Obasanjo, Again, Lampoons Buhari

Published Saturday 12.09.20

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has, again, come quite hard and blunt, lampooning President Muhammadu Buhari, lamenting that Nigeria is gradually becoming a failed country under Buhari. He called on Buhari to do something urgent to remedy the situation.

He made the observation and call in Abuja on Thursday while delivering a speech entitled: ‘Moving Nigeria Away from Tipping Over’ at a consultative dialogue attended by such socio-cultural groups as Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, Afenifere, Middle Belt Forum, Northern Elders Forum and Pan Niger Delta Forum.

Obasanjo, observed that there had been political problems in the country, but that he had never seen Nigeria so divided, alleging that the current problems plaguing the country were the aftermath of mismanagement of the country’s diversity.

“I do appreciate that you all feel sad and embarrassed as most of us feel as Nigerians with the situation we find ourselves in. Today, Nigeria is fast drifting to a failed and badly divided state; economically our country is becoming a basket case and poverty capital of the world, and socially, we are firming up as an unwholesome and insecure country,” Obasanjo said.

He continued: “And these manifestations are the products of recent mismanagement of diversity and socio-economic development of our country. Old fault lines that were disappearing have opened up in greater fissures and with drums of hatred, disintegration and separation and accompanying choruses being heard loud and clear almost everywhere.

“With what I have seen, read and heard from the rapprochement that you are forging together, I see a ray of hope that Nigeria can be saved from disintegration.
“If we are ready to live together in understanding, mutual respect and love with equity, justice, inclusiveness while engendering sense of belonging and unity of purpose and all hands on deck, we can deal with internal issues of terrorism, organised crimes, banditry, kidnapping, human trafficking, drug, money laundering and corruption. We will then be able to deal successfully with any incoming attack of terrorism, organised crimes, etc; from outside.

“That ray of hope was somewhat manifested in the last 10 days or so when the Northern Elders Forum and Yoruba Summit Group complemented each other in their separate press releases on the Senate’s idea of inviting submissions from Nigerian public for constitution amendment which had been regular money-gulping activity by every National Assembly session since 1999, a veritable source of waste without end.

“I believe one of our major problems in the past was that we did not dialogue enough, we talk at ourselves and selfishly keep old prejudices and biases. If we show understanding, give-and-take, love of one another and commitment and love of the country, we will do what is right and stand firmly together for the good of all.

“I believe Nigeria is worth saving on the basis of mutuality and reciprocity and I also believe it can be done through the process of dialogues rather than talking at each other or resorting to violence. It will amount to dangerous and destructive self-delusion for anybody to claim that all is well in Nigeria today.

“Some people are obsessed with 2023, I believe that with death, destruction, debt, disease, deceit, disbelief, disenchantment, doubt and suspicion around, we need to see our way through to 2023 and beyond in some form of unity of purpose, reasonable security, shared values, true democratic practice, inclusiveness and shared society. That is why we are here. No constitution is even permanent; it is dynamic with time and experience.”

A communiqué issued after the event and signed by Ambassador Ahmed Magaji said the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi; the Chairman of the All Progressives Congress Governors Forum, Atiku Bagudu; and the Chairman of the PDP Governors’ Forum, Aminu Tambuwal, had been briefed on the activities of the forum.

The communiqué reads in part: “The participating organisations are committed to supporting… in all activities targeted at improving the Nigerian constitution for the purpose of meeting the yearnings and aspirations of all Nigerian citizens.”

The communiqué further stated that the group agreed to set up committees comprising experts to “address and make recommendations” on national issues including Nigeria’s federal structure and devolution of power, responsibilities and resources; security; electoral reforms, integrity and credibility of elections.

Others include “local government autonomy and effective administration; the economy and fiscal federalism; judicial reforms and other matters central to the survival of Nigeria.”

Obasanjo has been in the forefront of battles to maintain Nigeria’s unity, having fought in the three-year civil war.

He supported the election of former Goodluck Jonathan but fell apart with him when he felt that the latter’s measures were below expectation.
Obasanjo similarly supported the election of Buhari in 2015 but has been Buhari’s most eloquent critic in the past five years.

