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Peace in Niger Delta, increase in oil production, achievements under Buhari – Kachikwu

The prevailing peace in the Niger Delta, which has led to the increase in oil production and revenue to the country, is one of the many achievements of the Buhari-led administration.

This was stated recently by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, who added that President Muhammadu Buhari’s integrity and sterling performance would speak for him, even as Nigerians prepare to vote in Saturday’s presidential elections.

Speaking further, Kachikwu said the administration of Muhammadu Buhari has facilitated development in the Niger Delta region, which has led to the increase of oil production and revenue to the country, assuring that the federal government will continue to maintain the Amnesty Programme in the Niger Delta.

He further said that the Federal Government has made impressive mark on the economy, agriculture, security, transportation and roads infrastructure among other commendable projects nationwide.

According to Daily Trust, the minister said this at the unveiling of the Buhari Support Organisations (BSO) on Wednesday in Asaba, Delta State. He stated that President Buhari would never support anybody to rig elections.

Op-Ed: Maritime University, Ogoni Clean-up, Modular refineries… Buhari administration’s achievements in Niger Delta

The development in the Niger Delta under the Buhari administration through its New Vision is restoring peace and curbing the decadence that initially enveloped the region, writes Mary Oyibocha-Agbajoh in the Vanguard

 

Leadership is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal. However, it requires a lot of hard work and sacrifice so as to meet up the people’s expectations.

This sole reason, requires leaders not just to understand the plight of the people they serve but also have a firm grip on issues affecting the masses so as to ensure a smooth transition and growth of the capacity of the people they serve.

Having this capability puts you in the top 1% of leaders and is a skill President Muhammadu Buhari internalizes even though some partisan individuals of influence are feeding a wrong message about the agenda of the President, because over the years our mindset as a country and people was used to a system where anything goes and rot is left unchecked.

Therefore, the process of re-evaluating, strategizing and taking a bold step forward is what the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is establishing as a foundation unto greater achievements. To prove wrong critics on the Buhari administration, take a look at the establishment of the New Vision for the Niger Delta, which is geared towards enhancing the well-being of the people in the region.

This administration saw to the actualization and take off of the Maritime University Okerenkoko, Delta State. The University got functional approval by the National University Commission (NUC), to commence undergraduate programme, effective from 2017/2018 session, and commenced academic activities on the 12th of April 2018. To ensure that the university enjoys privileges as other federal university Buhari approved an increased in the take – off grant allocated to the Maritime University Okerenkoko Delta State from N2billion to N5billion. Similarly, in November 2017 another N1billion was approved by the President to aid the support of essential infrastructural works and staff recruitment in the university.

In furtherance to reducing the epidemic of oil pollution in the Niger Delta area the administration launched the Ogoni clean-up project, and it set aside $ 170million USD for the clean-up. The Ogoni clean-up project is being managed by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) of the Federal Ministry of Environment. To enhance the remediation work President Buhari – led administration trained graduates from Ogoni land, who studied Environmental Science. The administration also flagged off the Ogoni Health Outreach Programme and about 5,815 patients were attended to and 65 surgical cases treated.

The amnesty programme feared to be abolished took a whole lot of people by surprise as an additional N35billion was approved for the rehabilitation and sustainability, re- integration of ex- agitators of the Niger Delta area.  The indigenes of the communities were not left out, as they were given full academic scholarship in other to attain quality education with monthly stipends.

The unemployed youths today in the Niger Delta region are hopeful for a brighter future, as the Buhari led administration through the N- Power scheme has put a smile on their faces by empowering them with N30, 000 monthly allowances to ensure their wellbeing. The N- Power initiative has in no small measures curb youth restiveness in the area.

The license to operate modular refineries given under administration, would see to eradication of unemployment in the region by creating more jobs, business opportunities which will be of essential benefit to the youths in the region and Nigeria as a country, when the refineries kicks off.

Aware of the importance of infrastructure and good road network in the socio- economic development of a society, the Buhari administration has ensured the resumption of all abandoned projects awarded to different contractors across the Niger Delta region 2006, including the East West Road and the second Niger Bridge both projects are at the phase of completion.

It was the Buhari led administration that flagged off by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo the N120 billion Bonny – Bodo road project.

To ensure that there is no scarcity of food, and the prices are affordable for the masses the administration gave priority to the Agricultural sector, by setting presidential initiatives to boost it in the nine states of the Niger Delta Region and Enugu. The administration has completed six cassava processing plants in Bayelsa, Rivers, Abia, Ondo, Cross River and Imo states. In acquiring skills, the hand of this administration is feasible in the areas of business, trade, and craft.

