Friday, 30 September 2011

News Report: Niger Delta Groups Counsel Against Bombing

Scene Of A Bomb Blast In Abuja
 "MEND has no option than to appreciate the process of transformation initiated by this regime",
“Obviously it is no longer in the interest of peace or an issue of just agitation to make such threat of bombing the eagle square.”
The above were parts of a joint statement issued in Port Harcourt, capital city of Oil rich Rivers State of Nigeria today by the Watchdog of Niger Delta and the Niger Delta Peace Movement. The statement was signed by the President and Secretary-general of the two organizations.
The groups opined that it was not just for innocent citizens to suffer for the sins of past bad leadership."
They advised Nigerians to carefully consider every action to be taken, "otherwise the essence of our creation will be defeated".
They also advised MEND and other militant groups to help bring lasting peace to the country.
The Movement For The Emancipation Of Niger Delta(MEND) yesterday issued the following statement: “On October 1, 2011, The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) intends to place bombs within and in the immediate vicinity of Eagle square, venue for the proposed 2011 independence anniversary celebrations.
After fifty one years of independence, Nigerians still have nothing to celebrate.
The general public is strongly advised to consider this as a first and final warning. No additional warnings will be issued subsequent to deployment or detonation of these devices which will be novel in nature.”

Communiqué: Disastrous Economic, Political And Social Situations In Nigeria

Baba Omojola
Concerned about the disastrous trend of economic, political and social situation in Nigeria, occasioned by undemocratic governance, poor political party management, corruption, amorphous form of Nigerian statehood, loss of focus by masses oriented organizations amongst others, the June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formations (J12CODEF) convened a general meeting to appraise Nigeria at 51 years of statehood and came out with the following resolutions:

Coalition noted that the Nigerian federal system as presently constituted is unitary, which an aberration from true federalism is aspired for in the struggle for self governance at independence by the people and leaders of the various ethnic nationalities coarsed into the British colony called Nigeria. 

Coalition also noted that social insecurity has further been escalated by the insensitivity of the political class whose mad rush for primitive wealth accumulation has aggravated the impoverization of the mass of the people. 

Coalition expressed deep concern about the future of the National Youth Service Scheme (NYSC) owing to the risk its members are now exposed to countrywide. It was further noted that the scheme has lost focus, status and relevance and could no longer serve its original purpose. 

June 12 Coalition of Democratic Formation is suspicious of the motive behind the Code of Conduct Bureau trial of the former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. This is because few years back, the Nigerian public was informed about sixty (60) public office holders including some sitting Governors who had personal foreign accounts, but now only Tinubu is singled out for persecution in the guise of trial. Could it be because he remains an outstanding opposition leader? If not, the rest of those on the list should be publicized and put on trial immediately. 

The Coalition condemns the National Assembly’s rejection of the idea of community policing which ought to be a strategic partner in securing people’s life and property, hence we are resolved to launch a strong campaign to push for a National referendum for the people to decide by themselves on the numerous issues bordering on security, economy, regional governance, etc. We have also noted the collapse of national security occasioned by the spate of bombings by the Boko Haram sect as an affirmation of the urgent need for political restructuring as the only genuine and acceptable way for resolving all germane issues that had been raised by other ethnic Nationalities. 

The Nigerian legislators as presently constituted are the highest paid law makers in the world. There is high level of corruption at all levels of government including most especially the legislature and thus hindering the passage of important bills into laws that could ameliorate the living condition of the ordinary people. The Coalition viewed most of the current political parties as mere business ventures established by money bags as they are lacking in defined political ideology. The political space is highly monetized and unrepresentative of the masses and this explains why the practice of candidates imposition has become a norm among the parties. 

The Coalition also rejects in absolute terms the diversionary tactics from myriad of problems besetting the Nigerian State by President Goodluck Jonathan in advocating single six (6) years tenure for public office holders. The President is hereby advised to immediately put in place measures for the convocation of a Peoples National Conference and propose his idea just like others for discussion.   


