Presidency moves to transform illegal Niger Delta oil refineries into joint ventures.

The presidency is making a move to make some of the illegal refiners and the local communities in the Niger Delta become shareholders in the proposed modular refineries concept of the Federal Government.

A modular refinery is one made up of smaller and mobile parts-(skid-mounted)- that are more easily fabricated and can be more quickly transported to site. They come in different sizes with varying capacities normally lower than conventional refineries with more elaborate and complicated set-up.

A presidency source yesterday said the consideration was in line with the promises made by the government during the presidential interactive engagements in several oil-producing states led by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to integrate the illegal refiners, rather than eliminate their operations.

However, specific consideration of how to integrate local “illegal” refiners in the oil-producing communities into the proposed modular refinery concept is now in progress with the Presidency and the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Agency (NSIA), spearheading the efforts.

At a meeting late last week at the Presidential Villa, issues around technical and engineering implications of how to integrate the refiners were discussed with industry experts and practitioners making presentations on how to implement the modular refinery initiative said to have been first proposed by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

At the meeting, the experts reported that they had worked closely with the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), oil and gas operators, owners of marginal fields, operators of refineries and various technical services providers “to develop a workable system to drive the initiative, the presidency source disclosed.

Under the plan being considered, the government could supply crude to the local refineries at a reasonably considered price, as an incentive to stop the current practice whereby the illegal refiners vandalise and steal the crude. This concept will also prevent environmental degradation that the spills and damaging the trunk lines have been causing.

Also, marginal field operators can supply crude to the new modular refineries that will have the illegal refiners integrated. Another important component of the plan under consideration is to involve the current illegal refiners and their communities as shareholders while the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC) and the NSIA will also hold substantial holdings/equity sufficient to make the smaller refineries operational as a business and a going concern.

To facilitate effective community engagements, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be established under the plan with the affected communities determining their share, while the government will supervise the implementation, which would be driven largely by industry operators and the communities.

Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President, Media & Publicity confirmed that a meeting was held last week on the issue, adding that the presidency was actively working to deliver on its promise of a new vision in the Niger Delta.


Source: The Guardian

Niger Delta Ex-Militants Endorse Ongoing Reforms At NDDC

The Niger Delta Ex-Agitator Forum (NDEF) has expressed support for ongoing reforms aimed at re-positioning the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the present management.

The NDEF in a statement issued on Monday in Yenagoa by its President, Prince Amaibi Hornby, applauded the Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba-led new board of NDDC for initiating a 21-point focus of direction at NDDC.

The group noted that the recent redeployment of 11 directors and ongoing internal investigations of corruption allegations in NDDC were signs of a committed leadership.

“We believe that these are moves that will eventually refocus the commission to its original mandate.

“The reform will make NDDC the vehicle to bring development and peace to the troubled Niger Delta and restore the confidence of the entire nation in the commission especially at this challenging time.

“This will also entrench transparency and enable the commission get necessary and important support from stakeholders,” NDEF stated.

The group further stated that NDDC’s partnership with the Bureau for Public Service Reforms, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Open Government Partnership, would better establish transparency in the commission.

NDEF on the other hand, condemned the recent reports that the NDDC was purchasing cars at the expense of developing the Niger Delta oil communities when investigations showed that NDDC was yet to even get approval to acquire operational vehicles.

The group dismissed the report as attempts to blackmail and arm-twists the management of the commission.

“The ugly situations in the past where people used blackmail and force of coercion to get what they want in the NDDC should stop as it was a major contributory factor to the woeful performances of the commission in the past.

“The Senator Victor Ndoma Egba-led management board should be supported by all and sundry to reform the commission and achieve concrete results for the good of all.

“The present management board is made up of credible people from the Niger Delta, who have served the public in the past with proven integrity and in various capacities with unquestionable reputations.

“Resorting to forces of blackmailing and coercion will never help us – Information should be thoroughly investigated before allegations are made.

“Let us all support this new management of the NDDC to chart a new course for the commission and not to blackmail them,” NDEF said.


Source: Channels TV

Niger Delta people deserve fair deal – VP Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has declared that notwithstanding the past leadership and governance failures, which resulted in the worrying conditions of Nigerians in the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta, the people of the area still deserve a fair deal.

Osinbajo said it is the reason the current administration is now advocating a new vision for the people of the Niger Delta. A statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, last night said Osinbajo spoke yesterday at the Presidential Villa while chairing an inter-ministerial follow-up meeting with relevant government ministries, departments and agencies involved in the Niger Delta,

“The President believes the people of the Niger Delta deserve justice, and for me also, it is a very important point,” the Vice President stated, adding that the state of the region and the suffering of the people does not reflect the fact that “it is the resource base of the country.”

In attendance at the meeting were the Minister of the Niger Delta, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and Minister of State for Environment, Alhaji Ibrahim Jubril.

Others include the Presidential Adviser on Amnesty Programme, Maj-Gen. Paul Boroh, and the Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mr. Nsima U. Ekere.

All the ministers and officials made presentations about the next steps in the process, especially on how to effectively meet the commitments and deliver the promises made by the Federal Government during the interactive engagement tours led by the Vice President.

In his presentation, Jubril disclosed that the ministry has now fully engaged the Ogoni Clean-Up Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, an indigene of Ogoni. Besides, he also revealed that potential contractors have been visiting the site to demonstrate available and suitable technology to be used for the exercise.

Later, Osinbajo also received a delegation of western diplomats from countries involved in the oil industry in Nigeria. The delegation was led by the Dutch Envoy in Nigeria, Ambassador John C.M. Groffen, and included Ambassadors, High Commissioners or their deputies from the United Kingdom (UK), France, Germany, Italy, United States (US) and the European Union.

The Vice President told the diplomats that the idea of the interactive engagements with the oil-producing communities originated from President Muhammadu Buhari after he met with leaders from the region last November.

He added that the Buhari administration is working on how to make a positive and long-lasting impact in the region in a way that transforms the lives of the people from the “treasure trove of Nigeria.”

He added that the Federal Government welcomes partnership and support of the western countries in that effort.

Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Groffen said the countries represented at the meeting would like to stay involved in the dialogue and commended the administration’s approach of the matter.


Source: The Guardian

Militants seek probe into N11 Trillion derivation funds for Niger Delta

A Militant group, Reformed Egbesu Fraternity (REF), has urged the Federal Government to investigate the over N11 trillion 13 per cent derivation funds accruable to the six states of the Niger Delta since the commencement of the payment in 1999.

Rising from its meeting yesterday in Yenagoa, the group enjoined the Federal Government to halt the payment through governors of the region.In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, the agitators maintained that the channelling of the funds, meant for the development of oil-producing states, through politicians had only ended up in enriching a few pockets while the majority of the people remained impoverished.

The agitation is coming on the heels of the under-development of the oil-rich region amid the allocations it gets. There has been the argument that even without additional support from the Federal Government over the years, the lot of the Niger Delta could have been bettered if the state governments were focused and deployed judiciously the much they got in close to the two decades since the return of democracy.

The All Progressive Congress (APC) in the Bayelsa State, however cautioned against such probe, saying that not all governors in the region squandered the funds made available to them. Publicity Secretary of the APC, Panebi Jones, citied political instability, militancy, pipeline vandalism and other oil and gas-related crisis in the region as the stumbling blocks to the effective use of the funds.

Efforts to reach senior officials of the Edo State government were not successful. But a source at the Ministry of Finance who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “Every year, the Edo State government publishes its annual financial report on the basis of what comes from the Federal Government allocations, internally generated revenue and other sources of revenue for the state and these have been conditions of transparency required by international financial institutions and this is why the state has been getting support from institutions like ?the World Bank. So, Edo State has been transparent with its finances under the APC government.”

In the petition signed by its ‘General Officer Commanding’, Ebi Alagbakouriwei, REF argued that routing the funds through the governors contravened Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and item 39 on the Exclusive List.

He said: “We, therefore demand that the Federal Government stops the allocation of 13 per cent derivation to the state governors of oil and gas-producing states and pay the derivation component to the communities through appropriate structures.”

The group claimed that attempts by the communities to seek redress through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and a lawsuit had been frustrated.

REF contended that till date, over N277 billion of the N11 trillion remained unaccounted for, alleging that the anti-graft agency had refused to take necessary action.

“The host oil and gas- producing communities reported to the EFCC that N277 billion remains unaccounted for till today. The EFCC bluntly refused to take action.

“ They took the matter to the law court in Delta State for the past three years. The case has never been heard till now.“ But it has been transferred from one judicial division to another, including Owa Oyibu, Asaba, Udu and back to Warri. The case has been perpetually adjourned at every sitting over the last three years”, the group further alleged.

It warned that defying its calls could aggravate the fragile peace in the region.It added: “ We wish to warn that the continuous indifference to this demand and appeal is an invitation to chaos and violence. In as much as we do not subscribe to violence in the resolution of our demands, we condemn the Niger Delta governors for the diversion of the fund for the last 15 years.

“The Federal Government should partner host communities and not state governors. In this connection, we commend Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of Petroleum for their commitment to the peace process and development of the region.

“ Consequently, we demand two modular refineries in each of the nine states producing oil and gas and the immediate cessation of the allocation of derivation fund to the governors.”


Source: The Guardian

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is not a ‘Nigerian’ – By Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri

After watching the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo in Benin City, Edo State, on TV live during his fact finding meeting with the good people of Edo state, I realized that he is totally not a Nigerian. He listened to all speakers with rapt attention and concentrated interest.

One could see him practically and personally experiencing the pains of the abandoned and abused people of the Niger Delta. Even when there was a mini riot in the hall he remained calmed and probably prayerful as an ordained man of God.

If the mild drama of mini riot that played out in the hall had happened in a situation where even a local government chairman was in charge, the chairman would have ordered the security men to shoot at sight.

If the person in charge was a state governor or a president, he would have ordered a massive arrest and inglorious shot at perception and at sight, but the learned and erudite scholar and legal luminary of international acclaim did not do any of that.

Rather when he responded he said he equally shared the grievance of the aggrieved Niger Delta people.

This is un-Nigerian.

For a leader to share in the pains of the people and not to deal with them for daring to engage in mini riot in his presence shows that the goddess of pride, the delusion grandeur and megalomania tendency usually associated with the average Nigerian leader at virtually all levels are not in the acting president.

For him to order all the oil companies to move their headquarters to the Niger Delta is a wonderful act of justice and healing of the age long injury inflicted on the Niger Delta people.

That he visited the Niger Delta states differently and interacted directly with the people and even visited the creeks to personally access the horrible situation is worth more than commendation.

No Nigerian leader at his level has acted like this.

This is the reason I doubt if Acting President Yemi Osibanjo, SAN, is a Nigerian. Probably he is a Moses in the making to the Niger Delta people.

Emmanuel Ufuophu-Biri is a lecturer and head of department of Mass Communication at the Delta State University Abrak.

Pirates release Russian expatriates kidnapped in Niger Delta

Russian news agencies reported on Sunday that seven Russian sailors and one Ukrainian captured by Nigerian pirates have been released.

General cargo ship BBC Caribbean cargo vessel was attacked on Nigeria’s territorial waters on February 5.

The sailors were reportedly released after dialogue was held between the owners of the ship and pirates.

According to NAN, Interfax news agency quoted human rights activist Pavel Butsay as saying the sailors were at Frankfurt airport and planned to return home next week.

“We have great news: our sailors are in Frankfurt (Germany) already, all are fine, the talks went successfully, all eight crew members, who have been seized, are freed now – seven Russians and one Ukrainian,” Butsay said.

“Germany’s Briese company had tough negotiations, during which jointly with the Russian embassy they undertook all necessary measures for soonest liberation.”

He added that the sailors’ families had been informed about their regained freedom.

According to NAN, a similar incident occurred in February 2016, when Nigerian sailors captured Ivan Rudny, a 32-year-old Russian seaman, along with his colleagues from the French vessel Bourbon Liberty 251 in the Gulf of Guinea.

Rudny was reportedly released after ransom was paid.


Source: The Cable

Niger Delta Militants threaten South African firms over xenophobic attacks

Militant groups in the Niger Delta have asked the 18 South African companies and personnel to leave the region or risk attacks.

The militants warned of imminent attack on all South Africans business interests and added they could no longer sit and watch innocent Nigerians being slaughtered in the southern Africa nation.

The threat was contained in a joint petition to the South African High Commission in Nigeria and signed by General John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, General Ekpo Ekpo of Niger Delta Volunteers and General Hart Bradford of the Niger Delta Strike Force.

The petition, a copy of which was sent to The Guardian said in part: “Our attention has been drawn to the series of unprovoked attack, looting, shutting down of business offices, killing and maiming of Nigerian nationals living in South Africa.”

The militants maintained that the South African government and her citizens have a number of businesses in Nigeria, going about their normal businesses peacefully, making huge profits and living in a very friendly environment with Nigerians.

According to the militants, “It is so regrettable that a country and nationals that had enjoyed the greatest affection of Nigerians was now repaying such hospitality with mindless killing and brutality.

To this end, the militants urged the Nigerian government to shut all the business premises owned by South Africans such as MTN, Multi-choice, Shoprite, Eskom Nigeria, South African Breweries (SAB Miller) and others. “Failure to do this within one month, we shall commence attack on the firms.”

Meanwhile, former president Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned the attack on Nigerians in South Africa, accusing the host government of “insincerity.”

He spoke yesterday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while receiving leaders and members of the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), led by its chairman, Major General Laurence Onoja (rtd).

To Obasanjo, the negative developments in South Africa “have betrayed Nigeria, which played a huge role in rescuing the country from apartheid. I blame the youths of the country for the attacks but I will apportion more blame to the leaders of that country that allowed the attacks against fellow Africans for whatever reason.”

To explore diplomatic solutions, the Senate yesterday announced the names of delegation that will travel to South Africa to meet its parliament.

The delegation is led by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Shehu Sani and others.


Source: Guardian

“Stop attacking oil pipelines”, NNPC boss begs Niger Delta militants.

The Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, M.K. Baru, on Thursday appealed to the Niger Delta militants to stop attacks on oil installations.

Delivering a Keynote Address at the SPE Annual Oloibiri Lecture Series in Abuja, Baru said the cessation of militants’ attack will enable the corporation to grow the gas industry for the “benefit of Nigerians.”

Baru noted that vandalisation of oil installations in the Niger Delta region was the most disruptive challenge to supplies across the country.

According to Baru, “The need to encourage gas production to meet increasing national demand is paramount.

“FG’s Gas Master-Plan Policy was intended to address the gas supply situation in the country. The Policy details out major infrastructure expansion, gas supply development acceleration and revamp of gas commercial framework.

“We are addressing the nation’s gas supply challenges through the launching of the 12 Business Focus Areas.

“One of the key components of the #12BUFA is Gas Development whose strategic plan is to increase domestic gas supply by 2020.

“Under the Gas Development Plan, we intend to grow gas supply to support the power sector and stimulate gas-based industrialisation.

“We also intend to selectively expand our export footprint in high value and strategic foreign markets.

“Gas pipeline vandalism has been the most disruptive challenge to supply across the country.

“We appeal to the militants to stop the attack on pipeline infrastructure to enable us grow the gas industry for the benefit of Nigerians.”


Source: Daily Post

BREAKING: Shake-up at NDDC, 11 directors redeployed.

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has redeployed 11 directors to different offices to “boost its performance” in the development of the Niger Delta.

Speaking on Thursday, Nsima Ekere, the commission’s managing director, said the decision to make the changes was taken after a retreat in Port Harcourt.

He said the affected directors were drawn from the commission’s offices in Abuja, Bayelsa, Imo, Ondo, Delta and Rivers states.

He gave the names of the directors as: Princewill Ekanim, who was redeployed to the office of the managing director as director of special duties.

Effiong Ephraim moved from special duties to head Abuja Liaison office, while Rachael Odiri, formerly head of Bayelsa state office now leads the Abuja office.

Also, Wanoro Weli, a former director in charge of utility infrastructure development and waterways would head the office in Ondo state, replacing Emma Audu who becomes director of project monitoring and supervision.

Nosa Agbongiasede takes charge of Imo state office, while Godwin Jaja, formerly director of Imo office would take charge of human resources directorate.

Etim Eyoette was elevated to the position of acting director, utility infrastructure development and waterways (UIDW), while Ndubuisi Ahiakwo was moved from UIDW in Delta to Project Monitoring and Supervision (Western Zone).

Uno Uno now heads Project Monitoring and Supervision (Eastern Zone) while Felix Aomreore becomes head, Project Monitoring and Supervision (Central Zone).

Ekere said the redeployment would enable the commission to actualise reforms designed to restore the commission’s core mandate and improve the living conditions of residents in the Niger Delta.

“We are taking actions to reform our operations for optimum performance; and part of the first step was to deploy officers to where they would offer better service,” he said.

“It is important to offer the region and our people better service; improve the quality of our projects; and ensure that we pay for projects and programmes that we implement.”


Source: The Cable

Acting President Osinbajo Reiterates FG’s Commitment To Rebuilding The Niger Delta

The Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment in rebuilding the Niger Delta region and to also ensure that there’s lasting peace and stability in the region, through active development initiatives.

The Acting President stated this during his one-day working visit to Imo state, the first since elected as the Vice President and in acting capacity as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The visit is part of his familiarisation tour and consultation with oil producing communities in the Niger Delta region of the country, in a bid to achieving lasting peace and stabilisation in the region.

The President was accompanied by the Minister of Transport, his counterparts in Power and Niger Delta Affairs as well as the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty.

His first point of call was the palace of the Chairman of the Imo state council of traditional rulers Eze Agunwa Ohiri, afterwards, the Vice President entered into a stakeholders and town hall meeting with indigenes of the state after his visit to Ohaji Egbema and Oguta Local Government Area.

The stakeholders in the oil producing areas of the state, as well as ex-agitators from the region were given opportunities to express their minds to the Acting President, with lots of complaints revolving around marginalisation and neglect of the oil producing communities in Imo state by the Federal Government.

One of the stakeholders from the region Cletus Ohale, says “The problem of the Niger delta region is more spiritual than physical, I don’t understand how the goose that lays the golden egg will continue to suffer.

“ We have been marginalised and neglected for too long, most of the allocations meant for our people are being diverted to non-oil producing areas, appointments meant for our people are being diverted, even in the budgetary system of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Imo state, the 4th largest oil producer in the Niger Delta is being given the lowest allocation, its so unfair” he added.

Meanwhile, the Imo state Governor; Rochas Okorocha while addressing the gathering expressed sadness over the way, the oil producing region has been neglected in the past, he called for the support of the Federal Government’s commitment to the development of the Niger Delta region of the state, especially through the Imo Peace and Reconciliation Committee.

The Governor said “We want to feel the presence of Federal Government more in this state especially in Ohaji Egbema and Oguta oil producing areas of the state, the State government has set up the Peace and Reconciliation Committee to cater for the challenges facing the people of the region and we have budgeted 35 billion Naira at least to wipe away the tears of the people.

“And in this regard, we need the support of the Federal Government of Nigeria, we thank you for the approval made on the abandoned skills acquisition centre, which will soon be converted to a Federal College of Technology, and the immediate revisit of the Egbema Power Plant which will ensure that Imo state and the entire southeast get uninterrupted power supply”

In his speech, the Acting President Professor Yemi Osinbajo reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government in rebuilding the Niger Delta region and ensuring that there is a lasting peace and stability in the region through active development initiatives.

While assuring the people that the Federal Government will complete all abandoned and ongoing projects in the region, He promised that the Federal Government will sanction all contractors who have been mobilised to ensuring the projects are completed.

“The Federal Government is committed to ensuring that the Niger Delta region is given a face lift, we cannot continue with the old ways of doing things, bombing of pipelines is not the solution, the Buhari-led administration has mapped out several programmes that will touch directly the people in the grassroots, for example the N-power programme for youth employment, the micro credit scheme for market women and we are also collaborating with private sector, civil societies, state governments and other stakeholders to bring meaningful development to the people of the Niger Delta region”.

The One-day working visit of the Acting President also availed him the opportunity to commission some of the projects executed by the Imo State Government, one of which is the Imo State Government House Chapel.

Host communities demand 50 per cent of oil blocs in Niger Delta region

Host Communities of Nigeria Oil and Gas Producing areas (HOSTCOM) have demanded 50 per cent of oil blocs awarded in the Niger Delta region.

Speaking through the Urhobo ethnic nationality chapter of HOSTCOM, chairman, Festus Pemu also asked multinational oil companies to relocate to their operating communities as demanded by the local content law.

Pemu said: “At present no oil bloc is owned by an indigene of oil producing communities. This is unfair and needs to be corrected.”

To consolidate on the existing peace, Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has urged the United Kingdom and other countries, which have stakes in the region to invest in employment generating ventures.

Speaking when the British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Mr. Paul Arkwright paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba, Okowa said: “Anything that will create more job opportunities for the youths should be encouraged.”

The governor said cases of pipeline vandalism were limited to the creeks of the state.

Arkwright in his speech said he was in the state to explore areas of economic benefits for the U.K., declaring that Delta was one of the key states in the country

Meanwhile, a non-governmental organization group, Kovenium/mmalah Foundation (KIF) in Delta State has chided government over its failure to stop gas flaring in oil communities.

Executive Director of the NGO, Faith Nwandishi, told journalists in Asaba, yesterday that gas flaring had wreaked havoc in Ndokwa East, West, Ughelli, Ogwashi-Uku and Ozoro, with no fewer than 132 persons feared killed in 2015 and 2016.

The Udefi Oba Oloye of Warri Kingdom in Delta State, Chief Clement Maleghemi has urged Acting President Yemi Osinbajo to fulfill all the promises he made during his meeting with youths.

Maleghemi made the appeal while speaking on the significance of Udefi Day celebration at Ugbolokppso, Uvwie Local Government Council at the weekend.

Osinbajo To Meet With Niger Delta Leaders In Bayelsa.

The Bayelsa State Government is set to welcome the acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.

Professor Osinbajo is scheduled to meet with the leaders of the Niger Delta, to discuss how to achieve peace, that would lead to the improvement in crude oil production and resolve the youth restiveness in the oil rich region.

This is the first visit of Professor Osinbajo as an acting President, who is leading a high level delegation of the Federal Government, in an interaction with traditional rulers of the region.

The first time Professor Osinbajo held a similar meeting was at Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta State, where he told the people that the Federal Government feels the pain of the Niger Delta region.

The Bayelsa Government on Thursday released a statement saying it is looking forward to receiving Professor Yemi Osinbajo, when he visits the state, as part of his tour to some states in the Niger Delta region.

The state government urged residents to come out en masse to welcome the nation’s number two citizen.

It also assured the acting President of the hospitality of people of the state and urged him to use the occasion of his visit to experience same for himself.

Furthermore, it called on him to access critical areas of the state that need prompt intervention by the Federal Government, stating that Bayelsa is the epic centre of all the issues as the home land of the Ijaw ethnic nationality.

Niger Delta Crisis: Osinbajo Leads Delegation to Bayelsa

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to lead a high-powered delegation of the Federal Government to Bayelsa State today as part of efforts to restore peace in the Niger Delta region.

Osinbajo and his team earlier visited Delta State, where he held meetings with major stakeholders on issues affecting the region.

He also toured facilities at the temporary site of the controversial Maritime University in Gbaramatu Kingdom.

Osinbajo’s visit, it was gathered, will enable the Federal Government to further interact with stakeholders, understand their challenges and proffer solutions to them.

Bayelsa, as one of the major oil-producing states, was second in the list for the visits to the troubled region, after Delta.

The visits, it was learnt, are meant to make the government see the effect of the recent attacks on pipelines and oil installations in renewed agitations by militants.

The Bayelsa State Police Command confirmed the Acting President’s visit and urged the public to go about their normal activities.

In a statement in Yenagoa, the state capital, Police Commissioner Amba Asuquo said Osinbajo and his team would meet with traditional rulers, eminent Bayelsa indigenes and members of the conflict resolution committees.

He said the consultations were scheduled to hold at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Memorial Banquet Hall at the Government House in Yenagoa.

He said: “Attendance is strictly on invitation. The command, therefore, advises all law-abiding citizens to go about their lawful and legitimate businesses, while gathering of persons not invited to the programme, at any point within the state, will not be tolerated. Tight security measures have been put in place to curtail the activities of miscreants.”



Niger Delta crisis: Osinbajo leads delegation to Bayelsa

Niger Delta Youth Group Threatens To Expose Corruption In NDDC

A youth group, under the aegis of the Niger Delta Youth Movement, NDYM has alleged that there is massive corruption in the running of the Niger Delta Development Commission-NDDC, even as it threatened to expose it in the coming weeks.

NDYM, the umbrella youth organisation in the Niger Delta region made the allegation in a Communique issued at the end of a National Executive Council meeting of the body in Port Harcourt, weekend.

The Communique, signed by the group’s National President, Joe Jackson, Secretary, Amakuro Isaac and twenty three (23) others, blamed corruption for the underdevelopment in the region.

The group lamented that despite the huge investments in the Commission, not much is being done to better the lives of the people, but warned that it is presently investigating the information of massive looting going on in the Commission under the present leadership and will make its findings public soon.

“Corruption is at the centre of the region’s underdevelopment and the youths have remained endangered species in their patriotic efforts to draw the attention of relevant agencies to the developmental challenges of the region.”

“…despite enormous resources committed to the development of the Niger Delta region by successive administrations, not much is being seen in terms of development of the region.

“…the absence of transparency and accountability in institutions empowered to develop the region is a major obstacle to the development of the region.”

“…the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) needs to be purged of corruption, with a view to sanitising the system and bad eggs expunged. The NDDC under the present leadership has no place for the youth of the region. No action plan or template for youth development, empowerment and engagement is in place.  The youth of the region have not been effectively involved in the activities of the NDDC.”

“The impact of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs on the region has been minimal.”

Continuing, the youth group called on the country’s anti-graft agencies to beam their light on the region, while urging the present leadership of the Commission to ensure transparency, accountability and due process in its dealings.

“The country’s anti-corruption agencies must begin to beam their searchlights on public institutions in the Niger Delta region.”

“The present Management of the Niger Delta Development Commission-NDDC, under the leadership of Mr. Nsima Ekere must ensure transparency, accountability and due process in the award of contracts by the Commission, especially, that of Water Hyacinth projects.”

“The present NDDC Management should, as a matter of urgency, ensure that the youths of the region are carried along in the issues concerning them. The continued marginalization of youths of the region by the present leadership is unacceptable.”

“As a principal stakeholder in the formation of the NDDC and particularly, the YOUTH DIRECTORATE, NDYM is reviewing the situation in the Commission and will soon make its findings and decisions known to the world.”

