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Pandemonium as Host communities’ leaders engage in free for all at Reps public hearing on PIB

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Pandemonium as Host communities’ leaders engage in free for all at Reps public hearing on PIB




The rivalry among host communities’ producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM) leadership in the Niger Delta on Thursday culminated in free for all at public the hearing of Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).
There was pandemonium as lawmakers and participants scampered for safety.
The Public hearing was organised by the House of Representatives on the Petroleum Industry Bill which started since Wednesday after the Senate finished its own.

The rivalry among the two groups laying claims to the leadership degenerated as fight broke out at the venue of the House of Representatives public hearing.
While high Chief ( Dr) Benjamin Style Tams claimed to be the National President of the Host Communities producing Oil and Gas ( HOSTCOM)
One Dr. Mike Emuh claimed he is the national chairman of HOSTCOM.
The fight broke out at House hearing room 028 among the two leaders.
It all started immediately host communities were called upon to make their presentation by the Chairman of the Ad-hoc Committee, Hon. Mohammed Monguno
In the ensuing milee lawmakers and other participants scampered for safety as proceedings were halted.
When contacted in a telephone interview High chief Tams explained that the issue was simple.
“It is all about the leadership of host communities. I am the duly elected National President elected by all the 9 States producing oil and gas. “The former President came from Delta State he has completed his tenure, by then I was thenational vice chairman. I am from Bayelsa and the former President us from Delta State while Mike Emu was our PRO.”
According to him, Emuh was expelled from the organization based on criminal activities he was involved in. “He duped people, collected money from people here and there. He was dismissed as member of board of trustees, and as national PRO since 2015, it was published in Vanguard in October 2015. However, he said with the intervention of the traditional rulers in the 9 states producing Oil and Gas they came together and resolved the matter and peace accord was signed that with all the finding I am the rightful person duly elected. “He has been imposing himself on the organization but we should be able to carry him along so that he can be part of us. Oba of Benin gave the same resolution in our favor.
“He signed and we signed. We were both in the media in January 2019. All has been done. We don’t have any problem with him, all we are saying is he cannot represent us.
“To work with him we have accepted but the best he can do, he should not use the name that we have registered with the CAC, so he should not misrepresent HOSTCOM.
“He wanted to make presentation we did not prevent anybody from making presentation as our aspirations are one, just 10% equity shareholding that is what we are asking for.
“He agreed with me but I don’t know what happened when I was called out to make our presentation, he was sitted directly in front of me, so when I was passing by him he dragged me backward and I asked why he was dragging me?
“Before I know what was happening he was holding unto my beads.
“We are all from the Niger delta region and we are to demonstrate before the National Assembly how peace will be sustained in our region.” He said the 10% equity shareholding is sacrosanct.
“It is our agitation but denying us, it is going to worsen the situation in the region. We are now exhibiting our cultural heritage for the National Assembly to know that Host Communities deserve 10% equity shareholding.

The other factional leadership by Dr. Mike Emuh who said he is the national chairman of HOSTCOM said he was appointed member of BOT.
“I am also a member of the Governing Council ministry of petroleum.
When reminded of the other leadership he said they are over 12 groups who are duly registered by CAC even as he said some are not registered.
“This is a public hearing so any community can show up but basically this is the umbrella body of the oil producing States of Nigeria.”
He said he was appointed Chairman by the chairman of board of trustees his Royal majesty King Alfred Deite-spiff of the HOSTCOM.
In their seperate agitations while the Tams leadership asked Government tob scrapped NDDC and replace it with establishment of Host Communities producing Oil and Gas Commission he said it will in practical terms, be very responsive to the development- needs of the various host communities.
That of Emuh led leadership accused the Federal Government of diverting Over N500 billion that have been paid by the IOC and the NOC through the DPR to CBN.
He said the money was paid for the development of the host communities but they always channel it to the federation account which is an aberration.
He spoke on the second day of the  Public Hearing on Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB) 2020, organised by Senate’s joint Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Upstream and Gas.



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Legislature

Kogi Rainstorm: Senate wants NEMA to supply relief materials to affected areas

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Kogi Rainstorm: Senate wants NEMA to supply relief materials to affected areas

The Senate on Tuesday mandated its Committee on Special Duties to liaise with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to urgently supply relief and rehabilitation materials to Olamaboro communities of Kogi affected by rainstorm.
This, the upper chamber said was with a view to mitigating the sufferings of the victims.
The resolution was sequel to a Point of Order raised by Sen. Isah Jibrin (APC-Kogi) during plenary
The motion was titled “Urgent need for rehabilitation of communities affected by rainstorm in Olamaboro Local Government Area of Kogi”.
The upper chamber also mandated the Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Investment Programme (SIP), to liaise with the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development to provide minimal seed capitals for the victims in the affected communities.
This, the Senate said was to help in facilitating their various economic activities. 

