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NDDC: Resentment against Buhari, APC rises in S’South

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INITIALLY, the discussions were in whispers, but today, the people of the South-South geopolitical zone are openly expressing revulsion at the All Progressives Congress; APC- led Federal Government of President Muhammadu Buhari for the anomaly they have turned Niger-Delta Development Commission, NDDC, the oil region’s development agency into with a Sole Administrator.

In Omo-Agege, Sylva, Oshiomhole, Amaechi’s court

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The poignant affair in NDDC is snowballing into a bigger problem for the Deputy Senate President, Senate Ovie Omo-Agege, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, former National Chairman of the party, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, ex-Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, and other leaders, who recognize the mounting resentment against the party because of the incongruity.

As the parties kick off their campaign for the 2023 elections, they know they have to assuage the anger in the region by getting President Buhari to inaugurate the governing board of the Commission as quickly as possible.

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All the four leaders mentioned are backing different persons for the different positions on the board of the interventionist agency and presently, their interests are allegedly clashing.

Observers suppose the influential APC leaders should harmonize their interests and approach Buhari with unanimity of purpose to do what they needed and save the party from the up-to-date murmurings in the oil region.

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Worried APC group sounds alarm bell

A group of apprehensive APC faithful under the auspices of Committed Members of the APC from the Niger Delta, recently, wrote President Buhari, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Obong Umana Okon Umana, and the APC leadership, expressing “disappointment with the delay in inaugurating NDDC Board.”

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The trio of Ebibomo Akpoebide, Menegbo Nwinuamene and Itam Edem, who signed the letter, frowned at the continued stay in office of a sole administrator in flagrant violation of the NDDC Act.

They pointed out that “the continued stay in office of a sole administrator to administer NDDC in “flagrant violation of the NDDC Act has damaging consequences on our great party, the APC, as we approach the commencement of electioneering for the 2023 general election.”

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“The ill-treatment of the Niger Delta region since 2019 has set the party back in many respects in the region, but we hope that in concert with stakeholders we can regain our footholds before the next general election, which is very crucial,” the group noted.

The group, gauging the mood of the people, cautioned, “As it stands, the APC cannot win an election in the region except they remedied these missteps.”

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The APC members, therefore, urged Obong Umana, to “take advantage of the confidence reposed in you to reboot and reclaim our party’s connection with the Niger Delta people after three years of the disastrous manipulation of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), with imposing interim management committees/sole administrator contraptions which have angered all stakeholders in the region.”

Decide with your vote – HRM Dakolo

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Chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Council, HRM Bubaraye Dakolo, Senator Chris Ekpenyong, former Member, House of Representatives, Chief Nduese Essien, and other Niger Delta leaders, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard on the saga, were, however, cautious about the next line of action, as advocated by some radical groups.

HRM Dakolo, who claimed Bayelsa is next to produce the managing director, said: “Nigerians will have several reasons to vote any party of their choice, NDDC board inauguration, or no inauguration. It is not just to appoint anyhow people in the board; they must be credible people with tested track- records. They should do it before it is too long.”

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“The impunity of having perhaps a Sole Administrator for so long and all this, I believe, will be part of what decisions Nigerians in the South- South will use in making their choice of who will govern them.

“However, for those of us who are traditional rulers and the level we are, we cannot take sides and to that extent, I will not say that anyone should vote to right or left publicly I shouldn’t do that. Citizens should interrogate their minds vis-à-vis what they witnessed in the recent years, record of accomplishment of those canvassing for their votes, and use that as a basis of voting in leadership.

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Therefore, Nigerians, the South- South, and Niger Deltans should know like everyone else that the direction you place your vote would determine the quality of life you enjoy, so everyone should vote wisely.

Vote out APC – Sen Ekpenyong

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The senator representing Ikot Ekpene senatorial district, Senator Christopher Ekpenyong, who is a PDP chieftain, advised: “I am speaking as a lawmaker of the upper chamber, who by the grace of God was in the Senate that screened and confirmed the list of nominees of board of the NDDC in 2019 that was submitted to it by President Muhammadu Buhari.

”But as soon as they appointed Godswill Akpabio the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, President Buhari withdrew his announcement of those nominees confirmed for the NDDC Board. We did not know why the president withdrew his announcement.

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“As the people’s representatives, we did not oppose the list of nominees for progress and growth of the NDDC. Pressure groups like PANDF have been urging the president to inaugurate the board.

