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OML 25 Shutdown: Host communities doubt sincerity of Wike’s intervention

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The leaders of OML 25 Host Communities in Rivers say that they do not have confidence in Rivers Government to resolve the issues leading to the shutdown of the oil facility.

The host communities are Belema, Offoin-ama and Ngeje all in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state.

Chief Fiala Okoye-Davies, Secretary to Belema Community expressed the doubt on behalf of the host communities at a news conference in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Okoye-Davies disclosed that previous administrations of Dr Peter Odili and Mr Chibuike Amaechi, of which Gov. Wike was part could not resolve the issue.

He said that the purported invitation of OML 25 host communities through the Office of the Secretary to the Rivers Government to a meeting slated for June 22 was laced with foul play.

“Key players and rightful leadership of the host communities were not invited to the said meeting, while some persons invited are not members of OML 25 host communities.

“Mr Ibinabo Kalaoriye that got invitation has been restrained by a judgement of a Rivers State High Court not to parade himself as a traditional ruler or leader of Belema community,” he alleged.

According to Okoye-Davies, the OML-25 shutdown matter is before the Office of the Vice-President of Nigeria for dialogue, negotiation and peaceful resolution which the Rivers Government is aware of.

“The last decision arrived at with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), NAPIMS, Security Agencies, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Host Communities, was to constitute a joint investigation visit to Belema community to be organised by SPDC.

“This has not been carried out by Shell Petroleum Development Company,” he added.

The host communities described the intervention of Gov. Wike on OML-25 saga as meddlesome because it was on the Exclusive List and not on the Concurrent List of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.

“And we further view this meeting as invitation to resurgence of violence and anarchy in Kula Kingdom which is unarguably the most peaceful environment in Rivers.

“It is our view that the meeting is a gathering of the Gov. Wike and his political allies in Wards 15, 16, and Abonnema community of Akuku-Toru LGA and not with leaders of the affected host communities.

“The so-called intervention of the governor casts a shadow of doubt on the sincerity of the governor in resolving the issue, as he has never intervened in the Ogoni shutdown of over 26 years,” he added.

The host communities said Gov. Wike’s sudden interest to resolve a shutdown of less than two years and pleaded with him to exercise restraint and caution on the matter.

“In the light of the foregoing, we call on the Federal Government and all security agencies to prevail on the governor of Rivers to have a rethink on his approach and intervention of the OML-25 issue.

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Kogi 2019: Irukera promises to clean system, enthrone good governance

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An All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship aspirant in Kogi State, Dr Babatunde Irukera, has promised to clean up the system and return power back to the people through purposeful and people-oriented programmes.

Irukera disclosed this on Sunday in Lokoja during the inauguration of his campaign coordinators for the 21 local government areas in the state.

He said that he would enthrone good governance and save the state from economic woes through faithful implementation of his Health, Employment, Learning-Education and Prosperity (HELP) agenda.

The aspirant noted that the state was in dire need of help which he was ready to offer.

He advised those on the verge of losing hope as a result of the prevailing hardship in the state to continue to trust in God.

“I want you to tell everybody; your children, our fathers and mothers, tell your brothers, your sisters, tell workers and pensioners; let one tell 10; tell those who think that the end has come that help is on the way,” he said.

Irukera said that people should be given free hand to choose their next governor, saying that anything short of this might backfire.

“The time has come for us in Nigeria to choose our leaders based on character and popularity.

“We must change the narratives if Kogi must grow and develop. I will kneel down, if need be; I will prostrate and do all it takes to change the narratives of Kogi to a progressive state.

“What Kogi needs is a team which all ‘Kogites’ must belong to so as to guarantee security and prosperity.

“l have a vision of greater Kogi; you as individuals must be great. I have an Igala agenda, Okun agenda and Ebira agenda; but for the vision to become reality, there must be a mission which is for you to deliver me,” he said.

Speaking earlier, the immediate past Speaker of Kogi State House of Assembly, Hon. Ahmed Imam, described Irukera as the best among all the aspirants preparing for the APC governorship primaries on Aug. 29.

