The Nigerian Navy has destroyed some illegal refineries tucked in the hard to reach areas of the Niger-Delta creeks.
In the latest operations, the navy destroyed some illegal refineries located in Warri and Port Harcourt the commercial nerve centres of Delta and Rivers states.
Some of the areas combed by the navy include the Benette Island and Yeye creeks in Warri as well as Bakana creek in Port Harcourt.
Over 80 drums of 250 litres of products and 13 suspects were arrested during the Portharcourt Operation.
The illegal refiners are said to get their products by either breaking oil pipelines or wellheads, after which they proceed to their refineries where they distill the crude and then dispense to buyers who come from various parts of the cities by boat.
Commodore Ibrahim Idewu, the Commander NNS Delta, says this breach, in the long run, affects the country’s oil production capacity while the refined products end up damaging the facilities and equipment of users.
Similarly, in his brief, Commodore Sam Bura, the Commander NNS Port Harcourt expressed the resolve of the Navy to keep the waterways safe, protect national assets and keep illegal refiners off operations.
He, however, calls for urgent prosecution of arrested vessels as maintaining the vessels at the naval jetties is draining the purse of the Navy.
Leaders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) are currently at the Warri Township Stadium, Delta State for the party’s presidential campaign.
The presidential campaign is geared towards preparations for the general elections coming up in February.
APC leaders in attendance at the campaign include President Muhammadu Buhari; National Chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole; the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Festus Keyamo among others.
The phase two of Operation Octopus Grip which was recently flagged off by the Nigerian Navy in Warri, Delta State has uncovered some illegal oil operations in the region.
Rear Admiral Abubakar Bello Alhassan, the flag officer commanding Central Naval Command says the Navy is ever ready to combat criminals hell-bent on jeopardizing the nations economic interest in the oil-rich region.
The operation, on Thursday, discovered about 30 hectares of land used for illegal refineries at the Bennet Island in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The operation which was carried out using eleven gunboats, naval surveillance helicopters, and a special naval squad is aimed at consolidating on the successes of the “Operation Rivers Sweep” which was launched by the command in January 2017.
Alhassan said the illegal refinery camp is believed to have been re-established two weeks after it was destroyed. Various items like drums, pipes, polluted environment, storage facilities were discovered at the camp.
Commander NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu said the illegal refiners stole the camp from an abandoned wellhead and the illegal camp has an interconnection of pipelines from all oil companies passing through Bennet Island.
FOC Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Abubakar Bello Alhassan speaking concerning the illegal operation at the Bennet Island said some arrests have been made and the suspects handed over to the EFCC.
“We have made some arrests and we have handed over to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission,” he said.
Exercise Octopus Grip was flagged off in November 2017 with a sea exercise in the first phase.
Members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) from the Itsekiri region of Warri South West Local Government Area have rejected the imposition of candidate on them by some party leaders.
The aggrieved protesters, who stormed the PDP State Secretariat on Thursday in Asaba, the Delta State capital, chanted various songs to express their displeasure with the development.
This comes amid preparations for the local government elections in Delta State scheduled for January 6, 2018, as political parties have begun the process of selecting their flag bearers for the polls to elect the officers of the third tier of government.
The ruling party in the state – PDP is also an integral part of this process with some local government councils already producing candidates for the elections.
But members from the Itsekiri region of Warri South West LGA have accused some party members of disrupting the political harmony of the local government.
Spokesman for the group, Andrew Igban, who decried the alleged imposition of one Taiye Tuoyo as the PDP candidate for the polls in the region, maintained that the voice of the people must be heard.
He said: “We the PDP leaders of Itsekiri extraction of Warri South West LGA wish to inform the state leadership of the party and the state governor that the Ugborodo axis and the Ijaws have taken their turn of the LGA chairmanship in the persons of David Tonwe (presently the Director-General, Delta State Security), and George Ekpemupolo (the immediate past chairman of the LGA), and that it is now the turn of Benin River (Orere) axis to nominate the chairmanship candidate for the forthcoming contest.