Yours sincerely,  

Baba Omojola,                                                                 Nelson Ekujumi      Chairman.                                                                        General Secretary

Thursday, 29 September 2011

News Release: “We will Bomb Abuja On 1st October, 2011”; Says MEND

On October 1, 2011, The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) intends to place bombs within and in the immediate vicinity of Eagle square, venue for the proposed 2011 independence anniversary celebrations.
After fifty one years of independence, Nigerians still have nothing to celebrate.
The general public is strongly advised to consider this as a first and final warning. No additional warnings will be issued subsequent to deployment or detonation of these devices which will be novel in nature.
Jomo Gbomo

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

News Report: Traffic Agency Official Kidnapped In Port Harcourt

One Ms Cleverline Brown, an official of the Rivers State Traffic Management Authority (TIMARIV), was kidnapped in Port Harcourt yesterday, chidi opara reports learned.
We gathered that Ms Brown, the secretary/legal adviser of TIMARIV was kidnapped at the Nembe Waterside area of Port Harcourt. No demand of ransom has been sent to her family at the time of preparing this report.
DSP Ben Ugwuegbulam, Rivers State Police Command Public Relations Officer (PRO), told news reporters that the police was working to secure her release soon.
Nelson Jaja, TIMARIV’s helmsman, who is currently out of Port Harcourt expressed surprise at the development. Ms Brown was acting for the helmsman when she was kidnapped.
Following constant frictions between TIMARIV and residents of Port Harcourt in particular, the Rivers State governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi had recently toyed with the idea of bringing in the military under the auspices of Joint Task Force on Security (JTF) to assist TIMARIV in the enforcement of traffic rules. JTF is an adhoc security apparatus comprising the Army, Navy, Air force, Police and the State Security Service(SSS). The scheme was put on hold when the media and civil rights activists cried foul.
Port Harcourt residents have been accusing TIMARIV officials of corruption, arbitrariness and acting as if they are above the law. chidi opara reports could not reach any senior official of TIMARIV for comments on this at the time of preparing this report.

News Report: New Group Emerges As Counterforce To Boko Haram

A new group known as Akhwat Akwop has emerged in northern Nigeria, whose aim appears to be geared towards countering the radical Boko Haram Islamic sect.  

Security contacts in Maiduguri and Kaduna told chidi opara reports that efforts are on to unravel those behind the new group.

The new group reportedly circulated leaflets in major northern Nigerian cities vowing to checkmate Boko Haram. Efforts by chidi opara reports’ network members to get hold of the leaflets was not successful, it was however leaned that the language of the leaflets portrayed the group as northern Christian minorities.

A security consultant and retired top shot of the State Security Service(SSS)who volunteered opinion to chidi opara reports on condition of anonymity opined that the largess the ex- Niger Delta militants are enjoying  and the recent recommendations of the Presidential Committee on Boko Haram, may have given impetus to the emergency of the new group, “who may be angling for amnesty and the largess that comes with it.”  He added that “more groups may emerge”.

The Presidential  Committee recently recommended negotiation with Boko Haram. It also recommended a welfare programme for Boko Haram fighters if they agree to lay down arms. There is also strong indication that  huge sums would be paid as compensation to the families of the killed Boko Haram leaders.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Photonews: Battle Rages In Sirte; Gadaffi's Last Stronghold

