this time will marshal out and implement policies that are business friendly so that a lot of Nigerians can be lifted out of poverty into prosperity removing us from the status of the country with highest number of poor people in the world – an undignified status that we got in his first term as president. I hope this time around, he would change that status.

Three, is the insecurity imbroglio which was a major concern for Nigerians before Buhari became president. The Boko haram menace was one of the main reason Nigerians vote in Buhari in 2015. He had made it a key campaign promise to tackle the security challenges. He vowed to decimate Boko Haram. But did live true to this promise in his first term? No! We have had more deaths of innocent Nigerians from Boko Haram and herdsmen and farmers clash than we had during his predecessor. We are worse of now with the terror of the evil group. Some International organizations who were providing voluntary humanitarian services have excused themselves from the northeast and left for their countries due to the escalation of the crises. It is in the news that the terrorist agents executed Hauwa Liman and Saifura Ahmed, two nurses with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). Alice Ngaddah, another aid worker and Leah Sharibu –a young high school girl are still in the enclave of Boko Haram. As long as the both of them are still with their abductors, this government remains a big failure in eliminating Boko Haram. 

Four, is the reputation he gained for nepotism and disunity. Just few weeks into his presidency, in a question and answer session on running an inclusive government, he blurted out that no one should expect him to treat 97% vs. 5% in the same way. 97% being his northern people who had given him the largest block of votes to ensure his victory while 7% being the southeast. One would think it was a spur of the moment reaction and that he would reflect on that statement and not act accordingly.  It wasn’t to be. He acted those words in his political appointments – giving a huge chunk to people from his side of origin. He appointed only his northern people in all the security positions against the principles of federal character which idea is to engage all the regions of Nigeria in federal appointments. Buhari with this sort of action showed himself a nepotistic and divisive person rather than a president who should operate on democratic principles of government of the people, by the people and for the people.  Can Buhari change his bias and partiality this time around? I would say yes. He can make a difference by giving qualified and competent people from all the regions the chance to serve their country in positions that are available. Buhari can strive to strengthen the unity of a country that already has the elements of war by being fair and just to all Nigerians irrespective of ethnicity and religion. I hope he does things differently in this second term – another four years. This is a second chance and many are not given second chances, but he has it. Let’s see what he makes of it – for better or for worse? The world is watching. Nigerians are watching.

 

Ogochukwu Paul is on Twitter @Ogochukwu_Paull

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Why Buhari Should Sack Marilyn Amobi And Probe NBET By Godwin Onyeacholem

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 4:48am


Although she wears the look of an angel, what lies beneath the pleasant façade is the exact opposite. To say Dr. Marilyn Amobi, Managing Director/CEO of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc, is utterly imperious and saucy would be putting it mildly. Besides the abiding tyrannical behaviour and cheekiness, she is as Machiavellian as they come—ever contriving and plotting to have her way, and if not, take down anyone, staff or non-staff, perceived to be standing in the way of her often unfavourable and harmful style of running NBET. 

Those she can’t take down she dresses down conveniently with her blistering tongue, not minding whether she is answerable to them. Ask Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing under whose supervision NBET falls, and Louis Edozien, the permanent secretary.

If she once stood toe-to-toe with Fashola and told him he had better get it that she was as much an appointee of the Muhammadu Buhari government as he was, you can be sure that treating any other person who dare to ask hard questions about her role in NBET with worse humiliation would mean nothing to her. Last year, Samuel Tukura, Auditor General of the Federation, got a healthy dose of Amobi’s insult when he released the 2017 audit report that indicted her. On receiving the report, Amobi rushed to Auditor General’s office and thoroughly lambasted him in the presence of his directors. Some journalists and civil society activists would also easily recall sour experience with the NBET boss.

There is no doubt that under Amobi, NBET continues to stink with sickening revulsion. Tons upon tons of allegations, including mindless financial corruption, abuse of office, harassment of management and non-management staff, total disregard for due process and extant financial regulations are in the public domain. So disturbing are the scandals issuing from the office that Leaks.ng, a whistleblowing platform created by a coalition of media and civil society organizations, recently did a two-part investigative report highlighting the mind-boggling corruption and high-handedness allegedly perpetrated by Amobi.

In one of the multiple corruption allegations, Links.ng said it had obtained documents showing that Amobi “fraudulently paid at least N2 billion to two power generating companies, Omotosho Electric Genco and Olorusogo Electric Company.” The report noted that, “these illegal payments wouldn’t have been possible without Ms Amobi’s insistence.” Also chronicled in the report were her illegal payments to law firms, illegal payments to a consultant, and transfer of staff without board’s approval. And when she was asked to respond to these allegations, she did not disappoint. She acted true to type, as expected, switching to the default mode of crooked responses and raining missiles of abuse on her interlocutor. The Leaks.ng reporter lives to tell the story.

Up until this moment, two officers of NBET who rather than co-operate with her in her corrupt activities chose to frustrate her efforts by acting as whistleblowers, are being punished for doing the right thing. Amobi has removed Sambo Abdullahi, Deputy General Manager and Head of Internal Audit, and Waziri Bintube, General Manager and Chief Finance Officer, from their duties and brought in staff from the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation to do their work. Both have also been denied their salaries and other entitlements since December 2017. 

Although Sambo still goes to the office daily, he does no work and this year in furtherance of the reprisal, there would be no annual leave for him. Waziri, on his part, has stopped reporting at the office since he learnt one morning that Amobi had come with the police to the office to arrest him. As they closed from work one evening in July 2018, he and Sambo were summoned to the DSS headquarters and detained for 24 hours, after being confronted with the petition they had earlier written against their boss.  Perhaps, with the memory of that horrific experience still lingering, Waziri decided it’s better for him not to come anywhere near the office.

