12—VANGUARD, THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019 We have just one functional fire vehicle —A’Ibom Fire Service By Chioma Onuegbu UYO—The Akwa Ibom State Fire Service has lamented lack of funds, shortage of staff and equipment to function effectively, saying it has only one functional fire vehicle. The Director of the State Fire Service, Ubong Umoh, who disclosed this to newsmen yesterday stressed that with only 200 staff members, it is illequipped to fight fire outbreak in the state. Umoh noted that for over two years, the parastatal has not received the approved budgetary allocation needed to keep the office running. He said: “I have written a series of letters for the upgrade of this place, all to no avail. I have evidence to that effect. Our equipment is outdated. If we have a serious fire incidence, like in a petrol station, we cannot handle it. “Everything in this place is down. Everything is lacking here and because of that, staff morale is very low. There is a yearly provision in the budget for these things but since I assumed office last year, I have received zero allocation for these things. “We want the government to provide us equipment, improve staff welfare, recruit more staff and carry out staff training within the country and overseas.” “Our hazard allowance is N50 and that cannot even buy paracetamol. About two staff fell down from the fire truck and another one was affected by fire in the course of working.’’ NDDC commences training for disabled persons in Edo By Gabriel Enogholase & Alemma Aliu BENIN—NIGER Delta Development Commission, NDDC, yesterday commenced a 14-day Skill Acquisition Training Programme for 28 physically challenged persons in Edo State. Coordinator of the NDDC skill acquisition programme in Edo State, Mrs. Theresa Payrison told journalists that the programme was being organised by the commission in partnership with Non-Governmental Organisations, NGOs, to empower people living with disabilities in the state Patrison said the training was to enable them to acquire necessary skills for self-employment in other for them to earn a living She explained that the programme was also to enhance Micro Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (MSME) with the objective of strengthening the economies of the Niger Delta states. “The programme is going to be a 14-day intensive training specifically for the physically challenged persons in Edo State. “At the end of the training programme, starter packs will be distributed to participants according to the skills they have learned.’’ CEIBS to offer Nigerian businesses investment opportunities By Prince Okafor CHINA Europe International Business School, CEIBS, said it will continue to offer opportunities for Nigerian businessmen to network with their counterparts in China on investments. This came as the CEIBS, Vice President and Dean Professor Ding Yuan, urged entrepreneurs in the country to adopt the Chinese economic model for business advancement and improvement in the standard of living. In his address at the annual ‘One Plus One’ lecture by CEIBS alumni with the theme, ‘China’s New Economic Model: Opportunities for Africa’, in Lagos, Yuan said: “CEIBS also offer opportunities for the Nigerian business community to network with its counterpart in China on investments and opportunities as well as how to tap into various areas of interest. “The combination of Chinese and European style of education would be advantageous to Nigeria and other countries on the continent; it will also help tremendously in shaping the development since China is one of the largest economies in the world.” He stated that researchers in China have found very important factors behind the economic model which include education and the Chinese savings system. Rivers S-Court judgment: PDP abusing freedom of speech —Malami By Johnbosco Agbakwuru ABUJA—THE Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, yesterday, dismissed allegations that he was involved in a plot to cause a constitutional crisis in River State by pressurising the Supreme Court to reverse its judgement on the All Progressive Congress , APC, primaries in the state. Recall that Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, had last Sunday, raised the alarm that the AGF was allegedly spearheading a plot that also involved a minister to mount pressure on the Acting Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Tanko Mohammed, to reverse the February 12, 2019 final judgment of the Supreme Court. The court had upheld the verdict of the trial court that excluded the APC from participating in the National Assembly, governorship and state Assembly Elections in Rivers State, having nullified the party’s flawed primaries. However, fielding briefing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Lori-Ogbebor to PANDEF: Focus on environmental issues, not politics By Charles Kumolu L AGOS—RIGHTS activist, Chief Rita Lori-Ogbebor has called on Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, to focus on environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region rather than politics, saying the problem has become more threatening to the people of the region. She also urged the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, to give attention to environmental issues, adding that other functions performed by the commission should not take pre-eminence over environmental concerns. Briefing newsmen yesterday in Lagos, Lori- Ogbebor, who is also the Igba of Warri Kingdom, lamented that the impacts of oil exploration in the region are not being given the required attention by PANDEF. She said: “We the people who produce the oil are so poor because we concentrate on Lagos and Abuja alone. I was very angry when I visited Warri recently. I entered my house and sat on the chair to receive those who came to see me. When I looked at my legs, they was so black and I was so surprised. When I asked what could have been responsible, I was told that it was the effect of gas flaring. If my legs were so dark, I am afraid of what we inhale. It is threatening to us in the region. Instead of PANDEF to be talking about it, they are busy talking about politics. I have been fighting for accountability and welfare of my people but I have