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Ogoni youths protest UNEP report, block highway



Ogoni youths on Monday barricaded the Akpajo-Eleme axis of the East-West road that leads to the Port Harcourt Refiney, Indorama Petrochemicals and the Onne Free Trade Zone.
The youths, who were protesting under the aegis of the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority, expressed dissatisfaction that the current administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari was not carrying them along in the proposed implementation of the UNEP Report in Ogoniland.
The protest, which began at about 7am, caused a gridlock along the portion of the East-West road as motorists had to wait for more than an hour to leave the area.
They (youths) specifically demanded that they should be part of the ongoing dialogue on the modalities implementing UNEP’s recommendations on the clean-up of Ogoniland.
Spokesman for the group, who identified himself as Dumbari Boodam, said any attempt to ostracise them from the Ogoni clean-up process would cause trouble in the land.


Boodam, who said he was speaking on behalf of their leader, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, explained that the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People was not working in the interest of Ogoni people.
He state that MOSOP was politicising the issue of the implementation of the UNEP Report, saying, “We want to be carried along in the process of the implementation of UNEP Report.
“Failure by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to carry the group along will cause problem in Ogoniland. As far as we are concerned, MOSOP is not working in the interest of Ogoni people.”
In response, MOSOP condemned the protest, describing it as an ill-informed and unwarranted demonstration by a faceless group.
MOSOP said through the Media Advisor to its President, Mr. Bari-ara Kpalap, cautioned Ogoni people and members of the public to ignore the group, adding that the protesters were being manipulated to draw Ogoni back.
It further warned that the people of Ogoni would deal decisively with anybody attempting to truncate their efforts relating to the smooth implementation of recommendations of the UNEP environmental assessment report on Ogoniland.
“Reports available to MOSOP have revealed that the demonstrators mischievously claimed that they were protesting exclusion from the UNEP report implementation process.
“We condemn the action and reject the reason adduced, which smacks of desperation. As far as we are concerned, the protesters and their sponsors, who have earlier declared an unrecognised ‘Ogoni self-government’ are drowned in ignorance and dubiously seeking relevance and should be discountenanced.
“Negotiation, we all know, is always done on representative capacity and not by the entire community, organisation or institution. In this case, all strata of the Ogoni society were fully represented in the multi-stakeholder engagement processes occasioning the President Mohammadu Buhari-led Federal Government’s approval of actions to fast-track implementation of recommendations of the UNEP report on Ogoniland.
“In fact, two prominent sons and a daughter of Ogoni, namely, Professor Ben Naanen, HRH Mene Suanu T.Y. Baridam, and Professor Roseline Konya chaired three out of the four working groups during the engagements. And the truth remains that the outcome of the engagements has been hailed in Ogoni and beyond,” MOSOP stated.
It pointed out that the sponsors of the demonstration erroneously believed that the five-year take-off grant of $5 billion for the implementation of the report was up for grab, adding that the sponsors of the protest were also involved in circulating falsehood to the people of Ogoni.
MOSOP also explained that those behind Monday’s demonstration on East-West road were also engaged in swindling unsuspecting Ogoni people through the sale of fake recruitment and qualification forms at the rate of N3,000 each.
“It is a shame that whilst well-meaning Ogoni sustained efforts for the implementation of the report in view of the fact that the report passed a death sentence on Ogoni and the community has been harvesting deaths and suffering severe livelihood challenges, this fake group refused to identify with the people.
“Instead, they busied themselves with steps to dismember Nigeria and actually declared a so-called ‘Ogoni self-government’, which contradicted the collective position of our people as enunciated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights,” MOSOP added.

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NAHCON screens 7 airlines for 2022 hajj




The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has commenced the screening of airlines that would participate in the airlift of the pilgrims.

No fewer than seven airlines have indicated an interest in the airlift.

They are Azman Air, Med-View Airline, Max Air, FlyNas, Skypower Express, Westlink Airlines and Arik Air.

Out of the seven airlines, six are domestic operators while FlyNas is a Saudi based airline.

It was gathered that the screening exercise would be a verification of the documents of the interested carriers that turned up in 2020 following the call from NAHCON.

The airlines were already screened in 2020 before the Hajj exercise was cancelled due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They are using the 2020 template but we were only asked to validate our documents,” one of the airlines participating in the verification exercise confirms to our correspondent.

It was not clear yet if NAHCON would apply the same rule which would give over 50 per cent of the traffic to Saudi Airlines which stakeholders in the aviation sector have consistently kicked against.

When contacted, the NAHCON spokesperson, Hajia Fatima Sanda Usara, confirmed that there was an arrangement in place to use the 2020 screening exercise.

She said the screening committee had just been inaugurated to verify the documents of the Air carriers.

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Deborah Samuel: Adeboye postpones RCCG crusade in Sokoto



Pastor Enoch Adeboye has postponed the crusade scheduled to hold in Sokoto following the tension over Deborah Samuel’s murder.

The deceased was a 200-level Home Economics student of the Shehu Shagari College of Education.

Last Thursday, she was beaten, stoned and burnt by Muslim youths who accused her of blasphemy.

In a Facebook post Monday night, Adeboye announced the shift of the planned religious event which now holds virtually.

The Redeemed Christan Church of God (RCCG) General Overseer, however, noted that God is able to fix all situations.

Adeboye, who conveyed his message in parable, quoted Richard Halverson, the late American Presbyterian minister who served as United States Senate chaplain.

Halverson had said intercession is the universal work for Christians and that no continent, nation, city, office nor power can stop prayers.

“Postponed but God turned it around. We Trust In Our God’s Big Picture Plan!”, Adeboye wrote.

The Christian leader insisted believers serve a God who specialises in using the impossible situation for His glory.

Adeboye noted that if in doubt, they should look closely at the death and resurrection of Jesus.

“Devil thought he killed Him, but His death and resurrection resulted into life for many. He keeps turning it around for our good. It is in this might that we proceed”, he added.

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Deborah Samuel: Gov Tambuwal relaxes curfew



Governor Aminu Tambuwal of Sokoto State government has relaxed the 24-hour curfew he imposed on the state capital following violent protest over the arrest of some youths allegedly involved in the killing Deborah Samuel, a 200-level student.

Tambuwal in a statement issued by his Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Isah Bajini, said the revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township.

The statement noted that “Sequel to the briefing by the security heads in the State, the State Governor, Rt Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal has ordered the relaxation of the 24-hour curfew in force in Sokoto metropolis

“The revised curfew will now be from dusk to dawn in Sokoto township. This is with a view to affording people the window to pursue their legitimate businesses and other means of livelihood.”

Recall that following the lynching of the 200-level student for allegedly insulting Prophet Mohammed, the State’s police command arrested some persons linked to the incident.

However, a large number of Muslim boys who were angered by the arrest, stormed the streets in the State on Saturday, demanding the release of the suspects.

The development, which triggered tension in several parts of the State, made the Governor to impose the curfew.

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