vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews Vanguard, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018—33 NEWS HOTLINES 018773962, 08052867058 Uvwie people to Nigerian Army: Leave our land or kill us By Festus Ahon ASABA—THE people of Uvwie Kingdom, Uvwie Local Government Area, Delta State, have threatened a showdown with soldiers, saying they were prepared to die than allow the continued plundering of their land, adding that they will drag Nigerian Army to the United Nations and the World Court should they continue to hold on to their land. The community, in a statement by their counsel, Chief Victor Otomiewo, lamented the disregard of the Army to the orders of President Muhammadu Buhari and the House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions to discontinue the acquisition and sales of By Gab Ejuwa IWERE Revolutionary Movement, IRM, and Benin River Crusaders Group, BRCG, have threatened to shut down Chevron Nigeria Limited flow stations in Abiteye, Otunana, Makaraba, Dibi and Olero over alleged conversion of funds, illegal alleged dealings with contracts and entitlements belonging to cluster offshore communities. In a statement by Christopher Abuma, Director of Operation of IRM and Samson Eyituoyo, spokesman of BRCG, after their emergency meeting in Warri North Local Government Area, Delta State, yesterday, they alleged that top Chevron staffers have continued to carry out these illegal activities despite subsisting court orders stopping them. their land to private individuals. Otomiewo said: “The Uvwie people of Uvwie Kingdom have finally resolved to take their destinies into their hands by resorting to a showdown with the authorities of the Nigerian Army any moment from now. “Sometime in December 2017 and January this year, the Uvwie people took their agitations for the release of their land by the Army authorities to House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions. “At the public hearing of the committee, Uvwie people were able to make a case to the committee for the release of their land as the Army High Command was unable to produce a The groups, made up members of the cluster communities of Itsekiri ethnic nationality that are host and impacted in the operational area of Chevron, said: “We gathered that funds meant for the communities are being laundered by some single document to establish its continuous hold on to the land of the Uvwie people under the guise of a supposed acquisition. “The Committee, also by its letter of March 29 addressed to the Chief of Army Staff and the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion, Nigerian Army, Effurun Barracks, signed by the Chairman of the committee, directed the Chief of Army Staff to stop any kind of work on the land, pending the final resolution of the House on the petition of the Uvwie people. “In June, President Buhari directed the Army High Command to stop the selling of the land of the Uvwie people to private developers. Instead of adhering to the President’s highly-placed individuals in total disregard of court orders in a suit before the state High Court, Warri. “We will not hesitate to shutdown Chevron flow stations in Abiteye, Otunana, Makaraba, Dibi and Olero should they continue with these illegal order, the Army High Command has been persistent in their activities. “Recently, the Army invaded Ohorhe town, an Uvwie community sharing boundary with the land supposedly acquired by the Army and planted several sign posts with the inscription Army Land, Keep Off. “The military authorities have concluded plans to invade the town and pull down every structure with a view to demarcating the land into plots for sale to private developers through the instrumentality of the Nigerian Army Properties Limited, a company incorporated by the Army authorities.” At press time, effort to reach the Army authorities for comment on the matter, were abortive. DELTA NORTH: Delta North senatorial district aspirant, Chief Paul Osaji (middle) and his supporters at Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, state secretariat in Asaba, during the submission of his nomination/expression of interest forms. Itsekiri groups threaten to shut Chevron operations BENIN—EDO State Organising Secretary and Director of Contact and Mobilisation, African Democratic Congress, ADC, Mr. Matthew Edaghese, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to see the visit of the United Kingdom's Prime Minister, Theresa May, and other world leaders to Nigeria as an endorsement of his performance. Speaking in Benin, Edo State, yesterday, Edaghese noted that “it is laughable and ridiculous for anybody to lay claim or see the visit of world leaders to Nigeria as an endorsement of Buhari’s performance. “The British are working towards Brexit. So