Photo Credit: Reuters

News Report: First Libya Crude Cargo Bound For Italy

Credit: Reuters
Libya's first crude oil cargo to be shipped in months sailed from the eastern port of Marsa el Hariga on Sept. 25 bound for Italy, Libya's port authority chief told Reuters on Tuesday.
The country, formerly Africa's, third-largest producer, had exported only two other crude oil cargoes since a rebellion erupted against former leader Muammar Gaddafi in February. Gaddafi was toppled last month.
Capt. Ramadan Boumadyan, chairman of the designated committee at Libya's Ports & Maritime Transport Authority, said the Hellas Warrior was carrying a cargo of 381,000 barrels of Libyan crude. "It left on Sept. 25 to Italy," he said in an interview.
The tanker's manager, Polembros Shipping, declined to comment. The Hellas Warrior was last reported in the Mediterranean between Malta and Italy, with the French port of Fos as its destination, AIS tracking data on Reuters showed.
Libya's pre-war production was around 1.6 million barrels per day (bpd) of oil. A senior source in the National Oil Corporation told Reuters last week the OPEC member's oil production is set to reach 500,000 bpd by early October, helping to boost revenues badly needed to kick start the economy after seven months of war.
Separately, the Trident Hope tanker sailed from the western Libyan port of Mellitah on Tuesday with the first cargo of condensate to be exported since Gaddafi was ousted from power, Mellitah's harbour master told Reuters.
Capt. Hussein el Khemri said a further tanker was due to arrive in Mellitah on Wednesday with a crude oil cargo. "The vessel will be for domestic consumption," he said.
Boumadyan said Libya's cargo and oil ports were operational, adding that the offshore Bouri terminal in the west of the country was also working.
"We are working hard to make everything run normally at the ports," he said. "I think everything will be back to normal in a month's time."
Port Security Boosted:
Major oil terminals including Brega and Tobruk in the east were not damaged, and Zawiyah in the west has been working for the past three weeks and receiving gasoline shipments, he said.
There were no reports of any damage to infrastructure at the major eastern terminal of Ras Lanuf, which had witnessed heavy fighting nearby, Boumadyan said.
"There could be one sunken tug boat near one of the quays, but there is no problem or any obstacle for ships entering," he added.
General cargo and container ports including Benghazi in the east and Khoms and Misrata in the west were working.
"Tripoli is operational. We have some slight damage to the quay because of (NATO) air strikes on some of the frigates alongside the quays, but it is small damage," Boumadyan said.
Despite the resumption of commercial activity, London's marine insurance market has kept Libya on its list of high-risk areas, and underwriters are looking for a stable period in the country before considering a de-listing.
Boumadyan said the interim government had boosted security at the country's ports in recent weeks.
"At the entrance to all our ports, the revolutionaries are there and they are secured," he said. "We have had no problems in the past three weeks regarding security. The ports are safe."

News Report: Committee Recommends Negotiation With Boko Haram

The Committee inaugurated by the Nigerian Presidency to look into the Boko Haram saga has recommended negotiations with the radical Islamic sect. This recommendation is however on the condition that Boko Haram renounces violence.
"The federal government should fundamentally consider the option of dialogue and negotiation, which should be contingent upon the renunciation of all forms of violence and surrender of arms" Usman Galtimari, Committee Chairman stated while presenting the report to Vice-president Namadi Sambo yesterday.
The committee also recommended a programme of rehabilitation and agreed that the killing of Boko Haram former leader, Mohammed Yusuf and some of his henchmen aggravated the saga.
The issues of use of private armies by politicians and poverty were identified as factors that led to militancy in the northern geo-political zones. The committees’ recommendations include the formation of another committee with wider terms of reference to negotiate with Boko Haram.
"Government will look at the report and act as a matter of urgency in implementing this report; it is not going to be business as usual." Mr. Sambo promised.

Report: US Declaratory In Cyber Conflict

“When warranted, the United States will respond to hostile acts in cyberspace as we would to any other threat to our country. All states possess an inherent right to self-defense, and we recognize that certain hostile acts conducted through cyberspace could compel actions under the commitments we have with our military treaty partners. We reserve the right to use all necessary means; diplomatic, informational, military, and economic as appropriate and consistent with applicable international law, in order to defend our Nation, our allies, our partners, and our interests. In so doing, we will exhaust all options before military force whenever we can; will carefully weigh the costs and risks of action against the costs of inaction; and will act in a way that reflects our values and strengthens our legitimacy, seeking broad international support whenever possible.”