“We await a blueprint and action plan, backed with an implementation guide on youth empowerment and engagement by the current NDDC leadership.”

“We support a civil means to the resolution of the Niger Delta problem and shall at no point, back any military action in the Niger Delta.”

“The Federal Government should commence the ACTUAL clean-up of Ogoniland and other areas/states in the Niger Delta Region affected by oil exploration without further delay.”

“As the umbrella youth group in the region, NDYM should be actively involved in the Federal Government’s dialogue initiative, aimed at restoring peace to the region.”

“NDYM calls on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately nominate, for confirmation, credible persons to represent the three states of Abia, Imo and Ondo on the Board of the NDDC, in order to calm frayed nerves.”

“NDYM strongly condemns the planned relocation by the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) of some of its offices from Port Harcourt to Lagos and wants Exxonmobil to immediately relocate all its offices to Akwa Ibom State for the sake of the on-going peace moves by the Federal Government.”

“The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs must review its mandate, with a view to developing and implementing activities and projects that can touch the lives of the Niger Delta people positively.”

Ex-Niger Delta Militants Urge NDDC To Embark On People Oriented Projects.

Some Ex-Niger Delta militants, under the auspices of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, have called on the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to embark on people-oriented projects in the region.

They urged the Chairman of the commission, Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba,
to see through his promises and embark on projects that would bring about the long-awaited development in the region, especially the oil-producing areas.

The LPCDI, which boasts of about 90 per cent of ex-agitators in Phase 1 of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, in a press statement by its Secretary, Mr. Wainwei, commended Ndoma-Egba’s interface with the relevant stakeholders.

The group said, ”The interface with the stakeholders of the region is a step in the
right direction for the people. But beyond that, such meetings should be backed with actions.

”We wish to reiterate here that we would not hesitate to go against anyone in the commission without the interest of the Niger Delta people at heart.

The NDDC is for the development of the people and the Niger Delta region and not for personal gains.”

The LPCDI also called on the Federal Government to appoint indigenes from the oil-producing areas, into various positions in the commission.

The group further advised other members of the board of the NDDC to follow the footsteps of the Chairman and stop seeing the NDDC as a means to enrich their personal ambitions.

”We also call on the commission to engage and empower the office of the Special Adviser on Youth Affairs to make easy outreach of the LPCDI and various youth groups”.


Source: Channels TV

The Nigerian Navy Vows To Rid Niger-Delta Of Criminal Elements.

The Nigerian Navy has vowed to intensify its ‘Operation River Sweep’ in the Niger Delta, in order to rid the region of criminal elements within the maritime environment.

The Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command, Rear Admiral Mohammed Garba, stated this  during the command’s medical outreach to Okunbiri community in Sagbama Local Government Area of the state.

Garba said, ”The Operation River Sweep taking place in the region has been a success. The idea of introducing the ORS 1 and 2; one in the Eastern Naval Command and another in the Central Naval Command, is to keep pressure on the criminal elements within the maritime environment.

”Through this operation, the Nigerian Navy will be able to contain the nefarious activities of criminals in the area adequately.”

On sea piracy, the FOC said that apart from few isolated cases, the Navy and other sister security organisations had successfully minimised their criminal activities.

”Sea piracy has never been rampant. I will say we are doing our best to ensure that we keep the waterways safe for legitimate activities to take place,” he stated.

Declaring the medical exercise open at Okunbiri, Garba said the programme is part of the command’s corporate social responsibility to her host communities, which is the nineth edition.

He said the focus of the programme had been shifted to riverine communities and non-motorable villages who did not have access to good medical services.

The FOC called on the rural dwellers to reciprocate the Navy’s gesture by providing useful information that could help security operatives combat crimes, especially in the maritime domains.
Commenting on the gesture, an indigene of the community and former Acting Governor of Bayelsa State, Mr. Nestor Binabo, commended the Navy for its gesture.

He confessed that the free medical outreach was the first of its kind in the community, saying that the command came at the right time when many residents found it difficult to access medical care because of poverty.

The former acting governor commended the establishment of the command and the Navy as a whole.


Source: Channels TV

FG to launch free healthcare programme in Niger Delta – Minister

The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, says the Federal Government will soon embark on a free healthcare intervention scheme in the nine oil producing states as from next month.

The minister made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, on Monday in Abuja.

He said that the programme would be executed by his ministry in collaboration with the National Association of Urologists.

Mr. Usani said the essence of the health programme was for the people to know their health status with a view to promoting healthy living.

“This intervention is expected to diagnose and offer first hand treatment to persons with terminal ailments and common health challenges,’’ the minister said.

He said that the programme was being organised for the people in acknowledgement of the region’s immense contributions to the nation’s economic development.

The minister said that the ministry and National Association of Urologists would bear the cost, and the programme would cover treatment of all kinds.

Although, he did not disclose the centres, he, however said that people in the remote areas would not be left out.

“It is the responsibility of the ministry to bring qualitative health services to the doorstep of the people in the mandated areas.

“It is therefore set to facilitate proper arrangement for the realisation of the programme.

“Our target covers those with minor and severe ailments because health is wealth,” Mr. Usani said.

The ministry had collaborated with the Association of Nigerian Neurosurgeons earlier for free test on Malaria, Blood Pressure, Diabetes, HIV and free drug administration programme for the people of the region.


Source: Premium Times

Niger Delta Militancy: Agitations or Irrational Irritability? – By Joseph Odok

There is a popular story of a man that caught his wife doing some wrong. He got so infuriated and began beating up the wife. Bystanders applauded the man as he continued the beatings, yes with the support of all. After the beatings, he got the wife naked to her utmost embarrassment, tied her hands and feet, left her on the heat of the sun from morning to evening without food.


When the villagers were returning from their work,  they saw the wife naked and panting. Surely this did not go on well with them, they got infuriated with the man and saw the man a demon. They rendered insult on the man and ostracized the man from the village. Yes the wife was wrong but the man got irrationally irritated and excessive in his actions.

This story can be likened to the actions of some Niger Delta militants, sure there are instances of neglect of the Niger Delta Region by previous Nigerian Governments. Yes revenue release by federal government to the region has not brought any meaningful developmental change. Yes some Niger Delta stakeholders have corruptly enriched themselves from what was supposed to be our common patrimony, sometimes our brothers prove themselves worst enemies. Yes the goose that laid the golden eggs that feeds the nation is grossly underdeveloped. Yes from Isaac Boro to Ken Saro-Wiwa to the full blown Militancy today, there have been agitations that can be said to be legitimate demand for social justice. Yes the government of Nigeria has sometimes acted  in bad light by collaborating with trans-national oil companies to oppress the Niger Delta people. Yes agitation is one option of civil disobedience to address some serious issues of social injustices and inequality in distribution of wealth. Yes nationally, the international and local community applauds the agitation of the likes of Isaac Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa but in recent times, the agitations of some Militants in the Niger Delta Region is recently condemned as Irrational Irritability.

Some group of persons see such agitators/militants as criminal opportunist. More so because agitations by most militants has led to economic imbalance with the justification of violence as a quick way to wealth.

A gang of criminals have taken over advocacy, their stock in trade is pipeline vandalism, oil bunkering, kidnapping and some other humanitarian abuses. These gang of agitators are stupendously rich and are recruiting so many loyalist making dialogue with government difficult.


The wealth gained from the lucrative business of Militancy is used to buy properties outside Nigeria. Some are rumoured to own private universities, jets, and huge account deposits in foreign banks. Militancy is defining itself as a form of criminality that pays more than civility.
The environmental effects of pipe line vandalism has polluted our lands, farming is no more possible, what way Nigeria?

The tasks before the Niger Delta Development Commission chaired by Distinguished Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba is enormous. Poverty makes people Irrational and an aggrieved person is a destroyer. Civility is increasingly seen as foolery and cowardice, federal government is wrongly perceived as funding only the violent and neglecting the larger law abiding citizens of Niger Delta. There are increasing groups of agitators with the vision of satisfying their pockets. Peace, security and development have eluded the land

Which way Niger Delta? Peace comes with Justice, restorative justice and not selective Justice is the sure way to the solution of the Niger Delta Question.

Joseph Odok

VP Yemi Osinbajo Visits Gbaramatu Kingdom.

Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, on Monday paid a visit to the Gbaramatu Kingdom in Delta state.

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

He then flew to Gbaramatu kingdom for a talk with the leaders of the oil bearing coastal communities.

The Vice President is looking to engage in talks on how to address issues affecting the region and bring an end to militants’ attacks on Nigeria’s oil and gas facilities.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to also visit a number of oil communities across some Niger Delta states.

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.

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.

“Niger Delta not part of agitation to break up Nigeria” – Wike

Rivers state governor Nyesom Wike says the interest of Nigerians and Africans will be better served with the country “remaining as one strong and united nation”.

During a visit to the sultan of Sokoto, Muhammad Sa’ad, at the weekend, Wike said: “We cannot run away from this country. The unity of this country is very, very paramount. The unity of this country is non-negotiable. I am from the Niger Delta, from Rivers state to be specific so I cannot see us in a divided country. No way. We stand for the unity of this country.”

He thanked the sultan “for working tirelessly to ring peace and to bring unity to the people”, adding: “For all of us this is what is meant by one Nigeria.”

Wike said his administration has put a lot of time, resources and energy to protect national assets especially the ones in Rivers state.

“In Rivers you hardly find pipeline vandalisation. We are working at all times to protect national assets in our state. In my state, I am governor for all the people living in the state. I am not a governor of a particular political party, but a governor for all the people of Rivers state,” he said.

While commending the sultan for his leadership of the Muslim community in Nigeria, Wike said he was in the state to felicitate with Sokoto governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal who gave out his daughter in marriage on Saturday.

He dispelled the notion that his relationship with Tambuwal had political connotation.

“Tambuwal is my friend for a long time. If anything affects him, it affects me also. If he gives out his daughter in marriage, I have to be here to support him. If any problem happens to him, it affects me as well,” he said.

“Your Eminence I am here to seek your royal blessing. You have blessed me before, that is why I am growing. So let me wish you a prosperous new year ahead.”

Sultan implored Nigerians to live in peace with one another and wished their countrymen and women “a year full of happiness and blessings”.

Osinbajo: Niger Delta is where we get most of the money

Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo says the oil rich Niger Delta region is where Nigeria gets most of its money.

Speaking on Thursday when he paid an unscheduled visit to the Mpape artisans’ village in Abuja, Osinbajo highlighted the resurgence of militancy in the region as one of the major challenges confronting this government.

He admitted that the pace of the current administration is slow, but said progress had been made.

Osinbajo also blamed the economic crisis on the “damages of the past”.

He told his audience of government’s plan to develop small and medium scale enterprises, and to also create sustainable jobs.

Osinbajo was accompanied by Lai Mohammed, minister of information and culture.

“We are progressing but it is slow and the reason why it is slow is because there have been a lot of damages in the past,” he said.

“For instance, look at what is happening in the Niger Delta; that is where we get most of the money.

“But when the boys in the Niger Delta decided in blowing up the pipelines, production dropped from the two million barrels per day that we used to do to one million per day and we lost 60 per cent of what we used to earn from oil, that is partly responsible for the problem that you see today.

“We are trying to deal with the problem in the Niger Delta, address farming, industry and the economy so that this problem you are talking about will be fixed permanently.”

He urged the artisans not to despair, saying the government remained focused on improving key sectors that would revive the economy and create jobs for them and other Nigerians.

FG moves to end Niger Delta crisis, merge agencies

The Federal Government yesterday moved to end militancy in the Niger Delta region.

Addressing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai joined by the Deputy Governor of Anambra State Mkem Okeke, said governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to form a committee that would collaborate with the Federal Government to combat the menace of vandalism and destruction of oil and power installation among others.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who also spoke after the NEC meeting, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presiding, said the current administration was only on a rescue mission of an economy that was already battered.

“At the federal level, we are suggesting looking at the Orosanye report. We have discussed very important steps to be taken. We have suggested looking at Orosanye report that suggested merger and reduce publications of agencies,” El Rufai said.

According to him: “FG has 580 agencies. They are too many and they cost too much. There is a need to look at those that are duplicated and merge them. That is a report published since 2012. Even within MDAs, we need to consider merging departments. We may not need as many departments as we have. We have discussed implementing a public service renewal programme to get younger people, more IT-saving people into the public service.”

Government Moves To End Niger Delta Crisis, Merge Agencies

The Federal Government yesterday moved to end militancy in the Niger Delta region.

Addressing State House Correspondents on the outcome of the National Economic Council (NEC) meeting, Kaduna State Governor Nasir El-Rufai joined by the Deputy Governor of Anambra State Mkem Okeke, said governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF) have agreed to form a committee that would collaborate with the Federal Government to combat the menace of vandalism and destruction of oil and power installation among others.

Minister of Budget and National Planning, Udoma Udo Udoma, who also spoke after the NEC meeting, with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo presiding, said the current administration was only on a rescue mission of an economy that was already battered.

El-Rufai also disclosed that the NEC agreed to step up cost saving measures including a reduction of aides, vehicles in the convoy of government officials and merger of agencies as recommended by the Steve Oronsaye Committee on Public Service Reforms and in view of the recession.

“At the federal level, we are suggesting looking at the Orosanye report. We have discussed very important steps to be taken. We have suggested looking at Orosanye report that suggested merger and reduce publications of agencies,” El Rufai said.

According to him: “FG has 580 agencies. They are too many and they cost too much. There is a need to look at those that are duplicated and merge them. That is a report published since 2012. Even within MDAs, we need to consider merging departments. We may not need as many departments as we have. We have discussed implementing a public service renewal programme to get younger people, more IT-saving people into the public service.”


Operation Delta Safe Arrests Suspected Militants Over Recent Attacks On Oil Facilities

The joint military force, Operation Delta Safe, deployed to the Niger Delta, says its troops have arrested two militants believed to be masterminds of recent attacks on oil infrastructure in the region.

Rear Admiral Suileman Apochi, Commander of Operation Delta Safe, paraded the suspects before reporters on Thursday in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State.

According to Admiral Apochi, the suspected militants are popularly identified in the Niger Delta creeks as “General Eagle” and “General VIP.”
He said that the arrest of the suspects, who had allegedly admitted to being the brains behind attacks at Agip’s oilfields in Bayelsa State, was as a result of the tenacity of operations launched against vandals by the joint force.

He noted that the activities of the two arrested militant suspects was responsible for the slump in oil output following several attacks and threats to oil firms.

“I am glad to announce that two notorious kingpins identified as General Eagle and General VIP have been apprehended. From interrogation, they have admitted to committing several crimes,” said the commander.

He added: “The criminals and their group have at various times masterminded the destruction of oil infrastructure and sabotage to the economy.

“They have engaged in illegal bunkering and kidnap of high profile victims.

“The self-acclaimed General Eagle said he recently organized and blew up one of the oil company’s risers at Golubokin along Obama-Brass pipeline in Bayelsa. He also claimed responsibility in the planting of explosives at Agip’s oilfields.”  Suileman said.

The commander said that preliminary investigations had uncovered text message threats to oil firms and their staff, adding that the suspected militants declared their intention to carry out more attacks if their demands for financial gratifications were not met.

He said that troops acting on actionable intelligence raided the militants’ hideouts in Yenagoa and arrested three other suspects currently being interrogated.

He said that one of the suspects in the custody of the joint task force claimed during interrogation to be a pirate and “pipeline bleeding expert” responsible for the destruction of several oil facilities.

Admiral Apochi urged aggrieved groups to take advantage of the federal government’s window of opportunities to amicably resolve grievances rather than resorting to criminal acts.

He assured that the military would not relent until the region was sanitized of criminals. He solicited the support of the public through the provision of timely and credible information required to identify and flush out criminals.

He also assured that steps were being taken to ensure a crime-free Christian season as patrols have been intensified on the East-West road as well as the waterways in the Niger Delta region.

Nigeria Lost Over N1.5 trillion To Attacks By Niger Delta Militants, Oil Vandals In 2016

The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, lost N1.5 trillion due to attacks on its facilities in 2016, an official has said.

Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, stated this on Wednesday.

In a statement ?signed by Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Baru said that the exploration and production subsidiary of the corporation lost the amount due to attacks on its facilities from January till date.

Mr. Baru disclosed this when he declared open the 2016 NNPC Security Awareness week with the theme:? “NNPC Security: A Task for All Stakeholders”.

He ?lamented the rising spate of criminality in the society at large and in the oil and gas industry in particular leading to loss of much needed revenue.

”At industry level, we are all conversant with the seriousness and frequency with which national assets in form of pipelines, flow stations are vandalised and crude oil and white products stolen with impunity.?

”In 2016, January to date for example, NPDC alone recorded 59 security incidents resulting in crude production shut down/deferment and revenue loss of over N1.5 trillion,” he said.

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Finally, Jonathan Speaks On Niger Delta Militancy

Former President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday counselled aggrieved Niger Delta youths to embrace peace, saying it was the only means to usher in the needed development in the region.
Jonathan spoke when he visited the troubled Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State, the hotbed of renewed militants’ activities in the Niger Delta.
The ex-President, whose visit was greeted with jubilation and excitement, also assured Nigerians that the problems facing the country, especially the dwindling economy, would soon be a thing of the past.
Jonathan was in Oporoza the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom for the official presentation of the staff of office to the Pere of Gbaramatu, His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II.
The immediate past President appealed to all stakeholders in the region to embrace peace, noting that there could never be development in an atmosphere of crisis. Jonathan said, “At this period, there are challenges in the country; there are challenges in the Niger Delta; there are challenges in the kingdom, but all these are temporary.
Surely, the society will get over it. I believe Nigeria is still a great country and will continue to move on. The kingdom will succeed, the Niger Delta will succeed and Nigeria will succeed.
“The governor has given his charge, I don’t want to add more, but I always say there cannot be development without peace and the duty of every traditional ruler is to ensure that there is peace in his kingdom and you should be able to mobilise your sons and daughters for the social and economic development of the people and especially for Gbaramatu kingdom, where a lot of oil industry activities are going on, where you have people from all over the world coming to do one thing or the other.”
Also, the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, appealed for peace, lamenting that the continued destruction of pipelines had affected revenue generation in the country.
The governor, while presenting the staff of office to the 26th Gbaramatu monarch, said “I’m happy the Ijaw could put themselves together for an occasion like this. I look forward to a greater community of love, peace and development.
“It’s time to heal the wounds for the state to move forward. You have reasons to feel bad, but it’s also possible to carry out agitations through dialogue and non-violent manner. It’s time to embrace peace; forgive those who need to be forgiven. We need to partner others to move forward. I’ve come to plead with you to embrace peace. It’s time to think back and reconcile.”
However, in his welcome address, the spokesman for Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, lamented the unnecessary and incessant invasion of Gbaramtu communities by military operatives urging the Federal Government to accord the monarch the needed respect.
Gbenekama said, “Countless men, women, and children have lost their lives to these invasions. As chief security officer of the state, we plead with you to help reduce the presence of the military and stop the raids forthwith. We don’t deserve to die because oil was found in our land.”

FG Secures EU’s Commitment on Rebuilding of North East, Niger Delta

The European Union (EU) on Monday pledged its support for the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to rebuild some parts of the North East and Niger Delta regions by earmarking 20 million Euros for the reconstruction of markets and warehouses in Borno and Delta States.

The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Arrion, who gave the pledge during a visit to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun in her office, said the funds would be offered to the two States in the form of budget support.
“Sometime ago, we talked about budget support but we will be able to do that only at the State level, using a special instrument meant for countries emerging from war, and we can look at States in the North East and look at specific projects in terms of financial support to their budgets,” he said.

However, Mrs. Adeosun said all the financial analysis needed to facilitate support to the States had been put in place, pointing out that the Fiscal Sustainability Plan required a 21-point fiscal reform programme that enhanced transparency, accountability and efficiency.
According to the Minister, the funding arrangement would help in healing the wounds caused by insurgent activities in the North East. She said it would also give hope to the Niger Delta people who have been impacted by pipeline bombings and the attendant environmental problems in the area.

The EU Ambassador said the quest to invest in Africa was largely informed by the need to discourage migration to Europe, pointing out that several thousands of Nigerian citizens have continued to migrate to Europe.

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REVEALED: Pastor Oritsejafor linked to sponsorship of Niger Delta Avengers [NAIJ]