they need market for their goods, should they exit the EU and America is in trade war with China and other world powers; they are renegotiating their trade agreement. activities.” The group called on relevant security agencies and the international community to urgenly call Chevron to order as they may not give notice on the issue again before shutting down the entire flow stations in their land. World leaders’ visit not endorsement, ADC tells Buhari By Gabriel Enogholase “So coming to Nigeria to shop for economic opportunities should not be mistaken for Buhari being popular in the international community. “Their opinion on Buhari is not hidden. Theresa May, said the country has become poorer under Buhari’s leadership. “She pointed out that as much as 90 million Nigerians are living below poverty level. That is not endorsement, but condemnation of the very appalling situation.” Refusal to sign Electoral Act plot to rig elections—Wike G OVERNOR Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has said the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the amended Electoral Act was part of the plot to rig the 2019 elections. In an interview at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Governor Wike said the plot by All Progressives Congress, APC-led Federal Government was basically to write results against the wishes of Nigerians. His words: “All they are prepared for is to write the results. Most of them, who have left Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, to APC told Navy arrests vessel with stolen crude By Jimitota Onoyume W A R R I — NIGERIAN Navy has arrested a vessel, MV Skye, with 524 metric tones of illegal crude on the Escravos water in Delta State. Parading the nine crew members arrested aboard the vessel on Forcados river, Commander NNS Delta, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, said: “It was unfortunate that the vessel had been arrested for similar offence in 2014. “It was released on COMMUNITY Engagement Coordinator and Communication Management expert, Mr. Happy Apai, has been invested as the 40th President of Rotary Club of Warri, District 9141. Apai, in his acceptance speech, outlined six core projects estimated at N25 million his board intends to actualise in the 2018/2019 Rotary year. They include acquiring land for the construction of Rotary Peace Centre in Warri, conducting of human rights and voluntary principles’ training for 40 officers of the Police in conjunction with Leadership Initiative for Transformation and Empowerment, LITE, Africa, completion of work in the ongoing Physiotherapy Centre at Central Hospital, Warri, provision of me ‘my brother, look I can confidently tell you that these people are not prepared for the elections. All they want to do is write the results and, let heaven fall’. He said: “In my state, it won’t happen. I know they will kill a lot of people. But if that is the sacrifice, we will make it. “As we speak, they will shoot everywhere and INEC will say ‘no,’ there will be no election. “They will make sure that there is so much violence in Rivers State so that elections will be postponed and then after elections in other states, they will move down all the security men to Rivers State.” bond by a Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt. “Surprisingly, the vessel found its way into Excravos with 524 metric tones of crude with no approval in some of its compartment. So we are handing over the re-arrested vessel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for necessary action.” Principal Detective Superintendent Officer of EFCC, Mr. Richard Ogberagha, said: “We will determine the substance, quantity and know if the content is approved. DPR is taking samples.” Warri Rotary gets 40th President notebooks and teaching aids to selected schools as well as organisation of Spelling Bee Competition for some secondary schools in Warri South, Warri South- West, Warri North, Uvwie and Okpe Local Government areas of the state. Burial MRS. Victoria Otokiti- Aleshinloye, 76, is dead. She died August 20. Funeral ceremonies will hold on Wednesday, September 19, and Thursday, September 20, at Iloro-Ekiti and Ipoti- Ekiti, respectively. She is survived by Mr. Segun Otokiti, Miss Kemi Aleshinloye, Mrs. Comfort Otokiti, daughterin-law, among others.
