12—Vanguard, MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2019 PFN lauds court’s judgment on Kaduna religious bill By Gabriel Enogholase B ENIN—THE leadership of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, has described the recent judgment of a Kaduna State High Court over the Religious Bill by Governor Nasir el-Rufai as victory for the rule of law and democracy. It will be recalled that the trial judge, Justice Hajaratu, Gwadah, in its judgment declared that the Kaduna State government has no right to screen and issue licences to religious preachers in the state. A statement in Benin City, Edo State, weekend, by its National President, Rev Felix Omobude, PFN said: “Our contention at the time Governor el-Rufai sent the executive bill for a law to substitute the Kaduna State Religious Preaching Law 1984 to the House of Assembly of Kaduna State was that the provisions of the bill were discriminatory. “The court is in alignment with our position, affirming that Sections 6 and 9 of the bill, which seeks to screen and licence preachers, violates the constitutional rights of members of the fellowship. “We congratulate members of PFN in Kaduna State. We urge all Pentecostals in the state and beyond to continue to live peacefully with everyone, remain lawabiding in all their activities while continuing to accommodate the views of others. “PFN will continue to work with the government and non-governmental actors at all levels to ensure the peace, progress and prosperity of Nigeria.” Bayelsa youths, elders stage procession, urge Buhari to confirm Brambaifa as NDDC MD By Onozure Dania NO fewer than 2,000 youths and elders have staged a public procession in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to call on President Muhammadu Buhari to confirm the acting Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Professor Nelson Brambaifa, as substantive Managing Director of the commission. The Bayelsa youths, women and elders, who took part in the procession to the Yenagoa office of the NDDC, said despite the campaign of calumny against NDDC management, the commission under Branbaifa has remained focussed on his mission to actualise the vision of President Buhari in Niger Delta. They were armed with placards with inscriptions, such as ‘President Buhari please confirm Professor Nelson Brambaifa as the MD of NDDC board’, ‘Let Professor Brambaifa continue as MD of NDDC,” “Bayelsans are solidly behind you as MD of NDDC”, “The only person we want is Brambaifa as MD NDDC”, “NDDC board is secured with Professor Brambaifa,” among others. Addressing the Bayelsa Coordinator of NDDC, Francis Kolokolo, representative of the Bayelsa Elders and former Security Adviser to Bayelsa State Government, Chief Perekeme Kpodoh, said NDDC has come of age, as it was established to develop Niger Delta, “but we have seen that since its inception, we have not had development and today we have a son from Bayelsa who is Professor Brambaifa and in four months only, he has changed the tide. “There are roads everywhere. We have over one hundred and something roads in Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers states. The fact is that Brambaifa from Bayelsa has come to ensure that these roads are put in good and in motorable conditions. "There is nobody from anywhere that can stop the planned development of the region. All those gimmicks they are doing outside Bayelsa are being done for selfish interest not for the interest of Bayelsans or the Niger Delta." Delta community protests govt, oil coy’s neglect By Festus Ahon & Ochuko Akuopha THE people of Obodo- Ugwa community, Ndokwa West Local Government Area, Delta State, have decried alleged neglect and deprivation by Delta State government, Energia Nigeria Limited and Oando, the oil companies operating in the area. Addressing newsmen at the community’s town hall where the indigenes converged to protest against their alleged marginalisation, Mr Oju Linus said the community had been shut out of elective and appointive political positions by successive governments. He noted that despite being the host to Energia/ Oando joint venture, the people still live in abject poverty, lamenting that the people lack basic social amenities such as potable pipe borne water, educational facilities, electricity, good roads, among others. Reiterating that the people were facing untold hardship due to three decades of oil exploration in the area, he said the multinational oil Rivers govt'll continue to partner the church —Wike GOVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has stated that his administration will continue to partner the church for the development of the state. Speaking, yesterday, during the Lord’s Chosen Crusade with the theme: “God has the