TaShawn, a wife to Bolaino Akwenuke (a warlord/close associate of Tompolo) visited Warri, Delta state, last December with intentions to do mission work in villages affected by the spills. TaShawn spent four months there and was unable to do anything due to high crime in the areas. Recently, she speaks with Bolaino Akwenuke on the current situation in the oil-rich region, which has been constantly suffering from the attacks of the militants.
Mr Akwenuke denied that former Niger Delta warlord Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, is supporting the activities of the militants. Instead, he claimed that the sponsor of the Niger Delta Avengers is Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor. Akwenuke also speaks about the role of Pastor Ayo in the Dasukigate and government of Muhammadu Buhari.
In life, you never know who you will meet. I say this while reflecting upon my decision to visit Nigeria last December 2015. I would have never imagined I would stumble into a man who is part of a situation that can impact so many lives in a negative or positive way depending on how this story plays out. When I arrived at the airport In Lagos last year I was escorted by the kindest man I had ever met. My travel itinerary contained plans of travel to Warri and then to visit rivers area of Delta state to help victims affected by the oil spills.
We made it Warri but we never reached the rivers area due to high crime, military action and oil pipeline and facility bombings. At the time the incidents were being blamed on Tompolo; I know this because while there I became interested in Nigerian news and we would read the local papers daily. What I did not know is the extent of involvement my host played in the situation. Nor did I know that his involvement would lead to my own.
Fast forwarding to today and here we are: bombings still occurring in the Delta region, Tompolo still being framed, and me assisting Akwenuke Bolaino Marho, the nice man who met me at the airport in Lagos December 2015, to tell his story of involvement; not only how he is involved but also to disclose the real culprit behind the Shell and Chevron Texaco oil facility bombings. In one of the most recent conversations that I and Bolaino have had he mentioned that tribal tension had been on the rise and if things continued than his tribe the Urhobo and the Ijaw tribe, for which Tompolo belongs to may fight each other. As I asked him why the conversation proceeded and this is what ensued:
TaShawn: So why will your tribe (Urhobo) fight the Ijaws?
Bolaino: They are trying to frame me up, I will not fold my hands and allow people kill Americans and blame it on my organization. The only thing that will solve all this is if that pastor is arrested. Ijaw and Urhobo people are killing each other more each day in the villages, and the man who is responsible for this is going out to party.  Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, immediate past CAN president Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, immediate past CAN president
TaShawn: Who is this man you speak of?
Bolaino: The man is the devil incarnate himself. He succeeded in making the Itsekiri and Ijaw fight endlessly in Delta state many years ago. He succeeded then and he is succeeding again. This time around the death rate from a tribal war between Urhobo and Ijaw going the way it is already will be devastating. My parents’ house will be burnt to ashes and all houses in the area. As it is now, there is already a refugee crises as Ijaw people are moving out of my area in Udu which is an Urhobo community. Some are being harassed and assaulted, and Tompolo has told me that if all this should continue we will fight each other.
TaShawn: Do you want to fight Tompolo ?
Bolaino: No I do not want to fight, I want peace.
TaShawn: Have you told anyone else about this?
Bolaino: I have been telling everyone for the past few weeks how they want to give me a name that is not my own. From the FBI, CIA, to the State Department. My country, my Senator, my ministers, etc. but they are acting like imbecilas, as if they don’t know A from B. They are forcing my hands. I have called the Nigerian Army. DSS. All of them. I have called the minsters I know. They pick the call and pretend to listen, and tell me they will do something about it but all the while, things are escalating.
TaShawn: How has the situation escalated and you never mentioned the Pastor’s name?
Bolaino: His name is Ayo Oristsejafor. He is now moving his guns and weapons from his church to Urhobo communities to fuel tribal war. They plan on blowing up a Chevron facility and putting the blame on me and my movement (MFPND). That is why I had to go to the creeks this period to plan for this. I have written about this man, there are a lot of things he has done if there is a Satan that is who he is.
TaShawn: So why are you telling me and how do you expect these agencies to help?
Bolaino: I want you to expose this man. It is the only way to end this situation. There is evidence to put him in prison, but Nigerian people are scared of him, because he is a pastor. If you can help to expose him everything will be over.. the militancy in the region, etc.
TaShawn: What kind of evidence do you have and are you sure it will stick to him?
Bolaino: I can tell you everything if you agree to help and are willing to listen. You will need to write all of this down.
TaShawn: Alright I will do what I can to help and am ready to listen…
Bolaino: Ok, firstly, Pastor Ayo is the Chief sponsor of the militant group The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA)
TaShawn: Are you are saying that Tompolo is not the one giving the NDA orders?
Bolaino: That is exactly what am saying. He (Pastor Ayo) sponsors them by giving weapons and ammunition. He gives them targets to bomb in the Niger Delta.
TaShawn: Now Bolaino how can you allege that a Pastor is the sponsor of such a deadly group. What proof do you have of this allegation?
Bolaino: Yes we have very strong proof of his involvement in the bombings of the Niger Delta. But we will only show the evidence to incorruptible government lawyers and we are ready to stand in a competent court of law to defend our allegations. I assure you we have corroborative evidence against this man and the media can attest to its truthfulness. I want to discuss this evidence with men and women of the press.
TaShawn: Ok, what exact evidence do you have on the Pastor?
Bolaino: First and foremost the pastor uses his private aeroplane to ferry drugs and guns from America and other parts of Europe to Nigeria. He has been caught once by the Authorities, but the corrupt government of the former president of Nigeria swept it under the rug.
TaShawn: Why did the former president not apprehend the Pastor at that time he was caught?
Bolaino: The plane was purchased with money from the Government scams involving the Nigerian Army. At the time the pastor was helping with corrupt Government officials in Nigeria to launder money with his bank Eagle Flight Micro Finance Bank . They were stealing money meant for fighting insurgency in the North Eastern part of Nigeria. At the time Colonel Sambo Dasuki was in charge of ripping the army off from the inside, since he was in government at the time.
TaShawn: Please explain more in depth how these men, Dasuki and Ayo operated inside the scandal?
Bolaino: They were supposed to buy aeroplanes, weapons, and ammunition for the Nigerian Army fighting Boko Haram, but these monies were never spent on the things that were needed to be purchased.
TaShawn: Is this a factor of why Boko Haram is still at large in Northern/ Northeast Nigeria presently?
Bolaino: Yes, as a result, Boko Haram invaded the Northeast and Nigerian army men were running away from the battle field because they were not well equipped enough and they became mutinous.
TaShawn: Is that the only evidence you have?
Bolaino: No, we have more, We have evidence that he was caught once more working with Hezbollah organisation in Nigeria. They were helping him to buy weapons in South Africa when his plane was caught with over 9 million dollars. When they questioned him as to what he intended to do with that large sum of money the response was that he wanted to buy arms and ammunition from a South African defence contraction company. After the claims were investigated they were found to be false. This lead us to believe that he was preparing for secession in Nigeria if the ruling party at the time lost. Prior to that time he and others at large had tried to assassinate Mr Muhamadu Buhari, in a twin car bomb attack in Kaduna. Fortunately, Buhari survived.
TaShawn: Bolaino how did you come to learn all this information?
Bolaino: The pastor told us in an informal gathering of warlords that period that they did it because they did not want Buhari to survive; they knew that if they allowed him to contest in the election they would loose and he would win. Afterwards, the pastor came up with the “BuhariBokoHaramOp”. See at the time he was the leader of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) so he had a cult following and he still does to this day.
TaShawn: What do you mean by “he had a cult following” and exactly how did the pastor use his following to further his agenda?
Bolaino: I mean he had a mass following of pastors and their members that would do as he said with no questions asked. He started telling his pastors and their members in churches all over Nigeria that Buhari is a terrorist. That Buhari planned to Islamize Nigeria if he won. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Tompolo Former Niger Delta warlord Tompolo
TaShawn: Since you say “we” a lot I am assuming there are witnesses other than yourself that can attest to this information you are sharing with me today?
Bolaino: Yes, we have numerous witnesses to this scandal. Myself being one of course. But Pastor Ayo and his followers did this for long, even until this day that propaganda still thrives on, hence the current disposition of my fellow warlords to Buhari. As they still honestly believe that Buhari is the sponsor of the Boko Haram. They don’t know any better otherwise. But as God would have it everything they did in trying to kill Buhari or spoil his image was in vein. At the time of the past election, it has to be mentioned that the pastor was campaigning for PDP which is the party of the former president.
TaShawn: Ok, so to back track a little you mentioned you are a warlord, but that you currently want peace; are you saying that some warlords in Nigeria are fighting for peace?
Bolaino: Yes, I am a warlord, and once again yes I and other warlords want peace to reign throughout Nigeria, as there is no reason to fight. The problem is corruption and greed. To add to my earlier information, we received word of Ayo’s involvement in the assassination attempt on Buhari in 2014 by a former Hezbollah operative we caught at sea after the act. He confessed to it before he died. That was when we started to connect the dots between him and the Hezbollah network in Delta state. After his candidate lost he sent a mole into the APC (opposing political party) in the person of Chief Ayiri Emami.
TaShawn: Who is this Chief Ayiri, what is his background and why did Pastor Ayo choose him as a mole?
Bolaino: Ayiri is known in Warri as a popular assassin and ritualist, so he was welcomed into the APC. Ayiri made sure to enter the APC two days after it was announced that his former party the PDP had lost the election. The APC being a party of Northern extraction did not fully understand the workings of the Niger Delta Politicians/ warlords. So it was from here on that the Niger Delta agitation was hijacked by Pastor Ayo and his cohorts. This is where everything started, this is where the story is today.
TaShawn: And what of Tompolo and how are you so deeply involved and knowledgable of all this information that no one else will speak of ?
Bolaino: Tompolo is a good man, a man that I owe immense gratitude to. He is the one that inspired me to join the Niger Delta struggle for resource control. He was always helping the poor and making them millionaires over night. It was strange because no one else in the region had ever done anything like it before. Although he was an outlaw when I first met him, he was given amnesty and I was not, so I began working with pastor Ayo and Ayiri.
TaShawn: Ayiri, Ayo, Tompolo and You are Warlords? Any other names I should know of that pertain to this story?
Bolaino: Ayiri is a warlord for all the Itsekiri people of Delta state. You have to also know that Pastor Ayo is also of the Itsekiri tribe, with the former Governors of the Delta state. Chief Ibori who was the first democratic governor of Delta state is half Urhobo and half Itsekiri. It was through his cousin Governor Uduaghan who is the immediate past governor of Delta state; he is also Itsekiri, and he is also the brains behind the whole NDA operation. He does the planning, strategizing etc. He is a brilliant man but he only uses his brilliance for evil. He is the evil genius behind all this and he is also the one who set Ibori up. Ibori is currently serving jail time in the UK. Ibori, his wife Nkoyo, and his sisters and lawyers are all serving time in the UK. They were all set up by the same people who are about to set me and Tompollo up. So I started working with Pastor Ayo.
TaShawn: Why is Ibori in jail?
Bolaino: There are newspaper articles to corroborate what I am saying. These things are public knowledge, well not all but some. They are deceiving the Deltans. Did you not hear of the Monseca law firm scandal? That indicted many prominent men and women of the world for tax evasion and financial crimes. Ibori is highly implicated in that scandal, as his name was released in the leaks. Google it. The British government intends on levelling new fresh charges against him.
TaShawn: Alright, now please tell me what you want the media and press to do? Especially the American press…
Bolaino: I have gone to British Media many times. They know all this but are afraid to do anything. Many people only hear my name but they do no know my face. I need to put a face to my name for the sake of peace to reign. I want you and others to take this issue very seriously, please. We want these things to be published everywhere in news in the US because what is happening now concerns them a lot. It is common knowledge that American and British companies like Shell and Texaco operate in Delta state. The Niger Delta Avengers have been blowing up Shell facilities, but they have not been blowing up much of Texaco facilities.
TaShawn: Do you know why it’s mostly the Shell facilities being bombed?
Bolaino: Good question, yes I do. Shell operates in the Ijaw part of the Delta state, namely the Shell oil exporting tank at Forcados, In Ogulagha Kingdom. While Chevron Texaco is located in the Itsekiri part of Delta state. Texaco has an oil exporting tank farm at Ugboroda in Warri Southwest Escravos of Delta state. TaShawn: Are you going to get to how this all escalates into Tribal conflict and future war?
Bolaino: Yes, that is where I am going to. You have to know that for many decades the Ijaws and Itsekiris have been fighting tribal war in the Delta state for long. The fight is usually on and off, and when they fight they burn down everywhere in Warri. The reason we moved to the area (my family and I) we are currently staying is because of the tribal fighting in that part of Warri we used to stay. They were always burning down houses and the house we were staying in Ogborikoko at the time was owned by an Ijaw man. So we were at risk of our house being burnt by the Itsekiris at any time. So after the former president lost the election and Ayiri switched into the APC just two days after his former party lost the election it was assumed that Ayiri had betrayed them at the federal government level of the PDP.
TaShawn: So who are the Urhobo/ Isoko preparing to fight presently?
Bolaino: Currently the Ijaws. Pastor Ayo is giving us all the weapons we need to fight.
TaShawn: So why aren’t you happy about this, why tell me to expose the man who is helping you?
Bolaino: He is a bad man. The reason I am angry is because he tried to kill me when I refused. If not that I am a strong man, a man of the spirits then I would be dead by now and my son would be fatherless for sure, but God Disgraced him.
TaShawn: Why are they fighting?
Bolaino: They are fighting because the pastor set us up to fight and gave the order. TaShawn: So in Nigeria, one must fight when a Pastor gives the order because he is a warlord who hands them out weapons ?
Bolaino: Yes Jesus is God in Nigeria, anything church if you oppose it they will kill you. Do you know how many thousands of people pastors have killed in Delta State? You don’t. They sent people to my house. My father and mother have relocated to other regions. Right now he is distributing Guns out to people under his boy Ayiri and others at large. He is the one (The pastor Ayo) who told the King of Aladja and Urhobo Community that God revealed to him that if he does not tell his fellow Urhobo Kings to drive out Ijaws from Urhobo land that the Ijaws will take over all of Urhobo land in the next year 2017 with the Biafrans. The Biafrans have vowed to tear Nigeria apart by January next year to fulfil America’s prediction of Nigeria breaking into pieces in 2017.
TaShawn: Do you know why he (Pastor Ayo) is doing all this?
Bolaino: He is doing all this to escape prison. Many of the people he shared federal government money with meant to fight Boko Haram, are currently in prison. They are mentioning his name in statements, and soon he will be indicted. So he is doing this in order to escape being arrested. This is what he told me before trying to kill me. He tried to kill me in his church, this is where we hold meetings and that is also where he stores the weapons for the NDA. Tompolo and I were preparing to submit all our weapons to the government, but our hands are being forced to fight one another; if this pastor is caught the bloodshed will cease.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the editorial policy of Omojuwa.Com

Over N420 billion projects ‘abandoned’ in Niger Delta by Jonathan

Project worth over N420 billion have been abandoned in the Niger Delta region.


The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, made the disclosure during a chat with reporters yesterday.


He said that on assumption of office, he saw “organised chaos and a deliberate action of disorder. There was an amorphous organisation called a ministry. But there was no ministry. So, attempting to get things in proper perspectives became the first responsibility, which, so far, is beginning to take proper shape.”


According to Usani, “it was a situation where people thought that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was a platform for collecting and sharing. That is the reason we had more than N420 billion disbursed in the ministry and the rate of project completion was just 12 per cent. There was so much waste.”


He categorised the projects into sectors, saying: “In every state of the Niger Delta, there are housing estates of two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. They have skills acquisitions centres. Only one has been completed and donated to the Federal University Otuoke.


The rest are not complete, like the popular East West road, which seems to characterise the image of the ministry.”


Usani, who said he would not like to refer to the projects as abandoned, said: “What we are trying to do is reward contractors who have shown true diligence in execution and should be encouraged by being mobilised further to return to site. And those who are in liability against the recent mobilisation are requested or advised to return to site until they get to the level of project execution that will be commensurable to what they have gained financially.”


On the East West road, he said: “It was first awarded in 2006. One decade has passed and it has not been completed. Yet, it is of so much economic and social importance to the region.”

Niger Delta crisis will be resolved by 2017 – Kachikwu

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Emmanuel Ibe Kachikwu, has disclosed that Nigeria was at 2.1 million barrels of oil production per day, before the renewed hostilities by militants, but assured that the formula for peace in the Niger Delta region of the country would be found by next year.


Kachikwu, who spoke to Bloomberg on the “turmoil” in the region, asserted that: “Well, I won’t call it turmoil any more, I would call it a bit of disruption.


According to him, “We’ve passed the turmoil stage, we have moved from 1.4 million barrels a day to 1.9.We were at 2.1 before we had the last incident.

“It is work in progress; we are putting every energy we can. President Muhammadu Buhari is very focused on trying to find solutions to these problems, and we are working hard on it. We are seeing solutions come up, we are seeing acceptance to what we are doing.”


He went on to express optimism that the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries, OPEC, deal will become a reality to push oil prices to $50 per barrel, and above.


The Minister, who is currently at the Liquefied Natural Gas, LNG, Producer-Consumer conference in Tokyo, Japan, and presided over OPEC’s 168th ordinary meeting in Vienna, also stated that a failure to reach a deal will crunch prices below $45 a barrel.

Shell In Court Over Niger Delta Oil Spills.

Royal Dutch Shell was brought to court on Tuesday, as Nigerians demand the company take responsibility for its oil spills that have environmentally devastated the Niger Delta region.

Oil spills coming from Shell pipelines and facilities have polluted the oil-rich region, threatening the livelihoods of thousands of Niger Deltans. Lawyers representing over 40,000 Nigerians in the affected areas brought two legal suits against the Anglo-Dutch company at the High Court in London.

In 2011, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) exposed the devastating effects oil spills have had on the Ogoniland region, one of the many Niger Delta communities ravaged by oil pollution. Its report revealed poor air quality, dangerously high levels of hydrocarbons in the water, and mangroves polluted with bitumen. The UNEP offered assistance to the Nigerian government to clean up the area, but said it would take 30 years or more to complete.

Today, Nigerians are hoping that Shell will be mandated to accept responsibility assist in the cleanup.

“There are strange diseases in my community – skin diseases, people are dying sudden deaths, some people are impotent,” King Emere Godwin Okpabi, traditional ruler of Ogale community, told AFP. The monarch flew to London to attend the hearing, hoping that justice will be served for his people.

Speaking with AFP, Mr. Okpabi held up a clear plastic water bottle showing contaminated water from his community. “My people are drinking this water,” he said. “I can afford to buy water. But can I afford to buy for everyone? No.”

Mr. Okpabi believes that the people of the Niger Delta have a better chance of justice being served in the United Kingdom rather than in Nigeria, where the judicial system is afflicted by corruption.

“Shell is Nigeria and Nigeria is Shell. You can never, never defeat Shell in a Nigerian court. The truth is that the Nigerian legal system is corrupt,” the traditional ruler said.

But Shell has argued that the case should be heard in Nigeria, as its Nigerian subsidiary, SPDC, is responsible for the oil spills. The oil giant will therefore challenge the jurisdiction of the British courts throughout the four-day hearing.

Shell has also pointed its finger to oil thieves and pipeline saboteurs, such as the Niger Delta Avengers, saying that these groups should be held responsible for oil pollution.

“Both Bille and Ogale are areas heavily impacted by crude oil theft, pipeline sabotage, and illegal refining which remain the main sources of pollution across the Niger Delta,” a Shell spokesperson said. She added that SPDC has not produced oil or gas in Ogoniland since 1993, and that the SPDC is supporting the cleanup process in the region.

But the plaintiffs’ attorneys have argued that Shell’s leaky pipes continue to pollute the area and therefore the company must be held responsible.

It would be recalled that Shell agreed to pay over $80 million to the Bodo community in January 2015 due to two oil spills that occurred in the region in 2008. This case was similarly heard in a London court

Pipeline vandalism disrupts development agenda for Niger Delta – VP

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday described the damaging of pipelines and oil installations in the Niger Delta as destruction of facilities meant to help the people of the region.

Osinbajo said this when he received a delegation of Urhobo leaders, led by Chief Tuesday Onoge at the Presidential Villa.

The vice president lamented that “so much damage is being done, governments will come and go, but these damages will ultimately destroy people’s livelihoods, aspirations and future”.

Osinbajo said: “Nobody else anywhere in the world will destroy the facilities meant to help them, there is no benefit whatsoever from the destruction.”

He maintained that the Buhari administration would continue its outreach to leaders and groups in the Niger Delta in seeking for peaceful solution to the crisis in the region.

Osinbajo, however, called for understanding, especially on the part of the leaders of the region, stressing that “destruction and damage do not lead to anything good”.

He also commented on the opened channels of communication and negotiation with the Niger Delta leaders and representatives.

According to him, President Muhammadu Buhari has shown exemplary leadership and is someone that can be trusted once he gives his word.

He said: “He (Buhari) is quiet, but fiercely determined, once he makes up his mind and gives his word.”

He also encouraged Niger Delta people to work with the President.

Osinbajo commended the delegation from the Urhobo Leaders of Thought, including the All Progressives Congress gubernatorial candidate in the 2015 elections, Olorogun Ortega Emerhor.

He also commended the leadership and understanding of the Urhobo Leaders of Thought.

Earlier, Onoge had lamented that if the money sent to the Niger Delta in the last 16 years was

judiciously spent, the people of the region would have benefitted, and asked “what happened to the monies?”.

The leader of the delegation, who pledged support to the Federal Government, criticised the vandalism of oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta and offered to assist in furthering peace in the region.

He said that the group supported the anti-corruption efforts of the Buhari administration.

In a related development, the vice president disclosed that the Federal Government was ready with the counterpart funding for the designated railway constructions from Lagos-Kano and Calabar-Lagos lines.

He said this when the new Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian, paid him a courtesy visit on Tuesday in Abuja.

He said the relationship between Nigeria and China was getting stronger and strategic.

The Chinese envoy said trade between both countries had increased and described Nigeria as “giant of Africa”.

New Army Division In Port Harcourt To Secure Niger Delta.

The Nigerian Army’s new 6 Division in Port Harcourt is to organize and improve internal security operations in four states of the volatile Niger Delta.

Maj.-Gen. Kasimu Abdulkarim, the pioneer General Officer Commanding (GOC), of the Division, announced this on Saturday in Port Harcourt.

Abdulkarim said the military had recorded success in the war against terror and was committed to combating emerging security threats in the Niger Delta and other parts of the country.

According to him, the Division will cover the 2 Brigade Akwa Ibom, 16 Brigade Bayelsa and 63 Brigade in Delta, respectively, with divisional headquarters in Port Harcourt.

“This arrangement will help to curtail activities of militants, banditry, inter-communal clashes, illegal bunkering, kidnapping, robberies, Niger Delta Avengers and pipeline vandalism prevalent in the area.

“Insecurity in these states negatively impacts on our national economy resulting from sabotage by criminal entities within the region.

“Everything must be done to protect and defend our fledgling democracy with focus to prevent insecurity in the area of our responsibility,” he said.

Abdulkarim said his mission was to structure and enhance the operational capability of the division and improve combat readiness of the troops.

He said the task included a review of existing intelligence architecture; accountability; inclusiveness; rule of law; troops discipline and respect for human rights.

The GOC said the division would work with the media and the public to promote civil-military relations with focus on improving intelligence gathering.

“Officers and soldiers of 6 Division must collectively evolve media management skills in the exploit of mass and social media’s growing power instead of fighting it.

“Our personnel must be honest, trustworthy and professional in their conduct to earn public confidence in our internal security operations,” he said.

He urged governments and communities in the four states to cooperate with the division to enable it to achieve its mandate to improve security in the region.

Tompolo Denies Involvement In Planned Niger Delta Attacks

Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, a leading figure in Niger Delta militancy, has dissociated himself from planned attacks on oil facilities and installations. Tompolo was reacting to allegations made by an online medium and on a Channels Television program that militants have vowed to attack more oil facilities if the corruption-related charges slammed on him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) are not dropped.

In a statement issued on Sunday and signed by his media consultant, Paul Bebenimibo, Tompolo dissociated himself from this threat, saying he gave nobody instructions to attack oil facilities in the Niger Delta region because of his case with the EFCC.

The statement added that Tompolo has consistently denied involvement in the resurgence and bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region and accused those mentioning his name of seeking cheap relevance.

“This online publication came two days after one Michael Johnny accused Tompolo on a Channels Television program, ‘State of the Nation’, of being behind the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region. Tompolo watched the program with great disbelief, as Michael Johnny accused him of being the brain behind the bombing of oil facilities,” the statement said.

It added that information at the disposal of security agencies, however, indicated that a suspect in custody has confessed that Michael Johnny sent him to bomb oil facilities.

“That means Michael Johnny is the one behind the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta. Tompolo has instructed his lawyers to sue Michael Johnny for malicious damage.

“Tompolo sued the EFCC for illegally placing a non-debit order in his company account in Warri before he was hurriedly dragged to court by the EFCC in Lagos. And after a year, the court has refused to hear his case for frivolous excuses. And he has vowed to patiently pursue his case rather than resorting to violence and bombing of oil facilities which is greatly affecting our economy,” added the statement.

Militants’ attacks: Military removes Commander in Niger Delta, appoints replacements.

A new commander for Operation Delta Safe in the Niger Delta has been appointed. He is Rear Admiral Apochi Ogabu Suleiman.


Suleiman relieves Rear Admiral Joseph Osa Okojie who has now been reassigned.


Until his appointment, Rear Admiral Suleiman was the Director Development at the Defence Headquarters.


Before that, he was the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command.


A statement by Col. Kingsley Umoh, on behalf of Director of Defence Information said “This change becomes necessary in order to inject new capability to contain the prevailing security threats and provide adequate much needed stability in the region.”


The appointment is take immediate effect.


The presidency yesterday lamented renewed attack on installations and also complained that militants were not showing interest in dialogue.

Niger Delta militants not ready for dialogue – Presidency

The Presidency has said that despite the Federal Government’s effort at pursuing dialogue with the Niger Delta stakeholders, militant groups have not reciprocated the government’s gesture towards finding peaceful solution to the crisis in the oil-producing areas of Nigeria.

A statement issued on Wednesday quoted the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, as making the observation in an interview he granted to a Kano-based radio station, Express Radio.

The statement read in part, “Despite the government’s demonstration of goodwill by bringing stakeholders to the roundtable, militant groups have continued to blow up national economic assets.”

Shehu said the continued destruction of oil installations had frustrated peace talks.

Shehu appealed to Niger Delta leaders to facilitate the stoppage of violence and economic sabotage in the area.

“We must keep national interest above all else and give priority to eschewing violence and destruction,” he said.

Shehu also said the Federal Government was facilitating development by speeding up ongoing projects and investing in construction and repair of highways, railways and electricity plants.

According to the presidential spokesman, a number of projects that existed only on paper are being executed.

“Kano-Katsina dual highway was awarded three years ago by the last administration. They didn’t pay a kobo for its start-up. President Buhari just paid money for the first tranche of 75 kilometres and work has begun,” he added.

Shehu underscored the essence of infrastructure in the country’s economic and industrial take-off, describing it as playing the same role that the arteries play in the human body.

“Without infrastructure, the country will not witness growth,” he noted.

…FG rebuffs our moves for peace –Bakassi militants

A leader of the Bakassi Strike Force, Benjamin Ene, on Wednesday indicated that moves by his group to end hostilities in the Bakassi area of the Niger Delta had been snubbed by the Federal Government.

The group restated its readiness to lay down its arms and work with the Federal Government to ensure that the problems faced by the Bakassi people were addressed.

Ene, also known as G1, had on November 8 returned a General Purpose Machine Gun and AK 47 rifles to the officials of the Department of State Services.

He also said that his group had turned down offers by foreign and local organisations to destabilise Nigeria.

In a statement made available to journalists through his counsel, Mr. Ozinko Ozinko, the militant leader, who is currently on the wanted list of Nigerian Army, said the group had over the years been sidelined in the Federal Government Amnesty Programme.

He said, “As a mark of good faith and demonstration of seriousness, on November 8 by 16.30 hours, we returned weapons our fighters seized during our last confrontation.

“We call on the whole world and the United Nations to note this declaration of ceasefire and the return of weapons while we remain vigilant and wait for the response of the Nigerian government.

“For now, we shall maintain our independence and refuse to take up offers we have been receiving to team up with other international groups and local freedom fighters for more effective confrontation and destabilisation of Nigeria.”

Ene said the group, which consists of over 1, 000 foot soldiers, would name its representative when the Federal Government showed seriousness and readiness to end the war in Bakassi.

Niger Delta Group Storms Villa, Gives Fresh Conditions For Peace

delegation of the Niger Delta Peoples Congress (NDPC) was at the Aso Rock Presidential Villa in Abuja yesterday and gave fresh conditions for peace during a meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

It would be recalled that elders from the region, under the auspices of Pan-Niger Delta Forum, had on November 1 met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa where they presented a 16-point demand to him.

The secretary of the Niger Delta Peoples Congress, Professor Benjamin Okaba, told Osinbajo yesterday that their visit was to re-affirm the plausible submissions earlier made, prioritise their concerns and place them in clearer perspectives.

Okaba listed his group’s demands as including political reconstruction and fiscal federalism, saying the derivation principle should allow the different units annex and control their resources and pay appropriate and agreed tax to the centre.

The group also demanded stoppage of further invasion of the region under any guise; unconditional release of all freedom fighters from detention, relocation of multinational corporations’ operational bases to the region and creation of at least 6,000 jobs for the teeming population of unemployed and restive youths of the region.

It also demanded resumption of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State and establishment of similar institutions in other parts of the region; release of over N800bn outstanding allocations to the NDDC; building of more modular refineries; reduction of the current state of environmental degradation and threat to life occasioned by the activities of the mult-national corporations in the region as well as comprehensive remediation of areas affected by oil spill.

Other demands were provision of medical facilities and attention to people suffering from ailments associated with oil and gas activities; prompting the legislative process for the review of the nation’s laws on environmental impact; immediate implementation of all laws stopping gas flaring in the region and establishment of internally displaced persons camps for the re-settlement of displaced persons at Bakassi, Gbaramatu, and so on.

In his response, Osinbajo charged the delegation to first address the issue of continued vanadalism in the region which, according to him, he said is the most important thing.

He noted that the problems in the region had always been there, saying if the elite in all regions of the country decide to end the problems in their regions, the crises would be resolved.

The vice president also told the delegation that independent producers who are Nigerians are the ones suffering from vandalism, not the international oil companies.

Credit: dailytrust

Nigerian Navy plans fresh strategies to counter militancy

The Nigerian Navy has formulated fresh strategies to flush out militants from the Niger Delta region and end ongoing attacks on oil installations.

It was gathered that the strategies when fully implemented would enable the navy through their formations in the region to gather intelligence on planned attacks and stop their execution.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral, Ibok-Ete Ibas, and his team of senior officers were in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, Monday, to tour formations of the Central Naval Command (CNC) in preparation to roll out the new order.

Ibas in company with the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), CNC, Rear Admiral Mohammed Garba and unit commanders of CNC assessed military hardwares and the readiness of the command to tackle security challenges in its Areas of Responsibility (AoR).

Ibas spent time to evaluate equipment at the Nigerian Naval Ship (NNS) SOROH; naval gunboats at the Government House jetty and later received briefs on challenges facing the CNC.

He further went to the Brass Island where he was conducted round the naval installations at a major command base of the CNC, the Forward Operational Base, FORMOSO.

Ibas, who paid a courtesy visit to the state Governor, Mr. Seriake Dickson, said the tour was aimed at getting all the formations in the region ready to professionally and effectively key into the strategies of riding the region of criminally and militancy.

As part of the fresh strategies he said the navy identified all the flash points in the region and was creating mobile stations to stop illegal activities of criminals and militants.

He said more areas had been identified along the waterways for the establishment of checkpoints and naval security posts.

He said: “The Navy came into the state about five years ago. I am also aware that the presence of the Navy has changed the maritime security landscape of the state and indeed the Niger Delta area in fighting maritime crime which is of concern to all well-meaning Nigerians.

“I want to assure you that the Nigerian Navy together with our sister security agencies will do all within our powers to ensure that we create an enabling environment that will allow for legitimate use of maritime space.

“I wish to use this forum to commend the state for its logistics support to the Navy. We have expanded our bases and units now to create mobile stations which enable us to be closer to the people and to tackle maritime crimes. We are also in the process of creating additional checkpoints to cover flash points in the region.”

Ibas said he was able to appraise and evaluate the security architecture on ground adding that the Navy had enhanced its operational capacity by acquiring more gunboats that had been allocated to various units.

He also said that the Navy had been able to put in place, infrastructure to support its operations in various bases and units.

He said the navy conducted training both locally and abroad to prepare the personnel to be able to man the various equipment in place.

He said: “We are hoping that when we put all these together, the Navy is going to be more proactive in delivery of services and with the various exercises we are conducting, we will be able to rid Bayelsa State and the maritime environment of the criminal elements in the region”.

