Army, Militant Group Disagree Over Attack On NPDC Pipeline In Delta

There are conflicting claims by the Army and the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) over an attack on a delivery line operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) at Otu-Jeremi, in Delta State.

The NDGJM, through its spokesman Gen. Aldo Agbalaja yesterday claimed the attack on the 42-inch NPDC delivery line, while the military joint force in the Niger Delta code-named Operation Delta Safe based in Bayelsa State debunked the militants’ statement.

The acting spokesman for the force, with headquarters at Yenagoa, Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Otuji, said there was no truth in the NDGJM claim. He said: “It was a case of bush burning, which ignited the old pipeline,” urging the public to disregard the statement.

Otuji, who spoke on phone with The Guardian said: “Gentleman, it was a case of bush burning that ignited an old pipeline, no such attacks.”

NDGJM, however, insisted it would not be deterred by military offensive in the region to halt its pipeline attacks, threatening to fight on “till the last man is alive.”

Meanwhile, indigenes of Okpai and neighbouring communities in Ndokwa East Local Government Area, Delta State have protested against what they alleged as illegal oil prospecting by Sterling Global Oil.

The protest followed an attempt by the company to lay pipes right under their doorsteps, allegedly with the help of the 222 Battalion of the Nigerian Army.Speaking through the Secretary of Okpai National Union, John Nwanosike, they said yesterday that they had resolved to stop the company until it respected the rights of the local people.

Lamenting that the oil firm had been operating in the last 10 years without environmental impact assessment, Nwanosike urged the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) and Nigerian Petroleum Investment and Management Service (NAPIMS) to call the Indian firm and its Nigerian collaborators to order.

Efforts to get the company’s response to these allegations however proved abortive. The Public Relations Officer of Sterling Global Oil, Mr. Emeka Nwachukwu, who earlier promised to speak with The Guardian after a meeting with the company, refused to either pick his calls or reply to text messages sent to his mobile phone.

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http://guardian.ng/news/army-militant-group-disagree-over-attack-on-npdc-pipeline-in-delta/

Niger Delta Crisis Festers As Militants Disagree On Stakeholders’ Meeting With Buhari

The hope of ending incessant bombings of crude oil pipelines remain elusive over the weekend as two major violent militant groups, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and its Urhobo/Isoko counterpart, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) disagreed on the 16 point demands presented to President Muhammadu Buhari during last Tuesday meeting with leaders and elders of the region.

While Niger Delta Avengers maintain that it was not disappointed by the outcome of the meeting between elders of the region and the federal government, its counterpart noted for destruction of oil pipelines upland, NDGJM said the humiliation that came with the meeting of the PANDEF with President Buhari was not a surprise to the group.

Their positions were contained in separate statements issued and signed by Messrs Aldo Agbalaja for NDGJM and Mudoch Agbinibo for NDA, both disagreeing on the contents of the demands as well as the composition of the team that met with the president.

The NDA, which first issued its statement, said   it was not disappointed by the outcome of the meeting between elders of the region and the federal government.

It stated emphatically that the fathers and elders of the region had done the needful and was not disappointed noting that the issues they raised brought to the fore the mistakes of the federalism that sustained the struggle for restoration of their land.

“Our fathers and elders have done the needful we are not disappointed. The issues they raised bring to the fore the mistakes of the Nigerian federalism that have sustained the perennial struggle for restoration of our land.”

The militant group said the demands by their elders and fathers were the minimal legitimate roadmap to setting up the framework to achieving the short, medium and long objective for the restoration of tranquility and development of the region.

“Some are issues that need affirmative actions, the immediate take off of academic activities for the Nigerian Maritime University  (NMU) Okerenkoko for the 2016/17 academic sessions, withdrawing all occupational security agencies and agents in the Niger Delta.

“The Nigerian state genuinely need the cooperation of our people to sustain the flow of the abundant crude oil and gas resources in our land to quench her appetite of developing other sections of the country without regards to the Niger Delta, the people and the environment,” it added.

The militant group said the Niger Delta elders and leaders under the leadership of Edwin Kiagbodo Clark’s Pan-Niger Delta Elders and Stakeholders Forum deserves kudos from all well meaning Nigerians for presenting such minimal demands before the government to pacify a people and region that has being continuously raped and dehumanised since 1914.

It said the demands tabled before President Buhari would lead the roadmap to engender desired peaceful atmosphere that Nigerian state so need if there was sincerity.

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Kachikwu, Amaechi Disagree On Maritime University

The minister of transport, Chibuike Amaechi, and the minister of state for petroleum, Ibeh Kachikwu, on Monday disagreed on the establishment of a Nigerian Maritime University, proposed for Okerenkoko in Delta State.

Speaking alongside other ministers at a government town meeting in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Amaechi defended the decision of the Buhari administration to scrap the project.

Mr. Amaechi said the previous administration of Goodluck Jonathan had paid too much to acquire a site for the university.

The groundbreaking of the proposed school at Okerenkoko in Warri south-West local government area was done by former President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014.

But addressing the senate committee on maritime on January 19, Mr. Amaechi announced the scrapping of the project, which was to be financed by the Nigerian Maritime and Safety Administration Agency, a parastatal under his ministry.

He cited insecurity in the area, and said the project was a “misplacement of priority” because there are transport institutes in Zaria (Kaduna), and Oron (Akwa Ibom), already.

On Monday, Mr. Amaechi address the case again, in response to a question at the town hall meeting.

The minister said the new government lacked the funds to continue with the university project.

Credit: Premiumtimes

Senators Disagree With Saraki On EFCC Probe

A group of senators of the All Progressives Congress, under the aegis of Unity Forum, have risen against the decision of the Senate Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions to investigate the chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Lamorde, over alleged diversion of N1 trillion recovered by the commission.

In a statement jointly signed by Senators Ahmed Lawan, George Akume, Abu Ibrahim and Barnabas Gemade, the APC senators said on Wednesday that for a petition to be discussed in the Senate or House of Representatives, it must be channelled through a member of the House of Representatives or a senator.

“In standard parliamentary practice, a petition is routed through either a senator or member of the House of Representatives. Upon receipt of such petition, the representative will inform the presiding officer of the chamber and, thereafter, present the petition in the plenary.

“Thereafter the presiding officer will refer the matter to the appropriate committee upon which it will be returned to the Senate in plenary,” said the senators.”

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Saraki, Lawan Groups Disagree On Senate Majority Leader

Leaders of the All Progressives Congress again on Monday failed to broker truce between its two rival groups in the Senate.

The latest peace effort was at the instance of the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee. The meeting held at Odigie-Oyegun’s private residence in Asokoro, Abuja on Monday.

Senate President, Bukola Saraki, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Yakubu Dogara, were among the APC lawmakers who attended the meeting.

Although the meeting was not open to journalists, it was learnt that it provided the first real opportunity for the leaders of the two opposing groups to meet face to face since the June 9 National Assembly leadership elections.

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