34—VANGUARD, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 12, 2018 Group demands release of Africa’s oldest prisoner, Egbunuche GSAC President, By Dennis Agbo ENUGU—AN anti-graft organisation, Global Society for Anti Corruption, GSAC, has demanded for the unconditional and immediate parole of Africa’s oldest prisoner, Pa Celestine Egbunuche, who turned 100 years in Enugu Maximum Prison, last month. Egbunuche, who turned 100 years has been serving prison sentence for over 17 years after being convicted of murder in Imo state following the slump and death of someone he had land dispute with. The group in a letter to Governor Rochas Okorocha of Imo state prayed the chief executive to grant state pardon to the centenerian, arguing that in other climes, prisoners of 65 years were granted state pardon. vanguardnews @vanguardnews @vanguardnews Franklin Ezeona in his letter to Governor Okorocha said that Pa Egbunuche, who hails from Akokwa in Ideato North Local Government Area of Imo state, has been on death row for over 17 years with his surviving son and another 87-year-old relation, after somebody slumped and died in the course of dispute over a piece of land. He turned 100 on August 4, 2018, in solitary confinement in the Enugu Maximum Prison. “Our last inquiry indicated that the health condition of the centenarian who has been suffering from diabetes for years, nose-dived shortly after his last birthday and to worsen the case, he may soon lose his sight. He is currently incapacitated and passes faeces and urine at will on his clothes,” said Ezeona. Labour reads riot act in Imo By Chidi Nkwopara O W E R R I — ORGANISED labour in Imo State has said it is no longer very comfortable with the prevailing non-payment and under-payment of workers salaries and allowances in the state. The State chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Austine Chilakpu, who made the feelings of Imo workers known in a telephone interview also said that “since there was no reason why salaries should go into arrears, the leadership of labour can no longer guarantee industrial harmony in the state”. According to the Imo NLC boss, "workers are aware that the state gets monthly allocation from the federation account", stressing that "there could not have been any cogent reason why workers salaries should run into arrears. “I am seriously under pressure from the entire workers in Imo State. They are complaining bitterly about their unpaid salaries. They are no longer comfortable with the underpayment of their salaries." Continuing, Chilakpu said that from their investigations, there was no monthly federal allocation that excluded Imo State. “So, there is no moral justification for the government of Imo State, to start owing workers as it is currently doing. Schools are resuming soon and the meagre take home pay of workers are no longer taking them home, not to talk of sending the children back to school”, Chilakpu fumed. “The leadership of the organized labour in the state is calling on the state government to as a matter of urgency, pay all the workers their full salaries and all the arrears by this week. I would not like anybody to turn around tomorrow and claim that the organized labour is either embarrassing government or being sponsored by any group or person." He explained that labour in Imo State had shown more than enough understanding with government, pointing out that “because of what the workers are facing now, we cannot guarantee industrial harmony if the workers are not paid in the days ahead”. Chilakpu equally used the opportunity to urge Governor Rochas Okorocha to pay the frail and famished pensioners. NEWS HOTLINES 018773962, 08052867058 IPOB accuses Swiss govt of aiding human rights violation in Nigeria By Chimaobi Nwaiwu N NEWI—THE Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has accused Swiss government and it’s Embassy in Abuja of aiding and abating the unlawful disappearance of its leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. IPOB in a statement by its Media and Publicity Secretary, Emma Powerful, also accused the government of Switzerland of collaborating with the Nigerian government in the continued disappearance of its leader. “We note with grave sadness, the role the Swiss Embassy in Abuja have played in aiding and abating the unlawful disappearance of our members in Nigeria, by denying entry Visa to members of Kanu's family and other first hand witnesses to the Nigerian Army massacre of unarmed civilians at Nnamdi Kanu’s compound in Isiama Afaraukwu on September 14th 2017. “This is a clear case of conspiracy between a member of staff of the Swiss Embassy in Abuja and the Nigerian government to deny United Nations investigators access to vital information and facts surrounding the murderous invasion of Nnamdi Kanu’s compound by the Nigerian military. "Instead of commending the UN for their intervention, the Swiss Embassy chose to act out of character by appearing to support impunity and gross violations of the rights of Kanu's family to seek justice. “The conduct of the Swiss Embassy is unbecoming of a civilised country, who by this action, appears to be collaborating with the murderous regime in Nigeria in their persecution of Biafrans. “It should be pointed out to the Swiss Embassy in Abuja