He commended Dickson, who was represented by his Deputy, Rear Admiral John Jonah (retd) for his support to the CNC and congratulated him on his electoral victory at the Supreme Court.

He disclosed that the governor provided 100 hectares of land for the navy to build a permanent site for NNS SOROH.

Ibas further said the navy was planning to establish its welfare school in the state to contribute to learning and strengthen military-civilian relationship in the state.

But the naval chief appealed to the governor and other governors in the region to play their roles in ensuring peace in the Niger Delta region.

Addressing the governor, he said: “The responsibility lies on those of you in government and security agencies.

“While we commend you for your support, we are also asking you to appeal to Bayelsans to maintain the peace. Tell your people that development cannot come without security”.

Responding, Dickson said his government was always determined to rid the state of criminal elements.

He said his government was anchored on zero tolerance for crime and criminality.

He said: “For Bayelsa State to be secured, the waterways must be secured. That does not mean that we will leave the land. We know that people go to river to harvest for land use.

“But the area of harvest is where the contest is now and the national establishment that has the responsibility, resources and training to do that for the country is the Navy.

“So, the Nigerian Navy needs the encouragement from all of us to ensure that the riverside areas and maritime environment are safe.

“If we continue to collaborate more with sister security services, consistent with availability of logistics to carry out operations, we are going to have a very peaceful Christmas. Again, even after Christmas, we are going to sustain operations.”

He appealed to the Naval authorities to create more of those mobile stations in the state, insisting that Bayelsa is “more riverine than Rivers State and more delta than Delta State”.

Dickson said that his belief was hinged on the fact that if the security agencies and the relevant authorities continued in the same spirit, the state and the region would be rid of criminals.

Trump’s victory brought hope for Niger Deltans – Avengers

The Niger Delta Avengers have congratulated the President-elect of the United States of America, Mr. Donald Trump, on his electoral victory in the Presidential elections held on Tuesday.


The Avengers said Trump’s victory brought hope to the agitation for the economic emancipation and fiscal federalism in the region.


In a electronic mail sent late Wednesday evening by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, said the people of the Niger Delta would come victorious just like Trump who fought against world establishments to win the tensed election.


The statement read, “The High Command of the Niger Delta Avengers, the organization at the forefront of the agitation for the economic emancipation and fiscal federalism for the people of the Niger Delta congratulates Donald J Trump, the President-Elect of the United States of America.


“Your hard fought victory against world establishments is hope for the over thirty million oppressed minorities of the Niger Delta, that have being continuously raped and economically colonized because of our God-given resources over last six decades, by the Nigerian state and Islamic fundamentalists in power.”


While expressing desire and believe to work with the US President-elect towards bringing to the world a real change, it added, “we are hoping for a new perfect economic order and relations as it concerns the United States critical assets and interest in the Niger Delta.”

Niger Delta Avengers Congratulate Trump

Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, the militant group at the forefront of the agitation for fiscal federalism in Nigeria and economic emancipation of the Niger Delta region, has commended the President – Elect of the United States of America, Donald J Trump.

The group in a statement by its spokesperson: self-styled Brigadier General Mudoch Agbinibo, asserted: “Your hard fought victory against world establishments is hope for us, the over 30 million oppressed minorities of the Niger – Delta that have being continuously raped and economically colonized because of our God-given resources, over the last six decades, by the Nigerian state and Islamic fundamentalists in power.”

“Mr. President elect of the United States of America sir, we are hoping for a new perfect economic order and relations as it concerns the United States’ critical assets and interest in the Niger Delta.

“Lead the world to a real change not the President Barack Obama change that manipulated a clueless puppet in General Muhammadu Buhari on the people of Nigeria,” NDA said.


Niger Delta Avengers Weakened as JTF Foils Another Attack on Chevron Escravos Pipeline in Delta

President Muhammadu Buhari wednesday held a closed-door meeting with the leadership of the Nigerian Senate.

The president also met separately with Senators from the South-east.

The senators at the meeting, held at the president’s office at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, were led by the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, and his deputy, Ike Ekweremadu.
After the meeting with the lawmakers, they exited while Buhari held a personal meeting with Saraki.

The meeting came about a week after the Senate rejected Buhari’s request to borrow $29.9 billion from external sources.

The lawmakers, across party divide, rejected the application without debate, saying it did not come with relevant information such as purpose, means of repayment and among others.

Speaking with journalists after the meeting, Ekweremadu said: “For us from the South-east, we believe that dialogue is better than any other form of engagement. So we decided to visit the president and present to him some of the concerns of the South-east including the issues of roads, general infrastructure: the rail, airports. We also discussed the issue of security with him and of course the issue of Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB.) We had a good conversation with the president, and he promised to look into the issues.”

The Chairman of the South-east Caucus in the Senate, Eyinnaya Abaribe, who was also at the meeting with the president, said the South-east caucus came to see the president over raging issues in the region.

He said: “This is the South-east caucus in the Senate and we came to see the president because of the issues we have in the South-east.

“We had a fruitful discussion with the president. He has promised us that he is going to look into the problems of region.

“We know that there are problems everywhere but we also believe that the South-east is the zone that is far much shortchanged at this time than other zones.

We also talked about the issue of appointments from the South-east, especially with respect to the National Security Council. The president also told us that governors of the South-east have also engaged him on the same problems we engaged him on.

“There is a concerted effort from the people of the South-east to be sure that we engage with this government meaning fully.

“We are reassured with the response we got from the president and we look forward to further interaction with him in this manner.”

Others in the delegation were: Sam Egwu, Hope Uzodima, Andy Uba and Chukwuka Utazi.

Credit: ThisDay

Niger Delta Militant Group Surrenders Weapons To Accept Amnesty.

Members of the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF), a militant group in the Niger Delta, Nigeria’s oil-producing hub, have surrendered some of their weapons to demonstrate their readiness to lay down arms if the Federal Government addressed their concerns.

Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, the spokesman of the Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta, confirmed the development in a statement issued on Wednesday in Yenagoa.

Colonel Daudu revealed that the Cross River Command of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the government of Cross River were involved in working out the terms of the surrender. He disclosed that the militant group had turned in one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and an AK 47 rifle as a show of good faith towards the peace deal.

“Available information from Sector 4 in Cross River State indicates that Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) militants led by one Mr. Benjamin Ene have expressed unreserved willingness to lay down their arms. They have contacted the Department of State Service in Cross River State through the state government’s appointed rapporteur on amnesty to signify their readiness to hold talks on amnesty with the relevant authorities.

“To buttress this demonstration of goodwill, BSF turned in one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) and an AK 47 rifle.”

Colonel Daudu continued: “The Department of State Service representatives and representatives of the rapporteur have since recovered the arms as talks are ongoing on modalities to surrender their remaining arms.”

The militant group’s leader, Mr. Ene, also known as Humble Lion G1, had on November 1 expressed the desire to surrender in a video message where he listed conditions for surrendering his stockpile of ammunition. The militant leader said his group was not out to vandalize national assets but for the wellbeing of his people who resided in Bakassi, a former region of Nigeria that was ceded to Cameroon.

The leader, who spoke from his camp in the creeks of southern Cross River, said that unlike other militant groups, his group had not participated in the destruction of oil installations or molestation of citizens.

Colonel Daudu said that Brigadier General Kevin Aligbe, the acting Commander of Operation Delta Safe, the joint military force deployed to the Niger Delta, had applauded the militant group’s gesture to surrender and embrace peace.

General Aligbe stated that the military has zero tolerance for militancy and related crimes in the joint operations area and urged other aggrieved groups to emulate the BSF by laying down their arms.

According to Colonel Daudu, the commander advised the other Niger Delta militants groups to embrace the reconciliatory channels open at both state and federal levels.

The military spokesman also said that troops of Sector 3, following a tipoff on Wednesday, reacted swiftly and rounded up suspected sea robbers around Kumfari community near Idama in Rivers State.  He said that one suspected sea robber was killed, two wounded and seven others arrested. He disclosed that the troops recovered one locally made pistol and machete. He said that the suspects were undergoing investigation.

“Stop claiming responsibility for our bombings” – Avengers tells NDGJM

There are indications of hostilities within the camp of militant groups in the Niger Delta region.

This was as the Niger Delta Avengers berated the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM, for claiming responsibility for most of the attacks carried out on pipeline in the region.

NDGJM has severally claimed responsibility for attack on pipeline installations across the oil rich region.

But Avengers spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo, in a series of tweets on its twitter handle @AgbinibiND, on Monday said NDGJM was making false claims.

Aginibo wrote: “Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM group blowing up of 3-inch and 6- inch flow lines shouldn’t give you wings.

“NDGJM, why not try your hands on major pipelines if you can. NDGJM, stop claiming responsibilities for bombings carried out by wannabes and aggrieved youths that are not part of your group.

“The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) has been claiming responsibility lately in the region, but I want to tell you that most of the works are not done by the group.

“You might want to ask me how I got to know about this; we are insiders and we know ourselves. Most of the claims of bombing by NDGJM are done by wannabes or aggrieved community youths.

“The Trans Forcados Pipeline is one of such jobs they claimed responsibility but was not done by NDGJM.”

NDGJM over the weekend warned the Federal Government to prepare for another onslaught on oil facilities in the region in no distant time, stressing that it would not be a part of the ceasefire declared by sister militant groups.

Niger Delta militants threaten more attacks.

The militant group, Niger-Delta Avengers, on Monday warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to deal with some persons it tagged as “sycophants” in his quest for peace in the oil-rich Niger Delta Region.

The group gave the warning in a fresh statement issued by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbimbo.

It asked the President to visit the region to find out things for himself, saying, “You cannot treat the Niger Delta region with disdain while you treat your brothers that are terrorists and kidnappers (Boko Haram) like kings and queens by committing the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement from Geneva to witness your transaction with them before they released their hostages to you.”

The statement further read, “We are disposed to dialogue but we want Mr. President to come down and negotiate with us rather than using his political aides who are sycophants and will be feeding him with wrong information. We will not take such from Mr. President; we want him to interface with us as a way to providing a lasting solution to the Niger-Delta crisis; we will not interface with political sycophants.”

Just few days ago, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate warned the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari not to rejoice yet over the recent rise in oil production in the country.

The violent group warned the current government to prepare for another attacks on oil facilities in the region in the no distant time.

However, the President of the Ijaw National Congress, Chief Boma Obuoforibo, has stated that the Niger-Delta stakeholders will not give the Federal Government an ultimatum or deadline to implement their demands for the development of the region.

According to him, the stakeholders were hopeful that the President would not rescind on his promise to alleviate the sufferings of the Niger-Delta people.

He said, “We are not going to be negative about the ability of the Federal Government to implement the demands because we have a positive mindset and we have never reached this length in the past, we are doing all this in good faith.”

“Why we bombed Forcados pipeline.” – Militants

A militant group, Niger Delta Defence Corps (NDDC) has threatened to continue the bombing of oil pipelines unless its members were represented in the on-going peace meeting between the Pan Niger Delta group, headed by Chief Edwin Clark and the Federal Government.

NDDC, led by one General John Egbe, had threatened to blow up two pipelines in Delta and Rivers states, noting that the failure to invite the group would have dire consequences as the group would carry out attacks on oil pipelines.

A few hours after the first meeting between the Niger Delta leaders and the Federal Government, a major oil pipeline was blown up in Delta.

NDDC in a statement claimed responsibility and served notice that more oil pipelines would be attacked until representatives of the group were invited to join in the meeting between the Niger Delta stakeholders and the Federal Government. According to Egbe, more attacks on the oil pipelines would demonstrate to the Federal Government that the Pan Niger Delta group cannot halt the bombings of pipelines in the region.

He accused the Niger Delta elders of refusing to include representatives of militant groups in the Pan Niger Delta group and giving the Federal Government the impression that they can influence militants in the region.

He said the Federal Government should hold the Pan Niger Delta group responsibile for allowing the attacks as it did not ensure a proper representation, especially of militants in the meeting.

He said Chief Clark, King Diete-Spiff and some unnamed Niger Delta leaders from Delta masquerading as peace makers do not have the capacity to call militant leaders in the region to order.

“We, the Niger Delta Defence Corps (NDDC), are responsible for Trans-Forcados Export Trunk Line at Batan community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. As we promised the Federal Government on Monday, October 31, 2016, more attacks will soon be launched. Let the Federal Government hold Pan-Niger Delta Forum responsible for the attacks. They have not contacted us. The Federal Government should go to the media and contact all the groups and send us invitation and we will send our representatives. The Niger Delta leaders are aware that they cannot stop the bombing of oil pipelines. What they can do is to appeal which we can chose to ignore,” it said.

Following the festering militants activities in the region, President Muhammadu Buhari last Tuesday met with leaders from the region in Abuja.

The stakeholders tabled a 16-point demand.

The shopping list which bordered on the socio-economic development, security and restoration of peace in the region, included the need to fast-track interventions on some of the region infrastructure, award of oil bloc to Niger Delta indigenes, presidential amnesty programme, law and justice issues and the effect of increased military presence in the region

The forum is one of the strategies by the Federal Government to resolve the crisis.

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.

Read More: thisdaylive

FG is committed to developing Niger Delta – NNPC boss

The Group Managing Director of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, has said that the Federal Government was committed to developing the Niger Delta region.

Baru made this known in a statement released to newsmen by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr Garba Deen Mohammed, in Abuja on Thursday.

Baru said this when he received the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, retired Brig.- Gen. Paul Boroh.

He said that the Federal Government’s amnesty programme was critical toward ensuring lasting peace in the Niger Delta region.

”The Amnesty Programme is key to restoring peace to the Niger Delta and the corporation remains ever committed to collaborating with relevant stakeholders towards developing the Niger Delta region.

”Insecurity has affected NNPC’s operations, especially in the region but with relative peace now coming back to the area, the NNPC will ramp up its oil and gas production to be able to deliver on its mandate to the nation,” Baru said.

Earlier, Boroh told Baru that he was at the NNPC towers to share some of the success stories of the programme, especially in terms of human capital development of the various beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

He intimated Baru that the programme had trained over 15,000 ex-agitators in various skills and trades.

”Fourteen of them graduated with First Class from various universities both in Nigeria and abroad,” Boroh said.

24 Hrs After Parley, Niger Delta Militants Bomb Shell Pipeline

Less than 24 hours after a dialogue between President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of the Niger Delta to resolve the crisis in the region, unrepentant militants on Wednesday blasted an oil pipeline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Batan community in Warri South West Local Government area of Delta State.

Sources said that the incident occurred at SPDC Camp Five between 4 and 5 a.m. with a huge fire enveloping the site of the attack.

“Suspected militants attacked the SPDC pipeline in Batan 4 and 5 a.m. with dynamites. As I am speaking, the place is engulfed with fire but efforts are being made to put it off,” a community source said.

Another community source confirmed the incident, stating that they heard a huge explosion in the early hours of the day only to discover it was a pipeline belonging to Shell that had been attacked.

“We heard a huge explosion. As usual, when we came out, we discovered that the Shell pipeline has been attacked again. We are not sure whether it was militants that caused it or not.”

The Niger Delta Advengers (NDA), the militant group that has claimed responsibility for the destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, was yet to claim responsibility for this one at the time of filing this report.

The same pipeline had been attacked by suspected militants on July 18, this year without any resistance by the military stationed in the area.

Security sources disclosed that the latest attack by the militants might be as a result of the commencement of repair work on the pipeline while negotiations are ongoing between the Niger Delta leaders and the Federal Government.

“You know that they have always warned that no repair work should be carried out on any of the oil pipelines breached. Maybe they are angry that SPDC has commenced repair work and had to resort to the attack,” a military source said.

An undercover security agent however had a contrary view, claiming that illegal oil bunkerers have deployed a new tactic of engaging militants to breach pipelines to divert the attention of security agents away from their illegal act.

Credit: ThisdayLive

Niger Delta Leaders To Buhari: We Want Oil Blocs

Stakeholders from the Niger Delta region of the country have demanded that the region is included in the sharing and ownership of the oil blocs in the country. This was among the set of 16 demands pressed on President Muhammadu Bahari at a crucial meeting in Abuja Tuesday.

Other demands included the review of the presidential amnesty Programme, Relocation of Administrative and Operational Headquarters of IOCs to the area of operation, the approval of Maritime University, Strengthening the Niger Delta Ministry, resuscitation of Key regional critical infrastructures, the resentment of Bakassi indigenes, restructuring and funding of the NNDC. Others were the introduction of fiscal federalism, economic development and empowerment of Niger delta people, improvement of power supply, security surveillance and protection of oil and gas infrastructure, meeting the immediate need of the Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs, the effect of increased military presence in the Niger delta and The Ogoni clean-up and environmental remediation.

Rising from the meeting which lasted about 3 hours at the council chambers of the presidential villa, Abuja on Tuesday, the leaders who were galvanized under the aegis of Pan Niger Delta Forum led by chief Edwin Clarke stated that the issues were critical to finding lasting peace in Niger Delta.

You Can leave Nigeria if You Think you Have Another Country – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday said any Nigerian who has another country to relocate to are free to do so.

On his part, he said he would stay back to solve the nation’s position.

According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President spoke while addressing Niger Delta stakeholders at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“We are determined to make life comfortable and affordable to all Nigerians. If anybody has a country to go to, let him go, we will stay here and salvage our country,” Shehu quoted the President as saying.

Buhari was said to have told the leaders of the Niger Delta that they had more to do than anyone else to bring peace to the region, given the influence they have on militant groups.

He expressed the determination of his administration to stay focused on its key campaign promises of securing the country, fighting corruption and creating jobs through the improvement of the economy.

He said peace, security, investment and prosperity are linked together, adding that “if we give peace a chance, investors will come here to invest. Nobody will invest in an insecure environment.”

Buhari said the problems his administration found on the ground were many, as illustrated in the collapse of oil prices, the inability of 27 of the 36 states to pay salaries, the absence of savings to fall back and having to deal with an elite who didn’t seem to care.

All these, he said, made his government conclude that “life, as usual, is no longer affordable.”

In welcoming the 16-point request presented for negotiation by the Niger Delta leaders, Buhari said he was still expecting reports from officials he had instructed to review the implementation of the Amnesty program to determine where government fell short so that amends can be made.

The President said the service chiefs were putting together their own assessment of the militancy situation, saying “when I have these reports, including this one (just presented), we will revisit the situation (in the region) to ensure that we succeed this time.”

The President who delivered his report card on the war against corruption and the efforts to secure the co

Niger Delta: Elders present 16 requests to President Buhari.

Niger Delta stakeholders on Tuesday presented a 16-point request before President Muhammadu Buhari asking, among other things, for the restoration of peace in the region.

Chief Alfred Diete-Spiff, the Chairman of Bayelsa State Traditional Council, confirmed this development to State House correspondents in Abuja after a meeting between President Buhari and the stakeholders from the region.

According to Diete-Spiff, some of the other demands bordered on the need to fast-track interventions on some of the indicative regional infrastructure, the Presidential Amnesty Programme, law and Justice as well as the need to reconsider the planned deployment of more armed forces to the Niger Delta.

He said the plight of Internally Displaced Persons, the Ogoni Clean-up and Environmental Remediation, the issue of Maritime University, Okerenkoko and security surveillance as well as protection of oil and gas infrastructure, were part of the demands.

Diete-Spiff said the stakeholders also presented the issues of the relocation of administrative and operational headquarters of oil companies to the region, power supply, inclusive participation in oil industry and ownership.

“The 16-point included, generally, infrastructure development, manpower and human resources and of course, you have the welfare of the people.

“These are the main things. The locations of the oil companies, is one of the points that we pointed out.

“These IOCs (international oil companies) have their headquarters somewhere in Lekki or Abuja and even their operational headquarters are not within the area of their operations.

“This is not right because even the `pay as you earn tax’ is not coming to the region.

“The workers, nobody is engaged locally there; they just come and harvest and go away.

“The presence of the military, of course, you know, has been agitating the boys and that too we said it should be reversed.’’

Diete-Spiff assured that the people of the Niger Delta region remained committed to achieving peace and progress of the country.

He stated that the region had resolved to help the President Buhari-led administration to succeed.

He said, “our position, we hasten to add, takes full cognizance of the current parlous state of our economy”.

“We would also like to assure you that we the people of the Niger Delta, as patriotic and law-abiding citizens, remain committed to the unity, peace and progress of this great country.

“Our resolve as leaders of the region, is to do all, within our power, to help this administration to succeed.

“In particular, is the urgent need for us to pull the national economy out of recession through a speedy solution to the spate of militant agitation.

“We are therefore, totally committed to creating the right environment, in our communities to ensure that the wealth, which God has placed in our own part of the country, continues to be available to the benefit of all.’’

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who also spoke at the event, said the Niger Delta stakeholders also asked for the review of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme and proper funding of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.

He said the stakeholders also asked for business opportunities especially allocation of oil blocs to indigenes, and also some level of support for those who were displaced as a result of the activities of the militants in the region.

Kachikwu expressed delight that the involvement of traditional and community leaders had started yielding fruitful results.

He revealed that about 2.1million daily production of barrel of crude oil was achieved as of Oct. 31.

Chief Edwin Clarke, an elder statesman, dismissed the insinuation that there had been rifts between President Buhari-led administration and the people of the Niger Delta region.

Clarke, who also spoke on president Buhari’s reaction at the meeting, said the president was impressed and happy with the deliberation.

Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, who also briefed the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said the ongoing negotiations were largely about the future of the Niger Delta region.

He, however, condemned the criminality and destruction of valuable national assets by some militants in the region.

According to the governor, the people of the region were not agitating for withdrawal of security agencies safeguarding valuable installations and infrastructure in the region, as being insinuated in some quarters.

“It’s good that we understand the issue of military presence in the Niger Delta as separate from military occupation of communities.

“I don’t think that our elders are asking for the military to be withdrawn from the Niger Delta.

“That will create chaos. What they are requesting is that military presence or military occupation of communities should not be.

“But, the military presence will have to be there to ensure that we are able to attend to all forms of criminality and I think that there has been a lot of response from the Federal Government in that regard”, he said.?

The Niger Delta region has been witnessing social unrest, occasioned by the activities of militant groups, leading to cut in Nigeria’s oil output.

The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Alhaji Maikanti Baru, was quoted as saying that “Nigeria lost over $7bn (around N2 trillion) to militancy and pipeline vandalism since the beginning of the year’’.

According to him, the supply disruptions have significantly affected the country’s oil exports. (NAN)

Niger Delta Leaders Present 16-point Requests To Buhari

Stakeholders from the Niger Delta on Tuesday presented 16 requests to President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting they held behind closed doors with him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The requests were presented by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diete Spiff, on behalf of the leaders who visited the President under the aegis of Pan Niger Delta Forum.

Among other things, the Niger Delta leaders demanded the allocation of oil blocks and awards of contracts to indigenes of the region, review of the amnesty programme, de-militarisation of communities in the region and relocation of operational headquarters of oil companies to the region, among others.

Buhari, Niger Delta Stakeholders, Governors In Crucial Meeting (PHOTOS)

A crucial meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and Niger Delta stakeholders is currently underway in Abuja.

Holding at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja, the meeting parades the crème de la crème in the Niger Delta region consisting of 9 States namely Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Edo, Cross Rivers, Imo, Akwa Ibom and Abia. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo as well as governors of Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Cross River are in attendance.

President Buhari meets with Niger Delta stakeholders and Leaders in Statehouse on 1st Nov 2016

Also, the secretary to Government of the Federation, SGF, Engr. Lawal Babachair and a handful of other cabinet members are present. The Service Chiefs as well as a critical bunch from the National Assembly are also present. Amongst the stakeholders from Niger Delta included Chief Edwin Clarke, His Royal Majesty, Chief Diette Spiff, former governor of Cross River, Donald Duke, former governor of Akwa Ibom, Obong Victor Atta, Ankio Briggs, Alabo Graham Douglas, Timi Alaibe, Mr. Nduka Ogbegbena and a host of others.

However, former President Goodluck Jonathan, a frontline stakeholder from the region was not present at the meeting, so also Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and Tompolo.

However, it was not known whether they were invited to the meeting. It will be recalled that Niger Delta region had been in rife with untoward activities of militants which had greatly affected oil production, unarguably the mainstay of the nation’s economy.

It is expected that the meeting would discuss the issues and similar ones especially the bombing of oil and gas installations in the area as Journalists await the details.


Troops invade shrine of N’Delta militants, ‘arrest chief priest’.

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE, a military outfit in the Niger Delta, have arrested the chief priest of Bayelsa Strike Force, a militant group in Cross River state.

Olaolu Daudu, spokesman of the outfit, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday.

He said the shrine located in Ikot Offing Ambai in Akpabuyo local government area of the state, was destroyed.

Daudu said a militant was also killed, while ammunition were recovered.

“Troops deployed at Ikang border patrolled Ikot Offing Ambai in Akpabuyo local government area discovered militants shrine and also apprehended the chief priest of the group with empty box of ammunition at another shrine at Ekpri Ebutong Estate in Bakassi,” he said.

“During anti-militancy operation, troops of sector 4 raided Efut Esighi forest and killed a notorious militant popularly known as Okon Iyo while he was trying to escape.

“Troops discovered the dead body of one of the Bakassi Strike Force militant who was earlier engaged in Efut Esighi but escaped with gun injuries. His body was seen in a bush close to the main road in Effionsa, Bakassi local government area.

“Meanwhile, troops also raided the compound of a suspected member of Bakassi Strike Force; Otobong Sunday Essien,  at Road 27 Resettlement Center Bakassi.

“A Motor Bike was recovered from his compound. In addition, troops intercepted a Passat wagon car owned by a suspected Bakassi Strike Force militant known as “G1”. He is the sentry Commander of the group.”

He added that an attack on an oil facility in Delta state was foiled.

“On 31 October 2016, troops foiled vandalism of NPDC Well Head at Kokori Oil Field, Oil Mining Lease 30 located at Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State,” he said.

“Operation DELTA SAFE will continue to ensure sanity of the Niger Delta Region as law abiding members of the public go about their legitimate daily businesses.”

Troops Invade Shrine of N’Delta Militants, ‘Arrest Chief Priest’

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE, a military outfit in the Niger Delta, have arrested the chief priest of Bayelsa Strike Force, a militant group in Cross River state.

Olaolu Daudu, spokesman of the outfit, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday.

He said the shrine located in Ikot Offing Ambai in Akpabuyo local government area of the state, was destroyed.

Daudu said a militant was also killed, while ammunition were recovered.

“Troops deployed at Ikang border patrolled Ikot Offing Ambai in Akpabuyo local government area discovered militants shrine and also apprehended the chief priest of the group with empty box of ammunition at another shrine at Ekpri Ebutong Estate in Bakassi,” he said.

“During anti-militancy operation, troops of sector 4 raided Efut Esighi forest and killed a notorious militant popularly known as Okon Iyo while he was trying to escape.