power to do this or that” at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium in Port Harcourt, Wike attributed his political survival to the support and prayers of the Christian community. He said the forces of darkness invaded the state and attempted to rob the mandate of the people, but God stood firm. A-Ibom bans roadside trading in Uyo By Harris-Okon Emmanuel UYO—IN a bid to keep Uyo metropolis and its environs clean, Akwa Ibom State government has clamped down on roadside trading. But the move has drawn criticisms from petty traders who accused the government of being insensitive to their plights as bread winners in their families. A task force comprising personnel of a local vigilante group some days back went round the streets, upturning the petty traders’ wares and companies had completely abandoned their corporate social responsibilities to the community. On her part, Women Leader of the community, Ojugbeli Caroline, lamented gross neglect of the community despite the huge oil resource generated from the area. He said: “We saw forces, but the greater force, God Almighty, came. With this crusade, Rivers State will be abundantly blessed. I repeat once again without apologies, Rivers State is a Christian state. That is why nobody can touch us. When it mattered most, the Christian community prayed and God heard your prayers. “I will continue to support the activities of all churches. This government will always partner the churches in whatever programme they are engaged in. I urge the church to continue to pray. Each time you pray, put us in your prayers.” chasing them away from the sidewalks of the major streets in the metropolis. Chairman, State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Board, Prince Akpan Ikim, had in a radio programme, "Sanitation Watch,” gave credence to the ban, stating that government obtained a court order to evacuate all roadside traders and those trading on unauthorised locations in the state capital. “Overtime, we had pleaded with roadside traders in Uyo to relocate to government approved markets and desist from displaying their wares on walkways and major streets within the state capital and beyond but all our efforts to evacuate them peacefully had been unsuccessful. Now that we have received court order, we have no option than to do what the law has directed,” he said. But the traders have come down hard on the government, saying that they need money to feed their families, urging Governor Udom Emmanuel to make good his pledge during his first term to build roadside stores in the city. Ogba vs Okiemute: Tribunal admits petitioner’s evidence, adjourns to July 11 By Babatunde Jimoh NATIONAL and State Assembly Election Tribunal sitting in Asaba, Delta State, has adjourned till July 11, 2019 hearing in the case by Mr Benjamin Okiemute of All Progressives Congress, APC, in which he is challenging the electoral victory of Mr Kenneth Ogba of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the 2019 general election. In the petition, Okiemute and APC are challenging the declaration of Ogba as the duly elected member representing Isoko South in the Delta State House of Assembly by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC. Other defendants in the petition are PDP and INEC. Chairman of the tribunal, Justice C. Onyeador, said on the adjourned date, parties are for the adoption or presentation of their respective written address. Before the matter was adjourned till July 11, a senior INEC official in charge of the March 9, 2019 election, Shuaibu Razak testified for the commission. In a short ruling, the tribunal chairman, Justice Onyeado, ordered that the documents, namely INEC Form EC81, including Voters Register for 10 polling units in Irri and units 7 and 8 in Oleh Ward 2, be admitted ‘’from the Bar’’ and collectively as Exhibit A.
Vanguard, MONDAY, JUNE 24, 2019— 13 How fear of rape forced nursing students out of school in Imo •As Ihedioha, Okorocha accuse each other By Chinonso Alozie OWERRI—AN investigation by Vanguard has unravelled the drama faced by students of Imo State College of Nursing and Midwifery in Ogboko, Ideato South Local Government Area of Imo State, before they were ordered to relocate to their original site in Okporo, Orlu local government area in the state. Vanguard gathered yesterday in Owerri, that Governor Emeka Ihedioha, through the Secretary to State Government, SSG, Uche Onyeagucha, has ordered the nursing students to return to their original site. But in an exclusive interview with some of the students, Vanguard discovered that one of their problems was the issue of being threatened with rape, as well as frequent robbery of their valuables along the road leading to the college. The students also complained