One hundred and thirty youths in the Niger Delta were trained on poultry, agriculture, crop production and were given N1 million naira each by the Buhari- led administration. This contributed to the complete phase out of youth restiveness. Women who specialized in poultry and snail production were empowered between 350k- 500k each to start up business. Other women were trained in ICT and business hub, poultry and fish production.

Recently the Presidential Amnesty Programme commissioned a vocational in Agadagba – Obon Ese Odo Local Government Area, Ondo State for training the youths in oil and gas related field.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo paid a visit to the Niger Delta region where he met with elders and discussed with them, as regards restoring peace in the region.

The administration through the Ministry of Petroleum headed by President Muhammadu Buhari as the Petroleum Minister introduced the Nigerian Gas Flare Commercialisation Programme, which was aimed at addressing the exit of gas flaring in the Niger Delta region.

This administration has put frame work for community – based participation in the oil and gas pipelines, and the oil and gas assets in the Niger Delta region.

The development in the Niger Delta in this administration is in no small measure restoring peace and curbing the decadence that initially enveloped the region.

 

Culled from The Vanguard

We will drive a new vision for Niger Delta – NDDC Boss

*Rivers Monarchs laud FG, NDDC on development

The Acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, says the new dawn at the Commission is an opportunity to do things differently for the development of the Niger Delta region.

Prof. Brambaifa spoke during a reception in honour of the NDDC Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration, EDFA, Mr. Chris Amadi, at the Palace of the Chairman of Supreme Council of Ikwerre Traditional Rulers, Eze Blessing Wagor, Nye-Nwe Ali Isiokpo.

In a statement from the Commission, the NDDC Chief Executive Officer was quoted as describing the Acting Executive Director Finance and Administration as a worthy, brilliant and smart son of the Niger Delta region. “You can be sure that he would perform creditably in his new assignment,” he assured.
Responding, Amadi assured that the executive management led by Prof. Bambaifa would deliver faithfully on the mandate of the NDDC, stating that it would endeavor to enlist the support and cooperation of all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.

The Acting EDFA stated that NDDC as a regional development agency had been undertaking development projects and programmes for the benefit of the people of the region. He added: “I can assure Ikwerre people that we will do our best within the time available to ensure that everyone got their due.”

Amadi said that the NDDC Acting Managing Director had asked him to raise the issue of vandalized power infrastructure in Isiokpo at the next executive management meeting. He assured that the light situation in Isiokpo and other Ikwerre communities would be treated with dispatch.

He said further: “We are requesting Ikwerre people to identify areas that require intervention from the NDDC as soon as possible, so as to assist us to ensure equitable distribution of infrastructural development across the region.

“The Acting MD is from Bayelsa State, the Ag. Executive Director Projects is from Delta State and I am from Rivers State. What that means is that we will ensure that no state in the region is marginalized or short changed.”

Amadi said that as the new management team came on board, it realized that there were school desks and chairs that were already delivered to the NDDC for distribution to primary and secondary schools across the region.

He added that the management directed the immediate distribution of the desks and chairs for schools in Rivers State. According to the EDFA, the first schools to benefit will be those in Akpor kingdom. “We will continue in that vein to cover other communities in Rivers State since the Commission had already distributed the items in other states in the region.” He said.

Speaking on behalf of the Isiokpo kingdom, Eze Wagor, said the appointment of Amadi as NDDC EDFA was the first real “patronage” of an Isiokpo son since 1999. For this position of trust extended to our son, he declared: “We shall reciprocate and continually show appreciation and support to the Federal Government of Nigeria.”

Eze Wagor appealed to the NDDC to step up infrastructural development in the Ikwerre Local Government Area. He particularly pleaded for the rehabilitation of the vandalized electricity supply to Isiopko from the national grid, noting that “the entire area has been without power supply for more than 18 months.”

A thanksgiving service at St. John’s Anglican Church, Adanta, Isiokpo had earlier been held in honour of Amadi.

In the same vein, traditional rulers in Ikwerre, Rivers State have lauded the efforts of the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, in fast-tracking the development of the Niger Delta region.

Nye-Nwe Ali Akpor, Eze Aniele Orlu-Oriebe, who spoke at a reception organised by the Akpor Kingdom in honour of Amadi, at the former Akpor Grammer School ground in Ozuoba, Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, applauded the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, while commending the efforts of the NDDC as an interventionist agency.

“The NDDC has done well, so far, in delivering on its mandate of intervening to mitigate the infrastructural and other developmental challenges of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. We encourage this current management to do more, especially for the people of Akpor kingdom,” he said.

