Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has said the Niger Delta has contributed N96 trillion to the coffers of the Federal Government.
Dickson made this claim when he received the report of the Committee on Restructuring and other matters affecting the Ijaw nation in Yenagoa, yesterday.
Dickson urged the federal government to put machinery in motion, before the next general elections in 2019.
“With the support of the Peoples Democratic Party and other political parties, the federal government can push through, in the quickest time possible, before the next general election, the necessary bills that can bring about a restructured Nigeria,” he said.
Making reference to the report of the Restructuring Committee, Dickson said in spite of the huge oil revenues the country had earned from the Niger Delta, over the years, areas such as Brass, Forcados, Ogulagha and Bonny, where crude oil terminals are located, remain inaccessible by road.
“We have never lost faith in this country and the statistics that you have brought out shows it clearly, of all those stories of our sacrifices and commitment to Nigeria.
“You said LNG alone has generated over N11 billion in the last 10 years and you are working with their own figures.
“You said also that from oil revenues from our territory, Nigeria has earned over N96 trillion and you say this country makes over N52 billion daily and yet, in the midst of this sacrifice, even as we speak, there is no road to the terminals from which this money is made.
No road to Brass, Forcados, Ogulagha and Bonny, that is the plight of our people and yet we continue to believe in Nigeria.”
“For us, as a people, 2019 elections would be a referendum. It’s going to be an election that will separate those who are for a restructured and equitable Nigeria and those who are opposed to it. Our people will be mobilised, at all levels, to stand by and support those who want an egalitarian Nigeria.
“Your report deals with a very important issue of how our people will survive within the context of a united Nigeria, how we can achieve a stable sustainable, progressive and prosperous Nigeria that is immune from most of the internal problems threatening to tear it apart.
“Unless we have a stable Nigeria, where everybody is happy, treated fairly and have space to manage their internal affairs and grow at their own pace, and yet, be in one stable big country, we can’t have a peaceful and sustainable Nigeria.
“ Our country can only be stable when all parts of the country are stable…”
‘Tinubu’s Ex-Wife & Mother Of His First Son Is Dead’
The National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, has lost his ex-wife.
Though information about the death of the estranged wife of the political icon was shrouded in secrecy, make it exclusively gathered that the deceased died about three and a half weeks ago.
She was said to be the mother of Jide who died on November 1, 2017. Jide was said to be the first son of Tinubu.
‘I don’t believe foreigners are involved in Nigeria killings’ – French envoy contradicts Buhari
Denys Gauer, outgoing French ambassador to Nigeria, says he does not believe that foreigners are involved in the killings across the country.
The French’s envoy position contradicts that of President Muhammadu Buhari.
Buhari had said that the killings are as a result of the influx of mercenaries from the Sahel region.
“It has always been there, but now made worse by the influx of armed gunmen from the Sahel region into different parts of the West African sub-region,” the president had said when Justin Welby, archbishop of Canterbury, visited him in London back in April.
But speaking with journalists on Friday in Abuja, Gauer said impunity is encouraging the killings in the country and those responsible must be punished.
The envoy spoke to journalists in commemoration of the 2018 French National Day.
“The reason for the killings is demography; some people are fighting for land, so there must be direct policy to develop agriculture and animal husbandry,” he said.
“I think impunity is encouraging the killings and those responsible must be punished. I don’t believe foreigners are involved in the killings.
“The second is justice. When there is that kind of killing, there must be proper prosecution and perpetrators must be properly sentenced. If that does not happen then, it cannot end.”
INEC: Smartphones can be used at polling units but not inside voting cubicle
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has not banned the use of smartphones around polling unit areas.
The electoral body says the rule only comes into effect once a prospective voter enters the voting cubicle to cast his or her vote.
Rotimi Oyekanmi, chief press secretary to INEC chairman, made the clarification in an interview with NAN on Wednesday in Abuja.
He said this while reacting to a statement issued by Uche Secondus, national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), condemning the decision of INEC to ban the use of smartphones at polling booths.
Secondus had alleged that the decision was to perfect a rigging formula for the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
But Oyekanmi said the challenge of vote-buying and selling had prompted many stakeholders to call on INEC to devise innovative ways to tackle the problem.
He said: “In consultation with other stakeholders, the Commission came up with new measures to solve the problem, one of which is to disallow the use of smartphones and other electronic devices in the voting cubicles on election day.
“In other words, INEC is not banning phones around the polling unit area, but the ban takes effect from the moment a prospective voter collects his or her ballot paper and enters into voting cubicle to thumbprint and thereafter drop the folded ballot paper into the ballot box.
“After that, the voter can have access to his or her phone.”
Oyekanmi urged Nigerians to disregard any attempt by any individual or group to politicise what was purely a preventive measure.
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