Gunmen Invade Rivers Communities, Kill Four

ChineseSome gunmen have invaded two communities in Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State killing four persons.

The father of the Executive Director of the Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), Amasenibo Lawrence Pepple, was among those killed in the attack.

It was gathered that the gunmen attacked Otobie and Ererekiri communities late on Thursday, shooting repeatedly in the attack that lasted until around 5 am on Friday.

Those killed in the attack which left many others injured are Kobiri Godspower, 25; Macauley Oweibo Manilla Pepple, 76; Emelia Godspower, 15; and Adolphus Hitler Pepple, 73.

The Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, Mr Simon Emmanuel Hart, condemned the attack, describing it as criminal and wicked.

Hart, who was represented by the council Secretary, Helen Jack-Wilson Pepple, urged the police to investigate the incident and, together with other security agencies, ensure that the culprits are arrested.

The bereaved RSSDA Executive Director called on members of the community, especially the youth, to remain and allow the appropriate agencies to investigate and bring the culprits to book.

Niger Delta Should Have Special Development Status – VP Osinbajo

VP Osinbajo Visits Gbaramatu Kingdom in Niger DeltaNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday paid a visit to the Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State, recommending that the region should have a special development zone status.

Osinbajo was accompanied by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and was received in Delta State by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

In his address of welcome, entitled: ‘We must prepare for the future’, he advocated sustainable development for the Niger Delta region.

“An Area Of Poor Infrastructure”

“The Niger Delta that we see today, including this great kingdom, is an area of poor infrastructure – few schools, few hospitals, and severe pollution.

“The Niger Delta of today, is one of daily pipeline vandalism. In 2014 alone, there were over 3,700 incidents of pipeline vandalism.

“The Niger Delta of today is one where, aside from environmental degradation, between 1998 and 2015, over 20,000 persons have died from fire incidents, arising from breach of the pipeline.

“Everywhere you go, there are signboards of proposed projects, mostly uncompleted or abandoned altogether.

“Many of the initiatives to change the story, have not been able to make the big changes required,” the Vice President stated.

Citing several examples, dating back to the 60’s, down to the present day amnesty programmes, the Professor Osinbajo said many of such programmes have not been able to meet up with their objectives.

However, he charged the people, stressing that “the future, is not a future of environmental degradation, poor infrastructure, poor roads”and the likes.

Rather, it is a future of “progress and development” but according to him, “there is no time, as the future is already here”.

He then stated that in order to ensure that the future is not worse than today, three things must happen.

Also he believes that while the government plays its own part, the people have to combine efforts with it, in order to realise the desired development.

One of such things, he stressed, was that the people “must recognise the unique environmental and terrain challenges of the Niger Delta.

“We must recognise that the Niger Delta is a special development zone for this nation.

“It means that the Federal and State governments, the National Assembly representatives, along-side the NDDC and the civil society representatives, of the Niger Delta people must sit together, develop, plan and fund an arrangement for rapid development,” he stressed.

Also, in furtherance of development in the region, Professor Osinbajo revealed that the Pan Niger Delta Forum had come up with 16 dialogue issues that would be extremely helpful in ascertaining its key development priorities.

He stated that the region must also hold some of the international oil companies, to their agreement with host communities.

“We must promote indigenous participation in oil companies,” he added.

He also hinted that in the 2017 budget, provision had been made for the commencement of the Lagos-Calabar railway. (the coastal railway).

Mr Osinbajo is expected to also visit a number of oil communities across some Niger Delta states, where he is expected to address issues affecting the region and bring an end to militant attacks on Nigeria’s oil and gas facilities.

According to a statement from the Office of the Vice President, Professor Osinbajo would also be visiting Bayelsa and Rivers States at a later date to be announced.

Spokesperson for the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, described the move as further demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s readiness and determination to comprehensively address the Niger Delta situation.

