Militancy: MIIVOC Tasks Wike, Total On Dialogue
A non-governmental organisation called the Media Initiative against Injustice, Violence and Corruption (MIIVOC) has called on Rivers State Governor, Mr Ezenwo Nyesom Wike to step in and resolve the difference between the Egi Community in Ogba Egbema Ndoni Local Government Area of the State and Total Oil Company in the area before it degenerates.
Executive Director of MIIVOC, Dr Walter Duru, who made the call in a statement made available to newsmen, in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, warned that the lingering disagreement between the two parties could worsen the already threatened security situation in the area.
“I read in the papers recently where a group that identified itself as Egi Freedom Fighters gave conditions for acceptance of the state government’s amnesty.
“Among their demands are: the rebuilding of houses of members of the community, allegedly destroyed by the military at the instance of the oil company; employment and Scholarship opportunities, skills acquisition, capacity development, among others.
“I have not read any reaction from Total Oil Company, accepting that they sent the military to destroy the people’s houses or denying it.
“It does not appear to me like a good strategy. Although they did not indict the state government, the government’s response so far could be better,” he said.
Dr Duru further said that, “I am afraid that if the parties do not find a way to resolve the issues, the tension in the area could be further heightened. ONELGA LGA is already tensed. Omoku community is today a shadow of itself.
“Government must be strategic in its engagements, to ensure that the near culture of violence in the area is not sustained. The group’s demands, apart from that of rebuilding of houses, are not different from the age-long issues and causes of agitation in the Niger Delta. The group has listed their demands. There has to be a way out. Let the government intervene.”
“The state Governor, as Chief Security Officer of the state must step in, reach out to the parties and, if possible, involve an independent Civil Society Organisation to broker peace among the parties. Whatever strategy to be adopted must be such that can stand the test of time and ensure sustainable peace in the area,” he added.
Continuing, Mr Duru, a Communication and Public Relations expert argued that it is easier to prevent the escalation of the issue, than to manage the crises when it eventually escalates, urging the government to act urgently.
“The state government’s amnesty programme appears to be working. Many have embraced it. However, borrowing a leaf from the parable of the lost sheep in the Bible, Governor Wike, as father of the state should look into the matter dispassionately and ensure that justice is done. Let a platform be created for dialogue between the community and the company so the issues would be addressed. Applying force in the matter could backfire. Let dialogue be the instrument.”
Dr Walter Duru is Chairman, Board of the Freedom of Information Coalition, Nigeria, as well as a member of the Federal Government’s Steering Committee on the Open Government Partnership.
Court Rejects Abba Kyari’s Plea to Thrash Charges
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The application filed by the suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP), Mr Abba Kyari, to throw out the charges against him has been rejected by the Federal High Court in Abuja.
The embattled cop had challenged the court’s jurisdiction to entertain the drug-related charges levelled against him by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
But Justice Emeka Nwite, in his ruling on Wednesday, dismissed Mr Kyari’s plea, stating that the court has the exclusive right and jurisdiction to hear the case.
Recall that the NDLEA dragged the former head of the Intelligence Response Team of the Nigeria Police Force and others before the court.
The other four members of the IRT accused of being involved in drug-related offences arraigned before the court are ACP Sunday J. Ubua, ASP Bawa James, Inspector Simon Agirgba and Inspector John Nuhu.
They were accused of conspiring to deal in 17.55kg of cocaine without lawful authority. They were also alleged to have conspired to tamper with cocaine and unlawfully tamper with the 21.35kg of cocaine seized from two convicted drug dealers.
But Mr Kyari asked the court to dismiss the suit against him, arguing that the charges were premature as the NDLEA ought to have allowed the police to exhaust its internal machinery before taking an action.
According to him, authorities of the police had already ordered a probe into allegations against him, with an interim report released.
He argued that the Police Service Commission (PSC) has similar powers to investigate and discipline erring police officers in line with the Police Act & Regulations, the same way the National Judicial Council (NJC) disciplines judicial officers.