“With every sense of seriousness, we have in one voice rejected the candidature of Taiye Duke Tuoyo as he is not even from Warri South West but Warri North and has not been playing politics with the Itsekiris in Warri South West LGA.”
According to a communique issued by the protesters, they have urged the party’s leadership to order the immediate release of the nomination form to one Johnbull Atse Edema Atumu.
The protesters were received at the party’s secretariat on behalf of the PDP state chairman by the Organising Secretary of the party, Sunday Onoriode.
Onoriode commended the people on their decision to drive home their demand in a violent free manner and promised to pass their requests to the party’s leadership for possible consideration.
The Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Abubakar Alhassan reiterated the commitment of his men in curbing out criminal elements in Delta state.
According to him, the navy is ever ready to combat criminals whose aim is to jeopardise the nation’s economic interest.
“We started the first phase of the Octopus Grip which is “sea exercise” on October 30 in Onne, we are here to kick-start the phase two which is a riverine operation in Warri,” he said on Thursday.
The Naval boss further added that, “eleven gunboats from the NNS Delta will be used for the exercise and it will be going on simultaneously in other commands of the Nigerian Navy.”
It is hopeful the operation that began with the discovery of about thirty hectares of land used for illegal refineries at the Bennet Island in Warri south west local government area of the state, is being carried out with eleven gunboats, surveillance helicopters and a special naval squad.
Alhassan added, “Naval surveillance helicopters, eleven gunboats and a special naval squad being deployed for the operation octopus grid which is aimed at consolidating on the successes of the “operation rivers sweep” that was launched by the command in January.”
The Bayelsa Police has arrested a dismissed soldier suspected to be specialised in snatching vehicles with master keys.
The suspect, John Andrew was arrested on Saturday by police on a stop-and-search operation in Akenfa, a suburb of Yenagoa metropolis.
It is alleged that he had stolen many cars with the help of master keys, specially made for him in Ghana and operates a five-man gang cutting across Enugu, Benue and Cross River states.
Parading the suspect, who hails from Cross River, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Asuquo Amba, described the suspect as a ”habitual criminal”.
Amba said in Bayelsa alone, the suspect had been arrested three times.
”Andrew is a habitual criminal. We have apprehended this suspect three times. The first time he stole some vehicles in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, we apprehended him in Bayelsa. The second time, he stole some vehicles in Ughelli, Delta State and brought them into Bayelsa, we were able to apprehend him.
”We were able to recover three vehicles from him and the matter was transferred to Delta State Police Command. The Delta State Police Command arraigned him before the court, however, I do not know whether he has finished serving his jail sentence or he was granted court bail because I am definitely sure he was not given police bail.
”On June 17, 2017, about 1pm, our officers, while on routine stop-and-search operation at Akenfa area, flagged a Toyota with number-plate AG 599 YEN. The suspect zoomed off to avoid search. He was pursued and arrested by the policemen.
“The Toyota car was stolen from where it was parked at Green Villa, Biogbolo, Yenagoa.
”The owner has been identified. In the course of our investigation, we recovered many masterkeys. He claimed that each of the keys costs N50,000 and were brought in from Ghana. He said with the keys, he could open any vehicle no matter the make.”
The police boss said that from the suspect’s background, the police investigation revealed that Andrew was a dismissed officer from the Nigerian Army.
He stated that since his dismissal, the suspect had perpetually operated a gang that specialises in stealing vehicles from where they were parked.
”We are happy we have caught him again. I want to assure the public that we are up to all his tricks and that with his arrest, the city of Yenagoa and Bayelsa will be at peace, especially knowing quite alright that most people in the metropolis do not have garages or car parks as most vehicles are parked on the streets, that is why he took advantage of that.
”With his arrest, I am sure our vehicles will be more secured. We are going to get some of his gang members in Makurdi and Enugu.”