But Amobi isn’t ready to relax the screw on these officers just yet. She has refused to comply with at least two directives from the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing asking her to treat these officers like the other staff, return them to their duty posts and pay them their salaries and other benefits. These directives, issued separately on February 6 and March 20, 2018, followed the report of an investigative committee ordered by Fashola which considered the petition of the victimized officers.  

Truth is, in the reckoning of the NBET boss, Fashola does not exist, let alone a report of the committee he initiated. On this NBET crisis, there is hardly anybody Ms Amobi has not attempted to compromise, including Ahmed Isa of the Human Rights (Brekete) Radio, who is determined to unravel the truth despite sustained underground efforts to get him to back down. By letter and through radio announcement, Isa had invited Amobi many times to come state her case, but she has refused to honour the invitation. It is the natural disposition of somebody who has something to hide. 

This is revealed by her hiring of public relations consultants and recruitment of influential personalities and activists to help put in good word and shore up her public image. In some government offices where the petition by the two whistleblowers had surfaced—Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), for example—she is getting willing collaborators to help do some cover-up, such as the advertorial NERC shamelessly published in some national newspapers last week. 

At this point, therefore, it is important to remark that for Dr. Marilyn Amobi to be this audaciously disrespectful of her superiors, brazenly defying orders from her immediate boss and flouting institutional rules and regulations at will, she must be riding on the back of a higher force or forces, not anywhere else but somewhere in the presidency or close to it. Although the name of the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, has popped up in the public as her “godfather,” Amobi herself has been heard on occasions dropping the name of the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, in a manner suggesting that the VP fully endorses her work.

Whoever Amobi’s backer(s) is/are, it is unlikely to include President Muhammadu Buhari who has used every opportunity to restate his resolve to fight corruption with renewed determination. The president must realize that corruption in the energy sector is symbolized in large part by the rot in NBET under its current leadership. And the apparent unwillingness to confront it with courage, among others, is one of the reasons the anti-corruption war has been described as ineffective in some quarters. 

In one of his outings in the aftermath of his recent re-election for a second term as president, Buhari had urged Nigerians to brace up for tougher years ahead. More than anything on his plate, that toughness should be seen henceforth in the manner he deals with corruption on all fronts, and NBET presents him with a golden opportunity to wield the big stick. He should kickstart his stated resolve to sink his teeth deeper into corruption by immediately sacking Amobi and initiating a public investigation to expose the rot Amobi has been fighting hard to hide. 

But before then, Buhari should direct immediate compliance with the directive of the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing as it concerns the whistleblowers. It’s the least he can do if his administration is serious about encouraging citizens to report corruption. 

Godwin Onyeacholem can be reached through gonyeacholem@gmail.com

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Jumped Or Dumped In Lagoon? Controversy Over Death Of Lagos Uber Driver

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 4:12am



Mr. Adekunle Tade when he was alive

Adekunle Tade, a Lagos Uber driver who was declared missing by his wife in December 2018, has been mysteriously found dead in a lagoon at Lekki, Lagos State.

According to the Mrs Adeola Tade, wife of the deceased, the 38-year-old man was a victim of armed robbers who snatched his car from him at gunpoint along Ikeja airport road in December.

The late driver was said to have reported the case at the Police station nearest to the robbery scene. The following day when the husband and his friend, who is also a driver, went to inform Mrs Andry Nwokedi, the owner of the vehicle about the theft, he was detained and tortured mercilessly and his family never heard from him again until his body was found in the lagoon.

Mrs Tade said when she contacted the woman who owns the stolen car to know the whereabouts of her husband, the woman warned her not to ever "call the number again" and that she should “go to blazes”. Mrs Andry also told the wife of the deceased that her husband had jumped into the lagoon while they were taking him to the Police Station.

Meanwhile, Kehinde Olatono, the Uber driver who accompanied the deceased to his vehicle owner's house, claimed he heard some strange noise inside the house while waiting for his friend outside and that he ran to see what was happening but was shocked to see his friend being tortured on a bare floor and had to "run for his dear life”.

A close relation of the deceased, who preferred not to be named, expressed his suspicion on the claim of the vehicle owner, stating that the driver could not have jumped into the lagoon.

He said: "My suspicion is that Adekunle could not have been so daft. He could not have jumped inside the river, although the lady alleged that he ran into the river while they were taking him to the Police. There is no way he could have jumped into the river just because they are taking him to the police station. My suspicion is that he must have been beaten to a coma, possibly he had died while he was with them before they now cooked up the story.

“There is no way somebody that had been physically weakened, according to the report we have, would have jumped out of a moving car. I think it was when they had beaten him and they didn't know what to do that the woman had to go and drop the body into the lagoon."

He, however, added that "the picture of the dead body where the body was claimed to have been recovered did not look like a body that had been in water for three days."

SaharaReporters tried several times to hear the vehicle owner's side of the story so as to find out what transpired between her and Mr Adekunle Tade, but all efforts proved abortive.

When contacted, she said she did not want to talk about anything that has to do with her former driver, Adekunle.

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EXCLUSIVE: Tinubu Bans Ajimobi From Appearing At APC Governorship Rallies

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 3:59am

Abiola Ajimobi, the outgoing Governor of Oyo State, can no longer attend governorship campaign events of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, SaharaReporters understands.

Ajimobi lost his Oyo South Senatorial District bid to Dr. Kola Balogun of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who polled 105,720 votes to Ajimobi’s 92,579 votes, meanwhile the other two senatorial slots were won by the APC. To worsen matters, of the five federal constituencies in Ajimobi’s Oyo South, APC won only one, while PDP has already won three and is set to claim the fourth when the election is concluded this weekend.

APC’s woeful outing in Ajimobi’s expected stronghold has prompted protests from party leaders, with Bola Tinubu, the National leader, now personally overseeing the campaigns in a desperate bid to prevent a potential surrendering of the governorship to the PDP. And one of what Tinubu has quickly done, apart from buying off Adebayo Alao-Akala’s candidature, is to ban Ajimobi from showing up at APC governorship campaign meetings involving Bayo Adelabu, the party’s candidate.