However, Justice Nwite was not moved by the arguments of the suspect, informing him that the powers of the PSC do not supersede the powers of the Federal High Court
Ramadan: Rite Foods Preaches Peaceful Coexistence
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
As Muslims across the globe and Nigeria prepare for the annual one-month Ramadan, a period for fasting and getting closer to Allah, Nigeria’s market leader in the food and beverage industry, Rite Foods, has called on all to adhere to the doctrines of Islam, which preach peaceful coexistence.
The annual Islamic ritual, which is in fulfilment of the fourth pillar of Islam, is expected to commence this week.
In a statement, the world-class and proudly-Nigerian company said it has made available its unrivalled brands for consumption and refreshing moments during the fasting period for Islamic believers and on extraordinary occasions.
The Managing Director of Rite Foods, Mr Seleem Adegunwa, stated that as a consumer-centric company poised towards the delivery of quality products for consumers’ satisfaction with award-winning brands comprising the 13 variants of Bigi carbonated soft drink (CSD) and premium water, Rite sausages, Fearless energy drink, and the premium Sosa fruit drink for Muslim faithful’s during the holy month of penitence and self-denial as enshrined in Islam.
He urged the believers to uphold virtues that foster unity, decency, tolerance, and love for one another, by what they propagate and are known for.
In the same vein, the company’s Assistant Brand Manager, Ms Boluwatife Adedugbe, avowed that Rite Foods would continue to cater to the needs of consumers with its leading brands that are produced with state-of-the-art infrastructure and in a first-rate factory in line with global best practices.
She affirmed that Rite Foods would continually identify with its consumers with initiatives that add value to lives and felicitate them during religious undertakings.
Against the backdrop of continually connecting with its consumers, the company’s Bigi brand unveiled its new slogan, Bigi For Every Moment, as the most delicious brand that suits all occasions.
The mantra highlights the idea that there is a perfect refreshing flavour to suit every moment for all demographics, whether for a celebration or a relaxing mood. It is suitable for all events.
Similarly, with its new mantra, Embrace The Thrill, the Fearless energy drink has demonstrated that it would continue to rejuvenate consumers to become braver and more adventurous, to activate their dreams to attain success with the positive energy it provides.
It motivates them to go beyond their limits and not be laid back by the many rejections they have received. The brand also encourages them to be daring and energetic, exhibit the willpower to excel, be enthusiastic in their endeavours, and be vigorous.
US Threatens Sanctions Over Voter Intimidation at Lagos Guber, Others
By Adedapo Adesanya
The United States government has condemned the disturbing acts of violent voter intimidation and suppression that took place during the governorship polls in Lagos and 27 states in Nigeria on Saturday, March 18.
The world power also said it would consider all available actions, including additional visa restrictions, on individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.
In a statement on Tuesday, the US diplomatic mission in Nigeria said it observed the elections in Lagos and elsewhere and witnessed some of these incidents first-hand.
It condemned “The use of ethnically charged rhetoric before, during, and after the gubernatorial election in Lagos,” which it said “was particularly concerning.”
“We commend all Nigerian political actors, religious and community leaders, youth, and citizens who have chosen to reject and speak out against such violence and inflammatory language, affirming Nigerians’ commitment to and respect for the democratic process.
“We call on Nigerian authorities to hold accountable and bring to justice any individuals found to have ordered or carried out efforts to intimidate voters and suppress voting during the election process.
“The United States likewise will consider all available actions, including additional visa restrictions, on individuals believed to be responsible for, or complicit in, undermining the democratic process in Nigeria.
“Following the February 25 national elections, the United States joined other international observers in urging the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to improve voting processes and technical elements that experienced flaws in that voting round.
“The March 18 elections appear to have had significant operational improvements, as polling stations generally opened on time and most results were visible on an electronic viewing platform in a timely manner,” the statement read.
The United States used the opportunity to call on those dissatisfied with the outcome of the exercise to go through established legal processes to reclaim their mandate.
“We further call for Nigeria’s people to work together as they participate in and continue to strengthen the country’s vibrant democracy,” the statement added.
Business Post reports that the candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in the governorship election in Lagos, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivior, has promised to approach the court to challenge the exercise.
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