“Troops discovered the dead body of one of the Bakassi Strike Force militant who was earlier engaged in Efut Esighi but escaped with gun injuries. His body was seen in a bush close to the main road in Effionsa, Bakassi local government area.

“Meanwhile, troops also raided the compound of a suspected member of Bakassi Strike Force; Otobong Sunday Essien,  at Road 27 Resettlement Center Bakassi.

“A Motor Bike was recovered from his compound. In addition, troops intercepted a Passat wagon car owned by a suspected Bakassi Strike Force militant known as “G1”. He is the sentry Commander of the group.”

He added that an attack on an oil facility in Delta state was foiled.

“On 31 October 2016, troops foiled vandalism of NPDC Well Head at Kokori Oil Field, Oil Mining Lease 30 located at Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State,” he said.

“Operation DELTA SAFE will continue to ensure sanity of the Niger Delta Region as law abiding members of the public go about their legitimate daily businesses.”

BREAKING! Buhari to launch $10 billion Niger Delta Reconstruction Fund.

The federal government under the watch of President Muhammadu Buhari plans a $10 billion infrastructure development fund for the oil-rich but restive Niger Delta, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said yesterday in Abuja.

“We are launching $10 billion infrastructural rebirth investment programmes in the Niger Delta region. This is not money that is going to come strictly from the federal government. It is going to come from investors, individuals who are ready to do private sector infrastructure, obviously states and federal governments as the case may be and international organisations who have shown interest to help,” he said at the unveiling of the Roadmap for the Petroleum Industry tagged “7 Big Wins to Grow Nigeria’s Oil and Gas.”

Before Kachikwu’s revelation of the mouth-watering goodies for the long suffering region, Buhari had, while launching the roadmap, said notwithstanding his administration’s much talked about diversification as the main tool for putting the economy on the path of sustainable growth, Nigeria would have to depend on oil and gas revenue to get out of the current economic recession, contending that despite the fall in oil price, oil and gas resources remained the most immediate and practical keys out of the country’s present economic crisis.

“As important as it is to ensure that agriculture, solid minerals and other critical sectors of the economy are supported to grow and contribute more to the nation’s economy, we still need a virile and efficient oil and gas industry to take care of our foreign exchange requirements,” he said.

According to him, an efficient oil and gas sector remains a national imperative and a core thrust of his economic policy, adding that the petroleum industry remained critical to the Nigerian economy of today and the future, despite current challenges.
The president also admitted that oil and gas still remained a critical enabler for the successful implementation of his budget as well as the source of funds for laying a strong foundation for a new and more diversified economy.

The president said the task before the Ministry of Petroleum Resources was to maximise the potentials and opportunities across the whole range of the oil and gas industry to stimulate the economy in spite of the current challenges.
He said: “There is also a dire need to instil a new culture of transparency and efficiency in the industry, streamline operations along best practices by championing and implementing strategic reforms at every layer of the industry.

“This will help us improve oil and gas production, explore our frontier basins, improve our local refining capacity and above all build sustainable partnerships with the oil producing communities.”
Buhari said that if Nigeria was able to plug the leakages, and tighten loose systems that characterised the industry in the days of high oil prices, the country could do more with the little that it is getting at the moment than in the time of plenty.
The president noted that recent developments in the Niger Delta had temporarily limited the nation’s oil and gas production and supplies.

He however reaffirmed that, “whatever challenges we are currently facing in the region, our resolve and capability to work with all stakeholders to restore normalcy will guarantee success.”
The president acknowledged the importance of the public, the media, local and foreign investors and other critical stakeholders in the oil and gas industry and appealed for their support and cooperation.
Buhari said creativity, innovation, technology and robust partnership amongst various stakeholders were required to get the best from the industry.

He said: “This Roadmap reflects the vision and aspiration of this administration for this sector and urge you all to deliver on the expectations contained in the Petroleum Industry Roadmap.”

Speaking more elaborately on the plan for the Niger Delta, Kachikwu said the federal government would be launching a $10 billion infrastructure rebirth programme for the Niger Delta region, but that its implementation would be on instalment and its funding not exclusively from the federal purse.
He said that the Niger Delta state governors would have to meet to decide which cross boarder infrastructure the fund would be expended on.

According to him, “What is more important is not the number but the conceptualisation of the process. It is a fact that governors will have to come together from the region to begin to look at cross-state investments whether there will be railways, whether there will be power facilities, whether there will be specialist hospitals or whatever.

“But right now, there is a slowing down of investment in the region and that is not helping the region. So, we are going to be pulling in NNPC and groups like that and ensure that we look at cross boarder investment in the region,” he stated.
He said Buhari would also seek to review the way 13 per cent derivation allocation to the oil producing states is applied by beneficiary states.

According to him, the government would be appealing to the state governors, who have now taken the allocations as their main budgeting tool, to channel the funds to the core areas where oil is produced.
He said: “The president is also reviewing the proposal we gave him to look at how the 13 per cent derivation is applied. Right now it is a budgeting tool for state governments. We are going to be appealing to them to begin to put that into the core areas of the oil producing communities. And not just see it as a budgeting number.”
On transparency in the oil sector, he said that the adoption of Treasury Single Account (TSA) had assisted to tackle corruption in the industry by bringing all its funds into one account.

The minister also spoke on the expected impact of the new roadmap and said that investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, which took a downturn in the recent past would soon pick up following the conclusion of a review of the country’s Joint Venture Cash Call (JV) framework.
According to him, on the back of the review, a lot of oil and gas investors are pushing to come back and invest heavily in the country’s oil and gas sector.

He said that there would be an explosion of investment in the sector soon.
Kachikwu also said there were plans by the government to review the mechanism of securing oil and gas installations in the country to conform with standard practices as obtained in other oil and gas producing climes.
The launched policy document is couched in ‘The 7 Big Wins,’ theme, which borders on policy and regulation, business environment and investment drive, gas revolution, refineries and local production capacity, Niger Delta and security, transparency and efficiency, as well as stakeholder management and international co-ordination.
He said each time he projected a rise in the country’s oil production to 2.2 million barrels per day (mbpd) and 3mbpd, they were based on the fact that the JV structure had been reviewed and funding issues sorted out.

“On the issue of JV cash call. We have done a yeoman’s job. We are nearing completion of those negotiations, it would go to the FEC and it does not require a law. Those things are basically MoUs,” he said, adding: “We are going to structure the MoUs to enable them find the funding they require. There is even a budgeting process in terms of what we approved should be done, but how you now sequence the distribution of the funding is where the catch is.”

He said the government had made a lot of progress on funding, explaining that over $1.2 billion would be saved.
The minister projected an explosion of investment, saying oil companies were planning to make a big splash with projects and backed by huge money as they return to the country.

Navy arrests 75, impounds three ships, 80 boats in Niger Delta.

The Nigeria Navy (NNS Delta) has arrested 75 persons suspected to be involved in illegal oil bunkering, militancy, kidnapping, impersonation and gun production in Delta State and other parts of the Niger Delta region.

It uncovered the gun-manufacturing workshop that specialises in producing local pistols and rifles at Opuama in Ughelli South Council. The Navy also impounded three vessels and 80 boats loaded full of stolen crude oil.

They were nabbed in an Operation Delta Safe raid on militants.

The Commander of NNS Delta, Commodore Joseph Djunve, while parading the suspects and the impounded vessels and boats at the NNS base in Warri yesterday said they were arrested in different parts of the Niger Delta, particularly in Delta State.

He said the arrests were made in compliance with the directive of the Chief of Naval staff, who declared war on illegal oil bunkering, piracy and other criminal activities.

Commodore Djunve said different types of weapons were being fabricated at the workshop and that there was intelligence that they also used their equipment to rupture pipelines to steal petroleum products. A box full of all sorts of equipment used in the illicit act was paraded with the suspects at the Warri naval base.

One of the arrested gun manufacturers, who gave his name as Joseph Oba said he is a loyalist of the Farah Dagogo, a militant leader in Bayelsa State and that he was invited by some persons to join the gang without knowing what he was walking into.

Niger Delta group canvasses support for Buhari’s anti-corruption war

President Muhammadu Buhari’s anti-graft war has received a groundswell of support from the Niger Delta Zone of the country.

A group known as the Niger Delta Peoples Movement (NDPM) said it decided to give unalloyed support to the President to ensure a successful prosecution of the war.

NDPM’s Coordinator, Mrs Ibifuro Thompson-Tatua, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Port Harcourt that Buhari had demonstrated enough political will to fight corruption.

She expressed the hope that the anti-corruption campaign of the Federal Government would help to sanitise both public and private sectors of the country.

“Buhari has stated that he is fighting corruption because it amounts to denial of resources required for development.

“So, the president should be supported by everyone in his drive to salvage the nation from economic recession and infrastructural decay as a result of corruption.”

According to Thompson-Tatua, it is embarrassing that Nigeria  that is endowed with human and material resources is still a developing nation after 56 years of independence.

She said:“It is quite unfortunate that we are still creeping even among developing nations. This is because past political leaders in the country were united in corrupt practices.

“If we had judiciously channelled our resources to developing Nigeria, the country would have developed far better economically and in infrastructure than what it is now.”

Thompson-Tatua described President Buhari as being on a journey to take Nigeria to the right destination.

She urged well-meaning Nigerians to encourage the anti-corruption agencies in a bid to kill what she called the hydra-headed cancer (corruption) that had eaten deep into the nation’s fabric.

Military arrests militants, kidnappers, destroys illegal refineries

The military operating in the Niger Delta under ‘Operation Delta Safe’ yesterday said more suspected militants had been apprehend.

The military also disclosed that a kidnap attempt was foiled and some illegal refineries were destroyed in separate operations across the region.

Three armed men suspected to be members of the Bakers Strike Force (BSF) including one Moses Okokon, were apprehended at Okon Mkpa community of Efut Esighi, Bakassi local council of Cross River State while troops stationed in Delta State foiled an attempt by kidnappers to kidnap two women.

A statement by army spokesperson, Lt. Cmdr. Thomas Otuji, said the women were rescued by troops after receiving distress calls.

He said the troops immediately swung into action and rescued the victims who were abducted at gunpoint, while a suspect was arrested. Two others escaped.

A local single barrel gun was recovered from the suspect.

According to the statement: “In another development, while on routine patrol, troops of Sector 1 Operation Delta Safe raided and destroyed illegal refineries at Opumami and Okogho creeks in Warri South and Warri North local council. The suspects abandoned the site and fled on sighting the patrol boats.”

Also a detachment of Operation Delta Safe of Sector 3 (Rivers State) on October 4 discovered and destroyed illegal bunkering sites along Bille creek during a routine patrol.

While no arrest was made, the statement said various items including five oil dumps with five drums of stolen crude, 1 x 85 HPW speedboat, and pumping machine were seized from the illegal bunkers.

Meanwhile, the army has killed a suicide bomber while attempting to attack troops on the outskirts of Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.

A statement said the suspected male suicide bomber was sighted by vigilant troops who asked him to stop for clearance, but he refused and attempted to get closer. He was however shot dead by a soldier.

The statement said: “The terrorist who attempted to infiltrate the troops forward defences at Jidari Polo general area came in through Alidawari village about four kilometres ahead of Jidari strapped with heavy Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) vest.

Avoid escalation of Niger Delta militancy – NASS tells Buhari

The two chambers of the National Assembly have told President Muhammadu Buhari to engage in meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the aggrieved Niger Delta militants to avoid an escalation of the militancy in the region.

The House, in a motion by the Deputy House Leader, Buba Jibrin, concurred with the resolution of the Senate the government to ensure the protection of the nation’s oil and gas assets to facilitate increase in oil production and boost revenue therefrom.

The House, in the motion, also adopted the 25 point resolutions of the Senate Adhoc Committee on the ‘state of economy’ on September 27, 2016.

The House in concurring with Senate resolutions said: “Government must engage in meaningful and inclusive dialogue with the aggrieved Niger Delta militants to avoid an escalation of the unrest in the region and ensure protection of our nation’s oil and gas assets to facilitate increase in oil production and boost revenue therefrom.

“To this end, we advise Mr. President to, as a matter of urgency, raise a team that should coordinate the government’s engagement with all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region and the team should include the elected representatives from the zone.”

According to the resolutions, the National Assembly urged the fiscal and monetary authorities to meet a view to “harmonising all policies that lower interest rates for genuine investors in the real sector as well as medium and small scale farmers and processors.

“In order to shore up our foreign reserves, government should explore every avenue to restore the oil production target of 2.2 million barrels per day. Peaceful means should be immediately crafted and adopted to stop the vandalisation of petroleum and gas assets in the Niger Delta region.

“In order to avoid flooding the market with excess liquidity, release of low interest funding under the stimulus package (Special Intervention Funds) should be calibrated, targeted and monitored in favour of specific industries and projects that add immediate value to the economy by way of job creation, cost reduction and import substitution.”

Niger Delta group defends minister over fraud allegations

A socio-political group, Niger Delta Reawakening Network, has risen in defence of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Usani U. Usani, over revelations that he was indicted by a government white paper for alleged fraudulent contract when he served as commissioner of water resources in Cross River State.

The group, in a press statement yesterday, described the allegations against the minister as ridiculous saying the basis of the story circulated by some online platforms was “outdated.”

According to the group, the matter has since been resolved as the

Cross River State government had since 2001 written to the Code of Conduct Bureau to withdraw the matter which, according to the group, was initiated on wrong premise.

The statement signed by Barrister Henry Martins alleged that those circulating the documents indicating the minister’s indictment were members of a cabal that are not happy with Usani’s “uncompromising stance” in handling the affairs of the Niger Delta region.

To support its claim, the group made available to newsmen a letter titled: “Withdrawal of matters referred to the Code of Conduct Tribunal Arising from Cross River State Government white paper on the report of the financial impropriety verification standing committee (official document No. 5 of 2000).”

Niger Delta Crisis Will Be Over Soon, Buhari Tells Obama

President Muhammadu Buhari Tuesday assured Barack Obama, the American President, that Nigeria was making steady progress towards resolving the Niger Delta region problem, which had led to economic sabotage on a grand scale.

This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

Adesina said the president gave the assurance at a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the ongoing 71st edition of the UN General Assembly, holding in New York.“We are making definite progress on how many factions of the militant groups exist, their leadership and operational basis, and we have equally sought the cooperation of the oil majors.

“In a short while, I believe the issues would be resolved,’’ Buhari said.

He thanked America for assisting Nigeria in provision of armaments, training for Nigerian troops, and sharing of intelligence, which had led to the degradation of Boko Haram in the North East.

Buhari said the country was open to support in combating the humanitarian crisis currently ravaging the region.

He said the farming season was good in 2016, with the prospect of good harvest, and “Nigeria is on the road to food self-sufficiency soon.

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Shehu Sani urges support for militarisation of Niger Delta

Disturbed by the unenviable oil receipts following renewed militancy in the Niger Delta, human rights activist and representative of Kaduna Central in the Senate, Shehu Sani, has urged Nigerians to back the ongoing militarisation of the area.

“As a state, we have a duty to apply force on anyone who picks up arms against our country. By that action, you have crossed the line of civility. And we cannot fold our arms and say that because you have grievances, you should be allowed to blow pipelines and kill people,” he remarked.

Sani, who spoke in Kaduna, blamed the Federal Government for the delay in the release of the Chibok girls held since April 14, 2014.

“What we need to understand is that even if we are going to opt for dialogue, a message needs to be sent clearly to the militants who pick up arms against the state that you cannot win militarily. If you allow armed insurgency to go uncountered, it is simply going to be a recipe for lawlessness,” he stated.

“A lot have been pumped in to pacify the militants but little into addressing the problems of the people of Niger Delta.

“What Jonathan did was to buy peace by pumping in money, thus created a new rich elitist bourgeoisie from the region.

“Elements who picked up arms against the state were enriched to have enough money to play around with. But, it does not amount to addressing the problems of infrastructural decay of the area. If you pay militants stipends every month for them not to bomb, if you take some of them to study abroad, if you give them money to buy houses and cars, you are not addressing the basic problems of infrastructure, under-development and poverty in the region,” Sani added.

Death Of Tompolo’s Father Threatens Ceasefire In Niger Delta

The death, last week of Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo, father of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo), is threatening the fragile peace in the Niger Delta, Reuters reported on Monday, saying militants were becoming restive over the circumstances of the death.

The militants massed in the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), that had dealt heavy blows to oil and gas installations in the region, had entered into an unofficial ceasefire with the federal government, pending formal negotiations of their grievances last month.

But the death of the father of the militant leader, the report said, might reverse the little gains of the peace process and lead to the resumption of hostilities as the militants were said to be holding the military vicariously liable for the incident.

The octogenarian had fallen while fleeing an army raid on his hometown in May and injured his leg, which had to be amputated two months later, said a spokesman for his son, Tompolo.

The old man died last week from complications arising from the amputation. And the NDA militants were said to be agitated by this.

Although security sources said Tompolo had links to the NDA, which had claimed responsibilities for the attacks on oil and gas installations, which incidentally began shortly after corruption charges were brought against him, he had persistently denied any involvement in the acts.

“In a nutshell, [the] government caused the death of my father,” Frank Ekpemupolo, another son, said at a gathering of 400 mourners at his father’s compound in Warri, the largest city in Delta State.

Mourners including community chiefs, politicians and villagers accused troops of harassing people in the fishing communities dotted along the region’s waterways.

An Avengers spokesman told Reuters the military was “harassing poor people of the Niger Delta”. The military denies it, saying troops are merely searching for militants and criminals.

Several new militant groups have sprung up in the last few weeks, each with its own demands, and some have vowed to launch a new wave of attacks.

Community leaders say they are concerned that the government has not contacted militants or unveiled a negotiation team, three weeks after the Avengers said they were ready for the promised talks.

“We haven’t been contacted, but we are not worried,” said the Avengers spokesman.
Captain Mark Anthony, a spokesman for the Niger Delta Liberation Force, a defunct militant group, said the “government’s muteness” since the Avengers announced a ceasefire was creating “a security concern for everybody”.

“They have only stopped bombing temporarily. It doesn’t mean they are tired of bombing,” he said.
An army offensive was launched in late August against militant camps which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of 23 others.

Eric Omare, spokesman for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), which represents one of the region’s largest ethnic groups, said statements by President Muhammadu Buhari that militants would be treated like Boko Haram jihadists prompted fears that the offer of talks was a ruse to prepare for a military onslaught.

Tensions in Warri are concentrated along its murky brown waterways — used by fishermen, commuters and thieves stealing crude oil — where fleeting encounters with strangers can end in bloodshed.

Boats slow down and their occupants raise their arms when they encounter naval patrol boats fitted with machine guns.

Fishermen say they fear being mistaken for militants and shot. Gunmen disguised as priests killed three soldiers last month.

An official who did not want to be named said “arrangements” were being made to resume dialogue with the militants.

He said the government wanted each militant group to send representatives, rather than acting through intermediaries as in the past.

Military Deploys 3,000 Soldiers In Niger Delta

At least 3,000 soldiers have so far been deployed in the Niger Delta as Nigeria’s security agencies ramp up the war against militancy in the region, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, disclosed on Tuesday.

This came as Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on Tuesday alleged an attempt by the military to cover up the death of 16 soldiers in Delta State, four days after ‘Operation Crocodile Smile.’ was launched in the region.

The army chief spoke in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, just as the military moved to douse the tension occasioned by the massive movement of troops in the region, assuring communities in the area that the ongoing military exercise codenamed, ‘Operation Crocodile Smile,’ was designed to protect them.

Buratai’s comments yesterday were made against the backdrop of allegations that the military had embarked on harassing and brutalising innocent residents along the coastlines, an accusation that the security forces have always refuted.

The CAS, who spoke at the Government House when he visited Governor Seriake Dickson, told the communities to remain calm, stressing that troops involved in the exercise understood the rules of engagement and would strictly adhere to them.

He added that the visit was necessary as part of the operation’s confidence-building, maintaining that
the current exercise was meant to equip the soldiers with required skills to ensure the safety of the maritime environment for Bayelsa and other states of the Niger Delta.
The army chief, who was accompanied by other military commanders including the Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, said the exercise was part of the amphibious training activities of the military.

Read More: thisdaylive

Crocodile Smile: Troops Destroy 74 Illegal Refineries, Kidnappers Camp In Niger Delta

The Nigrrian Army said on Friday that its troops of 2 Brigade, conducting field training exercise code named “Operation CROCODILE SMILE” have within the last 48 hours discovered and destroyed 74 illegal refineries in Niger Delta.

The Army said also that quite a number of militants and kidnappers camps in various parts of Rivers and Bayelsa States using swan buggy and other specialists equipment were destroyed.
A statement signed by Col Sani Usman giving details of the operations said “On Wednesday, 7th September 2016 troops of Sub-Sector Bravo in response to a tip off on the presence of suspected kidnappers at Akupoku community, carried out a raid at the location.

“But no arrest was made as the kidnappers have fled the area.

“However, the team also raided Ke community, at the verge of the Atlantic ocean where they discovered and destroyed an illegal refinery. “The troops recovered and destroyed 3 large cooking pots and 20 tanks filled with illegally refined Automated Gas Oil (AGO).

“Similarly, another set of troops also discovered and destroyed another illegal crude oil refinery at Bile.

“Items recovered and destroyed include 12 large refining cooking pots, “The troops exercising along Abonnema axis were also informed of the presence of suspected kidnappers at Abakrikri Fishing Pot, they swung into action and carried out cordon and search operation, however, no contact or arrest was made.

“The troops of 130 Battalion also raided suspected kidnappers camp at Awukiri.

“Although no contact was made, the troops recovered an AK-47 rifle empty magazine, 6 face masks, 1 machete and several empty shells of expended ammunitions.The troops destroyed the camp.

“The troops have also intensified search for the kidnappers nests and other criminal elements camp for clearance”.

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Avengers Claim 20 Soldiers Murdered During Military Operations In Niger Delta

Militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), have claimed that around 20 Nigerian soldiers were murdered during the first four days of the ongoing military operation exercise code-named “Operation Crocodile Smiles” in the Niger Delta.

Spokesperson for the group, Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, in a statement on its website claimed that the soldiers’ death which has been concealed by top brass of the military was due to negligence, administrative greed and corruption within the military.

“Mr. President from available facts, the untimely deaths of these four (4) fine soldiers in the creeks of Bayelsa and another sixteen (16) that was recorded during the first four days of the exercise along the River Ethiope, in Delta state but was earlier covered up is nothing more than act of murder. Their death is due to negligence, administrative greed and a corruption within the military,” it said.

The statement by the Niger Delta Avengers, which has accepted responsibility for a series of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the last few months, comes just over a week after the militant group said it was ready for a ceasefire, talks with the government and that it had halted hostilities.

It wondered the objectives behind the deployment of military hardwares to the Niger Delta suddenly when there was cessation of hostilities for peace talks to commence.

Read More: dailytrust

‘Lagos more valuable than Niger Delta’ – Sanusi

Emir of Kano, Sanusi Lamido Sanusi has said that Nigeria is better off with Lagos than with the Niger Delta despite the oil deposits in the latter.

Sanusi also condemned Nigeria’s long dependence on oil as a sole source of income and the determination of some persons to divide the nation over the oil.

The Lagos story is a story of what Nigeria can do with itself – transparency, consistency, regulations.
That’s why today Lagos state is 30% Nigerian non-oil GDP, and Lagos can do without oil. This country is better off with Lagos than with the Niger Delta. Let’s not make that mistake. We should be together as a country,” the Emir wrote via Instagram on Monday, September 5, 2016.

Every part of the country is important. But, let us not be so obsessed by a resource, because we have had the commodity driven model, and we are blind to the potentials of an alternative model.

Lagos doesn’t need oil. What is oil anyway? It is a raw material. You don’t drink it. You need it to move your vehicles. Now, you have electricity. You need it to fill your generator. Now you have solar power, and biomass.

The future of oil is not there. So, those few people who are trying to break up this country over oil, after sometime that oil will be worthless,” he added.

The Niger Delta has been the centre of crisis due to the activities of militant groups, many of whom seek to stake a superior claim to the oil in the region.

Operation Crocodile Smile will address Niger Delta crisis – Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, has said that the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ will address the security challenges facing the Niger Delta and enhance peace in the region.

This is as Rivers State governor, Chief Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, declared his support for the Operation Crocodile Smile by the Nigerian Army.

Buratai, who spoke yesterday when he led other senior military officers to pay a courtesy call on Wike at Government House, Port Harcourt, explained that the Operation Crocodile Smile was introduced to train army personnel on the techniques of operating in the Niger Delta.

The Chief of Army Staff said, “The Operation Crocodile Smile is an exercise to train our troops on amphibious operations.”

He stated that the exercise seeks to provide the civil authorities with the right environment to carry out governance.

Buratai further stated that the exercise will ensure that the troops are professional with the required training to conduct operations within the law.

The Army Chief said, “Our waters are generally porous. The Nigerian Army has amphibious capabilities in conjunction with the Nigerian Navy to carry out limited operations within the creeks.”

He noted that another aspect of the Operation Crocodile Smile will witness the Army intervening in critical areas of need for the communities, pointing out that already, the Army has embarked on medical outreach in Bille in Rivers State and Nembe in Bayelsa State.

Responding, Governor Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike, stated that he will do everything to ensure peace and security in the Niger Delta.

Wike said, “The Rivers State Government is fully in support of the Operation Crocodile Smile. I was fully briefed by the Brigade Commander and we associate ourselves with the programme because it will make the Niger Delta safer.”

Nigerian Army Ends ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ Exercise In Niger Delta

The Commander, “Operation Crocodile Smile’’ of the Nigerian Army, Brig-Gen. Benbella Raji, has reassured residents in the Niger Delta assurance of their safety.

Raji gave the assurance during a training to enhance the operations of the military.

The Commander, who is from the 4 Brigade, Nigerian Army in Edo, also said that the training would help to improve the security situation in the Niger Delta.

“This exercise was launched by the Chief of Army Staff a few days ago.

“Today, we move round the streets to give assurance to the good citizens of Delta, especially in Warri, that the army is here for their security.

“There are rules of engagement that guide exercises of this nature which are also meant to strengthen civil-military relations.

“As we speak, there is free medical outreach provided by the Nigerian Army near the Olu of Warri palace.

“We urge people in Niger Delta communities not to entertain any fear, we guarantee their safety,’’ he said.

The training, involved the movement of troops and equipment through Udu, Uwvie and Warri South Local Government Areas.

Some residents of Warri and its environs were apprehensive upon sighting the troops and equipment.

“Operation Crocodile Smile’’, which ended on Monday, was, however, peaceful and successful.