He seems the most sincere and vocal advocate of ‘One Nigeria’ and good governance in the country, though critics said he didn’t fare better while in government as a two terms president.

 

 

 

Chevron Intervenes Over Laid-off Workers

23.08.20

CHEVRON Nigeria Limited (CNL) said it had engaged the leaders of the Nigerian Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) over the 175 workers who were laid off by one of its contract companies.

The company’s General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs , Mr Esimaje Brikinn, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

“CNL is a responsible and law-abiding company.

“In keeping with our commitment to resolving issues through meaningful dialogue and respect for the rule of law, we are engaging the leaders of NUPENG and the contractor company to fully understand and seek an amicable resolution of the issues,” Brikinn said.

He said the laid-off workers were not employees of Chevron but workers of an independent contractor providing services to Chevron.

He added that the contract company laid-off the workers following the suspension of the service contract agreement between it and Chevron.

“The company’s highest priority remains the welfare and safety of its employees, contractors and the security of its assets; we will, therefore, do our best to safeguard these interests,” Brikinn said.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria

 

 

Addressing Anxiety Among Medics Over COVID-19
By Bradley van Paridon

22.04.20

HEAR me, protect me, prepare me, support me and care for me was the message health care professionals dealing with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic delivered to their organizations, according to a viewpoint article published in JAMA.

The responses from 8 listening sessions with groups of physicians, nurses, advanced practice clinicians, residents, and fellows were summarized and discussed in the article, which meant to understand and address the sources of healthcare worker anxiety during the pandemic. The sessions, heard from 69 healthcare workers during the first week of the pandemic, explored 3 key concerns: what health care professionals were most concerned about, what messaging and behaviors they needed from their leaders, and what other tangible sources of support they believed would be most helpful to them.
According to the article authors, all of the sessions consistently focused on 8 sources of anxiety:

  • Access to appropriate personal protective equipment,
  • exposure to COVID-19 at work and taking the infection home to their family,
  • suboptimal access to testing if they develop COVID-19 symptoms and concomitant fear of propagating infection at work,
  • uncertainty that their organization will support/care for their personal and family needs if the healthcare worker developed infection,
  • access to childcare during increased work hours and school closures,
  • support for other personal and family needs as work hours and demands increase (food, hydration, lodging, transportation),
  • being able to provide competent medical care if deployed to a new area (for example non-intensive care unit healthcare works having to function in the intensive care unit),
  • lack of access to up-to-date information and communication.

The responses led to 5 responses healthcare workers wanted delivered to their organizations: hear me, protect me, prepare me, support me and care for me.
Each response was accompanied by a principle desire, concern and suggested key components of response. The authors concluded that health care professionals wanted, “unambiguous assurance that their organization will support them and their family.” This included, “the organization listening to their concerns, doing all that is possible to protect them and prevent them from acquiring COVID-19 infection, and assuring them that if they do become infected, the organization will support them and their family on all fronts, both medically and socially.”
Along with maintaining critical supplies, the maintenance of an adequate healthcare workforce that maximizes the ability of each clinician to handle increased patient- and overall work-load for extended periods of time is critical. According to the article authors, “the importance of simple and genuine expressions of gratitude for the commitment of health care professionals and their willingness to put themselves in harm’s way for patients and colleagues cannot be overstated.” Visible leadership that checks in with workers and asks, “what do you need?” while making every effort to address those needs was also highlighted.
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The article authors noted to that although their work summarized key concerns and considerations for supporting health care professionals and ensuring they are equipped deal with the pandemic and serve their patients and communities, “few of these considerations and suggestions have substantial evidence to support them; they are based on experience, direct requests from health care professionals, and common sense.”

Reference
Shanafelt T, Ripp J, Trockel M. Understanding and addressing sources of anxiety among health care professionals during the COVID-19 pandemic [published online April 7 2020]. JAMA. doi:10.1001/jama.2020.5893

SOURCE: Infectious Disease Advisor

 

 

 

 

Kwara, The Sarakis, Depicting Limit Of Power

By Pius Odiaka

13.02.20

IN the thick of celebrations marking the end of the year, the commemoration of Jesus Christ and preparation for the New Year, the Kwara State Government revoked a land Certificate of Occupancy granted to late senate leader, Olusola Saraki. A bungalow which stood on the land is said to have housed aged widows, a home started by the late politician.