Osinbajo Commences Interactions With Oil-Producing Communities

Osinbajo Commences Interactions With Oil-Producing CommunitiesVice President Yemi Osinbajo will be visiting a number of oil communities across some Niger Delta states starting on Monday, January 16, 2017, when he travels to Delta State.

According to a statement from the Office of the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo would also be visiting Bayelsa and Rivers States at a later date to be announced soon.

Spokesperson for the Office of the Vice President, Laolu Akande, described the move as further demonstration of President Muhammadu Buhari’s readiness and determination to comprehensively address the Niger Delta situation.

He stated: “At these visits, the Vice President will lead high-level delegations of the Federal Government that will interact with leaders and representatives of the oil-producing communities in continuation of ongoing outreach efforts of the Buhari administration towards a long lasting and permanent resolution of the Niger Delta crisis.

“The Buhari presidency is fully committed to having an effective dialogue and positive engagement that will end the crisis in the oil-producing areas, and believes that these visits would further boost the confidence necessary for the attainment of peace and prosperity in the areas and the Nigerian nation in general.”

Troops Find 23 Human Skulls In Alleged Militants Shrines In Cross River State

troops discover human skulls in shrines in Cross River Troops of the Joint Tasks Force code named “Operation Delta Safe” have discovered shrines in Cross River State suspected to be that of militants with 23 human skulls in various stages of decomposition.

They also found a complete human skeleton and several other human body parts in the four shrines discovered during clearance operations in the State.

In a statement the operation said it would sustain efforts to fulfill its mandate to rid the Niger Delta region of crude oil theft, sea robbery, all forms of criminality and protection of oil and gas infrastructure.

The statement by the Coordinator Joint Media Campaign Centre, Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, reveals that troops of Sector 2, Operation Delta Safe in Bayelsa State acting on intelligence, also trailed a group of people which led to the arrest of 44 members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

They were apprehended at Lakeview Club along Mabinton Estate, Okaka road in Yenagoa the capital of the state.

Four Militants Shrines 

The group, according to the troops was planning to establish Bayelsa State Chapter of the banned Indigenous People of Biafra group and disrupt public peace within the State.

suspected-members-of-ipob
Some of the suspected members of the Indigenous People of Biafra arrested by the troops

While carrying out a raid in Ikot Ene Idem, Abakpa and Ikang Inam in Bakassi and Akpabuyo Local Government Areas of the State, the troops of Sector 4 of Operation Delta Safe in Cross River State discovered four militant shrines.

Two suspects were arrested while on patrol at Idebe Ifak Anam, Ikot Okon Edem and Abakpa of Bakassi Local Government Area in Cross River State.

The statement says Preliminary investigation revealed that the arrested suspects were agents of Bakassi Strike Force Militants who act as spies.

In another operation, troops of Sector 3, Operation Delta Safe in Rivers State, following a distress call from Finima in Bonny of an attack by some cult members using AK 47 riffles to terrorise members of the community, raided the hideout of the cultist.

The suspected king pin popularly referred to as Eagle Face dived into the river on sighting troops.

Two of the suspected cult members were arrested while one locally made pistol, one machete and two handsets were recovered.

According to the military statement, the body of the suspected king pin was later seen floating in the creeks by locals who recovered and buried the corpse at Bonny River bank.

The Acting Commander of the Tasks Force, Brigadier General Kevin Aligbe, has reassured residents and oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region of their safety and advised that they should go about their legitimate businesses.

Militant activities had resurged in the Niger Delta region last year, with militants attacking oil installations in the region.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

They had said they agreed to a ceasefire and would begin negotiation with the Federal Government but later resumed attacks, claiming it was launched as a warning to the military to stop harassing youths in the Niger Delta.

Rivers Rerun: INEC Suspends Elections In Six LGAs

INECINEC has suspended the legislative elections in six local government areas of Rivers State.

INEC’s decision, according to the state Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Aniedi Ikoikwak, follows reported cases of violence and other hitches witnessed in some parts of the state including Andoni, Bonny, Gokana, Khana, Eleme and Tai local councils where the exercise has been suspended.