It will be recalled that the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Tukur Buratai, had on Aug. 27 declared the military training, codenamed “Operation Crocodile Smile’’ open in Sapele.

Lagos To Wait For Crude Export To Get 13% Derivation

In spite of the commencement of production from its newly discovered oil wells, Lagos State may have to wait until crude oil export commences before it joins the league of states benefitting from the 13 per cent derivation principle.

This clarification was made yesterday at Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting.

This emerged just as allocation available for sharing by three tiers of government for the month of July dipped by N115.369 billion to N443.663 billion as against June’s allocation of N559.032 billion.

The reduction was caused by sustained attacks on oil installations by Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) leading to disruptions both in oil production and sales.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance, Dr. Mahmoud Dutse-Isa, who spoke with journalists after the FAAC meeting, said Lagos would begin to enjoy 13 per cent derivation when crude export commence from its oil wells.

“Lagos state is yet to start enjoying from derivation principle. When crude oil export commences from the wells, the revenue realised from such wells will be allocated to them,” he said.

For the month of August, the gross statutory revenue stood at N287.819 billion, an amount lower than N538.788 billion received in previous month by N250.970 billion.

“Crude oil export volume decreased by 2.8 million barrels in April 2016 partly because of a subsisting force manjeur declared at Forcados terminals. Also, shut-in and shut down of pipelines at other terminals due to the activities of vandals and for maintenance impacted negatively on production. There was a revenue decrease of $102.17 million in federation export revenue despite the increase in average price of crude oil from $38.64 in March to $42.21 per barrel in April, 2016”, the permanent secretary explained.

From the statutory revenue of N258.151 billion shared, federal government got highest amount N129.212billion, states got N65.538 billion, local government N50.527 billion while oil producing states got N 12.874 billion as 13 per cent derivation.

The balance in Excess Crude Account stood at $3.03 billion.

Dialogue: New Militant Group Rejects Clark, Backs Diete-Spiff

A new militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on oil facilities in the upland area of the Niger Delta, on Monday warned the Federal Government not to negotiate with Chief Edwin Clark-led negotiation team on behalf of militants in the region.

Instead of Chief Clark’s team, the group said they will accept any dialogue coming from the government through the Niger Delta Dialogue Contact Group, led by the first military governor of Rivers State and Amanyanabo (traditional ruler) of Twon Brass of Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff.

The Niger Delta Avengers had on Saturday said they were ready to support any collective/negotiation team emerging from Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark and other genuine Niger Delta stakeholders.

But in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the NDGJM, Aldo Agbalaja, on Monday, the group said the Ijaw national leader cannot negotiate for militants in the region, noting that Clark’s team was the same ‘gang of breast-pocket politicians’ who in the six to seven years of Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency denied the region of development.

It threatened to carry out further deadly attacks on oil institution until the President Muhammadu Buhari does the right thing for the people of the region.

The statement read, “We are also aware that there is a group (NDDCG), led by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, Alfred Diete-Spiff, which has the involvement of some international agencies. We would rather the Federal Government builds on this group to reach out to the genuine representatives of the peoples of the region, across the six states, to discuss the way forward. The reason is that we believe that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

“Build on this group and reach out to our people, not on an Edwin Clark group which had connived with Jonathan in the past to subject this region, including the majority of our Ijaw brothers, to one of the most untold humiliations by leaving the region they claimed to be representing worse than it was under previous administrations.

“Enough of these buccaneers in the name of leaders of the region. Our people from both the upland and the creeks deserve a better deal, not the Avengers kind of deal. We are serving a notice that the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is still carrying on with this campaign against Nigeria’s oil and gas interest until the Federal Government does the right thing.”

NDGJM added that the same people who established the Niger Delta Avengers were the same people who called for the ceasefire.

“Niger Delta Avengers: As a matter of fact, the people who called for truce were the same set of people who put the Avengers together in the first place. Therefore, the hypocrisy of these people is becoming glaring to the world by the day.

“We also know that the charade called ceasefire is in the bid to collect more money from both the Federal Government and oil companies, which would be shared between the founders and the boys of the Avengers. We hereby serve a notice that the so-called truce called by E.K. Clark and co. is not recognised by the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, as we do not see Clark as the leader of all Niger Delta, but of only the Ijaw nation.

“Therefore, President Buhari should take note. Stop wasting your time on these people; they are not serving the interest of the Niger Delta and they cannot stop the current campaign. They can only withdraw their boys, the Avengers, from action but not the genuine campaigners for a better Niger Delta.

“We hereby serve a notice that the so-called truce called by E.K. Clark and co. is not recognised by the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, as we do not see Clark as the leader of all Niger Delta, but of only the Ijaw nation”, the statement further added.

Buhari To Receive 18-seater Bus Built By Niger Delta Youths At Innoson Motors

AN 18 –seater bus built from scratch by former Niger Delta militants trained at Innoson Kiara Academy, an arm of Innoson Motor Manufacturing Company, Nnewi, is to be delivered to President Muhammadu Buhari through the Presidential Adviser on Amnesty Programme, General Paul Boroh (retd).

The bus was on display at Innoson Motors and the Niger Delta trainees were elated that the federal government provided them the opportunity to acquire skills that had changed their lives for the better.

The donation of the bus to the President formed part of the graduation ceremony of 120 Niger Delta youths at Innoson Motors, Nnewi, who spent nine months training in the areas of auto mechanics, auto electrical, auto welding, auto painting and spraying, heavy duty truck maintenance, ICT, engineering drawing, entrepreneurial and interpersonal skills. Boroh, who handed them certificates at the impressive ceremony said the Presidential Amnesty Programme would collaborate with Innoson to ensure that all of them were fully set up to contribute their quota towards nation-building.

Officials of Innoson Motors had earlier promised to employ the trainees on a starting monthly salary of N40,000 considering the quality of skills they had acquired. Boroh, who flagged off the training nine months ago, told them at the graduation: “You have been on this training for nine months and we hope you are well –equipped now.

The skills you have acquired will never be allowed to waste even a day. “It is not easy to employ people these days and that is why we are grateful to Chief Innocent Chukwuma for promising to employ all those who are interested in working in the company. “Having learnt the job, you are on your way towards becoming successful entrepreneurs.

Modalities for the formation of the clusters where you will practice what you have learnt are already out.” According to Boroh, the graduates would be encouraged to set up cooperative societies to enable them reap the full benefits of their training.


Twitter Suspends Niger Delta Avengers, Boko Haram Accounts Over Terrorism Acts

Twitter has suspended the accounts of Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), Boko Haram, as well hundreds of thousands others for violating policies related to violent threats and promotion of terrorism, the company said on Thursday.

The online social media has suspended additional 235,000 accounts since February.

Total suspensions related to violence and terror is now around 360,000 since the middle of last year.

Meanwhile, up to 80 per cent are being suspended daily since last year, Twitter said, due largely to proprietary “spam-fighting” tools.

The company said it has made progress in shortening the amount of time that violators are on Twitter; reducing their followers and disrupting the ability of offenders to immediately return to Twitter.

It said it has bolstered its team to review complaints of extremism and buoyed collaborations with law enforcement, other social platforms and international nongovernmental agencies.

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Jonathan, Wife, Under Probe Over Alleged Link To Niger Delta Bombings

The Nigerian presidency has ordered a discreet investigation of former president, Goodluck Jonathan, and his wife, Patience, over the spate of bombings of oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta.

A top government source, quoting intelligence reports, said that it had now been established that some of the oil installations bombed in the Niger Delta had actually been mined while President Jonathan was in power, just before the 2015 election, by some of the militants and operatives known to be very close to him.

“The mining was meant to be a “Plan B should they be removed from Aso Rock,” said the official, who requested not to be named because of the sensitive nature of the matter.

“The plan then was to cause confusion if the 2015 presidential election did not go as expected, in favour of the then incumbent.”

“However, when the former president surprisingly conceded the election to President Mohammadu Buhari, according to the source, there was both disappointment and confusion in the camp of those who had designed the plan, causing a suspension of the whole agenda.

“But by February this year, it was learnt, the plan was reopened as several of the backers were getting investigated on different corruption cases.

“Mr. Jonathan himself was concerned that himself and his wife could be prosecuted, including on money-laundering charges where investigators said evidence against the wife has already been amassed.

“It was at that point that the bombing activities under the banner of the Niger Delta Avengers started.

 “Even the former President himself had been reported while on a foreign trip as saying he knew he was under probe. This was after the plan to start the bombing had become fully operational according to intelligence reports.”

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Niger Delta Avengers ‘Willingly Agree’ To Dialogue With FG.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have agreed to dialogue with the federal government to resolve the lingering crisis in the Niger Delta region.


Ballantyne Agiri, spokesman for the dialogue group, said this in a signed statement on Wednesday.


Agiri said that the NDA had constituted contact and a dialogue group to engage the federal government in meaningful dialogue as part of the initiatives to resolve the crisis.


He added that the group was determined to come out with results that would yield lasting peace, equity, justice and harmony among all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.


“The body has collectively and willingly agreed to heed the clarion call of eminent Nigerians and international community to dialogue with the Federal Government,” he said.


He urged Nigerians and the international community to follow the event and watch out which side would default in terms of abiding by the rules and spirit of the dialogue.


“The federal government should from the inception of the dialogue rule out from the agenda any monthly monetary inducement or stipend for the NDA,” Agiri said.


“The federal government should be ready for structural changes that should be human and development oriented.


“Members of the avengers’ group (who will participate in the dialogue) have already been selected, each based on his integrity, forthrightness, honesty and life track records.


“The names of members of the group for now shall not be made public for personal reasons until they begin functioning in few days ahead.”


NDA has claimed responsibility for series of bombings of oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta in the last few months.


The activities of the group put a strain on Nigeria’s economy with crude oil production, Nigeria’s economic mainstay, disrupted.

FG Resumes Cash Payments To Niger Delta Ex-militants

The Federal Government has resumed cash payments to militants in the Niger Delta, officials said yesterday.
The media consultant to the Presidential Amnesty Office, Owei Lakemfa, said the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) would directly pay into the bank accounts of beneficiaries. The Central Bank was not immediately available for comment.

The Amnesty Programme’s spokesman, Piriye Kiyaramo, initially said the payments, which include tuition for those studying abroad, had been made on Monday, but militants told the BBC that they had yet to receive the money.
Kiyaramo later told the BBC that the money would be paid by last night according to Reuters.
“We expect the amnesty to be paid tonight to 30,000 youths involved in the amnesty programme. The Central Bank has released the money,” he said yesterday.
Under the amnesty deal, each militant is entitled to N65,000 a month and job training.
The government stopped the payments in February, resulting in the militants accusing it of breaching a deal negotiated in 2009. But the government had said it was looking into aspects of the programme to see where it could be revisited. Local militants in the Niger Delta including the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed several attacks on critical oil and gas facilities in the area, especially since the beginning of this year, with the federal government accusing them of sabotaging the national economy.
The latest move is therefore seen as an attempt to curb the attacks which have severely affected oil production.
Lakemfa however said the proposed Maritime University in Okerenkeko, Delta State, which is one of the militants’ demands, is a project of the Ministry of Transport with the Niger Delta Development Corporation (NDDC).
The Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) recently said it had commenced the third phase of sustainable reintegration of about 30,000 ex-militants in the region.
Amid attacks and plans by the militants to disrupt the peace and national assets in the region, Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, had pleaded with the federal government to pay their outstanding allowances.
In a response, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, retired Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh, said the payments would be made in July, and reiterated the federal government’s commitment towards re-engineering the Amnesty Programme in their favour.
Boroh said the Amnesty Programme had been successful but added that vandalism in the region must be checked.
Several groups have emerged to interface with the federal government in the ongoing dialogue for cessation of hostilities in the Niger Delta, as a result of which sources said the government was gradually being discouraged from the dialogue option.
Besides the well-known Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) that seemed to have struck an accord with the government, there are indications that the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE-A) and the Adaka Boro Avengers (ADA) are presenting separate negotiating teams.
Credit: DailyTrust

“The North Wants To Islamize Niger Delta”, Militant Group Cries Out.

A militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, Monday, alleged that there was an Islamic agenda by northerners to conquer and enslave the people of Niger Delta because of their oil.


The group in a statement by the spokesperson W O I Izon-Ebi, said: “Their first step is to use few of our greedy political elites. The second plan is to frame distinguished leaders with frivolous charges. The third one is to incite crisis for the military to come into the Niger Delta with the sole purpose to kill all the vibrant and brave youths of the region that are mouth piece and leaders of tomorrow.”


It asserted: “To further expose their Islamic agenda to own our oil and enslave us, they have gone further to absorb more than 250,000 civilian JTF into the Nigerian Army and even boasting to absorb more into the military and paramilitary force.”


“As if that is not enough, they are offering the Boko Haram Amnesty with the sole aim to invade the Niger Delta in the name of fighting militants. The drafting of Special Forces to the Niger Delta is not a threat to the people Niger Delta, because before this time we have known the Islamisation plot of recruiting Saudi Mercenaries, absorbing civilian JTF, and recruiting of Boko Haram members to form a special force to invade the Niger Delta,” NDRC said.


It added: ”Niger Deltans have suffered in the hands of the Nigerian government through their divide and rule tactics and few criminal minded elites to impoverish the people. This is why from 1957 when oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Oloibiri till date, there is nothing to show as an oil producing region. All we see is suffering, hunger, poverty, gas flaring, and degradation.”


“Now, their ploy is to cause disunity in the Niger Delta in order to go on with their exploration and exploitation. All what we see now in the Niger delta is disunity, witch-hunting, tribal sentiment, poverty, which they are using in order to achieve their purpose. These things are done deliberately to disorganize the people of the Niger Delta to enable them continue with oil exploration.


“Even in political appointments, they try to use it to create disunity among the people. Example, in the NDDC, if truly they meant well for the region, there will not be any need for agitation, an Isoko man is from Delta state, why are the Itsekiri people protesting, in Ondo, the same thing, Akwa Ibom the same thing, Abia the same thing,” the group stated.

NDRC declared: “They are now using our resources to acquire weapons and fighters to enslave us in this 21st century. We are very sad with our brothers that use Niger Delta struggle to enrich themselves and at the same time being used by the northerners to achieve their aim of exploiting the oil.”


It noted: “They feel that they have settled some few charlatans and criminals that call themselves ex-militants, using them to hijack the struggle that our distinguished sons and fathers stood for. Isaac Adaka Boro never took sides against his people or enriched himself, Ken Saro-Wiwa laid his life for this same course, Government Epkomupolo aka Tompolo, the prince of Ijaw deity (Egbesu), initiated the one and only Nigerian Maritime University, NMU.”


Commending Ijaw elders and leaders for standing on the truth, last weekend, in Warri, the group said: “The spirit and courage, fearlessness, bravery is motivating us to put a stop to this planned Islamic agenda against the Niger Delta. Just as we are asking our fathers why did allow their age mates from the north to put Niger Delta in this pathetic condition, we shall not allow our children to ask us the same question.”


It said: “If the government is truly sincere about solving the Niger Delta crisis, they should discuss with our distinguished elders. The proposed release of Henry Okah, Charles Okah, and Nnamdi Kanu and others is a well come development to build the dialogue process.”


NDRC, however, opposed the idea of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND leading the dialogue between militants and government, saying: “MEND should stop embarrassing our distinguished leaders from the region because Niger Deltans knows that MEND has been disbanded, granted amnesty and settled with pipeline contract.”


“When we checked Government Tompolo, GOC, Empkomupolo is declared wanted by the EFCC, Alhaji Asari is in support of the cause, Ateke Tom is peacefully in his community with his philanthropic gesture and spirit to see the well-being of his people earning the title of a first class chief in his kingdom. Henry Okah is in jail, Charles Okah is in jail. So who is speaking for MEND now?


“Can they honorably unmask themselves, if they are truly fighting for the well-being of the region, or is it a ploy to connive with the federal government to eliminate our bravest youths? It said.

Special Forces Begin Exercise For Combat In Niger Delta- Army

Prospects of a confrontation between Niger Delta militants and the military heightened yesterday as the Nigerian Army announced that its Special Forces had started exercises in preparation for combat in the restive oil rich region.

The Army in a statement by its Director of Public Relations (DAPR), Col. Sani Usman, said it had started conducting exercises for its Special Forces on maritime warfare. “The Nigerian Army will from this weekend commence another training exercise code named ‘Exercise Crocodile Smile’ in 82 Division and part of 2 Division areas of responsibility traversing the South-south geo-political region,” he said.

But Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson wednesday met with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja and said force was not the solution to the problem that had massively constrained the country’s crude oil production output.

The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, had warned last week that if the militants failed to accept the federal government’s offer of dialogue over their grievances, the military would have to step in to protect the nation’s oil and gas assets that had been the target of a militant group, Niger Delta Avengers’ (NDA) consistent acts of sabotage.

The federal government’s strategy for dialogue would appear to be experiencing some hiccups as the main militant group, the Avengers, has consistently expressed reservations about the sincerity of the process even as some other stakeholders query the government’s option of using proxy for the proposed talks.

Obviously not wanting to be caught unawares, the Nigerian Army has started preparing for a possible confrontation with the militants, conducting exercises for its Special Forces on maritime warfare.

Credit: ThisDay

FG Should Extend Amnesty Till 2019 For Sake Of Peace – Ex-militants

Former Niger Delta militant leaders have requested the Federal Government to extend the terminal date of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the region to 2019.


The ex-militants, under the aegis of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, made the request at a news conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, on Tuesday.


The National President, LPCDI, ‘General’ Reuben Wilson, (a.k.a Pastor Reuben) argued that the extension of the programme would provide an ample time for the beneficiaries of the programme studying abroad to conclude their various educational activities.


He also said such a gesture would make time for those who had yet to undergo their various skills acquisition training to commence and conclude before the expiration of the programme.


He also appealed to those he described as “greedy and selfish politicians” to give the Chairman of PAP, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.), a breathing space to continue with the good and selfless work being done by him as the Amnesty boss.


Wilson said, “We would like to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for extending the Amnesty programme to 2017. We are also appealing to the Federal Government that the terminal date be extended to 2019 to give enough time for the beneficiaries of the programme studying abroad to conclude their various educational programmes. “This will also make time for those who have yet to undergo their various skills acquisition to commence and conclude same before the expiration of the programme.


He also begged Buhari to extend an olive branch to some of their brothers who were still in the creeks and were willing to embrace the programme.


Wilson condemned the pipeline bombings in Delta and Bayelsa states, advising all concerned to stop such dastardly acts as it would only bring the region back to its dark days and ultimately hinder any form of development in the area.

He added, We call on all our Niger Delta brothers and sisters to be more patient with President Buhari as he needs more time to carry out his positive developments for the region. As we all know, this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace.”


We hereby encourage militants to embrace peace as it is the most important ingredient for sustainable development. We are also still appealing to Presidency to still take a critical look at the issues of late salary payments or monthly stipends to the amnesty beneficiaries.”


The delay of these payments is working against the peace we are preaching because these ‘boys’ tend to go into criminality in order to make ends meet due to non-payment of their stipends.


He expressed total support for the Amnesty boss (Boroh), saying the programme had indeed touched a lot of lives in the region from its inception.


He noted, “We are here to declare our total support for him (Boroh). A lot of our leaders, particularly one of our own, Victor Ebikabowei Ben, popularly known as Boyloaf, have stood firmly by the appointment of Boroh.”


The entire leaders under the LCPDI with its nine coordinators, representing leaders from the nine Niger Delta states, are strongly in support of Boroh. The Amnesty boss has in such a little time piloted the affairs of the programme; he has carried on without fear or favour.


We believe that given the right atmosphere and time, he will direct the programme to the benefit of all and for the achievement of the development and lasting peace in the Niger Delta region.”


Just recently, the Amnesty programme, under the leadership of Boroh, partnered with the Bio-Resource Centre in Odi to train 100 ex-agitators on agriculture. This is indeed a step in the right direction with the new trend of diversification of the economy.”

FG, Niger Delta Militants Agree To 30-day Ceasefire

The federal government and militant groups in the Niger Delta, including the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on oil and gas installations in recent months, have agreed to a 30-day truce to give President Muhammadu Buhari time to come up with a comprehensive plan for the oil-rich region, investigations reveal.

The “30 days of quiet” was said to have been agreed upon last week by a federal government team led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and representatives of the militant groups, community leaders and the state governments.

Last week, Kachikwu had led a government delegation to different camps in Bayelsa and Delta States, including visiting the temporary site of the Maritime University at Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, in a bid to reach out to representatives of the militant groups to get them to stop its attacks on oil and gas facilities.

The activities of the militants have halved Nigeria’s oil production to some 1.4 million barrels per day, impacted negatively on power supply in the country and the country’s oil earnings.

According to a source who opened up on the 30-day period of truce, Kachikwu was said to have reached out to the militants through back channels and pleaded for some time for the Buhari administration to come up with a comprehensive Niger Delta plan that would address most of their demands.

The militant groups, the source said, accepted Kachikwu’s plea, adding that since the agreement was reached there had been no attacks on oil and gas installations in the oil-rich region.

“You would have noticed that there have been no bombings of oil assets in recent days. This is the fall out of the 30 days of quiet reached with the minister and his team.

“This will give the president time to come up with a comprehensive plan for the Niger Delta,” the source said.

He also revealed that some of the demands made by the militants were for greater control of the hydrocarbon resources in their communities, improved funding for the Amnesty Programme, clean-up of oil producing communities in the Niger Delta that had been devastated by oil exploration activities, and funding for the Maritime University, among others.

Credit: Thisday

Avengers Issues ‘Last Warning’ To 7 Nigerian Governors

The Niger Delta Avengers has issued what it called “last warning’ to seven state governors to free pro-Biafran activists being held in police and military custodies in their states.

This is contained in a statement signed by the group’s spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo.

The new militant group, which has vowed to bring Nigeria’s oil production to zero, has given 72 hours to the governors to free Biafran agitators.

Some of the governors threatened by the group are Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, Willie Obiano of Anambra, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.

Others are Dave Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu, and Rochas Okorocha of Imo State.

“We request the immediate release of all pro-Biafrans activist held in your various Police/Military Custody, you are hereby given 72 hours to release them or risk your convoys, police station, military base and government offices being attacked,” the group stated.

“We are not negotiating with anybody and nobody is representing us.
In 48 hours we will release a video clip showing our arms and the targeted areas.

“All strike team already in position awaiting command.

We are ready for war and we have nothing to lose!!!”

Niger Delta Avengers Blow Up Chevron’s Oil Wells

In spite of military presence in presence around oil installations in the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) early on Wednesday blew up oil wells belonging to Chevron.

“With the heavy presence of 100 Gunboats, 4 Warships and Jet Bombers NDA blew up Chevron Oil Well RMP 23 and RMP 24 3:44am this Morning,” the group announced on Twitter, claiming that oil wells RMP 23 and RMP 24 are Chevron’s highest producing wells.

The  Avengers have emerged as most prominent militant in the Niger Delta region in 2016 with series of attacks launched on oil installations belonging to Shell, Chevron, ENI and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Credit: Guardian

Buhari To Visit Niger Delta Thursday

President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to visit restive Niger Delta region, recently rocked by series of attacks on oil facilities with the Niger Delta Avengers claiming responsibilities.

The visit will be Buhari’s first to the South-South region since becoming the president on May 29, 2015. He was scheduled to visit Cross Rivers but the trip was cancelled.

A media aide to Buhari said the president would travel to Ogoniland in Rivers state to flag off a long-awaited clean-up of the area, which has been affected by oil spills.

“All things being equal, the president will be in Ogoniland on Thursday for the historic clean up of the area,” the aide told AFP.

In August 2011, a United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report said Ogoniland may require the world’s biggest-ever clean-up.

Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has carried out several attacks on key pipelines and facilities operated by Shell and Chevron, causing oil production to slump to 1.4 million bpd from 2.2 million.

Buhari had pledged in his address on the occasion of his first anniversary as the president to ‘re-engineeer’ the amnesty programme for repentant former militants and engage leaders from the region in productive dialogue to proffer solutions to the region’s many problems and stem down the spate of attacks on oil installations.

He said, “On the Niger Delta, we are committed to implementing the United Nations Environment Programme report and are advancing clean-up operations. I believe the way forward is to take a sustainable approach to address the issues that affect the delta communities.

“Re-engineering the amnesty programmes is an example of this. The recent spate of attacks by militants disrupting oil and power installations will not distract us from engaging leaders in the region in addressing Niger Delta problems. If the militants and vandals are testing our resolve, they are much mistaken. We shall apprehend the perpetrators and their sponsors and bring them to justice.”

Credit: Guardian

Troops Arrest Niger Delta Avengers’ Men

Ten suspected members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) – the group of militants smashing oil facilities in the Niger Delta – have been arrested in Delta State.

Besides, a military patrol team prevented some gunmen believed to be its members from attacking pipelines in Bayelsa State.

The Army yesterday paraded the 10 suspects in Benin, the Edo State capital, yesterday.

The suspects were arrested at about 1:40am on Saturday in Oporaza community, Warri South-West Local Government Area, following a cordon-and-search operation conducted in the community.

The 4 Brigade Commander, Brig. –Gen. Farouk Yahaya, who paraded the suspects, explained that there had been several cases of sabotage by suspected militants and vandals in Delta State since January 1,  and warning and threats “to shut down all operations” in the sector.

He listed the arms and ammunition recovered from the suspects as: 28 detonator cords (also known Detonator 33), one pistol, two empty pistol magazines, 196 rounds of 7.62 special ammunition, one round of nine-millimetre ammunition, a live cartridge and five daggers.

Also recovered were 15 handheld radio sets, 18 phones, 203 SIM cards belonging to three major network providers, five swimsuits, two headlamps, a laptop, two ipads and a camera.

There were also seven wraps of substances suspected to be hemp, five speedboat throttle cables, six pairs of hand gloves, N23,000 cash and a cheque book.

Gen. Yahaya said that although investigation would reveal the true identity of the suspects, recent explosions carried out by the Niger Delta Avengers suggested that the suspects may not be unconnected to the group.

He added: “Within the period under review, you can see that the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed virtually all acts of criminal activities against oil and gas and they continue threatening a shutdown of the whole sector. So, most likely, they (suspects) will be the people; who else would they be?”

On the speculation that the militants may have used charms to evade arrest, Gen. Yahaya said: “Whatever a person wants to use, he can use it. But I know that God is always on the side of the truth.

“We are not worried by voodoo. It did not stop the suspects from being arrested and others that have been arrested before now.

“Operations that led to these arrests and recoveries were conducted professionally, guided by our mandate, operation orders, code of conduct and rules of engagement. Our operations are strictly targeted against perpetrators of all criminal acts in our area of responsibility and not innocent citizens,” he added.