About 3:00AM on January 2, the state government sent a detachment of policemen who sacked the old women, allegedly using tear gas on them and shooting with live bullets to prevent possible resistance, before demolishing the building.

There have been reactions to the incident. While some commended the state government to have taken the action, some others said it portrayed a look of vendetta and a renewal of hostility among the major ancestries which made up the ancient Ilorin.

The land in question is said to have originally belonged to the Jidda family in Ilorin but acquired by the state government for building phase two part of state secretariat and a clinic for civil servants.

However, under the governorship of Bukola Saraki, the land was allotted in 2005 to a company owned by the governor's father, late Olusola Saraki, who used it as a centre to distribute gift items to aged widows.

Some critics say it was immoral for the sitting governor to have allocated such a public space to his own father.

One may wonder why it took the state government too long to have reacted. Noting that Saraki remained the governor until 2011 and that he also handed over to his own nominated governor, Abdulfatah Ahmed, especially in a common manner of Nigerian partisan politics, no earlier reaction could have succeeded.  

Nevertheless, observers and critics are wondering what Kwara State Government and the emerging power in the state would want to achieve by going to the extent of displacing aged widows just to possess a portion of land.

Observers deduce from the action that the emerging power in Kwara politics is going every mile to displace or dislodge the Saraki dynasty, considered too ubiquitous and becoming too extensive in the politics of the state.

Some commentators are saying that the Sarakis have their ancestral home in Igbaland and should have had no business dominating Kwara State politics. It resembles allegation over Buhari-Atiku foreign ancestries to hang either of them.
But, could this have guided the action of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq in ordering the January 2 unholy hour demolition of the legendary Ile Arugbo, home of the aged. State Government Communication Commissioner, Muritala Olanrewaju, said the timing was “to avoid any needless confrontation.”

Daughter of the late Senate leader, Olusola Saraki, Gbemisola, who is the Minister of State for Transportation and a member of the ruling APC, said it wore a look of vendetta, adding that she delayed in condemning the action given her position as a member of the same party which rules the state.

“But clearly by some recent steps taken, especially Thursday's actions, Kwara State APC must be careful not to allow a few elements with their own agenda, other than governance, to turn their personal vendetta into the official position of APC in the state. They must not be allowed to hijack the narrative of what our party stands for.”

She called on the Inspector-General of Police to call the state commissioner of police to order rather than being “a willing tool in the hands of people out on personal vendetta.”

Perhaps, she referred to a seemingly political battle involving his brother, Bukola Saraki, who displaced her in the senate and allegedly denied her the opportunity to contest for the governorship.

Bukola was governor of the state for eight years from 2003 under PDP. In 2011, he won election to the senate under the same party.

By 2014 preparatory to the 2015 general elections, he disagreed on the emergence of former President Goodluck Jonathan as presidential candidate of the party.

With some other PDP members, Bukola defected to APC newly fused from other political parties to battle the candidature of Jonathan. He was re-elected to the senate and eventually emerged the senate president in a controversial circumstance. His tenure as senate president witnessed turbulent times with the executive arm of the government.

He alleged being persecuted by APC-led federal government, which made him to return to PDP through another defection. Bukola attempted to return to the senate but failed the election of 2019.

“There might have been some elements within my party, APC, who wanted to change the 'Otoge' narrative of the 2019 elections to be about the Sarakis, and not about what it was:  the removal of a failing PDP Administration,” said Gbemisola in her statement protesting the January 2 demolition of her father's home for the aged.

By her statement, Gbemisola seemed to have supposed that governor AbdulRazaq was against the fame of the Saraki family.
“My family, individually and/or collectively, had never derived or continued to derive any commercial benefit from that piece of land. At the end of the day, what is on that land is nothing:  no block of flats that the family is getting rent from; no office building, no factory, or any other commercial venture; just a bungalow where the old women gather and get their basic needs attended to,” Gbemisola wondered.

