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Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Demand Inauguration Of NDDC Board

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Presidents-General of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities (CPGNDEN) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari “to keep his promise and inaugurate a substantive board for NDDC following the submission of the forensic report, and in line with the law establishing the agency,” noting that the Niger Delta was in dire need of development which the absence of the board has so far stalled.

In a communique issued after its meeting in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Saturday, November 13, 2021, and which was read by its President, Professor Benjamin Okaba, CPGNDEN also contended that the running of the NDDC by a sole administrator was contrary to the law establishing the commission.

CPGNDEN membership cuts across Isoko Development Union; Urhobo Progressive Union; Oron Nationality; Ndokwa Nation; Itsekiri Nation; Ogoni Nation; and Ijaw National Congress, amongst others.

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

Recall that, in tandem with the demands of stakeholders across the Niger Delta region, the pan Ijaw group, Ijaw National Congress (INC), in a statement in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Saturday, November 6, 2021, entitled “Evil Against The Niger Delta: Enough Is Enough, Mr President” had also warned that the “continued delay of the inauguration of a substantive board for the NDDC is an inexplicable aberration that defies logical reasoning and is infuriating the region.”

In fact the Ijaw National Congress (INC) had earlier cautioned in a statement issued on September 10, 2021 that “any further delay in the inauguration of the NDDC board is a clear betrayal of trust and display of State insensitivity on ljaw nation and Niger Delta region.”

This followed President Buhari’s promise to the nation on the 24th day of June 2021, while receiving the Ijaw National Congress (INC) at the State House in Abuja that the NDDC Board would be inaugurated as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted.

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The President said: ‘‘Based on the mismanagement that had previously bedeviled the NDDC, a forensic audit was set up and the result is expected by the end of July, 2021. I want to assure you that as soon as the forensic audit report is submitted and accepted, the NDDC Board will be inaugurated.”

According to The Conference of Presidents-General of Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities (CPGNDEN), the timely intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari would douse the growing tension in the region.

CPGNDEN also kicked against moves to include Bauchi, Ogun and Lagos as new oil-producing states in the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

A bill seeking an amendment to the NDDC Act for the inclusion of the three states and future oil-producing states in the commission, sponsored by Senator Solomon Adeola of Lagos West, passed second reading at the Senate last week Wednesday.

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The group described the bill as a calculated attempt to smuggle the affected states into the commission. The President of CPGNDEN, Professor Benjamin Okaba, said the entire exercise was aimed at distorting the Niger Delta as a geographical area.

Okaba said, “Our attention has also been drawn at the deliberate attempt to smuggle into the NDDC Act some non-contiguous states that defy the geographical definition of the Niger Delta as a geographical zone. This is totally condemnable and we state categorically that such states should be described as oil-producing and made to enjoy just 13 per cent derivation.”

According to CPGNDEN “The NDDC is meant to serve the development expectations of the people of the Niger Delta as an interventionist agency based on the age-long deprivation and environmental degradation, which is part of the recommendations of the Willinks Commission Report (of 1958).”

Present at the meeting were Professor Chris Akpotu (Isoko Development Union), A. A. Onoharigho (Urhobo Progressive Union), Ante Ita (Oron Nationality), Brig. Gen. Mike Ndubisi (rtd) (Ndokwa Nation), Edward Ekpoko (Itsekiri Nation) and Young Kigbara (Ogoni Representative), among others.

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READ ALSO: 21 Years After NDDC Creation, N’Delta Still Underdeveloped – Social Activist Laments

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EndSARS: No Peace Without Justice, Eedris Abdulkareem To Sanwo-Olu

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Nigerian Music legend, Eedris Abdulkareem has condemned Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu over his invitation for a peace walk in Lagos State.

Sanwo-Olu, in a speech on Tuesday on the Lekki shootings of October 20, 2020, said he will be leading a Walk for Peace in December to herald the “healing of our land”.

“Let me use this occasion to extend an open invitation to our youths, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society groups, students, and the media as well as other stakeholders to join me,” he said.

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He specifically extended invitations to Falana, Adebayo, Dele Farotimi, Temitope Majekodunmi, Segun Awosanya (Segalink), Adedotun (Just Detoun), Seun Kuti; Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu; and Commander of Rapid Response Squad CSP Yinka Egbeyemi and others to join him in the “historic march for our dear Lagos.”

Falz and Mr Macaroni have since rejected the invitation as they demanded justice of those allegedly killed during the EndSARS protest before peace can be restored.

Eedris, taking to his Instagram page described the invitation for the walk of peace as being dead on arrival.

READ ALSO: EndSARS: Lagos Govt Releases White Paper In Panel Report

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According to him, no amount of walking can get Nigeria to the destination of peace without the route of justice.

His post read, “Dead On Arrival; No amount of walking can get us to the destination of peace without taking the honourable route of justice.

“Sanwo-Olu your walk of peace is dead on arrival.”

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BREAKING: Court Dismisses Suit Seeking Soludo’s Disqualification As Anambra Governor-elect

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed a suit seeking the disqualification of Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo as the governor-elect of Anambra State.

Justice Taiwo Oladipupo Taiwo, in a judgment, described the suit as frivolous, irritating, and lacking in merit.

The judge awarded a punitive cost of N2 million against the two plaintiffs to be paid to Soludo and his deputy, Ibezim.

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‘Why We Will Allow ‘Repentant’ Boko Haram Terrorists To Go Scot-free’—Borno Gov

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Governor of Borno State, Babagana Zulum has said the state government will not prosecute ‘repentant’ Boko Haram insurgents.

While presenting the 2022 budget at the State House Of Assembly on Tuesday, Zulum said terrorists will not be encouraged to eschew violence if they see ‘repentant’ ones being prosecuted.

Addressing the House of Assembly, the governor said, “Mr. Speaker, honourable members, we need Allah’s guidance and the utmost wisdom to work for an end to the crisis facing our dear state.

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“Prosecuting all the criminals (insurgents) would have been most appropriate but if we insist on it, we would discourage others out there that are willing to lay down their arms.

“The terrorists’ ranks could swell and our innocent fellow citizens, particularly those in local government areas, could become more vulnerable to attacks and abductions.”

READ ALSO: Police Rescue Soldier, 15 Others Abducted By Boko Haram

Noting that the exercise to de-radicalise terrorists is being handled by security forces, Zulum said the initiative does not give terrorists the freedom to kill and immediately seek pardon.

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He said none of the ‘repentant’ terrorists had been reintegrated into society yet, adding that terrorists willing to surrender must immediately “stop further attacks on civilians, security agents and facilities”.

 

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