Credit: Nation

Niger Delta Avengers Blow Up Oil Pipeline Again

Militants suspected to be members of the Niger Delta Avengers have blown up an underground Chevron crude oil trunk line.

The trunk line is located along the Seria Creek near Abiteye, a few kilometres away from the company’s multi-billion dollars Tank Farm in Escravos, Warri South West local government area of Delta State.

It was gathered that the incident, which occurred midnight, was noticed by workers in the production department when they observed drop in production pressure.

A top Chevron management officer and a security source both separately confirmed the incident.

The source said a technical team of experienced engineers had been dispatched to the scene of the spill to ascertain the true cause.

Information available  revealed that the Seria Creek and all adjoining creeks of Abiteye have now been covered with massive oil spill emanating from the trunk line.

A local source in the area said, “At the moment, the entire creek has been littered with crude oil.”

The violent militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, also announced the attack on their twitter handle.

Credit: Punch

FG Plans Dialogue With Militants To End Pipeline Vandalism – Lai Mohammed, Kachikwu

The Minister for Information and Culture with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Monday, said the Federal Government is considering opening a robust dialogue with the Niger-Delta militants on the need to stop militancy in the oil rich region.


The duo who spoke in an interactive session with a coalition of civil societies in Lagos, chaired by Dr. Moses Ilo, founder of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, stressed that nefarious activities of militants is currently sabotaging efforts being made by the government to revamp the nation’s economy. Mohammed while lamenting the situation said there was no other solution to the issues happening in Niger Delta other than engaging them in meaningful dialogue.


According to Kachikwu the government has come to realize that rolling out military tanks against the militants would not solve the problem. “The military barrels cannot stop or solve problem of militancy in the Niger–Delta region. I will have to go back to my brothers, they are our brothers we will go and dialogue with them,” Kachikwu said.


He said the continued audit of the country’s daily fuel consumption resulted in weeding out 10 million liters of fake petroleum products that was daily subsidized by the previous administration. Kachikwu lamented that the fund spent in subsidizing the pretentious consumption daily could have been used by the Federal Government to fix the refineries, roads and other basic amenities across the country which would have helped improve the Nigeria’s economy.


He said the continued audit of the country’s daily fuel consumption resulted in weeding out 10 million liters of fake petroleum products that was daily subsidized by the previous administration. Kachikwu lamented that the fund spent in subsidizing the pretentious consumption daily could have been used by the Federal Government to fix the refineries, roads and other basic amenities across the country which would have helped improve the Nigeria’s economy.

Credit: Vanguard


EU Seeks Partnership With Niger Delta Ministry

A team of experts from the European Union (EU) has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs to step up collaborative efforts with the EU towards providing potable water for people in the region.

The EU team made the call during a courtesy visit to Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, the Minister, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, in Abuja.

The Leader of the EU team, Mr Alobert Achten, said that the initiative, under the aegis of the Niger Delta Support Programme (NDSP), had been on for sometime but needed to be sustained.

The NDSP has four components comprising employment opportunities and social services, public finance management, water and sanitation and micro-projects.

The objective is to mitigate the conflicts in the region by addressing the main causes of unrest and violence.

The water and sanitation component of this programme is mainly to enhance access to safe, adequate and sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene services.

This component is already active in five states — Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers — and we are taking two local government areas per state.’’

The EU Representative, however, complained that the programme received little cooperation from some states.

He said that N2.4 billion from the EU was about to be lost because states were unable to pay their counterpart fund, adding that the deadline is the end of this month.

All the contracts risk being cancelled and beneficiary communities will feel betrayed.”

He urged the minister to intervene in the interest of the Niger Delta region.

Responding, Usani appreciated the EU for showing interest in developing the Niger Delta.

Credit: Guardian

New Niger Delta Militant Group Emerges, Issues 7-day Ultimatum

The Federal Government now has a new group of militants to contend with, following the emergence of the Red Egbesu Water Lions, which has vowed to team up with the Niger Delta Avengers in ensuring zero production of oil and gas in the region.

But it wasn’t clear as at Wednesday whether it was a resurrection of the Egbesu Mightier Fraternity Of Izon (Ijaw) Land and The Water Lion, a group which became prominent five years ago when its members threatened to eject people of northern origin from the region when the Boko Haram sect started attacking Christians in the North-East.

In a statement by its Creek Network Coordinator, “General” Torunanawei Latei, on Wednesday, the new militant group vowed to work with the Niger Delta Avengers and Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, to ensure that all their demands were met in the next seven days.

Among others, the group demanded the immediate release of Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader and the discharge of former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki from prison custody.

It also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to defreeze the bank accounts of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.

The Red Egbesu Water Lions, said to be an Ijaw group, threatened to shut down all oil exploration activities in the Niger Delta at the expiration of the ultimatum if the president ignores the group’s demands.

As part of its requests which must be met in the next one week, the group called for the “unconditional and immediate payment to victims of the Bonga Oil Spill and Chevron gas explosion in Koluama, Bayelsa state”.

While decrying the alleged lawlessness of the Buhari-led federal government, the Ijaw group argued that the government was becoming notorious for deliberate disobedience to court orders.

Credit: Thisday

Navy Goes Tough On Kidnappers, Vandals In Niger Delta

The Nigerian Navy has launched 25 gunboats to tackle the menace of kidnapping and pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta.

The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral, Ibok Ekwe Abas, said he inaugurated the gunboats in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, to support naval operations against kidnapping and other criminalities in the maritime environment.

Abas, who spoke at the Headquarters of the Central Naval Command (CNC), Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, on Wednesday said active community participation was required to stamp out kidnapping and pipeline vandalism.

Abas spoke shortly after meeting with the senior officials and commanders of the CNC behind closed doors.

He said since kidnappers operate on land, live among people and return to the creeks with their victims, members of the public should furnish security agencies with information about such individuals.

He said: “What we expect from the members of the public is to cooperate with the security services not just the Navy alone by providing information because these guys who kidnap hideaway our brothers and sisters and they stay with us.

“While the Navy is not expected to be on these points at all the time, we expect that we have the cooperation from the members of the public. We have just launched 25 gunboats which will all go to support navy operations and as time goes on more boats are going to be inducted into the various creeks and operations. “

Credit: Nation

NDDC To Complete N24bn Ogbia-Nembe Road, 6 Bridges In Bayelsa

The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Tuesday said that its 27-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe road and six bridges project in Bayelsa would soon be completed.


A statement issued in Port Harcourt by Mr Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, the commission’s Head of Corporate Affairs unit, disclosed that the project was awarded at a cost of N24.5 billion.


It quoted Mrs Ibim Semenitari, Acting Managing Director of NDDC, as saying that President Muhammadu Buhari directed the commission to fast track completion of ongoing projects in the Niger Delta.


It said the project, which had more than 50 culverts spreading across “very difficult terrains”, would terminate in Brass Local Government area of the state.


“NDDC is committed to speedy completion of the 27-kilometre Ogbia-Nembe road, six bridges and 50 culverts project in partnership with the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).

“The project which is in its first phase of completion will eventually terminate in Brass area of Bayelsa State.

“The project, which is nearing completion, was made possible by President Muhammadu Buhari’s release of N22 billion for the commission between June and December,” Semenitari was quoted as saying.


The statement said that the commission would soon commence construction of a prototype-ultra modern student hostel at the Niger Delta University on Wilberforce Island in Bayelsa.

It called on individuals and corporate organisations to partner the commission to realise its development mandate, adding that governance was a collective responsibility of all.




FG Deploys Soldiers To Niger Delta Over Pipeline Vandalism

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said that the Federal Government had started mobilising the military and task forces to the oil-rich Niger Delta.


He said the step became necessary to stop the sabotage of oil facilities and kidnapping of citizens for ransom in the coastal areas of the country.


According to a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, the President spoke at a meeting he had with a delegation from the United States’ Institute of Peace, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.


Buhari was quoted as saying that his administration is giving the highest priority to the resettlement of displaced persons and rehabilitation of infrastructure in the North-East, ravaged by the activities of the Boko Haram sect.

The President assured the delegation that his administration’s ongoing war against corruption would be fought within the ambit of the law. He added that mechanisms had been put in place to ensure respect for human rights in the fight against terrorism.


“We attach great importance to human rights. If there are breaches, they will be investigated and dealt with,” he said.


Buhari also welcomed the growing international support, especially from the United States and Europe, for Nigeria’s efforts to end the Boko Haram insurgency.


The President also expressed happiness with the support of Nigerians for the cardinal programmes of his government, the security of the country, the war against corruption and revival of the economy.


The leader of the delegation, Ms. Nancy Lindborg, applauded the progress being made by the Buhari administration in ensuring greater security in Nigeria.


She promised the continued assistance of the institute for the reconstruction and development work going on in the country.

Meanwhile, the Ancient and Mystical Order Rosae Crusis has charged the Federal Government to look for the immediate and remote causes of Boko Haram insurgency and the pro-Biafran protests in the country and find possible ways of stopping them forthwith.


Speaking at a press briefing in Owerri on Monday, the Vice President of AMORC (Nigeria), Frater Prof. Jonathan C. Nwigwe, said that the economic meltdown, hardship, Boko Haram insurgency and pro-Biafran protesters were tantamount to destroying Nigeria.


Nwigwe said this at the beginning of the 40th Eastern Regional Conclave of the sectarian group in Owerri, capital of Imo State with the theme, “National Integration for Global Peace.”


He stated that there was no nation in the world that had developed in a state of disharmony. He said that unless humanity come together to agree on issues, there would not be peace.


Nwigwe, a lecturer at the Imo State University, Owerri, added that the hosting of the conclave in the state, which is 40 years in the East, was apt as the state celebrated her 40 years of existence.


Nwigwe advised Nigerians not to look up to government for all their needs, saying that government cannot do everything for her entire citizens.


He said, “It is high time Nigerians borrowed a leaf from the American parlance of, “Think of what you can do for America and not what America can do for you.”


Also, the National Board Secretary/Treasurer, AMORC (Nigeria), Frater Johnson Ikube, advocated for positive creativity and self-reliance among Nigerians.


He stated that gone were the days when graduates would think of white-collar jobs, adding that graduates thinking of such jobs now were living in a fool’s paradise.


He said, “Too much interest in white-collar job is what is causing unemployment in Nigeria. But once one is able to produce what others need, one is employed. Our youths should be re-trained and re-orientated on the circumstances of the time.”


Adding his voice, a member of the National Board of AMORC Nigeria, Chief Temple Owhonda-Wopara, said that the essence of the conclave was to educate people and turn them to know more about God and His laws.


He said, “Until humanity come together to agree on issues, there won’t be peace. We are billed to achieve peace and harmony in Nigeria through this conclave. In this regard, therefore, all hands must be on deck. It is not going to be achieved by AMORC members in Nigeria alone.”


He later called on the nation’s leaders to be very prudent in the management of affairs, as he said that any policy neglected or not well carried out would affect the nation and her citizens.


Credit : Punch

Task Force Arrests Suspects Over Oil Pipe Blasts In Niger Delta

The Joint Military Task Force a.k.a. Operation Pulo Shield, protecting oil facilities in Niger Delta, says it has arrested suspected vandals behind recent bombing of line pipes in the region.

Spokesman for Operation Pulo Shield, Col. Isa Ado, said in a statement that the arrest followed a charge by the Commander of the Joint Force, Maj.-Gen. Alani Okunlola to apprehend those behind the acts.

Ado said in the statement that the suspects, who are in custody, were being interrogated to ascertain their degree of involvement and to help in arresting others.

The statement said patrols in the region had been intensified to ensure that all the suspected militants behind the line pipes sabotage were brought to book.

Credit: Guardian

Lawmakers Investigate Fresh Hostilities In Niger Delta

The House of Representatives Committee on Defence is to investigate the immediate causes of fresh hostilities in the Niger delta region of Nigeria.

The decision was taken on Thursday after lawmakers deliberated on a motion moved by Honourable Julius Pondi, regarding the recent destruction of petroleum facilities in the Niger delta.

Nigeria Gas Company’s pipeline connected to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s facility at Escravos in Delta State was attacked last week and its impact is beginning to reflect on other sectors of the Nigerian economy.

The House of Representatives is also urging the military high command to search for the perpetrators and also protect the innocent citizens in the area.

After the attack, the Ministry Power, Works and Housing said it would impact negatively on the Olorunsogo NIPP plant, with 600 megawatts capacity and other Power Plants.

Credit: ChannelsTv

Oshiomhole Blames PDP For Tension In Niger Delta

Adams Oshiomhole of Edo State, yesterday, regretted that the current tension in the Niger Delta was created by the immediate past Peoples Democratic Party, PDP-led administration through the empowerment of people he described as “wrong guys who showed capacity for violence.”

He urged the new Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru and the Minister of State, Niger Delta Affairs, Prof. Claudius Daramola to reform the ministry, saying, “You have a huge challenge due to the disastrous performance of your predecessors under the last PDP government which made more noise about the Niger Delta than work.

“They empowered the wrong people because they showed capacity for violence and then ignored the real people who were peaceful, who just wanted development. Therefore, you have a huge task to bring development and carry out massive reforms for our people and you need to re-enlighten our people to recognise that the long term challenge of bringing prosperity to our people will not necessarily continue to be driven by intervention agencies, it has to do with creating jobs and making the region peaceful.”

Oshiomhole spoke when the new leadership of the Niger Delta Ministry, led by the minister, Pastor Uguru, paid him a courtesy visit at Government House, Benin City.

Credit: Vanguard

Defeating You Won’t Be Tough, Buhari Tells Niger Delta Militants

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to deal decisively with the seeming resurgence of oil theft, vandalism of pipelines and insecurity in the Niger Delta.

Declaring that the Nigerian Armed Forces had already dealt “deadly blows” on Boko Haram, Mr. Buhari said the activities of oil thieves and vandals would soon be brought to an end, according to a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday.

“The oil thieves and abductors are a less problematic target. We will re-organise and deal with them,” he was quoted as saying.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Militants Give Condition To Stop Bombings In N/Delta

Top militant leaders, who have been causing havoc in the Niger Delta and major oil depots in the South-West, have laid out conditions under which they would stop the renewed bombing of oil installations and embrace peace.



The militants told newsmen in Abuja that they would only drop their arms when the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, meets and negotiates with them.



The militants issued the position after a secret meeting involving their leaders from the Niger Delta and their counterparts in Alepo, Agric, Epe, Ikorodu, Itoki and Igbokoda areas of Lagos.



One of the top leaders, who gave his name as General Levi, told Vanguard that they would not want to back down until the Petroleum Minister meets them and secures amnesty for their members to avoid being persecuted by security agencies.


The militant leaders also said after meeting with the minister, they would thereafter take over the responsibility of tracking and exposing those bent on causing further destruction to all facilities and meting our appropriate punishment to them.



They said they had been pleading for amnesty since the days of the President Jonathan’s administration but nobody took them into consideration and were ready to work with the new administration to bring about an end to oil bunkering and pipeline vandalisation in the Niger Delta region and the South-West.



Levi said: “We are ready to drop our arms and denounce hostility with the government on the condition that the Minister of Petroleum will meet with us and hear our own side of the story. We are not against the government but we have genuine issues yet to be addressed by successive administrations in this country.



“We are ready to commence discussion and denounce association with this present situation. From now henceforth, we are ready to block any channel for anyone not to go through to bomb oil pipelines.”



The bombing of oil installations in the Niger Delta commenced last week as militants blew up major oil and gas pipelines in the area.




Credit : Vanguard

FG Promises To Implement Niger Delta Master Plan

Nigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has reiterated the Federal Government’s commitment to implementing the Niger Delta Master Plan to drive the development of the region.

Professor Osinbajo gave the assurance on Monday at the inaugural meeting of Partners for Sustainable Development Forum.

At the meeting organised by the Niger Delta Development Commission, in Port Harcourt, the Vice President said that President Muhammadu Buhari had also expressed concern with current degradation of the environment with a view to addressing challenges faced by the region.

“Niger Delta remains a priority of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC government with a view to attending to current devastation and environmental degradation in the region.

“The Federal Government will give NDDC all necessary assistance and support to achieve its mandate of ensuring rapid and sustainable development of the region.

“For meaningful and sustainable development to take place in the region, citizens and stakeholders must be peaceful while curbing militancy and eliminating terrorism,” the Punch quoted the Vice President as saying.

Credit: ChannelsTV

Niger Delta Militants Invade Ebonyi Community

Two persons have been kidnapped by militants who invaded Afikpo community in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

It was gathered that the militants stormed the area through the waterways from Cross River State, abducted the victims, whose identity could not be verified at the time of filing this report.

Investigation revealed that the militants, who were suspected to be sea pirates, notified the Afikpo community before their coming and the attention of the Commissioner of Police was drawn to the threat, with the deployment of hundreds of policemen to barricade the area.

Commissioner of Police, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, who led a combined team of army and police to visit the scene for on-the-spot assessment, said the militants blew up a police patrol vehicle with dynamite and burnt some temporary structures belonging to the people of the area.

Peace lamented that the militants equally killed a Police Inspector just as she noted that the presence of police at the scene prevented the militants from gaining access to banks, which according to reports, was their main target.

Credit: NationalMirror

Shell Gives N15m To 21 Youths As Business Grants

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has given 21 youths, who graduated from its LiveWire Entrepreneurship programme, N15 million to share as a means to starting their businesses.

SPDC’s General Manager, External Relations Igo Weli said this at the 2015 Graduation and Award Ceremony for 21 beneficiaries of its sponsored LiveWIRE programme.

Weli said that 14,000 candidates in Niger Delta applied for the 2015 LiveWIRE programme out of which 150 youths were selected after a rigorous screening exercise.

“LiveWIRE is a programme designed to provide opportunities for young people in our host communities to realise their potential through creation and development of their own businesses.

“The programme gives youths access to entrepreneurial training, business development services as well as start-up capital for youth-owned businesses.

“This exercise, which started in 2003, has trained and empowered over 6,000 Niger Delta youths who have employed many youths in the area.

“Out of the 6,000 that this programme has trained, 3,000 of these trainees were assisted to set up their businesses through business start-up awards,’’ he said.

Weli added that no fewer than 40 people had been employed by trainees who graduated from its LiveWIRE programme in 2014.

According to him, the 2014 LiveWire graduates have made a combined profit of about N10 million excluding their capital.

He said that SPDC was committed and dedicated to developing youths in its host communities.

The Most Innovative Award prize winner, Mrs Gladys Nwabueze, said the programme equipped her with requisite knowledge and skills and handed her tools with which to work.

Nwabueze said the skills would enable her open up a sanitary pad company targeted at low-income earners.

“Sanitary pad is like a luxury to a lot of women hence I’ve developed a pad that will be affordable for use for everyday woman,’’ Nwabueze said.



Shell’s Claim On Niger Delta Pollution Blatantly False– Amnesty International

Multi-national oil company, Shell, lied when it claimed it had cleaned up heavily polluted areas of the Niger Delta, Amnesty International and the Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) said in a new report published on Tuesday.

The report titled, “Clean it up: Shell’s false claims about oil spills in the Niger Delta”, documents ongoing contamination at four oil spill sites that Shell said it had cleaned up years ago.

Amnesty said the report was published to mark the 20th anniversary of the execution of the environmental activist and writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Mr. Saro-Wiwa, who campaigned relentlessly against damage caused to the Ogoni area of Rivers State, was executed by the Sani Abacha junta on November 10, 1995.

“By inadequately cleaning up the pollution from its pipelines and wells, Shell is leaving thousands of women, men and children exposed to contaminated land, water and air, in some cases for years or even decades,” said Mark Dummett, Business and Human Rights researcher at Amnesty International.

“Oil spills have a devastating impact on the fields, forests and fisheries that the people of the Niger Delta depend on for their food and livelihood. Anyone who visits these spill sites can see and smell for themselves how the pollution has spread across the land,” he said.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Reps Investigate Illegal Refineries Destruction In Niger Delta

The House of Representatives on Tuesday commenced investigation into activities of the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta. NAN reports that the house is investigating alleged burning and destruction of equipment seized from illegal refinery operators in the area by the task force.
Briefing newsmen in Abuja on the investigation, Mr Sule Garo (Kano-APC), Chairman, Ad hoc Committee on Illegal Refineries, said that the house was worried about the environment in the area. Garo explained that the intentions of the house was to bring an end to the despoliation of the Niger Delta environment through burning of equipment confiscated from illegal operators of refineries.
He said that the JTF, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and affected communities had been invited to testify.
“Others invited to give insight before the committee include Federal Ministry of Health and Ministry of Environment on steps they are taking to forestall further despoliation of the Niger Delta environment,” he said. He said that while setting up the committee, the house had noted that communities in the region routinely suffered from the effects of indiscriminate burning and destruction of equipment seized from illegal refineries.

Credit: Vanguard

UK visa policy forces students of amnesty programme home

Ex-Niger Delta agitators that are beneficiaries of the amnesty programme have been forced to return home from the United Kingdom where they are undergoing training due to the Visa policy of the British government.
The British visa policy makes it compulsory that the Students travel home to renew their visa but there was the insinuation that the students who started their training in 2014 were forced home due to paucity of funds.

The Presidential Amnesty Programme Media and Communication Consultant, Owei Lakemfa in a statement in Abuja Sunday, said that the Foundation’s students sent to the UK in 2014 under the the Presidential Amnesty Programme returned to the country following the expiration of their one year visa. He further stated that apart from the completion of their one year foundation course, they were required to return to the country to renew their visa where necessary.
He said, “This has nothing to do with funding their programmes as is being insinuated.

Also, the Presidential Amnesty Office reiterates that there is no policy or plans under the Programme to pay Housing or Accommodation Allowances.
“It is therefore not correct for any beneficiary under the Programme to claim he is being owed, or is expecting such an allowance.
“Furthermore, the Amnesty Office reiterates that all allowances and payments under the Programme have been effected.
“However, some beneficiaries especially in South Africa and United States experienced some delays perhaps due the Central Bank’s implementation of the TSA policy.
Happily, the affected beneficiaries have started getting alerts confirming their banks receipt of the funds.
“The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme General Paul.T. Boroh (rtd) appreciates the support of the leaders and members of the various groups and camps under the Amnesty Programme.
“He reiterates that only under a peaceful atmosphere will investors be attracted to the Niger Delta Region and sustainable development achieved,” Lakemfa stated.


Credit : Vanguard

Drastic Reduction In Oil Theft In Nigeria Per Month – Nigerian Navy

The Nigerian Navy on Tuesday said it has achieved a drastic reduction in oil theft in the country from 2.4 million to 300,000 barrels per month by June, 2015.
The Navy’s claim represents a total of 87.5 per cent reduction in the theft of the nation’s oil resources in the maritime domain.
The former Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Usman Jibrin, made the comment while handing over the leadership of the service to his successor, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Jibrin advised his successor, who according to him was in his team, to sustain the tempo of achievements recorded by the Navy by ensuring total elimination of the theft of the nation’s crude oil resources.
He said the Navy’s success was in response to a mandate by former President Goodluck Jonathan to the service to reduce crude oil theft and other forms of criminality in the maritime area
He added, “On my assumption of office on January 20, 2014, the nation was faced with a myriad of security challenges which also affected the maritime environment.
“The then President, Commander-In-Chief, therefore mandated the NN to reduce crude oil theft and other security challenges in our waters.
“With the help of Almighty Allah and commitment of our officers and ratings, we were able to reduce losses from crude oil theft, which used to be 2.4 million barrels per month to about 300,000 barrels in the month of June, 2015.
“I therefore urge the new CNS, who is part of the success team, to sustain the tempo of total elimination of the menace of crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism.”

The new Chief of Naval Staff,  Ibas, said the Navy would not allow the severe impact of maritime crimes on the nation’s economy to linger.
He added that the source of oil theft and other crimes in the maritime domain would be frontally tackled under him.

President Buhari Vows Commitment To Niger-Delta Amnesty Programme

President Muhammadu Buhari has pledged commitment to prosecuting the amnesty programme in the Niger-Delta with vigour, to bringing about lasting peace and stability in the area.

This is contained in a statement on Thursday in Abuja by Mr Ohi Alegbe, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The statement explained that Dr Jamila Shu’ara, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, stated this while delivering Buhari’s message at the ongoing 167th Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) International Seminar in Vienna, Austria.

She said the president was also committed to ensuring stability in other parts of Nigeria, thus making the operational environment safe and attractive once again.

“Nigeria is committed to tackling corruption, especially in the extractive industry.

“The country will strive to bring back transparency and accountability in public life, especially in the petroleum industry which is the mainstay of national economy,’’ she said.

Read MoreVanguard

Asari Dokubo Threatens President-Elect General Buhari Again

Following the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election, leader of the militia group, Niger Delta People Salvation Front, Asari Dokubo, has declared that his group is ready to commence its bloody armed struggle against the Nigerian state.

Asari on several occasion in the recent past promised to make Nigeria ungovernable if Jonathan, an Ijaw man from the Niger Delta, was not voted for a 2nd term by Nigerians. Nigerians rejected him!

Speaking on Sunday at the Major Isaac Adaka Boro’s Memorial event, the militant said the restraining order the Jonathan’s administration had on the armed struggle for self determination of the Niger Delta people has been voided with the emergence of the Muhammadu Buhari government.

He said a new phase in the struggle will soon be unveiled?,? but ?that militants ?will wait for the new government to “draw the first blood.”

“Yes, a new government begins in Nigeria and a next phase of our struggle shall begin also,” he said. “Jonathan Goodluck Presidency was like a restraining order now that restraint is lifted. However, we will watch and wait, let them draw the first blood and we shall determine our best way forward. Truly Nigeria will never be the same again the future is pregnant.”

He said the posturing of the incoming Buhari-led administration suggests that it will extinguish whatever is left of the Niger Delta struggle. He added he is ready to die in war or in prison if the in-coming government attempts to trifle with the struggle for self-determination of the oil-producing region or treat it as a conquered region.

“Should Buhari whom like pharaoh has determined in his heart to turn desolate the Niger Delta region, draw the first blood by undermining certain interest of the region then begin the systemic arrest, maiming and murder our comrades, continue the confiscation of our rights to self-determination and treat the region as a conquered region, then it may be honourable for some of us to die in prison or in the field of war as nobody is afraid of him,” Mr. Dokubo said.

Asari took a swipe at other Niger Delta militants that have declared their readiness to work with in-coming government describing them as “petty penny merchants” and “field slaves” who have fled the battlefield.

He further called on Niger Delta youth to resist any attempt to treat the region as a defeated region.

“Let it be known that we were not defeated,” he said. “It was Jonathan and his party that lost an election. We as a people, indeed the Niger Delta region alongside the Igbos were never defeated. We collectively rejected the born to rule and supremacist agenda which some of our brothers as field slaves and taskmasters supported yet their number shows that they are of little consequence, we must however not take them for granted.”

