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FG orders contractors of abandoned projects in Niger Delta back to site

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The Federal Government on Tuesday ordered all contractors who abandoned projects in the Niger Delta region to return to site immediately.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo gave the order at a Stakeholders meeting for sustainable development in the Niger Delta region held in Owerri, Imo State.

Osinbajo was disturbed by the long list of projects owned by NNPC and the Niger Delta Development Commission in different parts of the state and said that such practice must stop.

Osinbajo also said that those contractors who collected money and diverted them would be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted.

“I have today directed that all contractors whose projects have been abandoned must return to site forthwith.

“They must return and I want to say that all these contracts will be investigated thoroughly.

“We will investigate every one of the contracts and any one of them found to have diverted funds we will ensure that they are prosecuted and that they are brought to justice.

“It is not acceptable for anyone to take projects that are meant to offer succour to the people.

“Especially to the people in oil production communities and to abandon them and them come back and complain that work isn’t being done,’’ he said.

According to the Acting President the Federal Government will make sure that all of those projects are completed.

“I must say that it is shocking that over the years, several NNDC projects and the Ministry of Niger Delta have been abandoned by contractors.

“A long list of abandoned projects have been presented to me; one has almost 40 abandoned projects; projects where contracts have been awarded and in some cases money paid,’’ he noted.

Accordingly, he said that those involved in the shady deals must be made to account.

He promised the people of Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta, the main oil bearing communities in the state that he would ensure that they got their due share of the oil wealth.

He promised to work with the Niger Delta Power Holding Company to ensure that the abandoned Power plant in Egbema which could produce 300 megawatts of power was completed soon.

Osinbajo also promised to present the request of the state for the conversion of the Skills acquisition centre in the area to a Niger Delta University of Science and Technology to the Federal Executive Council.

He said that the federal government had a new vision for all oil producing areas of the Niger Delta as a fresh commitment of all stakeholders to be involved in the development of the areas.

He said the federal government would partner the states, local governments, oil majors and all in the industry to facilitate the development of the region.

“Every stakeholder will be involved,’’ he assured but added that oil exploitation alone could not ensure the provision of jobs for the teeming youth.

Accordingly, he said it was the business of industrialists to develop industries especially in the petrochemical for more job creation.

He said government would build modular refineries in the region which would engage those involved in building illegal refineries and polluting the environment.

He also noted that it was the intention of the administration to site more power plants in the oil region to utilize the gas resources effectively.

Osinbajo said there was the need to attract investments in the region but stressed the need for peace and secure environment as a precondition.

“Investments have a choice; they go to where they will find security,’’ he said.

He said the future has now arrived for the oil region but said the stakeholders must address the concerns of the region by ensuring a peaceful environment.

According to him, destroying oil facilities is not the solution but rather providing the facilities and protecting them.

The Acting president urged the people to hold contractors to account, adding that all federal projects meant for the communities must come to them.

He told them that President Muhammadu Buhari took Imo as his home and had pledged that justice would be done to the people.

“Peace and Justice go together,’’ he advised while assuring the state of its fair share in the administration’s social investment programmes

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DHQ clarifies identities of arrested Owo church attack suspects

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Irabor Orders Troops to Smoke Out Unrepentant Bandits

The Defence Headquarters Wednesday gave details of the suspects arrested in connection with the June 5 attack on St. Francis Catholic Church Owo in Ondo State.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Lucky Irabor, had on Tuesday during a parley with media executives and editors revealed the names of the terrorists who masterminded the Owo attack.

Director, Defence Information, Maj.-Gen. Jimmy Akpor, in a statement yesterday, said the clarification became necessary because of the conflicting feedback on the earlier announcement.

Akpor said Irabor had confirmed the arrest of four suspects through the collaborative efforts of the military and DSS personnel at Eika, in Okehi Local Government Area, Kogi on Aug. 1.

“Those arrested included Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza (a.k.a Bin Malik), Momoh Otohu Abubakar, Aliyu Yusuf Itopa and Auwal”

“The Defence Chief said, preliminary investigation revealed that Idris Abdulmalik Omeiza was the mastermind of the terror attack on the Owo Catholic Church.