No date has been fixed for the rerun elections in the affected areas.

Meanwhile, voting has ended in the Rivers rerun election and counting has started in some polling units to determine the outcome of the election.

Rivers Rerun: Counting Begins In Some Polling Units

Rivers RerunVoting has ended in the Rivers rerun election.

Counting has started in some polling units to determine the outcome of the Rivers State election.

Channels TV correspondents covering the election report that while some parts of Rivers State have experienced relative peace, the situation in some appeared to have taken a violent dimension.

Earlier, our correspondent reported that in Asari Toru, Degema and Abonema in Rivers West senatorial district, the election went on smoothly, with security agents on the ground to keep the peace.

In Ikwere Local Government Area, however, there have been some skirmishes, with cases of stabbing reported. Shooting has also been reported in Abalama after security agents reportedly left the area.

Voting was said to have been stalled in Opobo Nkoro, Andoni and Bonny due to non-availability of sensitive materials such as result sheets.

Rivers Rerun: Unavailability Of Sensitive Materials Stalls Elections In Bonny, Opobo

Rivers RerunThe situation in the ongoing Rivers rerun election appears to be taking a violent dimension in some parts of Rivers State while others are experiencing relative peace.

Voting is said to have been stalled in Opobo Nkoro, Andoni and Bonny due to non-availability of sensitive materials such as result sheets.

Earlier, our correspondent reported that in Asari Toru, Degema and Abonema in Rivers West senatorial district, the election went on smoothly, with security agents on the ground to keep the peace.

In Ikwere Local Government Area, however, there have been some skirmishes, with cases of stabbing reported.

Shooting has also been reported in Abalama after security agents reportedly left the area.

Sensitive materials for the re-run polls had been delivered at the state headquarters of the INEC in Port Harcourt on Thursday with sorting and distribution also done at the different senatorial zones and constituencies in all 23 local government areas in the state.

INEC recruited the services of 24,930 adhoc staff, 379 collation officers and 37 returning officers for the Rivers rerun elections which is being conducted in compliance with the appeal tribunal which nullified the earlier polls.

 

Nigerian Navy Hands Over Illegal Vessels To Marine Police

nigerian navyTwo vessels code named Blue Jay and Natasha have been arrested and handed over to the Marine Police in Bonny.

The vessels were nabbed by the Forward Operating Base, Bonny of the Nigerian Navy in Rivers State for allegedly illegally operating on Nigerian waters without proper documentation.

The Commanding Officer, FOB Bonny, Captain Semiu Adepegba said the vessels had escaped the eye of the law for a long time.

Meanwhile, a suspect in charge of one of the vessels told Channels Television that his vessel had been on lease for about a year and was on its way to regularize its documents before it was arrested.

Nigerian Navy Rescues 2 Foreign Nationals

nigerian-navyAfter 10 days of helplessly drifting on sea and surviving on raw fish, two foreign nationals have been rescued by the Nigerian Navy ship ranger and taken to Forward Operating Base (FOB), Bonny.

The Commanding Officer, Captain Joseph Nwachi, told Channels Television that the two men will be handed over to the Nigerian Immigration for necessary action.

He said: ”On the 22nd of June, our men from NNS Pathfinder who are deployed at a place called Mistras, an offshore platform, intercepted a boat drifting with two people inside.

”On interruption, they couldn’t speak English. Luckily, one of the workers on board Mistras could speak Portuguese, because they found out that they were Portuguese speaking nationals from the Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, who lost their engines and their boat started drifting for about 10 days and they were feeding on raw fish for that period.

”They brought them to our base and we were able to also get in touch with the platform and they gave us the report of what transpired.

”Consequently, we contacted our base, Nigerian Navy Ship Pathfinder, located at Rumuolumeni. The Commander there, Commander S.A Mohammed, directed that we should hand them over to immigration.”

He also noted that the Nigerian Navy will not relent in the fight against oil thieves, to ensure safety of the nation’s territorial waters.