The NDDC Acting EDFA was also received in the palace of Eze Apara Rebisi of Port Harcourt, Eze Victor Woluchem XII, who was also full of praise for the Federal Government.

Amadi noted that the NDDC was more determined to fast-track the development of all parts of the Niger Delta region, including Ikwerre communities, noting that they “have a duty and responsibility to ensure an equitable spread of projects across the Niger Delta region.”

“I am here in dual capacity as an honouree and a representative of the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa. I am giving assurances that whatever is required in the area of infrastructural development would be done.”

Niger Delta: Maritime Varsity will boost job opportunities, save nation foreign exchange – VC

Nigeria would benefit immensely from the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, as it would boost job opportunities for Nigerian professionals in the Maritime industry, and it would also save the nation foreign exchange.

The Vice Chancellor of the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, Prof. (Mrs.) Maureen Ongoebi Etebu,

stated this recently during a tour of the institution’s impressive teaching facilities and infrastructure at the take-off campus while she attributed the progress of work in the university to President Muhammadu  Buhari’s commitment to the region.

Highlighting the benefits the  nation is poised to gain from having the institution, Etebu further said the institution would save the nation a great deal of foreign exchange it hitherto spent on  training Nigerians in maritime sector in other countries.

She affirmed that the standard of training in the institution was at par with international best standards, negating the need to  further send students abroad to obtain such trainings.  She stated the university had registered with the International Maritime Organisation, a body that upholds the highest standard of maritime practice and training in the world. She further affirmed that the university,  which  is working in collaboration with the Caribbean Maritime University, has brought peace to the Niger Delta region.

She said,” We can now do local training and not send our citizens out of the country,  because we have set standards that can compete with  anywhere in the world; and  through NIMASA, we are registered with the IMO (International Maritime Organisation).

‘When you train cadets here in Nigeria you give them the exposure they can get abroad. Right now  we are  collaborating with Caribbean Maritime University and  we are also making arrangement with the World Maritime University in Sweden. We will be producing high rate cadet without spending any dollars or pounds which will save  our nation a great deal of foreign exchange,’ she said.

The VC, who was in the company of staff members, also affirmed  that  graduates  of the university would soon bridge the gap of local skilled  content in the maritime industry. She noted that such development would equally save the nation foreign exchange spent on the wages of skilled expatriate  workers. ” when you go to ships you hardly find Nigerians, but in another two years this would be rectified as we should have graduated our first batch from the department of  transport and logistics management and environmental management.  And in another three years we will be producing marine engineers  that can help man this area where we lack man powers.’

Etebu also  thanked  President Buhari’s  administration for its trail-blazing role in the development of the university. She praised the Federal Government for releasing funds for the continued development of the institution, noting that it was an indication that President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo were fully working for the development of the region.

She said, “The Federal Government has been magnanimous to us. We are grateful to the Federal Government for its support, without which, the maritime University would not have taken off.”

“Indeed, we have been able to start only because the Federal Government energized the process and release funds to the Maritime University. Recall that the His Excellency (Vice President) even visited here (Niger Delta) and we are grateful. You can see what we are doing with the funds that were released to us. And since the university started there has been peace in the Niger Delta region.”

In November 2017, President Muhammadu Buhari  approved an increase in the take-off grant allocated to the University from the N2bn earlier announced to N5bn. This sum was included in the 2018 budget presented to the National Assembly in November 2017. Similarly, an additional N1B was approved by the President to support essential infrastructure works and staff recruitment in the University in November 2017. The Delta State government has also donated two 500KVA generators to the University.

These grants have  in no small measure aided the take-off of the institution, which arguably boasts world-class teaching facilities which include: state of the art lecture rooms kitted with projectors and air conditioners, school laboratories, Olympic size swimming pool, library, ICT centre,  event hall, cafeteria, hostels, a health centre that also serves neighbouring communities, amongst others.

It would be recalled that the Maritime University commenced full academic activities in April 2018, when its first batch resumed lectures for the 2017/2018 session.

According to the VC, at least 300 undergraduates wrote the first and second semester exams in 2018.

As at January 27, the University has so far pre-screened 476 new students who have commenced academic activities for the 2018/2019 session. Of this number, the faculty of Engineering had the highest number of pre-screened students comprising 280 students.

It would be recalled that the University was granted approval by the National Universities Commission (NUC) to commence undergraduate degree programmes effective from the 2017/2018 academic session.

The NUC approved that academic activities commence in three faculties namely; Transport, Engineering and Environmental Management.

The Faculty of Transport has four departments, namely: Nautical Science, Transport Logistics Management, Marine Economics and Finance, and Port Management.