“We have the same philosophy in politics, which is good governance. We are not out to insult anybody. Ours is clean politics. We are going to start experiencing good leadership in our state.

Also speaking, the APC State Woman Leader, Hajia Fatima Allah-Dey, urged women to come out and fight for their freedom and the future of their children, saying that they had stayed too long in darkness.

“Come into the light. We have been groping in darkness for long, bulldozing our ways in the wrong direction; tighten your belt and fight for your freedom,” she said.

Edited by Kola Adeyemi and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

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Magboro residents appeal to Ogun Govt. over land grabbers’ menace

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The residents of Magboro in Ogun on Sunday appealed to the Ogun Government over the forceful take over of their properties by land grabbers popularly known as “Omo Onile”.

The residents made the appeal to Gov. Dapo Abiodun in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency , said the government should urgently come to the aid of the community.

reports that the land grabbers have been terrorising the community for the past two weeks pasting warrant for possession on houses or they pay a sum of N10 million.

The notices pasted on the houses were alleged to be a court judgment obtained in favour of the Omo Onile.

The land grabbers threatened those who refused to pay forfeiture of their properties.

The Omo Onile visited areas such as Gasoline, Ibasa, Igodo, Magada, Akintonde and other areas.

The General Secretary, Magboro/Arepo Community Development Council (CDC), Mr David Ajayi, said the government needed to act fast to forestall a breakdown of law and order in the community, adding that the court judgment obtained was fictitious.

“I really don’t know how the judgment came about, but the Omo Onile is an eyesore in the community, they can’t just come from the blues to create confusions in the community.

“They come and start to paste fictitious court injunction on houses in Magboro, asking us to pay certain money after we have initially paid for the lands purchased.

“The Chairman, Community Development Association in Gasoline, Magboro, Mr Olatunji Morin, told that the Omo Onile were out to exploit the residents and landlords, adding that only the government could save the situation.

“We residents are all in this together because the nature at which the Omo Onile are parading themselves is threatening the peace of the community.

“The Omo Onile are claiming that they have the power of attorney to take over our properties which is wrong.

“There is someone called Shyllon, an intermediary between the land buyers and the Omo Onile who we know has the power of attorney. This man is the person chosen by them for land transactions.

“Shyllon is the one that has been interfacing between us and the Omo Onile and we also have deeds of agreement which covers the sharing formula between the Omo Onile and him,” he said.

Morin said that members of the CDA were already working on the supposed court notice being bandied by the Omo Onile, adding that the N10 million being asked for by them was unjustifiable.

“Our lawyers are working on it and we have gone to court on the matter because what they told us is that they have court injunction for their actions which did not specify which area.

“We have even heard of many versions of the said court injunction which did not cover some Magboro which we learnt that it only affects an estate called Bankole within Magboro.

“When our lawyer reached out to their lawyers, he told us that we have to pay extra N10 million each for developed plots of land.

“He also told us that failure to pay will be tantamount to the forfeiture of our properties. We are not scared of the legal battle because we have our genuine documents,” he said.

A resident, Mr Sunkanmi Alade, said that the issue of the Omo Onile should be nipped in the bud before it degenerated into another crisis.

“From what I am seeing, this could be a crisis in the making in our community. We know the brutality of this Omo Onile, how they always come heavily armed to forcefully take over properties.

“In this age and time, I wonder how we should be talking about Omo Onile not to talk about the nuisance they often constitute to the communities where they operate.

“I am surprised to see their papers on the wall of my house, at first, I want to discountenance it, but on the other hand, thought of their incessant attack, I want to take it serious.

“We need government to help us now because these people have been outlawed in Lagos State, but they now find Ogun as a safe haven for their illegal activities,” he said.
KOJE/PDE

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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Rotary Club plans hepatitis sensitisation, diagnosis

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The Rotary Club of Port Harcourt, Government Residential Area (GRA), says it plans to carry out sensitisation and diagnosis on hepatitis as part of the “Hepatitis Zero World Eradication Programme’’ in Rivers.

Mr Nelson John, Chair, Service Project of the club, made this known in a statement in Port Harcourt on Sunday.

He said that the programme would commence from Aug. 26 to Aug. 28 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.