In a chat with the suspect, Andrew who said he was dismissed from the Army for mutiny in 2014, confessed to the crime, saying he usually sold each stolen car for N300,000 to one Ike in Makurdi, Benue State.
He said it was the Devil that pushed him into the crime, promising that if he was left off the hook, he would no longer go into crime.
Andrew, who claimed he had stolen only four vehicles, pleaded with the authorities to free him and that he would turn a new leaf.
He stated, ”I use master-keys to remove vehicles from where they are parked. The police have apprehended me three times – I stole a Toyota Camry from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
They caught me in Yenagoa before transferring me to Port Harcourt. Another one was a Hilux, I stole that one from Warri in Delta State and two others.
”When they took me to court in Delta State, I was put in prison but the owner told the Magistrate’s Court that I should pay him the money he used to repair his vehicle and that he was not interested in any case.
”I am very sorry, it won’t happen again. I am going to sign an undertaking, any time they catch me again, they should do anything they like to me. It is the devil’s work. I got the keys from Ghana. I buy one for N50,000, I have five gang members.
” I am a dismissed soldier. My last station was 3 Batallion, Warri, Delta State. I was accused of mutiny while on military operation in Borno State. I was brought to Delta State for court martial and I was dismissed in 2014. I am from Cross River State and I am a yam farmer.’
Following the confirmation of the first case of meningitis at the Federal Medical Center, Asaba, Delta State has recorded a second case of the disease at the Central Hospital, Warri.
Briefing reporters in Asaba, the state’s capital, the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Nicholas Azinge, dismissed reports of outbreak, adding that the situation is under control.
“At the Federal Medical Center, Asaba, one case has been confirmed as caused by neisseria meningitidis, the organism that is usually associated with meningitis outbreaks. The second case is yet to be confirmed because of certain complications the patient has.
“The case in Warri was confirmed to have been caused by streptococcus pneumonia, this is a form of bacterium that is hardly associated with outbreaks.
“This is why the one in Warri is not an outbreak, it is a case of meningitis caused by streptococcus pneumonia which is different from the type of bacterium that causes outbreak of meningitis.
“The unconfirmed case in Asaba and the case in Warri responded satisfactorily to treatment and have been discharged. Currently, it’s only one case being managed at Federal Medical Center, Asaba and we are monitoring the situation,” he said.
The Commissioner asked the people not to panic, saying the State Government is ready to combat any possible outbreak of meningitis in the state.
The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has ordered all contractors handling road projects across the state to utilize the dry season to speed up their work.
He gave the order while inspecting road projects across the state, while also commending the quality of work done so far.
He, however, pointed out areas that needed amendments.
The governor was accompanied by some members of the State Executive Council and top government functionaries.
He also expressed his pleasure over the warm welcome he had received on arriving at the Warri area.
“I feel happy, it is spontaneous and I feel happy that the projects are directly impacting on the lives of the people.”
Furthermore, the governor reiterated his commitment in delivering his electoral promises, adding that his administration would do everything possible within its powers to ensure the delivery of quality projects that could stand the test of time.
“We are trying to utilize the dry season for road construction.
“We believe that our projects must stand the test of time, and we are using concrete on most of our roads in Warri axis and they are more than nine inches in thickness because, the roads must stand the test of time”, he said.
The governor also stressed that while the focus for now was on road construction, other sectors of the economy, especially education would also get the deserved attention during the rainy season.
Popular ‘Reggae Blues’ crooner, Harrysong, has made major impact and hit huge success in 2016 despite various economic as well as personal challenges.
The track ‘Reggae Blues’ became an instant hit within the Nigerian Music sphere, and also crossed into some international music scenes.
The man behind the atonal music, Harrison Tare Okiri, popularly known by the stage name, Harrysong, confesses that the track catapulted him to yet another level of stardom.