“For refusing to honour the demand of the Niger Delta people, all we should do is to use our weapon, which is the permanent voter’s card, PVC that we have to vote out the APC from power and vote in PDP in 2023 because that is the party known as government of the people and for the people,” he said.

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Desecrated Act – Hon Essien

However, former House of Representatives member, Chief Essien, who showed the next Managing Director of NDDC, ought to come from Delta state, said: ”What I will say is that after the first board , subsequent administrations have bastardized the NDDC Act. They are no longer following some of the Act, one of which was that the managing director, the executive directors, and the commissioners should come from the oil producing areas of the states.”

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”They have surreptitiously abandoned that provision by picking some commissioners from non -oil producing areas of the states. Then, it came to a point they started appointing managing directors, who are not from the oil producing areas of the states.

“Now, the proposal by the current government is to even pick the Managing Director, the Executive directors from outside the Act. The Act provides that the Chairman of the Board should come from the states in alphabetical order, which they have not followed consistently.

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“The next one should come from Delta, after Cross River state. In addition, the executive directors were to come from the largest oil producing state. However, the proposal from the current administration intends to appoint the Managing Director from outside the four states.

“If this government wants to accommodate the states outside the four largest oil- producing States, they should take an amendment to the National Assembly, to amend the Act. The current administration, having bastardized the Act successfully, now wants to disregard the Act establishing the NDDC. That is the consequence of what we are facing today.”

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Waste of time —Nsuke, Nwauju

MOSOP president, Nsuke, asserted: “”The law establishing NDDC needs review to give it more powers to intervene in addressing critical issues affecting the region than just having it as a conduit pipe, more or less a palliative ministry for some Niger Delta leaders. We should be more concerned about the failure of NDDC than the scuttle for inauguration of its governing structure, which to me, is some desperation to raise money for 2023 elections.”

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Spokesperson of Niger Delta Rights Advocate, NDRA, Darlington Nwauju, intoned: “It depends on the context of time frame. It is fair to have a board inaugurated, but where Federal Government convinces us it has not concluded forensically auditing of NDDC, it should not be under sole administrator, Effiong Akwa, that was shipped into managing NDDC by Senator Akpabio for selfish reasons.”

N’Delta has taken a decision —Onuesoke

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Though APC and President Muhammadu Buhari have proven to be insensitive to the wishes of the people from Niger Delta, Onuesoke said: “At the moment, there is nothing much one can expect from a government that has consistently and intentionally taken the people for granted. No government in the history of Nigeria has taken the people of Niger Delta for a ride like the APC/Buhari is currently doing.”

“There is no amount of justification for their failures to make up the initial recommended and statutory board members as forwarded by the people of Niger Delta. The next one month should see the government inaugurating the board members recommended by the people and make a firm commitment to allow the board work in the short time they have.

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“The picture is written on the wall, it does not matter if they make up it now or not, the region has collectively rejected the APC in the forthcoming election. There is absolutely no doubt about that and we are just waiting for 2023 to show the world that the people of Niger Delta and Nigeria have outrightly rejected the APC,” he added.

No protest —Unagha

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Alhaji Unagha ruled out a demonstration, saying, “We will not protest. We will always appeal to Mr President to do whatever he thinks is good, especially having few months to go. This government is the worst I have ever seen. This government swore to defend its people and fight corruption, but corruption has overwhelmed it. We cannot fight security, what a shame.”

“Buhari will leave a terrible legacy of corruption, hunger, and insecurity. I regretted ever working for him, no apology,” he said.

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Source: Vanguard

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Kenyan socialite Vera Sidika removes butt implants, warns girls over body enlargment + Photos

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By Francesca Iwambe

Kenya socialite and social media personality, Vera Sidika has advised young girls not to allow peer pressure to plunge them into activities that could ruin their future.

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Sidika gave the advice via her post on her verified Instagram page

Her advise followed her latest surgery to reduce her butt size as she admonished young girls to appreciate their natural bodies.

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The 33-year-old social media influencer previously had butt implants which gave her a well-endowed body but had to remove them due to medical complications she had suffered.

“Due to health risks and complications, I had to undergo surgery,” Sidika said.

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In the extensive revelation on social media, Sidika said she was fortunate to be alive while attributing this to God’s love for her as well as appreciating her husband and other members of her family.

Sidika said: “THE REBIRTH …This has been the hardest phase in my life. Due to health risks, I had to undergo surgery. It’s still very unbelievable. But I’ve come to terms with it and learnt to love myself regardless.

