Senator representing Bayelsa East, Biobarakuma Wangagha Degi-Eremienyo has cautioned his colleague Senetor Henry Seriake Dickson not to instigate violence in the Niger Delta region by making inflamatory comments that could lead to civil unrest in the area.
Senator Degi was reacting to recent media briefing held by Sen Dickson where he accused the Minister of State Petroleum resources, Chief Timipre Sylva of reducing the host communities Development funds in the PIB to 3% as against 5% proposed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Senator Seriaki Dickson had warned of possible consequences if the 3% equity share holding for the Host Communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is not reviewed upward to the 5% that was initially proposed by the senate joint committee on Petroleum resources.
He said the Host Communities were not happy, just as they as leaders were not happy about what played out.
Speaking with the Senate press Corps on Thursday he said the Federal Government cannot afford to contend with another level of unrest and insecurity from the region going by the overwhelming insecurity pervading the northeast for the past 10 years and the North West in the last four years without any workable solution to contain them.
But Senatir Degi said the comments by his counterpart was highly regrettable considering the tireless efforts put in by the Hon Minister in actualising this long awaited law.
The true story was that the PIB as an executive bill was represented to the National Assembly proposing 2.5% of the total operational cost as host communities development trust funds.
“The lead debate was hot and protracted in both chambers. Lawmakers from the Niger Delta region including myself spoke, argued for upward increase commensurate to our contributions and sacrifices. During the public hearing at various centres, host communities canvassed same postion.
“After rigorous and painstaking process from plenary to conference committee the National Assembly put the host comm funds at 3%.
This was National Assembly decision and not that of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva.
He expressed dismay how and why Sen Dickson would drag Sylva into the matter.
“Observers would be tempted to ask what efforts he Sen Dickson made to achieve the utmost desired as the bill was presented to NASS when he was still Governor.
“Other Governors from the region rallied round their people and even lobbied lawmakers from other regions to support increase in the host com Dev fund. Ex Gov Dickson did nothing as he was contented with spending 13% derivation on aggressive development of his own villages which are not host communities leaving the oil and gas producing, host communities to suffer their fate.
“It’s ridiculous to see him fighting pretentiously for host communities. Dickson lacks moral grounds to criticise or attack Sylva’s innocence.
I can see that Sen Dickson is just being envious, mischievous and intimidated by the astronomically rising profile of Sylva.”
Use culture to tackle insecurity Actionaid urges, FG, State Govts
By Friday Idachaba
ActionAid Nigeria, an international Non-Governmental Organisation, has called on Federal and State Governments to promote culture and use it to tackle insurgency and banditry in the country.
Resilience Prgram Coordinator with ActionAid Nigeria Mr Anicetus Atakpu
made the call while speaking with newsmen on the sideline of a cultural fiesta to mark the 2021 Global Peace Day on Wednesday in Lokoja.
Atakpu said that the theme of the fiesta, “Promoting Harmonious Cohabitation through Culture” was deliberately coined to promote culture above issues of ethnicity and religion that tend to divide Nigerians.
He regretted that the duo of religion and tribe had remained the major centrifugal forces tearing the nation apart and militating against its development and advancement.
“Tribalism has played a very strong role in promoting violence extremism and building conflicts in Nigeria.
“The most recent is the farmers, herders conflict, that has led to so much death. What we are doing today is to bring us back, to finding the solution to the problem itself.
“Culture is one good way of building harmony, and peaceful coexistence. We have been having this peaceful fiesta for the past three years, and we have come to restructure it.
“Rather than just gather youths to play, dance, we need to pass a message with it. We are trying to pass a message that will make people appreciate the oneness in us despite our cultural diversity.
“This year we have launched the cultural peace fiesta demonstrating our cultural diversity and making our youths and our teaming population understand that yes, we have diversity in culture, and our looks but we are still one.
“We can see ourselves as one, before we start thinking that we are Igala, Ebira Okun and Bassa or many more. Culture will play more role in making us one than dividing us,” he said.
Atakpu said that culture had been relegated to the background in the country in spite of the need to promote security, harmony and peaceful cohabitation through it.
“If the government can come up with a new model towards promoting our culture, the issue of kidnapping, insurgency, armed robbery will be a thing is the past,” he said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the the Cultural Peace Fiesta was organised by ActionAid in collaboration with its implementing partners in Kogi, Participation Initiative for Behavioural Change in Development (PIBCID).
