With the aim of enlarging the frontier of members and the betterment of the Niger Delta region, ex-Agitators of Urhobo and Isoko extractions in Delta State have united to form a common front in the interest of all members of Phase 1, 2, and 3 under the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, of the Federal Government.
The group, who gathered in Ughelli, the traditional headquarters of Urhobo nation for a brainstorming session over the weekend among other far-reaching decisions, sued for peace among members.
They noted that only a united body like they have formed can achieve goals of attracting development and human growth to the Delta region.
Members were drawn from among what the organisers described as dogged ex-agitators who had remained tenacious in their onerous desire for a better region and people.
The group inaugurated new executive members to steer its affairs in their drive for freedom and emancipation of the region and also to bring pressure to bear on both the PAP and members to activate the phase 3 ex-agitators to make members more formidably vibrant in the system of things.
Pointedly, the group decried what it called neglect of the phase 3 group in both the politics and administration of the Amnesty Programme and called for unity of purpose and togetherness by closing ranks to work and achieve glory together as a family.
During the parley, different speakers had raised issues touching on the neglect and undercurrent boardering on rumour-mongering, backbiting, and morbid gossip which it noted had impeded progress among phase 3 ex-warriors.
They, however, all all agreed to work together to change the trend of things for the best interest of members.
Recognition for ex-agitators, the Urhobo and Isoko group has been lopsided as it vowed to reinforce cohesiveness among former warriors of both extractions across divides to balance and whittle down ethnic dominance of those who see Amnesty Programme as their exclusive preserve adding the programme is for all and recognition should even across divides.
The keynote speaker at the event, Eshanekpe Israel, a.ka. Akpodoro, who was appointed the Chairman to the Board of Trustee, BoT of the group emphasised the need by Phase 3 ex-agitators to keep and maintain peaceful disposition at all times.
He vowed to double his efforts at repositioning and setting the group on the path of progress capable of thrusting it to the limelight and ensure that members are developed into imbibing better understanding of who they are and thereby cut down on mis-demeanours of errant members across phases particularly phase 3.
Exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa, Not Pardons, Foundation Replies Buhari
The Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation has said it wants exoneration and not pardonn to be granted to the late environmental activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others executed by the Nigerian military dictator, Sani Abacha.
The Foundation was reacting to a statement attributed to President Muhammadu Buhari saying he was considering granting a state pardon to Saro-Wiwa and others executed at the height of the Ogoni crisis in the 1990s.
A statement signed by Dr Owens Wiwa, brother of Ken Saro-Wiwa, on behalf of the Board of Directors of the Foundation and obtained by SaharaReporters on Sunday, however, said the late activist and the eight others who were murdered by the Abacha regime were not criminals.
The group, which became known as Ogoni 9, were activists from the Ogoni region who opposed the operating practices of oil companies destroying their area.
They were author and playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa, Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine.
They were tried by a special military tribunal for allegedly masterminding the murder of Ogoni chiefs at a pro-government meeting, and hanged in 1995 by the military dictatorship of General Abacha.
The statement titled, ‘Exoneration Not Pardon For Ken Saro-Wiwa,’ reads: “The Board of Directors of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation (KSWF) have received and read the statement from Mr (Femi) Adesina, the Special Adviser on Communications to the President of Nigeria, General Muhammadu Buhari (Rtd), in which the President conveyed his willingness to grant clemency or pardons to Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists illegally executed by the Nigerian Military Dictatorship of Sani Abacha on November 10, 1995, after a sham trial.
“Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other Eight Ogonis were not criminals. They were innocent activists unjustly murdered for fighting for a just cause on behalf of their oppressed community. The path to true peace in the region begins with justice. The cleaning up of the environment for which they campaigned and died for is a first good step.
“The exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni activists, judicially murdered on November 10 1995 is another step towards peace.
“The family of Ken Saro-Wiwa have made a request for the exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa to the President in the past and are still waiting for a response. We urge the President to again consider this request as a path to justice and peace.”
The statement added that the “family and the Foundation have not asked any individual to ask for pardon or clemency for Ken Saro-Wiwa on our behalf, nor are we aware of any group of Ogonis making such a request”.
Drama As Ortom Busts Illegal Revenue Checkpoint In Benue, Arrests Operators [PHOTOS]
Luck ran out on a gang of illegal checkpoint operators at Abinsi, Guma Local Government Area of Benue State on Sunday, October 24, 2021, when Governor Samuel Ortom busted their operations.
Governor Ortom’s attention was drawn to the activities of the illegal revenue operators when he noticed the harassment of heavy-duty vehicles that were detained at the checkpoint on his way from Kwande Local Government.
He then ordered his convoy to stop to find out why many vehicles were parked at the checkpoint.
As soon as he alighted from his car, some of the youths at the checkpoint took to their heels.
He discovered, during an interaction with drivers of the vehicles, that the checkpoint operators were collecting money from motorists without issuing them receipts, a development that prompted the Governor to order the arrest of four of the operators who could not run.
The Governor directed that those who fled should also be apprehended and thoroughly investigated alongside the four suspects to unravel benefactors of the proceeds from their illegal collections.
He explained that within a very short time, the checkpoint operators collected more than N20,000 from the commuters without issuing them receipts.
Governor Ortom lamented that despite the collections, nothing goes to the government as such monies are diverted into private pockets for individual use.
DAILY POST reports that he vowed to sanction the management of the Board of Internal Revenue Service, BIRS, for failure to supervise and ensure the right thing was done.
Governor Ortom said he will henceforth, personally carry out surprise checks on the activities of checkpoint operators in the state.
The four suspects were then handed over to the Police for further investigation.
EFCC Grills Ex-Senate President
A former Senate President, Senator Anyim Pius Anyim, is currently being grilled by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, in a case of corruption and diversion of public funds.
Anyim who arrived the headquarters of the anti-graft agency in Jabi, Abuja at about 3pm, is currently being grilled by a team of operatives.
Though details of the specific allegations against the former Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, were sketchy as of press time, a source familiar with the case informed that, it is tied to the corruption and money laundering case involving former Aviation Minister and serving senator, Senator Stella Oduah.
Part of the rehabilitation funds to the tune of N780 million were allegedly traced to a company in which Senator Anyim has interest.
When contacted, Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesman said he has not been briefed.
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