In an interview with Channels Television, he described his career in 2016 as challenging, yet fruitful and interesting because in his words, “we’ve achieved quite a lot”.
He recounted some of the major international shows, including the One Music Fest, that have accounted for the success of his career in the year 2016.
Speaking of his creative journey, he said being a song writer and content producer, he goes along with the flow of the market.
“I try to see where the market is going now, before I produce content. If I can change it, I change it, if I don’t want to, I just play along and still make a difference”, he added.
Harryson who was born as the only child to Ijaw parents in Warri, Delta state, narrated that he went into music after he lost his mother.
He said a strained relationship between him and his step-mother led to him dropping out of school and discovering his new found love for music, which grew while he was still in Port-harcourt.
As his career continued to grow, he took some of his colleagues back to his home state for a peace concert.
Speaking of the concert, he said it was inspired by a land dispute which had occurred in his hometown.
According to him, afterwards, he felt he could be a voice to the community, through the peace concert, which was expected to serve as a re-orientation opportunity for youths and the larger community through the musical platform.
Among other successes the artist highlighted, Harrysong hinted that he is set to release something new for fans in the next two months.
The Nigerian Navy has paraded two suspected pipeline vandals and sea pirates in Delta State.
The suspects are allegedly responsible for the attacks on Chevron facilities witnessed between May and July 2016 around Warri North Local Government axis of the state in south-south Nigeria.
The Commander, NNS Delta, Commodore Jik Dzunve, said after persistent efforts, the Nigerian Navy Ship being part of the maritime components of “Operation Delta Safe” arrested the suspects, who he said were also deeply involved in pipeline vandalism and sea robbery along the waterways in Warri North.
According to hm, the suspects, who were paraded at the Navy Base in Warri, Delta state, have provided useful information.
Commodore Dzunve assured that the Nigerian Navy and other security agencies are committed to apprehending those behind all forms of criminal activities in the Niger Delta and in particular Delta State.
The Governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, has met with stakeholders in Warri on the need to create a peaceful atmosphere for the development of Delta State and the Niger Delta region.
The Governor, during the meeting at the government house annex, Warri, decried the destruction of oil facilities in the Niger-Delta region which he said had compounded the financial woes of the nation as oil prices have not only reduced but, the country could not increase oil production to boost revenue.
Governor Okowa said that the meeting was necessary to intimate the people about the current financial and economic challenges being faced by the state.
Earlier, the Governor met with the leadership of Ugborode community, South West local government area of Delta State for the effective commencement of work at the multi-billion dollar Gas Revolution Industrial Park (GRIP) project in the area.
Addressing a cross section of journalists in Warri after the State Security Council Meeting, Governor Okowa observed that although, Ugborode community was peaceful, there was the need to sensitize them to build on the existing peace as construction works would commence in the multi-billion dollars project within the next couple of weeks.
Governor Okowa also asked representatives of Ogbe-Ijaw and Aladja communities to cooperate with the committee set up by his administration to proffer lasting solutions to the dispute that has rocked both communities over the years.
Governor Okowa gave room for participants to express themselves on how they could provide the peaceful atmosphere for the economy to strive.
On their part, the State Commissioner of Police, Zanna Ibrahim called on Deltans to give useful information to security operatives to nip situations in the bud, observing that criminality, especially pipeline vandalism, has long term effects on the environment.
Others stakeholders who spoke at the occasion, including traditional rulers called for the implementation of local content policy in the oil sector and proper equipping of security operatives.
Some others cried out over gross marginalization of their communities and appealed to the state and federal government to give them adequate attention.
At the side line of an event in Lagos State, Professor Soyinka told Channels Television that unlike the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), he was yet to find out what exactly the militants actually wanted.
He noted that the only thing he had seen was the unjust destruction of the nation’s oil facilities.
The Niger Delta Avengers have claimed responsibility for recent attacks on infrastructure in the oil rich region, crippling oil production and rendering the energy sector paralytic.