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No Dialogue, Niger Delta Problems Already Known, Says Buhari

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  • No Dialogue, Niger Delta Problems Already Known

President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday openly acknowledged that the Niger Delta zone has been neglected, promising to establish a roadmap for the development of the oil-rich region.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who spoke on behalf of the president at Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta State said he was on a fact-finding tour of the region. Osinbajo later met with leaders, youths and women of Urhobo, Ndokwa, Itsekiri and Ijaw ethnic nationalities at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI) conference centre in Effurun. At the meeting, the vice president said there was really no need for dialogue with the region as the problems of the area had been well documented and presented to the presidency by the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) led by Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, and what was needed now was action.

The visit was a means of restoring confidence in the Niger Delta. It has become crucial in view of the fact that the region needs to be given an assurance of the government’s understanding of its plight and the urgent need to alleviate it. Such an assurance is what is needed to stabilise the region for the production of crude oil on which the economy depends. However, it was expected that much more impact would have been made if the president were there himself.

Osinbajo said at the meeting that the Niger Delta must prepare for a better future devoid of the negative activities that characterised oil exploration in the region.

He said to ensure a better future for the region, all the stakeholders, including state governments and Federal Government must sit down and formulate a roadmap. He said the Buhari administration would leave a legacy that all Niger Deltans would be proud of.

“I’m here as an emissary of the president and I’m here as a citizen of the country and brother to you. I have come with a message and it is a short one. We must prepare for the future. The Niger Delta that we see today is an area of poor infrastructure; a few schools and hospitals.

“In the Niger Delta today, there are signboards of projects that are abandoned all over the place. The Niger Delta is a special region which we have all benefited from and should be treated as a special region.”

Earlier, the spokesman of Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama said there was so much expectation that the visit of the president would be a game-changer in the region

“We wish to express our profound appreciation for this visit which we believe should represent a game-changer, coming at a time of national economic recession and when the Niger Delta, especially Gbaramatu kingdom, has become more endangered and feeling estranged from the Nigerian nation.

“We believe that this visit will truly build confidence of the people of Gbaramatu kingdom and the Niger Delta in the Federal Government to go beyond hitherto frustrating rhetoric, not just in developing but according dignity and pride of place to the oil-rich region. Indeed, Gbaramatu Kingdom is tall and rich in national oil infrastructure that enriches the nation but lamentably lacking in infrastructure that benefits the people.”

Also, a group under the auspices of the Transparency in Petroleum Exploration Initiative (TIPEDI) called on the Federal Government to revoke all illegally acquired oil block licences in the Niger Delta.

It specifically urged President Buhari and the security agencies as well as the petroleum industry regulatory agencies and the National Assembly to urgently scrutinise and terminate most of the other OML transactions entered into by the former Petroleum Minister, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Maduekwe.

The group’s stand, however contradicted the position of the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) which decried the singling out of the Malabu oil deal for probe, saying it was disheartening that while the other oil blocks awarded the same time and through the same process were left untouched, the Malabu oil deal had been subjected to sustained probe because it was owned by a Niger Deltan.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives Committee on Public Accounts has given the Ministry of Niger Delta a 48-hour ultimatum to furnish it with the financial details of the East West road project that runs from Delta State through Bayelsa and Rivers States to Akwa Ibom State.

The committee led by its chairman, Kingsley Chinda at an investigative hearing with government officials, expressed regrets that the ministry had been denying lawmakers the opportunity to see the project’s contract agreement and relevant documents.

At their last meeting, the committee had demanded the documents, which the ministry had been unable to present, even as the ministry officials led by its Permanent Secretary, Mr. Nwankwo Alo claimed that the agreement was within reach.

Alo, however, said the 48 hours were too short to reproduce the documents in 40 copies, considering their sensitive nature and volume.

He said: “As I speak with you, there is no light to reproduce the documents for you in 48 hours. We will therefore plead for two weeks, considering the volume of the documents you are asking and their quality.”

Insisting on compliance with its directive, Chinda announced members’ willingness to conduct an assessment tour of the project after their next meeting with the officials to ensure that the committee is not misled by the documents provided by the ministry. The next hearing has been slated for Monday next week.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

Abdulaziz Yari, Former Governor of Zamfara State, to Forfeit N270 Million in Zenith, Polaris

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Abdulaziz Yari, Former Governor of Zamfara State, to Forfeit N270 Million in Zenith, Polaris

The former governor of Zamfara State, Mr. Abdulaziz Yari, could forfeit as much as N270 million stashed in Zenith Bank and Polaris Bank, according to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu said the former governor could not prove how he came about the money legitimately to the court on Tuesday.

Mr. Yari, 52, who served as governor of Zamfara State for eight years between 2011 and 2019, was said to have used his position to amass wealth, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) stated.

Since the court granted an order for interim forfeiture of Yari assets in August 219m he has been unable to explain why the money found in his bank accounts should not be forfeited to the Federal Government.

Justice Ijeoma explained that while there is nothing wrong in having such an amount in one’s bank account, the owner must be able to explain the legitimate source of such funds.

“The respondents, who have been given an opportunity to tell their story, have failed to provide evidence for such legitimate income.

“The respondents have not countered the case and facts presented by the applicants (ICPC).

“The respondents, having failed to establish the legitimate source of the money as stated in this case, this honourable court hereby makes an order of final forfeiture of the following:

“An order of final forfeiture of N12,912,848.68, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of final forfeiture of $57,056.75, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in an account number …in the name of Abdulazeez Abubakar Yari.

“An order of forfeiture of N11,159,674.17, being proceeds stashed in an account in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of $319,000.91, being proceed of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of Kayatawa Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of N217,000.04, being proceeds of some unlawful activity allegedly stashed in the name of B. T. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited.

“An order of final forfeiture of $311,817.15, being proceeds of some unlawful activity stashed in the name of BT. Oil and Gas Nigeria Limited,” the judge held.

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45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Launches ‘office Of The Former President’ In Florida

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45th President of the United States, Donald Trump, Launches ‘office Of The Former President’ In Florida

The former President of the United States, Donald Trump, has launched the “Office of the Former President” in Florida in a move that suggests the 45th President of the world’s most powerful country remained resolute in his fight to return to office in the year 2024.

According to a statement released, the purpose of the office will be to oversee Trump’s post-presidential advocacy, ‘Make America Great Again’.

The Office will be responsible for managing President Trump’s correspondence, public statements, appearances, and official activities to advance the interests of the United States and to carry on the agenda of the Trump Administration through advocacy, organising, and public activism,” an official statement said.

President Trump will always and forever be a champion for the American People,” the statement added.

The former president has not made any public appearances since he left office on January 20, 2021, instead remained inside his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort.

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President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

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President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign

President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.

The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.

Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.

According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.

The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.

President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.

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