Monday, 26 September 2011

News Report: New Group Threaten Showdown In Nigeria’s Oil And Gas Region

A New Oil and Gas pressure group based in Warri, Delta State of  Nigeria, named Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC), have announced that they are mobilizing to cripple operations of Oil and Gas majors whom they accused of stalling implementation of the Nigerian Content Act 2010.
In a statement made available to the media, the group lamented the attitude of  Oil and Gas majors to indigenous contractors. The statement was signed by the group’s President, Mr. Nelly Emma, the Secretary, Mr. John Sailor and the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mr. Mukoro Stanley.
"Each time the NNPC recommends qualified local contractors to the IOCs, they will reject the recommendation from NNPC. After series of meetings, they will now reluctantly accept our local contractors in their technical tender”, the group alleged.
"But after our brothers, who have built capacity for the industry, submit technical tender, they will come out with flimsy excuses to fail those local contractors recommended by NNPC. They are always looking for one reason or the other to knock out our people in favour of the foreign engineering contractors," the group further alleged.
They also accused Oil and Gas majors of taking over jobs meant for indigenous contractors because of their influences in the policy making hierarchies in the country.
"They feel that they are the oil giants that control oil and gas operations in Nigeria and that they can talk to any body to stop the implementation of any Act that will not favour them, but this group wants to make it clear to them that they cannot have their way this time around,"  the group stated.
"Some key Nigerian employees in those companies are violating the Act because of their selfish interests, and we want to let them know that we are set to frustrate those companies that they are using to cheat our people. We are going to mobilize Niger Delta women to the work sites of some of these companies to cripple their operations wherever they are working in the region," they reiterated.

Sunday, 25 September 2011

News Release: “Please Help Bring Gang Rapists To Book”

Mrs. Mercy Odochi Orji
The Wife of Abia State Governor, Mrs. Mercy Odochi Orji condemns in totality violence against women as she is in the forefront of championing the course of womanhood and promoting the girl child education, advocating against child abuse, labour and trafficking; teenage pregnancy and prostitution.

She is hereby appealing for a lead to help bring the perpetrators of the rape case to book as investigations are ongoing at the Abia State University to get the five men gang who allegedly raped a young woman; whether it took place in the University or outside the University or
Anywhere else.

As a Mother, she is appealing to the young girl that was abused to pick up courage and come forward and help investigators fish out the scoundrels. The shame she feels not withstanding; such an action will help to put a stop to such criminality.

Nnaji Obed Asiegbu 
(Special Assistant on E-Governence to Abia State Governor)

Saturday, 24 September 2011

U-Report: Imo Assembly Speaker Intervenes In Minimum Wage Strike Action

Speaker Benjamin Uwajimogu
 Reported By: Ikenna Samuelson Iwuoha(Special Adviser on Media to Speaker)

The on-going strike action in Imo State embarked upon by the Nigerian labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Imo State branches for one week may now be a thing of the past.
The Speaker of Imo State House of Assembly,  Rt. Hon. Benjamin Uwajumogu stepped in to resolve the crisis which has crippled  civil service activities in the past one week.
In a meeting held at the Assembly Conference Hall on the 23rd September 2011,Speaker Uwajumogu  thanked the Nigerian Labour Congress and Trade Union Congress Imo State branches for the mature manner they conducted themselves throughout the negotiation process.  Rt.Hon. Uwajumogu who was represented at the meeting by Hon Brother Stan Dara(member representing Orsu constituency ),declared that Gov. Rochas Okorocha was the first Governor to accept the payment of N18,000 minimum wage because He (Gov. Rochas  Okorocha) knew that civil servants deserve better treatment. Uwajumogu therefore pleaded with the labour unions to allow government to work out modalities on how to handle the minimum wage issue by calling off the strike action, saying that the Government and the  people are the losers of the indefinite strike action .
‘’We have had an executive  session on how to tackle this problem and by the grace of God , Imo State will wriggle out of this  N18,000 wage bill problem. This is a listening Government. The Governor means well for this state. The Imo State House of Assembly will assist to solve this problem and we have the capacity to do so. Please I plead with you to call off the strike’’,  the Speaker pleaded.