that Prince Emmanuel Kanu, the younger brother of our leader visited the United States of America recently on a two-year multiple entry visa and returned to Nigeria” IPOB stated that, “With all due respect, it is an indisputable fact that most people seeking to overstay their visa permit would rather prefer to do so in the United States of America than Switzerland. Therefore, the reasons given by the Kogi-born employee at the Swiss Embassy for refusing visas to the Kanu family is laughable.” IPOB statement also read: “We must also remind the Swiss Embassy that IPOB women in the past months attended a conference in Baltimore, Maryland USA and duly returned to their respective countries of abode after the 2 factions of Abia APC adopt direct, indirect the teams from Abuja, the primaries Ndukwe group By Anayo Okoli UMUAHIA—The crisis rocking the Abia State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, has continued to linger as the NEC of the party has not waded into it, leaving the party with two state secretariats in Umuahia. Ahead of the primary elections, the two factions of the party have adopted different modes to conduct the primaries. While the Emmanuel Ndukwe-led faction adopted indirect primaries, the Donatus Nwankpa faction adopted direct PRESENTATION: From left—Chairman, Cross River State Carnival Commission, Mr. Gabe Onah; the convener, Senator Florence Ita Giwa; Cross River State Deputy Governor, Prof Evan Esu; and Director-General, National Council of Art and Culture, Otunba Segun Runsewe, at the stage presentation of the Campaign Against Women Trafficking and Sex Slavery, held in Lagos. primaries. The Ndukwe-led faction which has the recognition of an Abia State High Court as the legal one, said they have served factional chairman, Donatus Nwankpa forms 48 and 49 for still parading himself as the chairman despite subsisting court ruling. Both factions however have aspirants for various positions, including governorship and have had their stakeholders meeting where they adopted the method of primaries. Rising from its stakeholders meeting in Umuahia, the Emmanuel Ndukwe faction said it would “continue to abide by the order of the State High Court, Isiala Ngwa Division presided over by Justice C. Okoroafor of 8th March 2018 and reaffirmed on Thursday, the 28th of June 2018 that sacked the executives of the immediate past chairman of Abia State, Hon. Donatus Nwankpa. “The APC Abia State as a law -abiding arm of the party that believes in the supremacy of the rule of law and our courts resolved not to be part of any scheme to undermine the order made by a court of competent jurisdiction in the country”, a communiqué signed by Ndukwe and other members of the executive committee said. Following the conduct of parallel ward congresses by approached an Abia State High Court which sacked the Nwankpa group and restrained him from parading himself as the State party chairman pending the hearing of the substantive suit. At the last sitting of the court on June 28, 2018, the presiding Judge, Justice C. Okorafor said, “the Order of the Court remains valid to the parties; the failure of the defendants not to appeal against the judgment renders it subsisting. The application is hereby dismissed”, he ruled and adjourned it to September 26 for further hearing in the matter. event. “We are therefore at a loss to understand why Swiss Embassy chose this line of action when the lives of human beings are at stake. “We wonder if the Swiss government through its Embassy in Abuja is giving tacit support to abuse of human rights in Nigeria or they are seeking to influence or impede the work of the United Nations. “The United Nations office invited Kanu's family to meet them in Switzerland to ascertain what truly transpired during the massacre of the 14th of September 2017 at Isiama Afaraukwu during Operation Python Dance 2. “This Nigerian army's ugly episode and mindless attack resulted to the disappearance of our leader, Mazi Nnamdi Kanu, his aged parents and other family members of IPOB since last year. “It is important we state clearly that our leader’s whereabouts is still unknown since that very unwarranted and unprovoked invasion and attack. "If the United Nations has chosen to invite surviving members of Kanu family to a meeting in Geneva to ascertain the facts, more so when the Swiss Embassy has a copy of the letter of invitation, why is it trying to stop or disrupt the meeting through visas refusal? “We see this Swiss Embassy's reluctance to issue the entry visa to Kanu’s family as politically motivated. “We therefore urge the Swiss government not to allow the travesty to subsist. Otherwise, IPOB will have no option than to regard the Swiss government as an accessory to mass murder and promoter of human rights abuses in Africa.”