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Lawmaker Wants Bandits To Be Called Terrorists

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Lawmaker Wants Bandits To Be Called Terrorists

Amid the nation’s growing insecurity, a Nigerian lawmaker, Abdulrazak Namdas, has stressed the need to address bandits as terrorists as this better captures the gravity of their crimes .

According to Namdas who is a member of the House of Representatives, criminals who kill, kidnap and carry out other forms of atrocities are perpetrating terror.

Namdas represents Jada/Ganye/Mayo-Belwa/Tounga federal constituency of Adamawa State.

The Chairman, House Committee on Army, spoke on the sidelines of a capacity-building workshop on conflict reporting in Abuja.

Namdas lamented the recent downing of a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) jet.

“Some people who are being called bandits may not necessarily be bandits, they are terrorists because they have moved one step forward.

“The kind of weapons they use is no longer for banditry, not even armed robbery. They are attempting to bring down jets and it means that there is a serious matter,” he stated.

The legislator urged the media to address the outlaws appropriately and also assist security forces to succeed in the quest to safeguard Nigeria.

READ ALSO: How Bandits Killed Two, Abducted 100 In Sokoto

Namdas, however, observed the military is overstretched and faces shortage of personnel.

He explained that this is due to ongoing operations in 34 states of the country aimed at tackling insecurity.

Namdas said the Army had been handling some internal issues within the purview of the police and other paramilitary agencies.

The lawmaker called for the acquisition of more sophisticated weapons to effectively fight enemies of the state posing serious threats.

He assured that the National Assembly would continue to play its part to ensure the Army achieved set targets.

The Nigerian Armed Forces has 311,000 active personnel and 89,000 on reserve. The Nigerian Army is regarded as the strongest ground force in Africa.

 

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How Petroleum Industry Act Affects Oil Communities – Don

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How Petroleum Industry Act Affects Oil Communities - Don
Dr. Hilary Owamah

A university teacher, Dr Hilary Owamah, has shed light on the key provisions of the new Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) passed into law in August, 2021 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Associate Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering spoke at a one-day sensitization workshop organized by the Delta State Ministry of Oil and Gas, at the Prof. Chike Edozien Secretariat on August 9, 2022.

Speaking on the theme “The PIA – How Best can the Host Community Manage it for Maximum Benefit?” Owamah, who is currently the Director of Academic Planning at the Delta State University, Abraka and a Fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers, said that the aim of the PIA was to create an environment more conducive for growth of the oil and gas sector and to address the legitimate grievances of communities most impacted by extractive industries. He noted that the relationship between host communities (HC) and oil companies, over the years, has not been cordial.

Owamah did inform the participants, which comprised mainly representatives of oil companies and their host communities in Delta State that the hostilities may have contributed to the massive theft of crude oil, vandalization of pipelines and the incessant shutdown of major oil fields.

According to the guest speaker, “the problem could have been the reason the Nigerian government is unable to meet its OPEC crude oil production quota of about 1.8 million barrels per day in recent times”.

Dr Owamah highlighted some of the earlier initiatives undertaken by government to address the issue such as the setting up of the Derivation Fund – funded with 13% of oil revenue from the Federation Account and paid to oil-producing states, creation of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in 2000–funded with NDDC Levy of 3% of total annual budget of oil-producing companies, creation of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs in 2008, with the total budget allocation of about N584.6 billion between 2008 and 2022 and the Amnesty Programme to Niger Delta Militants in 2009.

He noted that it was the inability of these initiatives to address the frosty relationship between host communities and petroleum companies that led to the promulgation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) which has now introduced the requirement for specified petroleum industry operators to establish a Host Communities Development Trust Fund (HCDTF).

Owamah noted that the PIA overhauls the regulation and governance of the oil and gas industry by providing for two regulatory agencies, which are the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC) and the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority, (NMDPRA) responsible for the regulation of their respective sectors in the petroleum operations, and can sue and be sued in their own name.