“The belief of Tinubu and other APC leaders is that it is Ajimobi that the people are angry with — not APC — therefore he should stay away from campaign activities,” an APC source very familiar with the development told SaharaReporters.

“The fear is that Ajimobi’s appearance at Adelabu’s campaign rallies will be damaging for the party. In fact, there is a jingle of the party begging the people, explaining that Ajimobi, not the party, is the fall guy. Since the presidential and national assembly elections, Adelabu has been campaigning on his own — without the Governor’s involvement.”

In the said jingle, listened to by SaharaReporters, APC “begged” all indigenes of the state in the name of God and in the names of prominent Yoruba sons such as Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, former Governor Bisi Akande and Tinubu. The party also mentioned President Muhammadu Buhari and Adams Oshiomhole as begging the people, and specifically censured Ajimobi for his pride in disrespecting the Olubadan of Ibadan, among many other offences.

With Alao-Akala’s withdrawal for Adelabu, Tinubu has already gained inroad into Ogbomosho, where the party could not campaign ahead of the February 23 elections.

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Let Somebody Tell Tinubu, The Thieving Iragbiji Migrant, That Lagos Belongs To All​ By Sanyaolu Juwon

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 2:54am


The February 23 Presidential election was by far one of the most desperately conducted elections in the history of Nigeria Democracy. It may infact be ranked as the worst election ever. This was an election that was conducted amidst unprecedented state aggression, physical and psychological intimidation. Complicated by a "shoot on sight order" issued by the presidency purportedly against ballot box snatchers, circumstances surrounding the conduct of the elections later revealed that the much touted shoot on sight was in fact meant to intimidate voters and enforce a voter apathy.

The elections witnessed unprecedented violence. In Lagos, the APC through theie "crime boss" Tinubu, with the aid of the bullion vans, used thugs to snatch ballot boxes, disrupt elections and foment violence. The bullets, stones and bottles that were flying around had no respect for your ethnic group or religious inclinations. They had no idea whether you were Igbo, Hausa, Yoruba or Efik. The "Lion of Buordillion" who may have mobilized them with the aid of the Bullion Vans didn't direct that they attack a specific ethno-religious group. They particularly intimidated anyone and everyone perceived to be against there desperation to cling onto power.

In all of the madness of this electoral violence, our lifeless Bubu eventually emerged amidst gross unpopularity. It wasn't long before he told Nigerians that the next four years would be tough. You and I should begin to wonder what the next four years would look like especially when the last four years were extremely hotter than hell. Well! We won't blame him. APC did told us they were taking us to the "next level" and for people who play video or phone games, you know the next level is always tougher. But you should also know that this "Next Level" has no respect for your ethno-religious sentiments, it does not know your tribe neither has it any respect for your religion. 

But you know what, in this same "next level", Tinubu and his rich friends/allies in the APC/PDP would live very fat on the sufferings of the Nigerian people.

As the gubernatorial election draws closer, the APC and their caged "Lion" in Burdillon have set out other machinations to intimidate voters and foment violence. In the presidential election, the callous method was a shoot on sight order. This time around, they intend to mobilize the instrument of ethnic sentiment. They intend to put together a drama of ethnic war, divide voters along ethnic lines and intimidate the Igbo population from voting.

Let someone please tell this "Iragbiji" man who now leaves in Buordillion (all thanks to stolen wealth) that Lagos belongs to all who reside in it and all those who intend to migrate to the state. Just like the other states in Nigeria, Lagos belongs to all Nigerians of all tribes, ethnicity and religion. Lagos belong to Lagosians and we are all Lagosians just as we are all Nigerians.

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Jay FM Reveals DSS Involvement In Shutdown Of Radio Station

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 2:45am


The management of Jay FM, Jos, has suggested that the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) connived with the Department of State Services (DSS) to completely shut down its broadcast operations in the state.

This was contained a press statement by the radio station on the closure order to the station by the NBC.

Addressing the press in Jos on Monday, Clinton Garuba, MD/CEO of the station, accused the NBC of intimidating its staff with the DSS.

Clinton also questioned the state chapter of the broadcasting commission on how it “unilaterally ordered the shutdown without approval from the national body”.

He said: “The Jos zonal office only said it has been directed that the station should shut down operations. To all discerning minds, this suggests that the directive may have been handed down from above, which in itself is an anomaly. The normal and usual process would have been for the zonal office to monitor, sanction, and report to the headquarters. But where the shutdown of Jay FM Jos is concerned, there are sound reasons to doubt if that is the case. To us this is a typical case of the voice of Jacob and the hands of Esau.

“On Thursday 28th February, 2019, at about 3pm, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) stormed our premises and demanded that the Station Manager, Mr. Mangna Yusuf Wamyil, must come with them to their office. Being that the Station Manager was not available at that time, they insisted that a senior staff must go with them. Hence, they took the Head of Engineering, Mr. Ojingwa Oji, who was eventually released around 5pm the same day on the condition that the Station Manager reports to their office the following day at 10:30am.

“On 1st March, 2019, the Station Manager reported to the DSS and was questioned about the robust coverage Jay FM gave to the impasse in Jos North Local Government Area, when results of the February 23rd presidential and National Assembly Elections were cancelled in Tudun Wada/Kabong Ward, which handed the APC an advantage over the PDP. The Station Manager was later released and asked to return with me, the Managing Director, by 5pm. We honoured the invitation.

“Even though our engagement with the DSS was civil, courteous, and respectful, we wonder what connection exists between the DSS and NBC as it relates to the shutting down of our Station. It is said that when the owl hoots at night, it is instant death for the newborn baby in the morning. When DSS questions us in the morning about election coverage in Jos North Local Government Area, and NBC shuts us down in the night, there must be something connecting the two.”