realised that environmental issue is the worst. All the children of the oil company staff have been relocated, while the big oil companies have also relocated because of the effect on their staff. “No child in that area Malami said, in making the accusation, the PDP has taken freedom of speech too far. The AGF said the allegation remained a mere allegation until it is proven through a judicial process. He said: “Regarding what was leveled against me by PDP, I think it remains an accusation. It has to remain so until proven through a judicial process. “But for me, I think it is freedom of speech that has been taken too far.” VISIT: GMD/CEO designate of Zenith Bank Plc, Ebenezer Onyeagwu (right) during a courtesy visit to the Governor-elect Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Olusola Sanwo-Olu, in Lagos, yesterday. would live without health challenges caused by the air we inhale. People are dying as a result of illness caused by gas flaring. I am aware that the Bayelsa State governor is waging a war against environmental degradation. He should be commended for doing so, because the environment is so critical to our lives. It is saddening that PANDEF and NDDC do not put the issue in the front burner.’’ RIWAMA warns builders against indiscriminate dumping of wastes By Davies Iheamnachor PORT HARCOURT The Rivers State Waste Management Agency, RIWAMA, has warned builders and building material traders against dumping of solid wastes at the receptacles. The Sole Administrator of the agency, Felix Obuah, also stated that the agency would no longer condone the dumping of refuse at unapproved places. In a statement yesterday in Port Harcourt noted that residents and those doing business in Port Harcourt, the State capital and its environs have no excuse to dump refuse indiscriminately, stating that receptacles have been strategically positioned close to business and residential places. Obuah bemoaned that the unwholesome acts of the indiscriminate dumping are usually carried out after the approved dumping hours when wastes have been cleared by Service providers. He warned that the agency would not hesitate to arrest and prosecute those who continue to dump waste at unapproved receptacles and unauthorized hours, urging residents and those doing business in Port Harcourt and its environs to turn a new leaf. Obuah stressed that compactors do not carry solid wastes as they are designed to evacuate only nonsolid waste materials, noting that dumping solid waste end up defacing the receptacles.
Vanguard, THURSDAY, APRIL 11, 2019 — 13 By Barshir Bello K ATSINA— INSPECTOR General of Police, IGP Mohammed Adamu, yesterday said the police was taking the fight to the camps and hideouts of the kidnappers and bandits to dislodge them from the dreaded Rugu forest, den of criminal activities. He said the force had strategized to storm the bandits and kidnappers camps in the forest, destroy and occupy the camps to avoid them regrouping there. The IGP who spoke during a visit to Governor Aminu Bello Masari, at the government house, Katsina, also disclosed the arrest of kidnappers of the octogenarian mother-inlaw of the Governor, Hajiya Hauwa Yusuf, by his men. IGP Adamu however called on the state government to provide with trusted locals to serve as informants to the Police’s special squad “Operation Puff Adder” deployed to the state while also soliciting for the cooperation of people of the state to provide credible information that would help flush out the bandits, kidnappers and other forms of criminalities. According to him, “We feel it is important to visit you, to look into the security challenges within the North West in general and Katsina State in particular. “The activities of bandits are sources of concern for Mr. President and he has given us instructions to make sure that we clear these bandits and kidnappers through whatever means. We will arrest them, prosecute and jail them. For us to be able to do the job perfectly, we need the cooperation of the people of Katsina State. By that, I mean law enforcement agencies :Vanguard News :@vanguardnews :@vanguardnews NEWS HOTLINES: 08052867023, 08052867058 We’ll dislodge kidnappers, bandits from their hideouts — IGP ...says kidnappers of Gov Masari’s mother-in-law arrested cannot do it alone. The criminals sometimes mingle with members of the communities and it is members of the communities that can identify them and inform the law enforcement agencies to act. “We know some of the bandits have their camps somewhere in the forest. The strategy we are undertaking is to take the fight to them. Go to their camps, identify and destroy the camps, get them arrested and occupy the space so that they don’t get back there. There is an operation going on called “operation puff adder” which is aimed at clearing, arresting, prosecuting the bandits and also giving members of the public confidence. “You are all aware that sometime ago, the motherin-law of the Governor was kidnapped but we were able to arrest them. The operation requires commitment from the local authority. It will be centered on human intelligence. You will identify for us, the trusted people that can work with us for us to generate intelligence against the bandits. We need that commitment from you. “There is total cooperation between the police and the military in order to deal with these criminals. While we are cooperating with the military, I believe you have the Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF, we need their commitment too,” IGP Adamu said. Responding, Governor Masari described the situation as unfortunate. Masari represented by his Deputy, Mannir Yakubu who cited the instance of the kidnap of the Governor’s mother-in-law, however commended the IGP for his swift action which led to the apprehension of the kidnappers, just as he commended him for operation puff adder launched to checkmate activities of the bandits and kidnappers. VALECDICTORY: From right—The INEC National Commissioner for Voters Education Barrister Festus Okoye with Mr.Yunus Ustas (SAN) and Wole Agunbiade (SAN) at the joint Valedictory Session in honour of the former Chairman NBA,Kaduna branch late Olawole O. Olowokure, ESQ. at the State High Court, recently in Kaduna. Photo by Olu Ajayi. Zamfara