“However,” she added, “I am comforted by the knowledge that my father's good work and his respect, support and love for the aged, which was sadly lacking in the Governor's activities of Thursday (January 2), simply cannot be erased by demolishing a bungalow” which held a “symbolic value” of what her “father stood for  humanitarianism, and that doesn't start nor end with a building.”

On its part, the state government explained that it took the action to correct illegality and unfair allotment of public property.
In a statement signed by the state's Communication Commissioner, Muritala Olanrewaju, the government said the demolition was a step towards reacquiring what belongs to the people of Kwara.

The statement reads in part: “The reclamation exercise began in the early hours of Thursday to avoid any needless confrontation. Attempts by some persons to provoke government's agents on lawful duty were resisted by the security agents who exercised the highest level of restraint and professionalism.

”Contrary to the claim that the State Government was served court papers on the matter, we state that no court paper has (sic) been served as at the time the government took steps to preserve what lawfully belongs to the people.

”Finally, we urge the people of the state to remain calm, peaceful and be guided only by facts of the matter and not be drawn into an emotional outburst that (sic) is targeted at distracting the public from the issues at stake. While the administration is focused on restoring sanity to the state after years of barefaced impunity, we will do so within the limit of the law.”

Nevertheless sympathizers have continued to throng the country home of the Sarakis either condemning the action of the government or to express solidarity for justice, reinstating the “symbolic value” of the Home for the aged.

Conversely, the entire picture depicts why power must never be misused; because, one day in the whole eternity, justice must cry out. Whether in sympathy with the Sarakis or in condemnation of either act, one is being reminded of the folly inherent in absolute power. One day, it pays its fruit as it was expended.

 

 

 

 

 

Nigeria's unity requires trust, equity - API Study

31.10.19

Nigerian Govt Should Promote Trust For Unity – New Study
A new survey by Africa Polling Institute (API) has confirmed that the configuration of Nigeria requires that the country’s government should embark on promotion of trust, inclusion and equity to achieve unity. This is contained in the release of its study in Abuja on October 28, 2019. Details of the Release are found below:

The Africa Polling Institute (API) has recently released the Nigeria Social Cohesion Survey report #NSCS2019. The report amongst other findings has revealed that Nigeria is not a socially cohesive country; and more needs to be done by the government to promote oneness, trust, equity, inclusion and hope for the future.

The nationwide survey was conducted by Africa Polling Institute (API) to measure social cohesion in Nigeria. A total of 7,901 respondents were contacted, with 5,019 interviews completed to a response rate of 63.5% of respondents who were 18 years and above. All interviews were conducted between April 24th and May 20th 2019, by Face-to-face Household Interviews, using Stratified Random Sampling technique. The interviews were conducted in five major languages: English, Pidgin, Hausa, Igbo and Yoruba; and geographic quotas were assigned to ensure the selection of a nationally representative sample proportionately covering all senatorial districts and states, including the FCT. 

The concept of social cohesion refers to the willingness of citizens of a country to cooperate and work together towards ensuring the survival and prosperity of the country. Based on the literature, Five Key Components were used to measure social cohesion in Nigeria – Identity, Trust, Equity and Social Justice, Patriotism, and Self-Worth and Future Expectation. 

From the “Identity” Component, the survey revealed that 82% of Nigerians prefer to Identify themselves equally as Nigerian and from an ethnic group; including 25% who prefer to identify more from an ethnic group, than being Nigerian. Yet, about 1 in 10 Nigerians (10%) were found to prefer identifying themselves as only from their ethnic group, and not Nigerians. 

In addition, 45% of Nigerians say the country is much more divided today than it was 4 years ago; compared to only 26% who said it is much more united and 29% who said the country has remained the same. Interestingly, further analysis revealed that the South-East (70%), South-South (59%) and North-Central (47%) regions had he highest proportion of respondents who thought the country is much more divided today, compared to the North-West (35%), South-West (29%) and North-East (29%) regions. Nigerians were also asked about their current feeling of the nation. From the result, 55% said they feel truly proud of the nation; while 30% said they feel really disappointed and 13% said they feel indifferent.