that teachers do not attend lectures regularly as they used to for fear of being attacked. They also claimed they were sleeping and attending lectures in uncompleted buildings. It should be recalled that the students had earlier been relocated from Okporo Orlu to Ogboko in Ideato South, in May, 2019 by Okorocha’s government. However, in what seems like a solution, the current government of Emeka Ihedioha, has ordered that the students be moved back to their original site in Okporo Orlu. The governor’s order came through the Secretary to the State Government, Uche Onyeagucha, in a statement yesterday in Owerri. However, one of the affected students who pleaded anonymity spoke to Vanguard saying: “Yes, the management is aware of our moving back to our normal site at Okporo in Orlu LGA. “Since May 2019 that Okorocha’s government asked us to move to Ogboko site, it has been very difficult for us. The buildings are not completed. We always have this issue of threat to our lives. Bad boys will await us on the road and ask us to give them whatever we have with us. The road is too lonely that anything can happen at anytime. Some of our lecturers do not come to classes due to fear of being attacked by the bad boys. “But in Orlu, we feel more comfortable because there is a completed hostel and the level of hardship cannot be compared to the one in Ogboko. “We want to leave this area because we are no longer safe that in a situation you are attacked, you will not get any help.” However, since the relocation of the Imo State College of Nursing and Midwifery to its former site in Orlu, the immediate past government of Rochas Okorocha and the current governor, Emeka Ihedioha, have engaged in accusations and counter accusations. The directive to the provost of the institution, from the office of the SSG, said: “You are by this letter, directed to return all the staff, students and other activities of Imo State College of Nursing and Midwifery, hitherto moved to Ogboko, in Ideato South local government area, to its original place at Okporo, Orlu with immediate effect.” This however, did not go down well with Okorocha, who through his Special Adviser, SA, on Media, Sam Onwuemeodo, alleged that “Armed Youths who came in twelve buses stormed the College of Nursing and Midwifery at Ogboko, the home-town of the former governor of the State, Owelle Rochas Okorocha and brutalized the students, threw their belongings out, stole their phones, vandalized the College properties including the College bus and locked the gate of the Institution after they had chased the whole students away. AWARDS: From left— Chief Oladeinde Brown,Trustee, Fs Club; Tope Ashiwaju,Vice President, Fs Club/Chairman Gala/Award Night Planning Committee;Dr Taiwo Folasade Ipaye,Former Registrar Unilag;Architect David Lola Majekodunmi,President Fs Club and Senator Olugbenga Ashafa,past President Fs Club during the Fs Club Gala/Award Night and induction of new members held at Lagos City Hall,Lagos. PHOTO: AKEEM SALAU More groups reject Miyetti Allah’s request for vigilante in S-East •INC tells Igbo to start preparing for attack •Threatens to declare Miyetti Allah persona non grata in 48 hours •As NAF debunks report of dropping weapons for herdsmen in Enugu By Anayo Okoli, Chinonso Alozie, Chinedu Adonu & Nwabueze Okonkwo ENUGU—MORE groups have joined the league rejecting the idea mooted by the Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria, MACBAN, to set up a vigilante group in the South East, with some groups describing the request as very provocative. Igbo Ekunie Initiative, IEI, a coalition of professionals in Nigeria and the Diaspora, in their position described the demand of MACBAN as “reckless and provocative”. A leading civil rights group in the South East, International Society for Civil Liberties and the Rule of Law, Intersociety, said it would not join issues with the Miyetti Allah but “we are holding the South East Governors, mostly that of Enugu, Anambra and Ebonyi States responsible for hobnobbing with the terrorists group”. The Igbo National Council, INC, in their own reaction out rightly rejected the request and asked the Igbo people to start Insecurity: Anambra vigilante group trains 40 personnel on various skills By Nwabueze Okonkwo ONITSHA—IN its determination to retain Anambra’s current status as the safest state in the country, in terms of security of lives and properties, the state Vigilante Supervisory Committee has embarked on rigorous training and retraining exercise for its vigilante personnel to enable them withstand more security challenges in the state. For a start, no fewer than 40 male and female personnel were grilled for three weeks in the areas of unarmed combat, physical exercises, foot drills, professional