The MD/CEO of Jay FM, Jos, challenged the commission to give an instance where it breached the law and guidelines of the commission.

He continued: “While announcing sanctions meted to a cross section of media houses across the country on 1st March, 2018, the Director General of the NBC, Mallam Is’haq Modibo, while referring to Bishop David Abioye’s message, said Jay FM Jos was sanctioned for inciting broadcast by a preacher who moved away from religion into the arena of politics. That is the sanction of 16th February, 2019, which we complied with immediately when the commission drew our attention to it.

“So, for the NBC to punish us for the same breach a second time amounts to double jeopardy and that is not equity, neither is it justice. However, the question will be that between the 18th of February, 2019, when Jay FM was sanctioned and the 1st of March, 2019, when Jay FM was shut down, what exactly did Jay FM air to warrant a shutdown?”

The station appealed to the commission to reopen the station to enable them partake in the coverage of the governorship and state House of Assembly election slated for March 9, 2019.

The MD/CEO added that any issue with the radio station could be “settled administratively between Jay FM and the NBC without necessarily involving a third party”, adding that he had signed an undertaking with the DSS to ensure that broadcast by the radio will continue to promote peace on the Plateau and Nigeria in general.

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Do The Igbo And The Yoruba Know They Are Sons Of "Oduduwa"? By Fredrick Nwabufo

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 2:27am


Fredrick Nwabufo

And the Supreme Being commissioned Oduduwa, a "sky-god", to carry out a terrestrial task; he descended from heaven with a cockerel which had six fingers. And the earth was made by him through the ingenious deployment of his avian subject.  But that was after ‘Atewonro’ had sprinkled some dirt on the ocean to found Ile-Ife.  And he had wives, and sons who founded other kingdoms.  So the mythic origin of the Yoruba says.

In Igbo mythic origin, the Supreme Being sent Eri down to earth to establish balance and social order.  The "sky-god" founded Nri, and he had wives, and sons who founded other Igbo towns and communities.

The Yoruba and the Igbo share a lot more than similar mythic origins. They are the oldest inhabitants of the areas they live in. In other words, the Yoruba and the Igbo are indigenous to the geographical area called “Nigeria”. And it has also been argued that both groups are of a singular ancestry.

The two groups have had established trade-links dating to the period before contact with the first Europeans. And they are known to share passion for industry; are convivial, accommodating and peace loving.

Also, there is no documented history of war between the Igbo and the Yoruba despite occupying the same "southern hemisphere".In the precolonial times, wars among kingdoms and natives were common, but there appears to be no recorded incident of battle between the clans and kingdoms of the two groups.
In language, they are both of the Kwa-group Niger-Congo origin.  The similarities between the Yoruba and the Igbo language are remarkable, if not uncanny, which point to an identical fount.

Despite having so much in common, politics has been a pesky point of dissonance for both groups. Though the Igbo and the Yoruba do not have a romantic political history; they have kept the dagger away from their rivalry.

The outcome of the Western Region elections of 1951, in which Nnamdi Azikiwe claimed he was sabotaged by Obafemi Awolowo, perhaps laid the molten magma of political rivalry between the two groups.

Some associates of Azikiwe alleged that Awolowo, leader of the Action Group, bought over members of the NCNC, after they had won elections on the platform of the party in the western region, to scuttle Zik’s plan of being the leader of the regional assembly.

They also claimed that Awolowo scuttled Zik’s “one-Nigeria” agenda, and introduced tribal politics.

However, there is no proof to substantiate these claims. In fact, the allegation regarding Awolowo’s sabotage of Zik was disproved by the colonial government at the time.

So, over the years, stories have been revised and passed down to generations who do not probe the information but hold it as a grudge against the other.

Most young people trading hate on social media cannot actually say their grievance against those they are tugging with, except to echo the refrain of revised stories handed down to them and to act on stereotypes they have been socialised by.

But can the Igbo and the Yoruba ever unite? Yes, they can. And they will. There will come a time when there is no option, but for them to hold each other in a warm embrace as "descendants of sky-gods."

There will come that time.

 

Fredrick is a media personality.

Twitter: @FredrickNwabufo

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National Assembly To Investigate Election Postponement

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 2:24am


The Nigerian National Assembly says it would investigate the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over the postponement of the 2019 general election.

This was made known by Kabiru Gaya, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Works, on Sunday.

Gaya told State House correspondents at the weekend that INEC had no reason for the one-week postponement of the elections earlier slated for February 16. 

He also added that the postponement of the elections was responsible for the low voter turnout recorded across the country during the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.

He said: “We will call them, and we will investigate INEC for shifting the election because it caused poor turnout.

“We will find out the reason. If it is funding, we gave them enough funding; if it was issue of security, the security agencies were ready. So, why should INEC shift the elections? We are going to investigate that when we come back after the governorship election. But sadly, generally, they did what they could do. I could say, it’s a pass mark,” he said.

Gaya said even with the postponement of the elections, Kano State voters were able to troop out to vote massively for President Muhammadu Buhari.

“I could say that I am happy President Muhammadu Buhari is back and the election was peaceful and Kano State has delivered, even though the turnout was very poor. INEC shifted the elections and people thought that the election would be shifted again and they couldn’t come out to vote.

“We had just about 30 to 40 per cent turnout all over the country. But be that as it may, Kano has delivered. We had the highest number of votes and I think we could say that we are part of the determining factor for President Buhari’s re-election because he has really done so much for us,” he said.

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APC Women Ban Oshiomole From Imo

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 2:17am


Women leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Imo State, led by Theresa Ohanuha, have cautioned Adams Oshiomhole, the APC National Chairman, not to enter the state forthwith.

This was disclosed in a communiqué issued after their protest on Saturday.

