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Akpabio’s Attitude On NDDC May Fuel Fresh Crisis In N’Delta, Group Warns

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Wants Buhari To Prevail On Minister

Group, Ijaw Interest Advocates, popularly known as Izanzan Intellectual Camp has warned that the “growing greed and manipulative tendencies” of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, in running the Ministry especially NDDC may fuel fresh crisis.

The group further stated that the Minister’s style as regards the Niger Delta Ministry and the NDDC has become a threat to peace and multi-national operations in the region.

President of the group, Arerebo Salaco Yerinmene, who made this position known in a statement he made available to newsmen in Warri, lamented that multi-national are planning to exit the region due to the agitation by host communities as regards the poor treatments and underdevelopment occasioned by “reckless management” of the NDDC, by Minister.

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In the statement tittled: ‘Akpabio’s Greed threatening the Peaceful Existence of Multinationals in Niger Delta Region”, Yerinmene said oil producing communities have lost hope in NDDC due to the way the commission is being run by a sole administrator instead of a Board.

While further stating that NDDC has been presently moved far away from the people of the region, the president noted that Host Communities and oil corporations in the country have been abandoned to their fate.

While lambasting the Minister for the setback the NDDC had suffered, Yerinmene said, “It is becoming glaring that the atmosphere in the region is getting charged as most major IOC’S operating in the Niger Delta are planning to exit as they are already having dwindling production in the region as the environment is no longer conducive for their operations following the continual agitations of host communities.

“It should be noted that Akpabio’s gimmicks on NDDC substantive board inauguration is fueling the already battered discord between the multi nationals and the oil producing communities.

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“Today as we speak, AGIP oil company is at the verge of collapsing following the reduction of production per day. Chevron is shaking, Shell is barely surviving and even threatening to exit Nigeria.

“As at 2015, AGIP oil company was producing about 250,000 barrels per day but today they are producing less than 30,000 barrels per day. Shell was producing about 600,000 barrels as at 2014 but today it has crashed down to the extent of threatening to pull out of Nigeria.”

The group called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly to “wake up from their slumbers before Akpabio push the country into avoidable crisis.”

READ ALSO: Don’t Scrap Or Merge NDDC With Niger Delta Ministry, IYC Warns FG

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“NDDC has never been perfect but still far better than now that Akpabio is in charge. It has never been this bad at anytime since the inception of the commission.

“If the presidency continue to fall into the deceiful acts of Akpabio which are huge negative contributory factors to communal challenges, causing unnecessary tension especially with the issue of the constitution of the substantive board, that means in the coming months the multi Nationals might not have no further option than to exit Nigeria as they are reporting already. The signals are not too good because surely it will crumble the Nigeria economy and undoubtedly there will be proliferation of insecurity in the Niger Delta region. Indeed a word is enough for the wise”, the group narrated.

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COVID-19 Omicron: Nigeria, South Africa Told To Shut Borders

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Former presidential candidate, Kingsley Moghalu has asked Nigeria and South Africa to reciprocate travel bans by western countries and shut their borders.

Moghalu said this following the travel ban handed to Nigeria by Canada, the United Kingdom, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Many developed countries have been shutting their doors against African countries due to the newly detected coronavirus variant in South Africa.

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The UK announced that it found 21 cases of the COVID-19 Omicron variant which were linked to Nigeria.

It further confirmed that all flights from Nigeria from Monday would be restricted. All pending visa applications in Nigeria have also been suspended.

Moghalu in a post on his Twitter page wrote: “Nigeria and other African countries such as South Africa should issue reciprocal restrictions or bans on any Western countries that restrict or ban travel by Africans because of the Omicron variant of #COVID19.”

According to him, It is unconscionable to subject Africans to restrictions because of avariant that did not originate from the continent, when Western countries with similar or more cases are not subject to similar restrictions.

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READ ALSO: Omicron: UK Govt Puts Nigeria On Red List

” This is more than public health. It is about worldviews in international relations. Our dignity matters. Our leaders should protect it instead of as is the case with Nigeria today, traveling around the world with a begging bowl for foreign assistance,” his tweet read.

Meanwhile, the Nigerians government has said there is no need for travel ban over concerns of Omicron variant.

The health minister said other measures could be put in place, adding that most COVID-19 positive cases in Nigeria are from the UK.