Senator Jibrin while moving the motion expressed worry that with the commencement of the rains, over 200 residential buildings had been destroyed across many communities in the LGA in a rainstorm, following a heavy downpour on April 9.
“Apart from destruction of residential buildings, the devastating rainstorm also ravaged crops, farmlands, schools, worship houses, clinics and businesses in several communities in the LGA.He expressed the concern that many victims of the disaster sustained varying degrees of injury and are receiving medical attention at various health centres within the LGA and neighbouring LGAs.Hence he said, the disaster has created a serious humanitarian crisis as families are rendered homeless and their means of livelihood and properties woxth millions of naira destroyed by the rainstorm, thereby creating a situation of internal displacement.
He listed the major affected communities to inlude Ogugu Central, Ogane~0forachi, Emodida, Iyono, Emagaba No.1, Emenega, Emonoja-Aludu, Eegahimotu and Adupi Emoriko in Ogugu Dtstrict. In addition to many others within Okpo and Imane communities.

Contributing, Sen. Yakubu Oseni called on the Federal Government to provide succor to the  affected communities by coming to their aid

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Legislature

Nigeria can no longer Pretend, there are firearms in wrong Hands – Senator Bamidele

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Nigeria can no longer Pretend, there are firearms in wrong Hands – Senator Bamidele

By Joseph Sunday

The chairman Joint committee on Justice and Human Rights said the committee is trying to amend the act in a way that Nigeria can have a one stop shop in the maritime sector.

Senator Opeyemi stated this during the presentation of the Exclusive Economic zone Act amendment Bill and the Fire Arms amendment Bill by stakeholders.

The chairman told journalists that Nigeria cannot pretend, it has arms and ammunition in wrong hands.
“Stiffer punishment should be served as sanction to anyone in possession of fire arms without license.”

He said section 33(4) can take care of any lacuna in the act that has to do with management and ownership of our mineral resources. He posited that an amendment Bill can alter the constitution to provide for any additional property or minerals not covered by the constitution.

In another development, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele called on state Governors and other stakeholders to do the needful in the interest of the public by granting independence to the judiciary in their states. He said “no body stands to lose anything “
The national assembly has granted the judiciary independence at the Federal level through the passage of necessary laws.

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Insecurity: Nigeria under siege, Senate raises the alarm

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Insecurity: Nigeria under siege, Senate raises the alarm

The Senate has raised the alarm that Nigeria is presently under siege from murderous non – state actors, whose activities are threatening the cooperate existence of the country.

To make the matter more scary records from the United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), indicated that out of 500 million Illegal weapons circulating in West Africa, 350 million, which represents 70%, are domiciled in Nigeria for evil activities of criminally minded people .

Senator Uba Sani (APC Kaduna Central), Made the frightening submissions at the public hearing organised by the Senate Joint Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Navy and Marine Transport on Firearms Act 2004 ( Amendment) Bill 2021 and Exclusive Economic Zones Act 2010 ( Repeal and Re – Enactment) Bill 2021.

He said the country needs to urgently address the worrisome situation.

Sani the sponsor of the Firearms (Amendment) Bill lamented that proliferation of illegal arms and ammunition in the country with little or no control by relevant authorities has profound implications for collective survival of Nigerians and Nigeria.

He said, “We are gathered here to deal with a matter that has profound implications for our collective survival.

“We are under siege from murderous non – state actors. They have been acquiring arms illegally, maiming our people and threatening the continued existence of our dear Nation. 

“We either take measures to deny them of the oxygen that sustains their nefarious activities, or we watch helplessly as they overrun us and our country.”

The main aim of the proposed amendments to the Firearms Act, he explained, is to curtail the proliferation of illegal arms and bring the existing law in line with global best practices.

He lamented that “The United Nations Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa (UNREC), recently reported that the proliferation of illicit small arms and light weapons (SALW) in Nigeria, has reached an alarming proportion.

“Analysts estimate that out of the 500 million weapons circulating in West Africa, 350 million, which represents 70% of such weapons, can be found in Nigeria.

“A pointer to this effect can be cited with the incidence of January 31st , 2017, when the Nigeria Customs Service confirmed the interception and seizure of 661 Pump Action Riffles imported from China into our country.

“More recently in Benue State, a local militia had the temerity to kill an Army Captain and 11 Soldiers not to talk of reign of terror in Owerri, Imo State by Gunmen who launched coordinated attacks on the Police headquarters and Correctional Centre .

“Something must be done urgently to curtail arms proliferation, the very reason for the proposed amendment bill on  the existing Firearms Act”, he said .

He listed the five major objectives of the amendment bill to include imposition of stiffer penalties for offences under the Act .

One of such penalties is the one under section 27 (sub section 1c), which proposed increase of fine from N1,000 to N1million .

Representative of Chief of Air Staff, Air Vice Marshall Oladayo Amao, in his submission, objected to the N1million proposed fine on illegal possession of firearms arguing for its upward review to N2million.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Chairman of the joint Commitee, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), said the purpose of the two bills were to further strengthen the Nigerian extant laws against illegal firearms possession and proliferation as well as making provisions of the Act on Exclusive Economic Zone to be in line with global practices as far as protection of the Nation’s territorial sea or waters are concerned.

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