The women protested the suspension of Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, from the party by the APC National Working Committee (NWC) led by Oshiomhole.

According to the women, Oshiomhole's actions are some of the reasons Imo State experienced low turnout in the presidential election. They also noted that the National Chairman does not have moral justification to remain the party chairman after failing to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari and APC in his council and state during the February 23 elections.

They also accused the former Edo State Governor of unnecessarily attacking Okorocha because of the jealousy that he single-handedly “built the party” in the South East.

Ohanuha, who led the protesters, said: “These actions of Oshiomhole negatively affected the outcome of the recent presidential election in Imo. The suspension of the Imo West senator-elect, Governor Rochas Okorocha, on the basis of anti-party activities is unacceptable.

“We are sure that Mr. President is not aware of these events. We, the APC women in Imo State, respectfully appeal to Mr. President to call Oshiomhole to order.”
 

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Seven Killed As Gunmen In Military Uniform Invade Benue Community

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 2:16am


Seven people were confirmed to have lost their lives after unknown gunmen attacked Agabge village of Gwer West Local Government Area in Benue State.

Adeyemi Yekini, a Major General and Commander of the military’s Operation Whirl Stroke (OPWS), said this at a press conference in Makurdi, the Benue State capital, on Sunday.

Although the Nigerian Army said only seven people were killed, Francis Ayagah, Chairman of the LGA, claimed that not less than 17 people were killed in the attack.

Yekini, while corroborating the account of Flight Lieutenant, Abubakar Mohammed, his unit commander overseeing the Gwer West axis,  explained that gunmen, dressed in military uniforms, had on Saturday killed innocent people and rustled cattle in the Agabge area.

He said the names of the seven killed in the attack had been forwarded to OPWS by the council chairman and would be handed to the Police for arrest.

“It is obvious that some forces are bent on instigating violence in Benue State and they are armed too. I am warning them to stop immediately or else the arm of law will catch up with them," he said.

He stated that those killed in the attack were innocent natives of the Agagbe community, adding that investigation was ongoing to unravel the attackers to bring them to book.

Ayagah, who gave the names of the affected villages under Agagbe community as Tse-Tuma, Shaia, Tse-Jagu and surrounding villages, urged the military to fish the killers.

He also said he had forwarded the names of seven suspects, whom he wanted the Police, to investigate to the OPWS.

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Court Orders Ex-officials Of Presidential Amnesty Programme To Forfeit N732m To Nigerian Govt

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 1:58am


EFCC operatives

 

Justice James Tsoho of the Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the final forfeiture of N732.85million unlawfully acquired by 17 former officials of the Presidential Amnesty Programme Office, to the Nigerian government.

According to a statement by Tony Orilade, the acting Head of Media and Publicity of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Justice Tsoho granted the application for the forfeiture on Friday.

Also forfeited is a plot of land at Katsina Road by Ogbomoso Road, Kaduna North Local Government, worth N190million. This land is believed to be acquired by unlawful activities.

Paul Boroh, a former coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, forfeited about N124million to the government.

The commission secured the forfeiture following the adoption of non-conviction based forfeiture proceedings.

The statement read: “The forfeited sum of N732.85million was stolen from the Presidential Amnesty Programme Office by 17 respondents to the suit.

“The 17 respondents to the suit include Paul Tarela Boroh, Hanafi Musa Moriki, Allotey Asari Edem, Joshua Ebiemeyefa, D. Wokoma, Bernard Ochoche, Cecilia Adebisi, Omofuma Faith, Olusegun Opeyemi Okungbure, Beggi Erepatei, Matti Abdul, Stella Nnamatti, Theresa Okoro, Chika Nsirim, Omonyemen Osunbor, Musa Odiringa, and Ode Martins Olajide.

“Justice Tsoho had granted an interim forfeiture order on November 16, 2018, following the ex-parte application filed by the lawyer to the EFCC, Bar Abbah Mohammed.

“The ex-parte motion was brought before the court, pursuant to Section 17 of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Related Offences Act 2006, and Section 44(2)(B)(K) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), seeking for an order of interim forfeiture of the said sum and property.

“Granting the interim forfeiture of the said N732.85million, Justice Tsoho also ordered the EFCC to advertise the order in the newspapers for any interested party to show cause within 14 days on why the money should not be forfeited to the government.

“Investigations by the EFCC had uncovered the various sums of N124,000,000; N320,000,000; N68,768,916; N1,900,000; N5,125,000; N3,000,000; N28,595,755; N6,137,000; N40,000,000; N46,800,000; N16,315,000; N2,547,800; N3,900,000; N8,234,650; N6,800,000; N2,651,000, and N1,970,750 traced to the respondents, respectively.

“The judge consequently ordered that the monies and property should be permanently forfeited to the Federal Government.”

The EFCC's application for the forfeiture read in part:

"An interim Order of this Honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the total sum of N124,000,000.00 (One Hundred and Twenty Four Million Naira) being part of funds disclosed by the Commission’s investigation to be in the possession of the 1st respondent (Paul Boroh) and returned to the Commission via bank drafts as annexed to the supporting affidavit herein which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

"An interim Order of this Honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria a plot of land with certificate of occupancy number NC11065 situate at Katsina Road by Ogbomosho Road, Kaduna North Local Government measuring 1.1414 acres described in the survey plan with beacon nos. ZA.5475, ZA.5476, ZA.5477, ZA.5474 worth the sum of N190million  and the total sum of N320million being properties found by the Commission in the possession of the 2nd respondent ( Hanafi Musa Moriki) and returned to the Commission via title documents and bank drafts as annexed to the supporting affidavit herein which properties are reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.

"An interim Order of this Honourable Court forfeiting to the Federal Government of Nigeria the total sum of N68,768,916.00  found by the commission in the possession of the 3rd respondent and returned to the Commission via bank drafts as annexed to the supporting affidavit herein which sum is reasonably suspected to be proceeds of unlawful activity.”