He also took a swipe at Jonathan, saying the president is merely a beneficiary of the Niger Delta struggle but not a part of the struggle and thus cannot understand the real intent of the struggle, which, he said is to secede from Nigeria which he described as “a false and forced colonial union.”

“He, Jonathan Goodluck, was never in the struggle. He was not a product of the struggle but an establishment beneficiary of our struggle. Our struggle is not and never about becoming the president. It was not about being awarded oil licenses and mouth-watering contracts. It was not about massive infrastructural development of the Niger Delta Region. It was not about high scale appointments, employment and empowerment. It was never about interventionist programmes and projects.

“Our struggle indeed is about our collective freedom from a false and forced colonial union that has remained divided and un-integrated. It is about our being conferred a slave status and seen as a conquered people who must exist at the mercy of the overloads and supremacist class using our own brothers as taskmasters against us in a Nigerian union.”

But the same Asari amassed wealth from the multi-billion naira pipeline contract awarded to ex-militants by the Jonathan administration as part of the amnesty deal.

House of Reps Amend PIB To Include The Entire Country As ‘Host Community’ Of Petroleum?

There were tense moments at the House of Representatives on Thursday as members approved a clause in the Petroleum Industry Bill to include the entire country as ‘host community’ of petroleum resources.

By approving the clause, the House said all “upstream and downstream ” communities in the country would now benefit from the? “Petroleum Host Community Fund”, proposed in the PIB.
In the original version of the bill from the Executive, the PHCF was proposed to assist cushion the effects of oil exploration activities on oil producing communities.

Oil companies, according to the bill, are to contribute 10 per cent of their net profit to the Fund.

However, the House AdHoc Committee on the PIB amended the beneficiaries of the PHCF to include all parts of the country rather than restricting it to oil communities alone.

Chairman of the committee, Mr. Ishaka Bawa, while throwing light on the recommendation, told members that communities with refineries or have oil pipelines traversing them, were automatically “host communities.”

He added, “It means that even states, where there are refineries or there are pipelines are host communities.

“It is beyond oil producing communities. “
Bawa stated further that the only exceptions were states like Sokoto and Kebbi.

Although, the House passed the recommendation, it was not without some protests.

Some Niger Delta lawmakers, led by Mr. Leo Ogor, sought to retain the original proposal.

Ogor argued that the recommendation of the committee might face challenges of implementation because of what he called “many technicalities that will hinder progress.”

He insisted that the House should restore the original provision, but his position was defeated ?by the majority of members, who backed the community’s recommendation.

The House also reduced the 10 per cent contribution to the PHCF to 7.5 per cent.
But, oil companies are still required to carry out corporate social responsibilities in host communities to make up for the reduced financial contribution.

Lawmakers began considering the report on the controversial bill on Wednesday.

The 368-page report has 312 sections and 348 clauses.

By Thursday, members had passed 116 clauses at the Committee ?of the Whole, which was presided over by the Deputy Speaker, Mr. Emeka Ihedioha.
The House later adjourned further consideration of the bill till Tuesday next week.

Amnesty An Act Of Laziness And Enrichment By Ajise Tega

When the present generation work for the future generation, both the present and the future generation is secured. When the present generation steals, or believes in earning their daily bread for no tangible work done, both the present and the future generation becomes lazy, redundant and unproductive. An unproductive nation is a danger first to itself and then to other nations.
For the incoming APC administration that has promised job creation as a priority, Job creation would not be complete without the right concept of dignity of labour. To prove a better alternative as they have so bragged about, they must do things differently in the area of job creation. It is no news that Nigerians are growing lazy in fending for themselves; the causative reasons cannot be mentioned without government being the major culprit. Everyone wants easy access to money for doing frivolous jobs like their counterpart contractors.
Most jobs the GEJ led administration claimed to have created are unsustainable. It would not be excused for its inability to pay workers salary leading to the country borrowing to meet up with its responsibility. It would have been better if GEJ classed these jobs as welfare packages. This would give a clear picture of the problem at hand rather than live in self deceit that millions of jobs were created that can never be found.
It is appalling to see every youth and community fighting for oil pipeline protection contract, one thing is obvious this same people are the vandals of these pipelines. All they are doing is telling the FG to give them money or they will destroy our common source of national livelihood. Like the continuous theft of 400,000 barrels per day with the money been paid to stop it. One can conclude that giving out such contracts is not a guarantee that the pipelines won’t be vandalized. It is a lazy call, a lazy way to fend for our daily bread that would take the country backwards. Most of these pipeline vandals has aligned themselves as militants or affiliated to an existing group that was granted a costly amnesty.
There have been calls for Buhari to continue the amnesty program. An overview of the amnesty program, which the main beneficiaries are using groups to sound the call for continuum. The main benefactors are the high ranking militant bosses or the amnesty contractor or consultants as call them(selves), who gets the large chunk of money and become overnight multi millionaires and billionaire. then use whatsoever they like in the name of training. If amnesty program makes this possible then it is as unfair as the same reasons that lead to agitations that brought about it.
As a southerner I have always asked my people who say a certain part of the country enjoy our oil wealth to the detriment of the producing region, though I don’t dispute their facts, the one question I ask is what have we as southerners come together to make of our oil wealth for the now not to talk of the future? The most effective which is a good job with the oil company is made possible by the oil companies. The answers I get have always been nothing. The said NDDC if properly probed a lot will be shocked that it’s more of a waste pipe. By the time our oil is finished the things that can point to the region as once oil producing is the stark environmental pollution and degradation caused by exploration and the few who can keep their oil gotten wealth.
I would like the incoming administration to ask every amnesty consultant/contractor to present a visionary plan they have for the Niger delta region, aside a vision of their contractual monetary gains I would say nothing. There is a time for everything, Amnesty came, like every sector of the economy it was exploited, it is high time it is scrapped for the sake of the Niger delta people who are beginning to see the oil in the region as a justified reason why they must have access to government funds in whatever guise for doing nothing thereby making a lot redundant. rather such funds should be geared towards job creation. It may take time, such wait can be frustrating. Putting the future generation in perspective if properly done we would always be glad.
May God Help Us.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of nor its associates

President Jonathan Approves N31bn New Projects For Niger Delta

Barely 15 days to the end of the present administration’s tenure, the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved four different roads totaling N31billion for the Niger Delta.

Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Steve Oru, disclosed this at the end of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

According to earlier briefings by the Minister of Information, Patricia Akwashiki, the Wednesday meeting was the last one during which projects can be approved while a valedictory session would be held next week. Oru said the four roads are in Bayelsa, Ondo and Delta States.

The minister said the construction of Zarama-Okodia Iseme road in Yenagoa Local Government Area
in Bayelsa State was awarded in the sum of N5. 923billion with a completion period of 18 months.

He added that the construction of Agadagba-Akotoko -Iyasa-Ovia Road and bridge in Irele Local government of Ondo State was awarded in the sum of N15.628billion while the construction of Amasoma-Egbedi Road in Kolokuma Okpokuma Local Government of Bayelsa was awarded in the sum of N2.767 billion with a completion period of 18 months.

The fourth road is the Ofagbe Udeze-Ozoro Road with a spur from Ovwie to Aba road in Isoko North, Isoko South Local Government Areas of Delta State which was awarded in the sum of N6.7bn.

Source: The Punch

Radio Biafra Airing In Niger-Delta, Location Of Station Unknown

A strange radio station operating from an unknown location has hit the airwaves in Rivers State with the name ‘Radio Biafra’, on 88.0Fm Channel.

The location of the radio station as well as its mode of operation is yet to be ascertained. The Radio Biafra has only one familiar voice, who calls himself ‘Director’. He frequently refers to the listeners as the Indigenous People of Biafra.

The anonymous Director, in one of his broadcasts, took a swipe at both the incumbent President and the President-elect for their recent activities.
He consistently makes comments pitching the North and the West against the Niger-Delta, stressing people of the Niger-Delta were being “enslaved in Nigeria” which he refers to as a “zoo”.

Taking a cue from the recent comments credited to the Oba of Lagos, HRM Rilwan Akinolu on the Igbo community in Lagos in the run-off to the Governorship election, the anonymous voice on Radio Biafra said words like ‘non-indigene’ should not be used in a country that claims it is united.

“See ordinary Oba Akinolu calling you people non-indigene in your own country. If you are travelling from Lagos through the Lagos-Ibadan express way, you will see black pipelines. They are all oil pipelines. The oil is coming from Biafra land to Yoruba land, yet they call you non-indigenes.

“When it comes to the issue of oil, we are one Nigeria but when it is time for the igbos to vote and look after their families, they turn to non-indigenes”.


Ex Militants Warn Buhari Against Scraping Amnesty Programme

The Niger Delta Salvation Group, Tuesday, advised President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, against scrapping any of the interventionist programmes as well as the amnesty scheme initiated by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua.

The national coordinator of the group, Victor Tamarapreye, gave this warning in response to the defeat of their kinsman, Goodluck Jonathan of the Peoples Democratic Party in the last presidential election. Tamarapreye explained that members of the group, which is a new coalition of ex-agitators, had been watching events before, during and after the last general elections.

Tamarapreye said, “As for the ‘President-elect,’ we want him and his party, the APC to note that we are watching carefully their plans and mission for the Niger Delta.

“We want them to recall the recent history of the region when crises led to disruption of Nigeria’s oil production capacity and inevitably affected the income accrued to federal, state and local governments.

“That was because of decade-old marginalisation of the region and her people, who are the chicken that lays the golden eggs…”

Read Moredailypost

“We Won’t Return To Militancy “, IYC Replies Dokubo-Asari

The Ijaw Youth Council (Worldwide) on Thursday distanced itself from the threats by an ex-militant leader, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, that Niger Delta militants might return to the creeks to protest against the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the presidential election.
IYC, however, said it would cooperate with and closely monitor the incoming administration of Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari(retd.) to “see their(its) dance steps.”
The President of IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, made the clarifications in Abuja after reading a communique issued at the end of its meeting held at Tuomo community in Delta State to review the outcome of the March 28, 2015 Presidential election.
He also expressed sadness over what he described as the deliberate efforts by the core North and a section of the South-West “to frustrate the administration of Jonathan and force him out of power through false media propaganda and insurgency in the North in connivance with some foreign
Eradiri accused the unnamed foreign countries of displaying “obvious bias during the electoral process.”
He added, “The Ijaw nation, satisfied with the performance and conduct of President Jonathan in office, will warmly welcome him back home from national service.”
Dokubo-Asari, leader of Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteers Force, had in a statement by his spokesperson, Mr. Rex Anighoro, said the voting pattern showed that the South-West and the North “ganged up” against the South-South and South-East geo-political zones.
The ex-Niger Delta warlord believed it was unfair that the minorities were being emasculated by the majority ethnic groups.
But Eradiri said the NDPVF founder was an individual like any other Nigerian, who had a right to his views.
He said, “Well, Alhaji Dokubo-Asari is an individual, who has a right to his views. Being a leader in the Niger-Delta, he may be saying things based on the way he sees it. The fact that we have also taken a decision does not mean that other structures or individuals will not make one or two comments as a result of immediate reactions to the way the Presidential election went.
“But the institution that leads the organisation, we, the youths of Niger Delta, have made our position. Every other person may look at it in their own way, but we have decided to look at Buhari’s administration and see how it will go and we will know the steps to take.
“We don’t have any plan for violence and returning to the creeks. Ijaw and Niger Delta youths should be calm, peaceful and maintain the existing peace in the Niger Delta region.”

Source: The Punch

Niger Delta Militants, Others Demand Oil Bloc From Buhari

Some community and militant groups in Delta State have warned that they will not accept the exclusion of the Niger Delta people in the allocation of oil blocks in Nigeria.

A source close to one of the interest groups told Punch that with the failure of President Goodluck Jonathan to secure the support of northerners and south-westerners in the March 28 presidential election, the people of the region now want to take a stand on how they want the oil blocks allocated.

The source said several meetings had been held and more meetings would still hold to arrive at a common position, as renewal of the oil block licences will become due soon.

He said, “You can see how they voted during the election. Every ethnic group voted for their own. But they want to come back to the Niger Delta to take away our resources without even recognising that we should be involved in the allocations.

“Let them come. We are waiting for them.”

The source also said the recent series of destruction of oil pipelines and formations in the Niger Delta area was just a warning signal to the authorities that the people would not be ready to take it lightly anymore.

“You can see that most of the oil block licences come from the North and other parts of the country. But when it came to voting, they mobilised their people against our son,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Police in Delta have yet to find a clue to the explosions that rocked the Ekiugbo-Ighrenene-Afiesere oil pipeline.

Urhobo Gbagbako had claimed responsibility for the Friday bombing of the NPDC oil pipeline at Ighrenene community between Afiesere and Ekiugbo, and the shutting down of all the oil fields in Urhobo and Isoko nations.

The group’s spokesman, Priest Omodjuvwu, said the bombing was to protest the neglect of the ex-militants of Urhobo extraction in the award of pipeline surveillance contracts by the Federal Government.

Jonathan Took Niger Delta For Granted- Asari

Leader of Niger Delta People Salvation Front (NDPSF), Mujahid Dokubo-Asari has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of taking the Niger Delta for granted. Asari, who spoke during a rally in Warri on Monday evening, said the President had been betrayed by those he gave his time at the expense of the region.

He noted that the region despite the neglect has remained the corner stone for the president. He urged the people of the region to vote for President Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election.

Read MoreTheNation

Don’t Step Foot on Niger Delta Soil, Ex Militants Warn Obasanjo

Hundreds of ex-militants thronged the Ohoror Junction axis of the East-West Road, promising to bar the former president from stepping foot on the Niger Delta region, following Obasanjo’s actions against President Jonathan.

They said they had resolved to attack Obasanjo’s business interest in Port Harcourt, Warri, Asaba, Calabar, Uyo and other cities in the Niger Delta, adding that since he had decided to label President Jonathan as an enemy, he is also an enemy to the region.

Mr. Preye Ekpebide, Delta State Chairman Phase Three Amnesty Programme, who addressed newsmen during the peaceful protest, said Obasanjo’s aspersion on Jonathan was as a result of his failure to use the president as a puppet and surrogate.


MEND Endorses Buhari For President, Says Voting Jonathan Is Biggest Mistake Niger Deltans Ever Made

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has, upon careful consideration of the state of the Nation, endorses and fully support the Presidential candidate of the All Progressive Congress (APC), General Mohammadu Buhari.

Our decision to throw our full support on General Mohammadu Buhari stems from the pathetic state in which the country has been put by the government of Goodluck Jonathan and our strong believe in General Mohammadu Buhari as the man and change the country needs.

President Goodluck Jonathan does not deserve a second more in the Presidency as soon as his tenure expires as he has continuously and blatantly disregarded the very people who voted him into office.

A President that told Nigerian to their faces that he does not “give a damn” when asked to declare his assets. A requirement that is constitutional on assuming the office of the President.

President Jonathan, since assuming his office, has setup countless number of “Committees”, none of which their reports has ever been implemented. From the Nuhu Ribadu report to the KPMG and Fuel Subsidy reports, just to mention a few.

How can Nigerians expect a highly corrupt person like Goodluck Jonathan to fight corruption when he believes that “stealing is not corruption”, as he shamelessly told the Nation? He has proven beyond all reasonable doubt, his inability to tackle corruption or prosecute a single government official in his six (6) years in office.

MEND finds it laughable the recent statement by Goodluck Jonathan on his governments plan to fight corruption. This statement not only smacks of ignorance to the highest order, but also shows just how stupid he thinks Nigerians are. A president that had six years to tackle the problem but chose to shield corrupt government officials, joined in the looting of our resources and now has the temerity to say his government “has a plan” to fight corruption. This is a big slap in the face of every single Nigerian!

We re-state our disregard and lack of confidence in President Goodluck Jonathan. Rather than address the perennial issues in the country responsible for his administrations failures, he is concentrating government funds in a campaign of misinformation intended to hoodwink Nigerians who, unfortunately for him, are now wiser and smarter than he is.

Goodluck Jonathan’s actions, utterances and arrogance prove that he is totally disconnected with the situation facing the ordinary Nigerian and completely out of touch with reality.

MEND commends General Mohammad Buhari for his plans, when elected as President, to scrap the so-called “Office of the First Lady”. This is obviously an irrelevant, fraudulent and unconstitutional office, whose only purpose is to further plunder the resources of the country.

Nigerians and the EFCC appear to have forgotten that this “First Lady” Mrs Patience Jonathan was in the process of being charged with attempts to launder stolen money to the United Kingdom, barely a few months after President Jonathan was sworn in as President. The same offence former Governor James Ibori was charged with.

In the wake of the still-missing Chibok school girls abduction, the “First Lady”, rather than being embarrassed by her husbands inability on how to handle the situation, was instead worried about his tarnished legacy and even considered the Bring Back our Girls Campaigners a nuisance and upsetting to their daily exercise of redirecting Nigeria’s resources to the their private coffers.

President Jonathan and the PDP have continuously exploited every national tragedy for political gains. They have politicised the Boko Haram insurgency for political gains. They used regional and religious sentiments as a cheap strategy but Nigerians know better.


Since President Goodluck Jonathan assumed office, the Niger Delta region has experienced excruciating poverty faced by the people, worse pollution and environmental degradation and not once has he ever come out to openly condemn the destruction of our environment by the activities of irresponsible oil companies.

Recent reports confirm the country is losing billions of Dollars in oil revenue due to oil theft. This theft has been aided by the pot-bellied Nigerian Army generals, in connivance with corrupt Nigerian government officials, the Joint Task Force and the Nigerian Navy. It is no wonder the once respected Nigerian Military has been reduced to a ragtag Army by the Boko Haram Terrorists. It can only take a bold and courageous man like General Mohammadu Buhari to tackle the insecurity and oil theft plaguing the nation. He has done it before and he will and can do it again!

The Niger Delta region has the Ministry of the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) and the largest percentage in oil revenue allocation, yet the region has nothing to show for all these due to a very corrupt government and system in place. We are confident that a General Mohammadu Buhari presidency would probe these agencies and divert all stolen revenue back to the development of the region and Nigeria as a whole.

Regrettably, our so-called “Freedom Fighters”, “Niger Delta Activists”, “elders”, Royal Fathers and politicised groups such as the Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC), United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDESS) and several other castrated and myopic groups from the region have lost focus. Rather than speaking out against corruption, impunity, underdevelopment, degradation of our environment, unemployment and the impoverished living of the ordinary Niger Deltan, prefer to turn themselves into political praise singers of the government to enrich themselves while the region is still licking the wounds of marginalization. We say you are all cowards and shame unto you all! You now feast on the sweat and blood of great Niger Delta leaders like Isaac Adaka Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa while the region remains impoverished, underdeveloped and polluted.

It is very clear that the Niger Delta region now regrets voting a corrupt and incompetent leader who they believed would transformation to the region, in spite of our earlier warnings about Goodluck Jonathan. He (Goodluck Jonathan) has only succeeded in infecting the region with poverty, corruption and mal-administration. This is our chance not to repeat this costly blunder of 2011.

We challenge every Niger Deltan to ask yourself if the region is any better under Goodluck Jonathan than it was under a sick Late President Musa Yar’Adua. We are convinced that the people of the Niger Delta have woken up to realise that voting Goodluck Jonathan simply because of tribe, was the biggest mistake they made.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) urges Nigerians to ignore the empty threats and provocative comments from political thugs parading themselves as “ex-militants” and “Freedom Fighters”. These spineless cowards want Nigerians to believe that there will be no peace if Goodluck Jonathan is not re-elected into office despite the billions of dollars spent on the “Amnesty Programme” to reform these miscreants.

Nigeria needs change, the Niger Delta needs change and General Mohammadu Buhari is the change the Country desperately needs.

For our Freedom and Yours.

Jomo Gbomo


Credit:  Sahara Reporters

2015 And The Gathering Storm By Dr Deborah Nelson

Since advent of Jonathan’s administration, many challenges have conspired to make Nigeria  ungovernable and frustrate him out of office. Some of the challenges are Boko Haram terrorist activities and widespread destruction of lives and properties in Northern Nigeria by Fulani herdsmen. However bloody these terrorist acts may be, core north politicians, A C F and APC often celebrate and use them to justify their incessant calls on president Jonathan to resign. In order to undermine the presidency, they constituted themselves into New PDP, frolicked around Nigeria like headless fowls then finally emptied themselves into APC. However, they left Governors Babangida Aliyu and Sule Lamido behind in PDP as mole to continue from where they stopped. At National Conference, core north delegates made it a point of duty to consistently work against Niger Delta. They wanted the restoration of offshore onshore dichotomy and reduction of derivation to 5%. In the NASS, they ensure the PIB does not see the light of the day because of a clause they feel will benefit Niger Delta only. They said Jonathan must not contest in 2015 and that power must return to them in 2015. With recent allocation of additional 20715 polling units to the north and only 8414 to the south by Professor Attahiru Jega’s INEC without any logical explanation, Jega had surreptitiously demonstrated his readiness to use INEC to help his kinsmen, core north politicians back to power in 2015. If each polling unit is for 500 voters as chorused by Professor Jega, it means Jega had used his office to allocate 10,357,500 votes to the north as against only 4,207,000 votes to the south. With above masterstroke by INEC Chairman, core north politicians do not need even a vote from the south to triumph at any presidential election.

About 69% of GDP of Nigeria is from the sale of gas and crude oil from South South Geopolitical Zone, 20% from South West Geopolitical Zone and 11% from South East Geopolitical Zone but not a single kobo from the north. But according to core north politicians,  north is the backbone of Nigeria. This is to say the least ridiculous because the ‘backbone’ can neither feed, clothe nor house itself without monthly handouts from the south.  Prior to amnesty, Nigeria could only produce about 700,000 barrels of crude oil daily due to disruptive activities of militants in spite of the fact that president Yar’ Adua saturated Niger Delta with soldiers from core north under command of core north military officers such as General Sarki Y Bello [retd] to restore normalcy but all to no avail. In order to forestall economic strangulation, president Yar’ Adua had to adopt the amnesty option. The militants who confronted the Yar’ Adua’s war machine are still very much around, with even more converts to disrupt crude oil and gas production if considered necessary.

If a core north politician becomes the president of Nigeria next year, it is very likely that the people of Niger Delta will do everything humanly possible to make Nigeria ungovernable for him. This is because they strongly believe that core north politicians use Boko Haram terrorists and Fulani herdsmen to perpetrate widespread destruction of lives and properties in order to make Nigeria ungovernable for Jonathan as they promised in 2010. Consequently, however credible the presidential election may be, emergence of Buhari, Kwankwaso or any core north politician as Nigerian president in 2015 will usher in unprecedented shortage of revenue due to massive and sustained disruption of crude oil and gas production by Niger Delta militants. It will never be business as usual because relying on gas and crude oil revenue will be a very costly miscalculation, hence core north politicians must make adequate arrangement for alternative sources of revenue in order to forestall manifestation of these consequences.

Even at the current production of over two million barrels of crude oil per day with a barrel of crude oil going for over $100, most states can not even pay the national minimum wage. With the exception of Lagos state, every other state will find it extremely difficult to function in absence of crude oil and gas revenue. Fuel scarcity will be persistent with no end in sight. The multiplying effects of these inevitable developments will be all encompassing with enormous capacity to ignite mob actions across the country against the ruling class. But for Niger Delta people, it will be a blessing in disguise because further plundering of their resources will be halted until when they will be free enough to freely harness their God given resources for the benefit of their people.

Initially, Lagos state will be able to generate enough revenue to function normally while all other states will find it extremely difficult to even provide essential services. Consequently, the harsh economic conditions in these states will force their citizens to migrate en mass to Lagos state. This huge and sustained influx of both skilled and unskilled Nigerians to Lagos will overwhelm the state and generate enormous social problems. Within a few years, the crime rate and all sorts of vices will be on the increase and slowly but surely, Lagos state’s government will find it increasingly difficult to function optimally due to lack of funds. Note that Lagos state must service huge domestic debt which runs into billions of Naira as well as $1.2 billion debt to international creditors.

All independent power plants scattered all over the country are powered exclusively by gas. Even at the current level of gas production and supply to these power plants, the quantity of electricity generated is not even enough to enable Distribution Companies break even. The inevitable disruption of gas production and supply to the power plants will lead to permanent shut down of these independent power plants thereby resulting in substantial reduction in electricity produced, hence there will be no power to either transmit or distribute. Many manufacturing companies will collapse due to lack of gas and NGO to power generating plants and generators respectively. Production of good and services will be negatively affected with unemployment, retrenchment, poverty, social vices on the increase.

Generating Companies and Distribution Companies will incur massive losses as there will be no gas for them to generate power from. The Commercial Banks which bankrolled some of these companies will be left with huge bad debts that negatively affect their financial well being. Those who invested in these Gencos and Discos will be enmeshed in massive losses and impact of these on the economy will be disastrous. Meanwhile, the Federal Government will be fighting two wars because while Boko Haram terrorists and Fulani herdsmen will continue with their terrorist activities in the north, crude oil and gas war will be rumbling in the creeks of Niger Delta simultaneously.

Additionally, revenue from South West Geopolitical Zone and South East Geopolitical Zone will also be drastically reduced due to low power supply and many other negative indices generated by the two wars. Faced with these two wars and very little or no revenue from the south as usual, Federal Government will be seriously handicapped in its effort to either prosecute the wars or provide essential services. The conditions so created will provide enabling environment for seamless establishment of a Caliphate by Boko Haram  in the north and inevitable disorderly fragmentation of the Nigerian state.

This can be averted. In 1999, only the Yorubas were asked to provide a president for the nation from amongst themselves in order to heal the wound inflicted by Babangida’s endless transition program. The degree of hatred and mistrust between core north politicians and people of Niger Delta has reached a very dangerous level. Core north politicians have every right as enshrined in the constitution to vie for any elective office in the land, but caution is required to avert the gathering storm next year. They have resolved to return power to the north, no problem. However, for the sake of national unity and survival of Nigeria, core north politicians should throw their weight behind any northerner of their choice to contest for presidency. If such a person is elected freely by the good people of Nigeria as their president, fine and good. But irrespective of the method used, be it through military coup or the most credible presidential election ever held in the entire universe, emergence of a core north politician as president in 2015 may usher in a series of events that may culminate in irreversible disintegration of the Nigerian state. This paper is not aimed at encouraging Nigerians to either oppose or support Jonathan’s political ambition. Rather, it is aimed at drawing the attention of Nigerians to the gathering storm which can dismember this nation if not well managed.

 Dr Deborah Nelson

Views Expressed are Solely Author’s