and legal studies, use of English language, communication skill, guard duties and e-security. In his keynote address at the colourful passing out parade for the trainees at the weekend at Nimo community in Njikoka Local Government Area of the state, chairman of the State Vigilante Supervisory Committee, Chief Ikechukwu Ayo Aduba, a retired Commissioner of Police, disclosed that the training exercise which was coordinated by a Senior Zonal Supervisor for Anambra North Senatorial District of the committee, ACP Charles Osegbue, a retired Assistant Commissioner of Police, "was to prepare them to face the current security challenges facing us today in Nigeria." Aduba who is also a Senior Special Assistant to Governor Willie Obiano on Vigilante Matters, commended the traditional ruler (Owelle) of Nimo, Igwe Maximus Ike Oliobi for shouldering the expenses of the three-week training programme, thus, demonstrating the need for the 179 communities in the state to partner with the state government in sponsoring certain security projects as according to him, government cannot do it alone. preparing to defend themselves from any attack by armed herdsmen and warned that “enough is enough”. They also threatened to declare Miyetti Allah, persona non grata, should the group fail to apologize to Ndigbo over their statement in the next 48 hours. The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL), said the demand by MACBAN was “an insult of the highest order”, pointing out that allowing that would amount to committing “ an abomination in Igbo land”. Also, Anambra State chapter of the Civil Liberties Organization, CLO, described the call as quite unacceptable and an insult on Ndigbo. Igbo Ekunie Initiative specifically warned against the consequences of any attempt to export what they described as “infamously vicious and violent Fulani militia into any part of Igbo land”. In a press statement jointly signed by its president and secretary, Mazi Tochukwu Ezeoke and Lawrence Nwobu, respectively, Igbo Ekunie Initiative said the request was “absolutely uncalled for and worrisome especially when taken into perspective that States like Anambra, Enugu, Ebonyi, Abia and Imo are among the most peaceful areas of the country. “There is absolutely no threat in any form to the Fulani people living in the South-East nor to their business interests that should warrant the establishment of a Fulani defence corp. "We maintain that we already have effective local vigilante services all over the South-East to augment the services of the secular security services and there is absolutely no need to pollute the already harmonious security relationship by adding the Fulani militia into the equation. “One would have expected that the Miyetti Allah should devote its energy and resources to assisting in addressing the reckless and cruel bloodletting all over Northern Nigeria by the Fulani herdsmen whose genocide crimes of huge proportions have so far baffled and overwhelmed the entire security apparatchiks in Nigeria”. The Human Rights Liberty Access and Peace Defenders Foundation, HURIJE, said it is quite unfortunate that the federal government disarmed local vigilante outfits in the South East and allowed the Fulani herdsmen to carry AK 47 about freely. “Government should disarm Fulani herdsmen now because arming them in the South East in the name of establishment of vigilante will give them license to penetrate South East and kill more people, since the hands of our security personnel are tied”. NAF debunks report of dropping weapons for herdsmen in Enugu Meanwhile, the Nigerian Air Force, NAF, has debunked the recent social media report alleging that NAF training helicopters dropped weapons at Akwuke Forest in Enugu State, saying it was “total falsehood and lies by mischief-makers”. Flight Lieutenant and acting Public Relations and Information Officer of NAF Ground Training Command, GTC, Enugu, Lt, Faith Aigbeoghain made this condemnation in a statement issued to pressmen yesterday in Enugu. According to Aigbeoghain: “The attention of Headquarters GTC of Nigerian Air Force, NAF, Enugu has been drawn to a social media and online story being circulated by some mischievous and misguided elements. “The mischievous elements purported that NAF helicopters were being used to drop weapons for Fulani herdsmen in the forest area of Akwuke community in Enugu South Local Government Area in Enugu State. “The report alleged that helicopters had been seen on several occasions flying at low level and landing in the forest area to discharge their packages”, she said. She however dismissed the report as deliberately misleading and obviously concocted by the writer to cause disaffection and incite negative divisive emotions among Nigerians.