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After Five Weeks, Abducted Edo APC Candidate Regains Freedom

Sahara Reporters - 4 March 2019 - 1:57am


Mike Ohio-Ezomo, the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Owan West Constituency in Edo State, has been released 38 days after he was abducted.

Family sources said he was released on Saturday night to his family at a village near Owo in Ondo State, after the payment of an undisclosed ransom.

Ohio-Ezomo was said to have been abducted by suspected gunmen at his residence in Sabonginda Ora on January 23, 2019.

One of his orderlies was also killed during the attack.
 

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Presidential Election A Setback To Nigeria's Democracy, Says Bayelsa Group

Sahara Reporters - 3 March 2019 - 11:45am


Stakeholders in Bayelsa State at the weekend expressed concerns over the conduct of the February 23 presidential and National Assembly elections by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

In a communiqué issued after a one-day interactive forum on 'Citizens Education Project for Credible and Peaceful Elections in Bayelsa State,' the stakeholders described the polls as a setback to Nigeria's quest to democratise.

The interactive session was organised by the Mac-Jim Foundation with funding from the Nigeria Civil Society Situation Room and participants were made up of civil society activists, election observers, security agencies, communities and media executives, among others.

In particular, they observed that only about 20 per cent of polling units across the state opened at 11am on the day of election, attributing it to the late arrival of electoral materials and INEC officials.

The participants said the issues of card reader failure, resort to manual accreditation of voters, expired Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and wrong passwords for card readers also marred balloting in Yenagoa, Kolokuma/Opokuma, Sagbama and Ogbia Local Governments Areas of Bayelsa.

According to the stakeholders, security operatives deployed for election duties were partisan and overbearing in their conduct as they intimidated electoral officials in some areas and took possession of sensitive electoral materials. They also decried the excessive military presence in some polling units, pointing out that it discouraged high turnout of voters.

The stakeholders further noted the incidences of electoral violence during the polls in the state, which led to the death of one person in Southern Ijaw and another in Nembe with three persons critically injured.

They equally observed that INEC officials and ad hoc staff were allegedly harassed and intimidated in the course of performing their duties and compelled to do the bidding of their captors.

"Participants note the incidences of vote buying by the two major political parties in the state in the presence of INEC officials and security agents. Also, party agents and loyalists monitored and directed voters to vote for their party, which negates the Electoral Act and rendered the process not free and fair,” the communiqué added.

The stakeholders berated INEC for not managing the efficiently as significant shortcomings were recorded, and urged the commission to revisit their operation module used for the 2015 elections "in order to prevent and avoid the lapses that led to the postponement of elections on the 16th of February and the subsequent logistical challenges that trailed the rescheduled elections of 23rd February 2019”.

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Panic In Bi-Courtney Over Planned Takeover Of MMA2 On May 7

Sahara Reporters - 3 March 2019 - 11:23am


The tussle between the management of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may resume soon with the planned takeover of the terminal by FAAN.

A source close to the Ministry of Transport, Aviation Unit, told SaharaReporters over the weekend that the ministry had given the management of FAAN the approval to take over the terminal on the expiration of the 12 years consensual agreement between BASL and the agency.

It was learnt that the 12 years would elapse on May 7, 2019, which was the exact date the terminal commenced operations with flight service by the rested Chanchangi Airlines from the terminal.

Our correspondent gathered that the planned takeover of the terminal is also causing some instability among the staff of BASL, who are already looking elsewhere for alternative jobs in case the threat by the government comes to fruition.

It was, however, learnt that Wale Babalakin, the Chairman of BASL, is also making frantic efforts through some of his contacts in the presidency to frustrate the takeover of the terminal on the due date, claiming that the concession agreement between the two was for 36 years, but FAAN is adamant to take possession of the terminal as spelt out in the agreement by May 7.

Our correspondent learnt that while Femi Fani-Kayode, the former Minister of Aviation, proposed a 36-year tenure to former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the latter refused to approve it and referred Fani-Kayode to the Bureau for Public Enterprises (BPE) through his comment on the proposal.

It was gathered that the only document that mentioned 36 years was a ‘Letter of Offer’ signed by a director in FAAN, when Fani-Kayode was still a minister in the sector, but was turned down by Obasanjo.

As a result of this, the proposed 36 years, which Babalakin is laying claim to, did not receive the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC).

The source said: “The government has directed FAAN to take possession of the terminal by May 7, 2019, which is when the terminal would clock 12 years as agreed with the concessionaire by the government. The government is not relenting on its efforts to take possession of the terminal this time around and it’s actually battle-ready for this.

“Presently, there is panic among the workers as most of them don’t know their fate. Though, Babalakin too as usual wants to rely on his several ‘jankara’ court injunctions to stop the takeover by the government and he’s already bragging that he is waiting for FAAN to take possession of the terminal.

“The only document that actually mentioned 36 years was a Letter of Offer signed by one director in FAAN during Fani-Kayode era. Don’t forget that Fani-Kayode is a close ally of Babalakin, but the letter did not receive approval from Obasanjo. Just be ready because by May 7, government will take possession of MMA2.”

Efforts to get Ayotunde Osowe, the spokesman of MMA2, for his comments on the matter was unsuccessful as he neither picked his call nor responded to a text message sent to his mobile phone.

FAAN and MMA2 managements have been at loggerheads since the terminal came on stream almost 12 years ago.

While Babalakin insisted that the terminal was for 36 years, FAAN has consistently claimed that it was for 12 years.

Besides, Babalakin, in one of his briefings with the media, agreed that the initial agreement for the terminal was 12 years, but said it was later increased to 24 years and subsequently to 36 years due to the expansion of the terminal.