On the key provisions of the PIA, Owamah said that regrettably, the PIA provides that 30% of the profits of the NNPC Ltd will be used to finance exploration in other basins in the country, called the “Frontier Exploration Fund”.

Another provision of the PIA which aims to address the frosty relationship between oil companies and host communities is the creation of the Host Community Development Trust Fund (HCDTF), whose purpose will be to foster sustainable prosperity, provide direct social and economic benefits from petroleum to host communities, and enhance peaceful and harmonious coexistence between licensees or lessees and host communities.

According to Owamah, the HCDTF is a fund to be set up for the benefit of communities situated in or appurtenant to the area of operation of petroleum companies or operators to cater to the infrastructural development and economic empowerment of host communities.

The guest speaker also clearly stated that in incorporating the HCDTF, the operator would consult with the host communities to appoint a board of trustees and apply to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) for registration of the HCDT.

In his words, “the management of the HCDTF is the responsibility of the board of trustees, management committee, and the advisory committee”

Owamah told the settlors and HC representatives present that while the operations of the HCDTF would be governed by the provisions of the PIA, the Companies and Allied Matters Act, regulations issued by the regulators and the constitution of the HCDTF, the operator is required to oversee the activities of the board of trustees and committees of the HCDTF, the funds and expenditures of the HCDTF.

READ ALSO: Ministry Inaugurates Technical Committee On Petroleum Act

Owamah made the audience to know that for upstream operations, the HCDTF is to be funded with 3% of the operator’s annual operating expenditure of the preceding year. He also mentioned other sources of fund for the HCDTF as donations, grants or honoraria, and any profit and interest accruing on reserve funds of the HCDT.

“Funds made available to the HCDT are to be used exclusively for the development of the host communities in accordance with the Host Community Development Plan (HCDP) prepared by the operator and approved by the NUPRC (the Commission) or the Authority as the case may be”.

Owamah said that in preparing the HCDP, the operator is required to conduct needs assessments in the host communities and determine the effect of the petroleum operations, the strategy to be adopted and the projects to undertake to meet the communities’ needs.

According to Owamah, the HCDT funds are to be utilised as follows: 75% to be allocated to execution of projects, 20% to be reserved for investment, and no more than 5% is to be allocated for the administrative cost of running the HCDT.

Funds spent on projects are to be accounted for by the operator and the board of trustees of the HCDT. The don further elucidated that the PIA provides that where there is sabotage or vandalism to petroleum installations or designated facilities within a host community, that community shall forfeit, to the extent of the cost of the repairs, its entitlement under the HCDTF as such creates a sense of responsibility for the safety of petroleum installation and facilities within host communities. The provisions for environmental degradation fund and others were also mentioned by the guest speaker. The event was chaired by the Honourable Commissioner of the Delta State Ministry of Oil and Gas, Prince Emmanuel Amgbaduba with the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mrs Gladys Aghogho Puegeren in attendance.

 

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Yoruba Leader Writes Buhari, Seeks Talks Over Emergence Of Yoruba Nation

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Yoruba Leader Writes Buhari, Seeks Talks Over Emergence Of Yoruba Nation

President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to pave the way for a direct negotiation towards the realization of Yoruba nation’s self-determination and the establishment of sovereign nation-state.

The appeal was made by the leader of the Yoruba Self-Determination Struggle, Professor Banji Akintoye .

According to a letter by Akintoye, under the name of a United States of America-based Foundation called Yoruba Self-Determination Movement (YSDM), on behalf of the Yoruba people, he said that the movement wants the Nigerian government to set up a negotiation team that will meet and dialogue with Yoruba nation’s representatives not later than Friday September 30, 2022.

Akintoye said that this process became necessary considering the false hope of unity promoted by the British colonial officials and imposed on all at Independence has not been achievable in the past sixty years of Independence.

The letter reads: “Rather, not only has unity proved impossible to achieve, outright anarchy has taken over.

“We Yoruba therefore seek to discontinue our association with Nigeria, and to do so in an orderly and peaceful manner.