2023 Presidency: IPN Disowns Baba Ahmed
*Says he can’t speak for the North
A group Indigenous People of Nigeria (IPN) has disowned the Spokesman of Northern Elders Forum, (NEF) Alhaji Hakeem Baba-Ahmed on the claim that the North has exclusivity of the seat of President of Nigeria.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, Convener of IPN, Mazi Nnamdi Iroegbu, said Baba Ahmed, a Mauritania, couldn’t have been speaking the minds of the Indigenous Nigerians of Northern extraction on the subject.
“It is an undisputed fact that at no time did Alhaji Baba Ahmed sought nor received mandate of Northern Nigerians to speak for them on the 2023 Presidential race.
“In fact, the Fulani ethnic community, which Baba Ahmed is using to disguise as North, is actually a minority ethnic group in Nigeria, hence, cannot solely determine which ethnic nationalists what, when and in Nigeria.
“For the sake of emphasis, the Hausa ethnic nationality is the predominant group in Northern Nigeria. Moreover, the North, which Baba-Ahmed seeks to misrepresent, is no longer homogeneous nor conquered enclaves of the minority Fulani ethnic nationality in Nigeria.
“It is sad that Baba-Ahmed, a man from faraway Mauritania, will be allowed by respected leaders in the Northern Elders Forum to use their platform to push for ethnic bigotry that is capable of making other ethnic nationalities of Nigeria become antagonist of Indigenous Nigerian Fulanis”, he said.
IPN, therefore called on all Nigerians, especially people of Fulani stock, to reject Baba-Ahmed and his bigotry, and embrace the call for power shift to Southern Nigeria after the presidential tenure of the incumbent Muhammadu Buhari.
It further cautioned Baba-Ahmed against making unguarded utterances and stocking ethnic tension that will consume innocent Indigenous Nigerians in pursuit of his selfish political agenda.
“We cannot tolerate hate speech from Alhaji Hakeem Baba-Ahmed because while he has Mauritania to run to in time of crisis, we the Indigenous Nigerians have no other country to run to.
“We therefore note that ignoble elites like Alhaji Hakeem Baba-Ahmed and his cotravellers may be responsible for the spate of terrorism, banditry, insurgency and other security challenges bedevilling the Northern part of the country”.
IPN further stated that in the interest of peace, equity, fairness and justice, the southern part of the country should be supported to produce Nigeria’s president come 2023, particularly from the southeast.
While commending patriotic Nigerians working for prosperity of the country, IPN urged all Nigerians to continue to put every mechanism in place to ensure that the country is salvaged from its present state.
Humanitarian minister flags off distribution of relief materials to 2020 flood victim
From: Ahmed Rufa’i, Dutse
The ministry of Hummanitarian Affairs Disaster Management and Social development, has flagged off the distribution of relief materials to victims of the 2020 flood in 12 states of the federation.
The minister in charge, Hajiya Sadiya Umar Faruk while flagging off the distribution of relief materials in Miga Local government area of Jigawa state said the “relief materials were provided by ECOWAS to complement the effort of the federal Government of Nigeria towards reducing the hardship faced by the flood victims”.
Umar Faruq who was represented by the permanent secretary in the ministry, Alhaji Bashir Umar explained that “The relief materials which are in cash and in-kind, are to be distributed to the 12 states worst affected by flood disaster in 2020
“ECOWAS has engaged Red –Cross International for management of the distribution exercise”.
According to her, 1,600 households of over 9,600 people will get shelter Kitts, 65 boreholes have been drilled for 896 households and 65 hand-washing point.
“The beneficiaries of cash transfer were selected from 4 states, while food items and other relief materials were distributed to the flood victims across the affected states”
“The materials are not aimed at compensating the victims but to help them to stabilize and continue with their normal life”.
She explained that, the socio-economic impact of 2020 flood was devastating and it resulted in loss of lives and livelihoods in communities across six geopolitical zones with additional impact of covid-19 pandemic and it’s containment measures exacerbated the situation in the country.
According to her, this made the Federal Government to take various actions through various programmes and projects including National Social Investment Program to ameliorate the situation.
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