“We did not bid to construct this terminal. When Sanderton, which won the bid, could not deliver on its promise, we were called upon by the Federal Government. Though, the initial agreement was 12 years, the government said they wanted something better than the burnt terminal. At this point, the government said we should improve it, which we did. Looking at the amount of money expended on the project and the quality of job delivered, the government approved 36 years for us on this terminal. That is what we are holding on to and we will abide by it,” Babalakin said at the time.

However, Babalakin is yet to show to the public any document showing the 36-year approval for the terminal as claimed by him.

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Confusion Over Status Of Crashed Nigerian Aviation College Aircraft

Sahara Reporters - 3 March 2019 - 11:13am


File Photo

File Photo

Days after a TB-9 aircraft belonging to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, was force-landed on Friday in Kaduna, the exact status of the aircraft is still unclear.

While the college said the aircraft made an emergency landing about 7nm north-west of Kaduna Airport, another report alleged that a few minutes after the aircraft made the forced landing, armed bandits attacked it and set it ablaze.

According to NCAT, both the pilot and the student were unhurt and have since returned to their base. The NCAT also noted that the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was immediately notified of the incident.

Another report obtained from one of the Ministry of Transport, Aviation Unit, confirmed the setting ablaze of the trainee aircraft by armed bandits on landing.

A source, who declined to be quoted, said the college’s management had already informed Hadi Sirika, the Minister of State for Aviation, of the incident, but everything is being kept under wraps.

A report had claimed that armed bandits operating in the North-West axis had set the aircraft on fire after it crash-landed at about 6.5 nautical miles from Kaduna airport. The aircraft had crash-landed in an area suspected to be a notorious haven of armed bandits and kidnappers who terrorise travellers and residents in Kaduna and Zamfara states.

The report noted that both the instructor and the student escaped unhurt with the support of residents of Buma Village in Sabon Birni, who rushed to the scene of the incident.

The source said before the aircraft crash-landed, it wobbled in the air for some time and few minutes after it crashed, armed bandits rushed to the scene and rained bullets on the aircraft and set it on fire, possibly thinking that it belonged to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF).

However, AIB in a statement Saturday night, confirmed the incident, but was silent on the status of the aircraft.

A statement by Tunji Oketunbi, the General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, disclosed that the aircraft was on test flight at the time of the crash, adding that its investigators have been deployed to the crash site for further investigation.

The statement read: “On 1st March, 2019, AIB was notified of an accident of a Tampico (TB9) aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-CBP at Rumi forest, Sabo Birni, Birni Gwari Local Government Area, Kaduna State.

”The aircraft was on a test flight being conducted by a pilot and an engineer. The aircraft was force landed at 14:40pm as a result of an engine failure. There was no fatality after the forced landing.”

When our correspondent contacted Balarabe Abubakar, spokesman of the college, his phone was switched off, but one of the instructors in the college confirmed the burning of the aircraft.

”It is true that the aircraft was set ablaze by armed bandits. We have notified all the necessary agencies and the state government about this.”

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Nembe Chiefs Report Aiteo To NNPC For Trying To Hide Fatal Gas Explosion

Sahara Reporters - 3 March 2019 - 10:56am


Oil Pipeline in Nigeria

The Nembe Chiefs Council of Nembe Communities of Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State has sent a protest letter to the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) over allegations of “gross negligence and concealment” of the Aiteo Exploration company operator of the 97 kilometre Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) that exploded in the early hours of Saturday.

The explosion, which occurred at about 4am on Friday near Oil Well 7, sacked indigenes of the affected communities. The Nembe communities affected include Nembe Creek 1, 2 and 3, Jalungo, Fatuo and Kalablomi.

The Nembe Chiefs Council, through its spokesperson, Chief Nengi James Eriworio, alleged that the refusal of the oil exploration company to inform the monitoring authority of National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and other relevant agencies for verification and necessary action within two hours of occurrence is an alleged case of concealment.

The petition read: "On behalf of Nembe Chiefs Council, I wish to call on NNPC to sanction Aiteo Company for concealing a high level of leakage and a gas explosion at their facility at Nembe Creek. It is an offence by law for an oil producing company not to report such an aforesaid incident to NOSDRA and other relevant agencies for verification and necessary action.

"As a Community (Kingdom), we will not take kindly to exposing our indigenes to environmental and health danger. We will not hesitate to call for the revocation of Aiteo’s licence. What happened at Nembe Creek near Well 7 is unacceptable and seen as a gross abuse of environmental rules and regulations. We urge the Director General of NOSDRA and others to visit the site of the incident for confirmation and for the record."

Meanwhile, the management of the Aiteo Exploration Ltd, operator of the 97 kilometre Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL), has said the resulting fire from the explosion has been put out and no loss of life was recorded.

The incident on NCTL, which has a capacity of conveying 150,000 barrels of crude daily to the Bonny oil export terminal, will adversely affect crude export having been put out of use.

Ndiana-Abasi Mathew, a Public Relations Manager of Aiteo, confirmed the incident in a short message on Saturday, stating that: “There is no official statement at the moment but I can gladly inform you that the fire has been contained and no lives were lost.”

It was learnt that the oil export line was shut for emergency repairs following a leak when the incident occurred and discharged residual crude and gas got trapped in the pipeline.

In 2015, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) divested its equity in OML 29 and transferred its interest in NCTL for $1.7billion to Aiteo, an indigenous oil and gas exploration and production firm

Community sources at Nembe in Bayelsa have bemoaned the negative impact of the explosion, saying the incident led to both gas leakage and oil spillage.

Speaking on the incident, Eriworio added: "As at early morning of Saturday, the fire was still raging. And with gas and crude leak flowing freely you can then imagine the fate of our people. The poor response of Aiteo to this incident is not acceptable and questionable. The people are traumatized and their health put at risk.