From the “Trust” Component, about 4 in 10 Nigerians (42%) say they trust the government of President Muhammadu Buhari, with “A lot of trust” from 14% and “Some trust” from 28%. However, about 1 in 5 Nigerians (21%) said they do NOT trust the government of President Buhari. 

In comparison to the President’s 42%, only about a third of Nigerians (33%) say they trust the National Assembly as an institution of government, with “A lot of trust” from only 5% and “Some trust” from (28%)”. However, about a quarter of Nigerians (25%) said they do NOT trust the National Assembly. Similarly, only about a third of Nigerians (32%) say they trust the Judiciary as an institution of government, with “A lot of trust” from only 4% and “Some trust” from 28%. In the same vein, almost 1 in 4 Nigerians (24%) said they do NOT trust the Judiciary. Furthermore, 42% of Nigerians said they trust people of other ethnic groups “A lot” (9%) or “Somewhat” (38%); while only 47% said they trust people of other faiths and religious affiliations “A lot” (11%) or “Somewhat” (36%). 

From the “Equity and Social Justice” Component, most Nigerians are of the opinion that all Nigerians are not equal under the law. From the survey, 70% of Nigerians believe there are persons above the law in Nigeria; compared to only 20% who believe the law protects everyone in Nigeria equally. 

Also, 80% of Nigerians believe that Government treats their ethnic group unfairly. This is comprised by 52% who believe that government “sometimes” treats their ethnic group unfairly; as well as 19% and 9% who said they are “Often” and “Always” treated unfairly by government, respectively. Similarly, 74% of Nigerians believe their religion is treated unfairly by the government; with the majority (55%) saying their religion is “Sometimes” treated unfairly. 

More findings under the Equity and Social Justice Component revealed that 65% of Nigerians rate the efforts of the Federal Government at promoting a sense of inclusion for all ethnic groups “Poorly”. Again, respondents in the South-East (78%), South-South (73%) and North- Central (70%) regions constitute the highest proportion of citizens who rated the efforts of government poorly, in terms of promoting a sense of inclusion for all ethnic groups. 

From the “Patriotism” Component, 73% of Nigerians are willing to cooperate with fellow citizens to work for a more united Nigeria. Similarly, 70% of Nigerians are willing to participate in the political process to make Nigeria a better place for all. However, only 48% of Nigerians said they would be willing to join the Military, if needed, to defend the unity of the Nigerian State. Furthermore, on the issue of marriage, while 72% of Nigerians are willing to support marriage between two people of different ethnic groups; only 46% of Nigerians are willing to support marriage between two people of different religious affiliations. 

From the “Self-Worth and Future Expectation” Component, 45% Nigerians said they feel dissatisfied with their lives right now; compared to 40% who said they feel satisfied, and 15% who were simply indifferent. In addition, the survey sought to probe if Nigerians would consider relocating from the country, with their family, if offered an opportunity. In response, about half of Nigerians (50%) said they would not be willing to relocate. However, on the contrary, about a third (32%) expressed willingness to relocate with their family if presented with an opportunity. And 18% simply said they were unsure as to whether or not they would relocate. 

Interestingly, of the 32% who expressed willingness to relocate, the top three reasons were: to search for greener pastures (26%), better job opportunities (23%) and improved security (16%). Besides, 8% said they would seize the opportunity to relocate in order to give their children a better life. In addition, the survey revealed that the United States of America (28%), United Kingdom (15%) and Canada (14%) topped the list of countries for prospective relocation. Lastly, majority of Nigerians (66%) still expressed hope for the future, as they believe the future of the country would be much better than it is today. 

In summary, a socially cohesive society is one that works towards the wellbeing of all its members, fights exclusion & marginalization, creates a sense of belonging for all, promotes trust & oneness, and offers its members the opportunity for upward mobility (The Nigerian Dream???). Going by this, the survey highlights that Nigeria cannot be said to be a socially cohesive nation. Therefore, a lot needs to be done by the Nigerian government to address issues of exclusion and perceived marginalization, which are breeding tensions in parts of the country. With the high rate of poverty and unemployment, particularly amongst the youth demography, and the number of out-of-school children; there is urgent need for a widening of the social investment programme in order to deepen social inclusion and promote a sense of belonging for all Nigerians, especially those at the bottom of the pyramid. 