John urged residents of the host community and others to kindly create time out of their busy schedule to be part of the hepatitis disease treatment and prevention project.

“The aim of the campaign is focused on keeping people healthy, ‘’ he said.

 

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Shun neo-paganism, Catholic bishop urges Christians

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Bishop Paulinus Ezeokafor of the Catholic Diocese of Awka  has called on Christians to remain truly faithful to their faith  and shun neo-paganism which he described as the love for earthly things.

 

Ezeokafor gave the charge in his homily at Christ The King Catholic Parish, Isuaniocha near Awka, the Anambra capital on Sunday.

 

He said Christians, who pay attention to earthly possessions such as wealth, beauty, intelligence, spouses, children, jewellery, cars, houses and others  had already relegated God to the background.

 

” Holding different public positions or serving in different capacities in Church without living a Christ-like life is a waste of time which will not take you anywhere.

 

“Think more about your spiritual life, eternity and how to serve God and mankind with that position,” the cleric admonished the faithful.

 

Ezeokafor also advised  Christians to be vigilant and be ready to fight in defense of their faith as well as show humility as the biblical John the Baptist and Jesus Christ did.

 

In his remarks, the  Priest of Christ The King Parish, Rev. Fr. Kenneth Ekwealili, commended the bishop for making out time to visit them.

 

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Ezeokafor during the Mass administered the Sacrament of Confirmation on 510 faithful as well as dedicated the  Holy Trinity Chapel facility.

 

also  reports that that Sacrament of Confirmation is the  Catholic Church’s belief in  the special outpouring of the Holy Spirit on her faithful  for increased ability to practise the  faith and to witness Christ in every situation.

 

 

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Cleric partners traditional institution to promote peace, security in Nasarawa

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A  cleric, Rev.Fr.Lawrence Anyembugu, has expressed his readiness to work  with the traditional institution and other relevant bodies in Nasarawa State  to promote peace and security there  and in the country.

 

Anyembugu, the priest in charge of St. John Mission Catholic Church, Awe,  said this   on Sunday when he paid a courtesy call on the Emir of Awe, Alhaji Isa Abubakar Umar 11,  in his palace within Awe Local Government Area.

 

He said that his readiness to collaborate with the emir and other relevant bodies to promote  peace  was because of the importance of peace and security to societal development.

 

The cleric  said that he was at the emir’s palace to intimate him  of his assumption of office as the new priest-in-charge of the Catholic community in the area.

 

Anyembugu, who was transferred from St. Sylvester’s Catholic Church,New Nyanya,  promised to continue to preach peace not only to his members but to the people of the area and Nigerians in general.

 

“I am here to officially tell you that I have assumed office as the new  Priest-in ₩-charge of  the Catholic community in Awe Local Government Area.

 

“And also to tell you that we are going to work together because you are the father of Awe Local Government Area  in order to ensure peace in this area and in the state at large.

 

“Let us continue to preach peace to our people whether in the mosque, church, market or any where because peace is priceless and non negotiable.

 

“It is necessary for the development of any society, so we are in a  better position to preach  messages of peace  to our people.

 

“As God did not make a mistake by creating us and making us to live together, we must be our brother’s keepers at all  time,” he said.

 

He assured the emir of his readiness to key-in  into  the good policies and programmes that would have direct bearing on the lives of the people of the area and the state at large.

 

“I also want to assure you that I will promote cordial relationships between the Catholic community and your emirate council in the interest of development.

 

“When Christmas comes, I will bring you my Christmas food and when Sallah comes,we will also celebrate together as brothers and sisters,”he said.

 

The  priest called on the people of the area and Nigerians to live a life worthy of emulation by shunning all negative acts in the society in their interests and for the overall development of the society.

 

Responding, Alhaji Abubakar Umar 11 commended the priest for the visit and assured him of his emirate council’s readiness to embrace programmes that would  promote peace in the area.

 

The first class traditional ruler prayed for  and wished the priest God’s guidance and protection while discharging his duties in the area.

 

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the cleric  was accompanied during the visit by some of his parishioners.

 

Edited by Peter Dada

 

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