"We are concerned that Aiteo, despite the clandestine acquisition of the asset from SPDC without due consultation with the people, has continued to undermine the economic rights of the people. We are worried about the poor incident response and attitude of the company towards the host communities in Nembe.

“They have abused the rights of the people. We are ready to drag the company before the National Assembly and the Presidency.”

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'Secondus Blackmailing The Army Because PDP Isn't Used To Free And Fair Elections'

Sahara Reporters - 3 March 2019 - 9:12am


A human rights group, the National Democratic Front (NDF), says the claims of Prince Uche Secondus, National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), that the Nigerian Army interfered with last week’s presidential and National Assembly elections are “too frivolous and cheap blackmail" to gain some sympathy from Nigerians. 

A statement issued at the weekend by Bolaji Abdulkadir, NDF’s Secretary General, noted that the party “peddled” lies against the military.

The group, however, urged the Nigerian Army to ignore the PDP’s “bitterness” and focus on ensuring smooth conduct of the polls rescheduled for March 9, 2019.

The statement read: “Their claims have been most bizarre and often bordering on being hare-brained for the sheer ludicrousness because they at best fall in the region of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories. They issued threats on the wrong impression that Atiku was the popular candidate and that was before they knew how seriously Nigerians take the stains of corruptions on and around his person. 

"Once they realized they have been lied to, they had no option than to reset their assignment to default and stay on the path of neutrality. Our view is that the PDP is expressing its bitterness at the directive given to the military to deal ruthlessly with any ballot box snatcher. 

"This singular directive, which the military implemented with the strictest sense of responsibility to human rights, took the wind out of the PDP’s sail as many of the youths it had engaged to snatch ballot boxes became aware of the mortal risks involved in the once lucrative business and decided not to be sent on suicide missions.

“Secondus and his party’s obsession with the military must therefore be seen in the light of the foregoing. They are frustrated that power remains in the hands of the Nigerian people who have exercise same with the ballot. We, therefore, urge Nigerians to take heed when listening to the rant from the PDP because the party has failed on the relativity scale as it does not have the appropriate comparison for what they are trying to make Nigerians believe in. 

"The PDP is not used to free, fair and credible elections, so it beggars belief what it is using as yardsticks to adjudge whether the poll met the expected standard that are alien to the PDP. The troops must ensure that next Saturday’s elections do not fall prey to ballot box snatchers that have been reactivated since the PDP suffered defeat at the presidential election.”

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Buhari Hosts Amosun At Aso Rock Days After His Suspension By APC

Sahara Reporters - 3 March 2019 - 9:06am


Barely 72 hours after he was suspended by the All Progressives Congress (APC), Ibikunle Amosun, Governor of Ogun State, was a guest at the State House, Abuja.

He was hosted by President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday afternoon.

His visit to Abuja is also coming days after he openly took to the streets to campaign against APC for the governorship election slated for March 9, 2019.

Amosun was suspended alongside his Imo State counterpart, Rochas Okorocha, on Friday for “anti-party activities”.

Amosun has repeatedly campaigned for Adekunle Akinlade, Ogun governorshio candidate of the Allied Peoples Movement (APM).

Amosun’s social media handles are also not left out as he has also taken to vigorously campaigning for the APM candidate, despite being a senator-elect on the platform of the APC.

Amosun's visit to the State House was disclosed by Bashir Ahmad, the president's spokesman, via a tweet that read: "Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State visits President @MBuhari this afternoon at the State House, Abuja."

Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State visits President @MBuhari this afternoon at the State House, Abuja. pic.twitter.com/K6UdhV67Xm

— Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) March 3, 2019

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Lagos Ethnic Clash: Taming An Ethnic Conflict Before It Begins By Aroghalu Chidozie

Sahara Reporters - 3 March 2019 - 8:47am


During the 2019 Elections,  I had seen pictures in Okota , a part of Lagos state said to be a stronghold of the Igbos , the pictures showed voters  irregularities.  
To me basically, I thought in another mind that the clash could have happened even if that area was dominated by another tribe so there was no need for ethnic attachment.

Days after this singular incident , I have began to hear about stories of the Igbo people not belonging to Lagos , I have even seen pictures online stating  Same thing, I have seen notable  comments from notable Nigerians too.

Regardless of being an Easterner, I definitely do not fancy anybody constituting any form of possible nuisance in any part of the country but I also will be fair that even though there are regional attachments, we cannot afford to start the tirade of we own this load , we won't accomodate anyone else. 

The instance I would give us is in the Modakeke-Ife war, in the same community , many persons lost their lives, over similar cases,  on the longer run , no one benefited from the disunity.

Let me remind us all that regardless of our tribe and the need to protect our ethnic space, Nigeria remains our land and by the time we do not diplomatically solve any disagreement that may occur between ethnic groups , we are fanning emblem of ridicule and of problem.

Let us imagine a case which Northerners say they own their land and start giving people ultimatum to leave, let us imagine where the Easterners  also want to claim ownership of their region and start driving everyone with words and protests,  where does the Nigerian factor suffice?.

This is a Country that is very fragile, a Country that has suffered from disunity and ill-love. Over the years,our political leaders have played this ethnic card to their own advantage and leave us to be continualy divided , the masses must understand that , any incident that occurs , they suffer it most.

I even read that the clash is politically motivated but I refused to believe this analogy. Politics must not divide us but rather be a uniting factor.

This is the time for Political leaders, religious leaders and everyone  else to weigh in and preach the need to co-exist as Nigerians beyond political class. 
We must live  together  in peace,  our present generation, unborn generation cannot afford to bear  the consequences of any communal or ethnic crisis.

While we may see this as little now and say it will settle , we should remember that we cannot sit and do nothing,  the most dangerous battle is that brought about ethnic allegiance and societal suspicions of neglect.

Aroghalu Chidozie Law
Writes From Abuja
Chidozie.law@live.com

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