Finally, while Nigerians remain resilient and committed to working together for a better country; there’s need for a national dialogue to help renegotiate the fault lines that currently exist in our shared existence as a nation. The National Orientation Agency (NOA), civil society organizations, traditional institutions, religious organizations and the media have an ever increasing role to play in order to promote oneness, mutual trust, social justice and hope.

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Dr. Bell Ihua
Executive Director, Africa Polling Institute (API)

Niger Delta militants, a return to arms
By Maxwell Monye

FORMER militants of the Niger Delta have resurrected. Oil production will now collapse and crude price will rise. Kidnap for ransom or protest will return. Because of probable rise in crude oil prices, production cost in Asia, Americas and Europe will rise; thus increasing prices of commodities around the world. Everyone will become a victim.
Everybody thought it was over, after training and rehabilitating thousands of Niger Delta militants who agreed to lay down arms following the civilized programme began by Late President Musa Yar'Adua; religiously continued by his successor, Goodluck Jonathan.

For more than 10 years there was peace in the Niger Delta; kidnap reduced while oil production increased. Now, all the efforts made by both the federal and state authorities are destroyed overnight by tribal hate, calumny and mischief against the endangered people of the Niger Delta.

After the penultimate Tuesday's raiding of the Abuja home of Chief Edwin Clark by an orchestrated group of policemen, a coalition of Niger Delta militants announced that they were returning to the creeks with arms to disrupt oil production in the region. They interpreted the action as a renewed attempt to humiliate and intimidate the people of the Niger Delta.

They also announced an end to the achieved ceasefire agreement. The old agitation for the restructuring of the country is now a condition for peace in the country. They further issued an ultimatum to all major oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to relocate their headquarters to the zone between September and December.

The police who raided the home of Clark said they acted on information that the elder statesman stored “caches of arms” in his house.

The allegation said to have been made by one Ismail Yakubu ended up to be false as no arms were eventually found in Clark's home.

Inspector general of Police, Mr. Ibrahim Idris denied pre-knowledge of the raid by his men. Force headquarters has since arrested the false informant, but the damage is done.

Some security analysts are of the view that police ought to have carried out investigation before the raid. It is also suggested that the said Yakubu should be questioned beyond the ordinary as he may have been made to believe that other groups are acquiring arms for the election as the group to which he belonged probably had done.

There is another twist. The Niger Delta coalition also alleged of a plot to assassinate certain Nigerians who advocate for the restructuring of the country. 

The 14 Niger Delta Groups which signed the statement include
       Niger Delta Watchdogs
       Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators
       Niger Delta Volunteers;
       Niger Delta Warriors; Major-Gen.
       Niger Delta Peoples Fighters;
       Bakassi Freedom Fighters;
       Niger Delta Movement for Justice
       Niger Delta Fighters Network
       Niger Delta Freedom Mandate;
       Niger Delta Development Network;
       Renewed Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta;
       Movement for Actualization of Niger Delta Republic;
       Niger Delta Freedom Redemption Army
       Niger Delta Liberty Organization.

The full text of their statement reads: “At the general assembly meeting of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, we viewed, analyzed and also condemned in strongest terms the unwarranted invasion of the Abuja home of Niger Delta leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark. This development is one in the series of plots to harass people in the Southern and Middle Belt Forum.

“Our intelligence further revealed that some of the people under the government watch-list that would either be assassinated or framed up are Obong Victor Attah, Dr. Alfred Mulade, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga, retd, Senator Bassey Henshaw, Mr. Yinka Odumakin, Prof. Chigozie Ogbu and Dr. Isuwa Dogo and others for attempting to stand against the killings across the country as well as their stance on restructuring.

“The recent police action and attempt on the life of the Niger Delta leader is a wakeup call for action, we cannot continue to watch this continue.