“As well as the attack on a Police Station in Adavi Local Government Area, Kogi State on 23 June 2022, during which a policeman was killed and weapons carted away,” he said.

Akpor said Irabor also mentioned the arrest of another terrorist, Idris Ojo, aged 32, who was apprehended at Ayetoro Osi, Ondo State through the combined effort of military and DSS personnel on August 7. 

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Muslim-Muslim Ticket: Pope not against my appointment as DG of Tinubu’s campaign – Lalong

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Director-General of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Presidential Campaign Organization, Simon Lalong, says he will not resign as the party DG campaign organisation.

Mr Lalong said that even Pope is not opposed to his appointment

Mr Lalong, who is also the Governor of Plateau, an ardent Catholic, said the Pope had not told him that accepting to lead the Muslim-Muslim APC presidential ticket was against the tenets of Christianity.

Some groups had staged rallies in Abuja, calling on Mr Lalong to reject the offer to serve as the DG of APC presidential campaign organisation.

However, the governor said he would not reject his new appointment just to satisfy the wishes of certain individuals or groups.

”The Pope is not angry with my decision to be the DG of the Muslim-Muslim presidential campaign.

“I came back home and Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) welcomed me at the airport.

”The next day I addressed stakeholders of Plateau and I told them why I’m accepting and then there was jubilation, all of them accepted.

“So, if you see people talking about me rejecting, I have already accepted – is not an issue. Some of them have already keyed into it – I’m a Christian. If you watch my TVC interview I saw, I was born a Catholic, baptized a catholic, confirmed a catholic.

“Today, I went through missionary schools. I was taught by missions that I respect my being a Christian.

“I have been given the highest award by the Pope, I still hold that award – the highest Papal Award, I want people to know, Knight of Saint Gregory the Great, I have it and one day if you want I will wear my uniform and come here. So those who are talking about it I don’t even know where they are.

“I hold a Papal Knight and as a catholic everything we do, we do it and send the advice to the Pope.

“The Pope has not told me that what I’m doing (to accept Director General) is bad – As a catholic, we take that direction.

“But, generally as a governor of a State, I’m not responsible to only my faith. I’m responsible to other people who belong to other faiths, who are not even Muslims or Christians’’

He urged Nigerians to grow up from ethnic or religious sentiments.

Mr Lalong said that he had already accepted the job and there was nothing anybody could do to dissuade him from performing his responsibilities.

Mr Lalong said he was in the Presidential Villa to thank President Muhammadu Buhari for approving the University of Jos as a national cancer centre as well as granting presidential pardon to the former Governor of the state, Joshua Dariye.

According to him, the people of the state will remain grateful to the president for delivering a lot of democratic dividends to the State.

“My visit to the President is to come and show him appreciation because of what he has done for Plateau State in the last few months.

”Just a week or two ago, we just got approval to make the University of Jos a Cancer Centre.

“I saw over N3 billion approved for the institution as a special centre for cancer. So, it’s not a small achievement.

“Recently, the President approved the establishment of an orthopaedic hospital in Jos, Plateau; the only one in North-Central.

“He also approved the establishment of a Federal Medical Centre in Wase. Another one is the Federal Polytechnic Shendam, which is almost starting this year in October to be precise.

“The president has also approved the conversion of the Federal College of Education, Pankshin, to a Federal University of Education and immediately approved the establishment of another Federal college of Education in the State.

“We were just celebrating that one then we also heard of the establishment of a Zonal campus of the Nigerian Law School for North-Central in Jos.

“We cannot have all these achievements and not come and show appreciation to the President,” he said. 

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PHOTOS: Oluwo of Iwo visits Olubadan

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The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrosheed Adewale Akanbi, on Wednesday visited Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Olalekan Balogun Okunmade Alliwo II.

Oluwo said his visit was symbolic as he has a maternally relationship with the Alliwo Lineage, the source of Olubadan.

Oba Akanbi is maternally related to the Alliwo Compound where he was said to have lived for many years.

Oba Akanbi described the visit as a friendly father and son meeting.

He prayed for a successful reign for Oba Olalekan Balogun Okunmade

Here are pictures of the visit:

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