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“Ladies; please learn to love yourself and don’t ever let peer pressure rush you into things that will ruin you in future. I’m lucky to be alive, God loves me so much.

Honestly, it’s been pretty hard, I didn’t even celebrate my birthday this year, but here we are.

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“Happy birthday to me. New me. I’ve come to appreciate life and never take things for granted. Thanks to my family, especially my husband for being there for me. To my fans: I am still the same sweetest. Vera Sidika and that hasn’t changed. I appreciate y’all love and support and pray you will walk through this journey with me.

“I will be posting my surgery journey videos here, for those who have been thinking of getting booty surgery or changing anything on their bodies this might change your mind. Peace and Love.”

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ECOParl: MPs Say Covid-19, Russia-Ukraine War, Low Import Duties, Reason For Low Remittances of Community Levy

ECOWAS
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By Gloria Ikibah

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Parliament, have attributed the causes of low remittance of community levy by member states to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, low import inflow, the effect of Covid-19 on the global economy leading to recession among other factors.

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Speaking with Journalists at the ongoing 2nd Extra-Ordinary session of the ECOWAS Parliament in Lome, a cross-section of Parliamentarians from different countries also blamed the development on negligence on the part of some member states.

The Ghanaian Head of Delegation, Hon. Alexander Afenyo Markin, asserted that the current economic downturn experienced across regions is a major deterrence to remittance of levies.

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“Without attempting to speculate, I should think that the recent downturn in business is a result of economic crisis leading to low import could be a factor, in the sense that now we are having this Ukraine- Russia war which came just after COVID obviously import have come down, it has reduced drastically, and this levies are imposed on import at our Ports so obviously.

“It could also be the slow pace at which member states transmit or transfer such levy as collected so we need that political will from the Commission, the Heads of States, or those responsible for this, and those coordinating to ensure that these levies as at when they are collected are transmitted to ECOWAS on time.

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While MP from Seirra-Leon, Hon. Veronica Sesay said the possible cause of countries non-remittance of levy was negligence.

“This could be out of negligence. We cannot move, we cannot succeed, even ECOWAS Parliament committees cannot come to Lome or go to Abuja without paying of levies, and that is why we are asking the other member states to pay their levies because it is sometimes unfair if others pay their levies on time then you benefit on time, so I don’t want to call it parasitic because we have to work together as a team”, she said.

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Hon. Adjaratou Traore from Cote d’Ivoire said, “without the community levy there will be no ECOWAS Parliament, there will be No ECOWAS Commission, every country need to contribute, we have to make sure our government take this issue very seriously to make the operation of the regional body smooth, so all Member States have to work hard on it”.

Similarly, Nigerian Delegate to the session, Sen. Smart Adeyemi said, “There is a global economic recession now, I think as the economy improves maybe next year, some of these West African Countries will be able to meet up their obligation to the ECOWAS Parliament”.

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Hon. Siryon from Liberia added “the pandemic came in and interrupted countries economic plans, I feel that is the reason why some of them have not been able to pay, no matter what, they have to pay, if they have problems, they have to come to us, they have to come and let ECOWAS know the problem, they put the Act together, they sign it and I believe that they will pay” she said.

The Parliamentarians furthermore called for mechanism to be put in place to fast track payment by making sure that such funds come to the Commissions by the use of technology.

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They also believe that, bureaucracy of collection and transmitting should be eliminated by creating a network which will automatically ensure that ECOWAS and other institutions receive their payment directly from the Member States once charges are made in their Ports. That according to them will be one way of resolving that issue of non-remittance of community levy.

“There will be no excuses as to what the Member States have collected and refused or delayed. It is these levies that are used for capacity building, for all activities, for stability and for work to progress, and also for salaries of workers, our community institutions depend on this levy, that is our only source of income and funding for our activities as a Sub-Region, for me, it is a key thing that must be considered”.

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North Korea fires two missiles, blames US

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North Korea fired two ballistic missiles Thursday and claimed its recent blitz of sanctions-busting tests were necessary countermeasures against joint military drills by the United States and South Korea.

As the United Nations Security Council met to discuss Pyongyang’s Tuesday launch of an intermediate-range ballistic missile over Japan, North Korea blamed Washington for “escalating the military tensions on the Korean peninsula”.

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The recent launches — six in less than two weeks — were “the just counteraction measures of the Korean People’s Army”, Pyongyang’s foreign ministry said in a statement Thursday.

Seoul, Tokyo and Washington have ramped up joint military drills in recent weeks, including large-scale naval manoeuvres and anti-submarine exercises.

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