“We also condemn the statements made by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in respect of the restructuring of the country.

“After extensive deliberation on these issues, we hereby issue an ultimatum that any oil company that fails to relocate its headquarters to the Niger Delta between now and December 2018 should stop operation and vacate the Niger Delta or face the consequences.

“The refusal of the President to sign the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill into law is viewed as an attempt to forcibly control Niger Delta resources by proxy. And we advise Mr. President to have a rethink on this issue. According to reports, the President refused to sign the bill for fear that it would weaken his power as the Minister of Petroleum Resources. His ministers he consulted over the bill advised him against giving his assent as the Petroleum Regulatory Commission would then have powers to check his excesses, and the fiscal content of the bill would be subject to litigation.

“The coalition wishes to state here clearly that we had fulfilled our part by maintaining total peace and ceasefire in the Niger Delta since 2017 as advised by Niger Delta elders and leaders. The oil output during the period has increased tremendously.
However, the federal government has been playing politics with the Niger Delta people. We hereby officially announce that our cease fire ends today and we are returning to the creeks.

We assure the Presidency that with just one month of our operation, the oil output will return to 200 barrels per day; we shall crush anything that crosses our line of operation. The actions and utterances of the Presidency have taken us by surprise, we cannot help but stand firm and fight with aggression for what rightly belongs to us.

“Finally, we hereby call on the International Oil Companies, PENGASSAN, NUPENG as well as other individuals that have businesses with oil companies in Niger Delta, especially in the platforms, rigs, pipelines and terminals, to withdraw their members on or before end of December 2018 as we cannot assure the safety of anyone anymore from now on.
“We want to assure you that our operation shall be second to none and we shall ensure the total liberation of our land and people from the injustices and neo-colonialism of the Nigerian state.”

A traditional ruler in Ethiope East Council Area of Delta State told thenewsmaster.eco that the threat by the 14 groups is real and that military response may lead to a civil war in the country.

“The government is fighting in the northeast; there are organized killings in Benue-Taraba; violent agitation in the southeast; now renewed hostility in the Niger Delta. The government has to be cautious. Otherwise, we will be approaching a full blown civil war,” said the Justice of Peace who agreed to speak anonymously.

He added: “The president (Buhari) is a retired general; every soldier frowns at threats and may want to fight, but modern wars are no longer by the gun but by diplomacy. I recommend (Late President) Yar'Adua's approach to issues in the Niger Delta.
The traditional ruler appealed to the militants, noting that the police have apologized for the error and should not renew hostility based on the error.

“I commend the Inspector-General of Police for the noble step taken by apologizing to Pa. Clark. It is an apology to all of us. Your (media) report said that the policemen who embarked on the illegal operation had been arrested. Let's give the IG a benefit of the doubt. It is not enough to resort to violence.”

A statement by Force spokesman, DCP Jimoh Moshood disclosed that on the night of the day of invasion, the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, sent a Deputy Inspector General of Police, DIG Joshak Habila, to lead a team to the home of Chief Clark and apologize for the unauthorized raid adding that IGP did not authorize the action.

“The IG did not authorize the search and has, therefore, sent a delegation of senior police officers, led by DIG Joshak Habila, along with some commissioners of police, who visited Chief Edwin Clark and apologized on behalf of the Nigeria Police Force and the IGP for the misconduct of the said police personnel and the attendant embarrassment the search has caused the elder statesman and his family. The delegation was received by Chief Edwin Clark and the apology was accepted by him,” said the Force spokesman's statement.

While the traditional ruler absolved the Force Headquarters of blame, he lamented the belligerent attitude of a certain group in the north; appealing that the group should be ignored.

“I suspect that the informant who gave the false information and the policemen who embarked on the condemnable raid belong to the same extraction in the north which believes that this country belongs to them. But I am appealing to everyone particularly to victims of their operations in the north and the Niger Delta to ignore their little mind because if we all begin to respond to their hostility, the country will collapse. They have destroyed parts of Africa they ever lived in and want to do the same thing in Nigeria. I am appealing to our youths and all other victims to ignore them,” the traditional ruler appealed

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