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UK’s Travel Ban: FG Reacts, Says Decision ‘Grossly Discriminatory, Punitive’

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The Federal Government has called on the British Authority to immediately rescind its ban on foreign travels from Nigeria over the discovery of cases of Omicron variant of COVID-19 in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made the call in Abuja on Monday at a media briefing on the decision by Britain to put Nigeria on its Red list over the discovery.

The minister said the decision by the British government to put Nigeria on the red list, just because of less than two dozen cases of Omicron which did not originate in Nigeria, “is unjust, unfair, punitive, indefensible and discriminatory”

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He said the decision is also not driven by science and should be rescinded immediately

“How do you slam this kind of discriminatory action on a country of 200 million people, just because of less than two dozen cases?

“Whereas British citizens and residents are allowed to come in from Nigeria, non-residents from the same country are banned.

“The two groups are coming from the same country, but being subjected to different conditions.

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“Why won’t Britain allow people in both categories to come in, and be subjected to the same conditions of testing and quarantine?

“This is why this decision to ban travellers from Nigeria, who are neither citizens nor residents, is grossly discriminatory and punitive,” he said.

The minister noted that the travel ban, the type that had been slammed on some African countries, is “a knee-jerk reaction that could only be detrimental to our quest to most conclusively tackle this pandemic.”

READ ALSO: Omicron: UK Govt Puts Nigeria On Red List

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He said instead of reflex responses, driven by fear, rather than science, the world should take a serious look at the issue of access to vaccines.

Mohammed said access to vaccines should be based on the principles grounded in the right of every human to enjoy the highest attainable standard of health.

He said such rights should be without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, political belief, economic or any other social condition.

“Many developed countries have used the advantage of their enormous resources or relationship to sign agreements with manufacturers to supply their countries with vaccines ahead of making them available for use by other countries.

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“Even before the clinical trials were completed, millions of doses of the most promising vaccines have been bought by Britain, US, Japan and the EU.

“Some of these countries bought doses five times the size of their population, while others, mostly in Africa, have little or no access to vaccines.

“This is the real issue to address, instead of choosing the easy path of travel bans, which the UN Secretary-General called Travel Apartheid. Let the world know that no one is safe until everyone is safe,” he said.

Mohammed said Nigeria had handled the COVID-19 pandemic with utmost responsibility, based on science, and rightly earned global accolades.

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He said the country, therefore, did not deserve to be put on any country’s red list.

READ ALSO: How Taraba Stopped HIV Patients From Dying Of COVID-19 Complications

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How Taraba Stopped HIV Patients From Dying Of COVID-19 Complications

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Taraba State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Innocent Vakkai has confirmed that no person living with HIV/AIDS died as a result of COVID-19 complication in the state.

Unlike other parts of the country where many HIV positive persons were alleged to have died as a result of COVID=19 complication, the state did not record any such data.

Vakkai, who at the just celebrated World Aids Day reeled out the plans put in place to prevent such deaths, said “I am glad to mention that no HIV patient died as a result of COVID-19 complication in Taraba State. ”

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Observing that the globe is currently faced with two pandemics (the HIV and COVID-19 pandemics), he said COVID-19, has caused and is still causing disruption of services including healthcare around the globe.”

To, however, said plans to ensure that the over 40,000 persons living with the disease in the state are on Antiretrovirals (ARVs) was implemented especially during COVID-19 lockdown.

He said a significant number of PLWHIV benefitted from the government implementing partners palliative support of COVID-19. ”

Aligning his weight to that of the Commissioner on how the state was able to reduce the prevalence of HIV from 10.5% to 2.9% and prevent patients from dying as a result of COVID-19 complication, the Director-General, Taraba State Aid Control Agency (TACA), Dr. Garba Danjuma, said the agency would continue to work round the clock to strengthen awareness, create demands for HIV testing, treatment, care and support services.

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READ ALSO: Omicron: UK Govt Puts Nigeria On Red List

He said the state is the first to inaugurate the Resource Mobilization Technical Working Group (RMTWG) for HIV, the agency, in collaboration with the ministry of health, as well as partners.

He said the agency has got schools involved in the fight against HIV/AIDS via school debates through football competitions, talks on ending stigmatization and discrimination against persons living with the disease.

(DAILY POST)

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