“Because we are an ancient civilization with solid modern achievements in education today, and a people with an old tradition of accepting and interacting smoothly and productively with various peoples throughout our history, we can live harmoniously with ethnic and cultural diversity in the same country.

READ ALSO: Sunday Igboho’s Methods Of Agitating For Yoruba Nation Wrong – Gani Adams

“But we have painfully concluded that sustained attacks by one ethnic group on us and other ethnic groups in the same country, and a plan of conquest and subjugation by one ethnic group against the other groups in the same country, represent a conclusive negation of the existence and legitimacy of Nigeria.

“We can no longer bear the pain and indignity of living in constant fear and mourning, like a conquered and subjugated people, in our homeland.

“We have been attacked by heavily armed marauders and militias, who have been invading our homeland for many years from the Northern part of the country of Nigeria to which we belong.

“These marauders have relentlessly killed our people, destroying farms and villages, raping and killing our women, kidnapping our people, and extorting large amounts of money for ransom.

“There are no official numbers for our Yoruba people who have been violently killed in these atrocities (because the government shows no real concern about the killings), but a rough estimate of 29, 000 is now generally circulating among us, an estimate which many of our people believe to be too low. (It is important that even the Sultan of Sokoto has once said that the killings across the country are being under-reported). These atrocities have forced an estimated majority of our farmers to abandon farming altogether a development that is now pulling our nation down into a devastating famine, and into unimaginable poverty.

“Meanwhile, in what we Yoruba believe to be the preparation for this final Fulani aggression in our Yoruba homeland part of Nigeria, tens of thousands of heavily armed Fulani mujaheedin, reinforced by Boko Haram, ISWAP, Al Qaida and Al Shabaab terrorists, have occupied countless locations in our Yoruba forests and are being supplied there with food and weapons by air from hidden sources in Northern Nigeria.

“Mr. President, we therefore dutifully draw your attention to the fact that since we launched our agitation for our Yoruba nation’s self-determination in the year 2019, we have unfailingly pursued the agitation through peaceful means. Our people have established over one hundred self-determination organizations, each solemnly committed to contributing in peaceful and law-abiding ways to our self-determination agitation.

“The Yoruba Self-Determination Movement (YSDM) respectfully writes this letter to you for and on behalf of the indigenous Yoruba people of the southwest of Nigeria, inclusive of the Yoruba citizens of the six states of the Yoruba southwest zone (Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun and Oyo States ) and the Yoruba citizens of parts of Kogi, Kwara and Delta States, all south of the Middle Niger River in Nigeria.

“The Yoruba Self-Determination Movement is a movement comprising well over one hundred Yoruba Self-Determination organizations based at home in the Yoruba homeland in Nigeria and abroad in most countries of the world. The Yoruba Self-Determination Movement collaborates the said many Yoruba Self-Determination organizations in the highest services of the Yoruba Self-Determination agitation and struggle.

“Mr President, the Yoruba Self-Determination Movement now serves you notice of the decision of the Yoruba people to assert their right to self-determination, which right of self-determination is an inalienable and unquestionable right of every indigenous nation in the world, and which right is enshrined in many international instruments that provide for the system of order of the modern world.

Upon asserting this right of self-determination, we Yoruba nation shall be free to determine our political status, pursue our economic, social and cultural development according to policies chosen independently by us, and to live under the government independently chosen and ordered by us.”

READ  ALSO: Akeredolu Dissociates Himself From Pro- Yoruba Nation Rally In Akure

Reacting to the letter, a member of the popular umbrella and apex body of Yoruba Self-Determination Group, Ilana Omo Oodua, IOO, who spoke to Vanguard in confidence from her base in United Kingdom, accused Akintoye of selling out the organization and struggle to some Yoruba Elites who are mostly in Diaspora and trying to use IOO as a political business.

The source said: “First, the organization we all know as the umbrella body, or call it an apex body for this struggle regardless of what anyone feels is Ilana Omo Oodua. We have individual members and affiliated groups which Akintoye is the leader. We still held our general meeting last Saturday. Ilana Omo Oodua mobilized and galvanized individuals and organizations to make the Yoruba Nation agitation popular all over the world till now but Baba Akintoye chose to use the name of a US- based NGO owned by some Yoruba Elites to write a letter to Nigerian Government and not Ilana Omo Oodua whose name is already a threat to the Owners of Nigeria.

“YSDM is a registered foundation in America owned by five people and nowhere an AGM was conducted by Yoruba Self-Determination organizations to appoint the directors of the organization to warrant it being described as the Umbrella body of Yoruba Self-Determination Organizations. Ilana Omo Oodua worked with other individuals and organizations to get to where we are so why throw us out to be used for business and negotiation with President Buhari because he was made the Chairman of a foundation where he’s not even a Director?

“Second thing is that in the letter, Baba Akintoye, after serving Buhari a notice that the Yoruba people want to exercise their rights to self-determination and justified it, is now demanding a negotiation meeting? Wow. Who does that? How do you request a negotiation from someone that is oppressing you and has immense advantage over you in terms of power, arms, sovereignty, money and everything?

“What does Akintoye have outside 5 million online petitions that warrant him demanding a negotiation or worthy of being negotiated with outside his media noise? Buhari should be the one to reach out to us for negotiation, not Akintoye asking for a negotiation. What Akintoye did was against the run of play. When Buratai visited Sunday Igboho in Benin prison for negotiation, he did not write the Nigerian Government for a negotiation, they came and Igboho turned them down. That is what is called a fighter and activist.

“The fact is Akintoye merely wants to meet Buhari and Tinubu for a political business meeting and he knew that cannot be achieved under Ilana Omo Oodua hence he shifted to the organization of his fellow elites whom he has sold us to. For instance, his Deputy in YSDM is a former Commissioner and Governorship aspirant in Ondo-State, Banji Ayiloge. For the first time in this struggle, Professor Banji Akintoye described himself as a former Nigerian Senator to Buhari. Baba wants to do business and get his due from the Nigerian Government. This is about 2023 electoral game. I will talk more in future.

“Lastly, Baba Akintoye said in his letter that no referendum, because five million people have signed an online petition. I am of the opinion that Baba is inviting the Nigerian Government to clampdown on the agitators at home because all the proponents of this no referendum campaign are not based in Nigeria. Baba Akintoye himself, his wife, all his children and that of Banji Ayiloge are not based in Nigeria. So they have nothing to lose. I appeal to my Yoruba people to give themselves brain.”

 

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Wike Disowns Suit Against Atiku

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Wike Disowns Suit Against Atiku

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has denied filing a suit to challenge the emergence of former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar as the presidential candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in 2023.

A suit had been filed to challenge the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Atiku Abubakar; the Sokoto State Governor, Aminu Tambuwal; and the PDP over the presidential primary of the party.

In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/782/2022, a PDP chieftain, Newgent Ekamon, contended that Governor Aminu Tambuwal breached the primary which was held in Abuja on May 28 and 29, 2022.

Ekamon contended that during the PDP presidential primary, when aspirants were asked to address delegates, Tambuwal had asked them to vote for him only to return moments later to ask them to vote for Atiku.

At the primary, Atiku polled 371 votes while Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and Bukola Saraki garnered 237 and 70 votes respectively.

After the convention, the National Chairman of the PDP, Iyorchia Ayu, described Tambuwal as the “hero of the convention.”

The suit asked the court to determine eight issues including whether the purported transfer of Tambuwal’s votes to Atiku by the PDP was illegal and void.

But in an interview with THISDAY, Wike denied knowing anything about the suit and the lawyers who filed it, describing it as the handiwork of mischief makers.

READ ALSO: Trouble In PDP Deepens As Wike Sues Atiku, Others

“I don’t know anything about the so-called suit. I did not ask anyone to file any suit for me.

“I don’t know the lawyers. Am I a kid to be filing a suit at this time? I had 14 days after the primary within which to have filed any suit. I didn’t do that then, is it two months after primary I will file a suit?”

 

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