The Faculty of Engineering has five departments – Marine Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Petroleum and Gas Engineering, and the Faculty of Environmental Management has four departments: Environmental Management and Pollution, Meteorology and Climate Change, Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Marine Geology.

In October, last year. the NMU signed an academic partnership with the Caribbean Maritime University (CMU) at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, in the presence of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. Under this MOU, the CMU has offered scholarships to two students of the Maritime University.

Staff of the university also thanked the Federal Government for its  unwavering support  in making the university a success story, insisting that the institution would save  the nation a great deal of foreign exchange. Professor Francis Nwosu of the Department of Fisheries and aquaculture noted that the university’s output would in the long run  contribute to the economic growth of the nation, “Maritime university wants to develop  our human resources that will exploit the resources of the ocean and that will add to our nation’s economic growth.

FG, firm sign $100m concession agreement for Warri Port Terminal

Spurred by the desire to boost efficiency in port management, the Federal Government and Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited, on Tuesday, signed a concession agreement for Terminal B of Warri Old Port.

This is sequel to the National Council on Privatisation’s approval of the technical and commercial bid of $100.78m submitted by Ocean & Cargo Terminal Services Limited on June 18, 2018.

Mr Alex Okoh, Director-General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises, noted that the objective of the Federal Government in port concessioning, was to achieve efficiency in the country’s port management, with the ultimate aim of improved service delivery.

The BPE boss who signed the document on the government’s behalf also observed that the process was geared towards the modernisation of port facilities, while achieving reduction in the cost of shipping and clearing goods, an arrangement that would relieve the government of the encumbrances of financing the sector.

Okoh said, “In fact, the concession of the seaports in Nigeria represents one of the success stories of the privatisation and commercialisation programme in Nigeria.

“The concessionaire is expected to focus on these objectives as they perform their business. The government expects nothing less than strict adherence to the terms of the concession agreement from the concessionaire.”

“Consequently, the pursuit of your business objectives must be tailored in a way that will also assist in the realisation of these objectives,” he told the concessionaire.

Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, chairman, Ocean and Cargo Terminal Services, however, expressed his happiness as he signed on behalf of his company, the PUNCH reports.

Ms. Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), who was present during the ceremony also expressed delight at the conclusion of the concession of the terminal, noting that the concession of the port ‘is an important milestone in the economic development of the country.’

This crucial development once again reiterates the federal government’s unwavering commitment to the development of the Niger-delta, a region, which president Buhari’s administration has accorded great importance and initiated many critical projects.

#NDNewVision: PHOTOS of Modular refineries in Niger Delta

As part of the Niger Delta New Vision of President Muhammadu Buhari administration, two modular refineries in Niger Delta region are expected to be inaugurated by the end of this year.

OPAC Refinery, Umuseti, Delta State

Two modular refinery projects have commenced construction out of the 10 licensed projects identified for possible groundbreaking. They are the: Niger Delta Petroleum Resources – Establishment of additional 10,000bpd Modular Refinery in Ogbele, Rivers State; OPAC Refineries – to establish 7,000bpd refinery in Umuseti-Kwale, Delta State (phase one). Another refinery, WalterSmith (Petroman) – to Establish 5,000bpd refinery in Ibigwe, Ohaji, Imo State – is expected to come on board in the near future.

 

 

Niger Delta Petroleum Resources (NDPR) Refinery, Ogbele, Rivers State

The key objectives of establishing modular refineries in the Niger Delta region include the following:

  • To promote availability of petroleum products in the country and boost economic development nationwide,
  • To promote socio-economic development and  provide jobs for unemployed youths in the region, thereby sustaining peaceful coexistence in the Niger Delta,
  • To increase local content in Region,
  • To mitigate and eliminate negative environmental degradation associated with illegal refinery activities, crude oil theft and pipelines vandalism.

Ogoni clean-up: HYPREP commence provision of potable water in Ogoniland

Towards the implementation of the UNEP Report on the provision of emergency measures (water supply and health study), the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has commenced the survey and sampling of drinking water sources in the impacted communities of Ogoniland.

The exercise, which started in November and lasted for 10 days, was carried out from house to house and also within a radius of 500m from each impacted site. The aim was to ascertain the extent of contamination   of drinking water sources in the impacted Ogoni communities to obtain baseline data that will guide HYPREP in the preparation of bid documents.

A total of 600 water samples will be collected and analysed from 47 impacted communities across the four Local Government Areas of Ogoniland, namley , namely Eleme, Gokana, Tai and Khana.

According to a statement from the Project Coordination Office, “HYPREP will not leave any stone unturned in carrying out its mandate as it has continued to get the unwavering support of President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to ensure a successful clean-up of Ogoniland and restoration of livelihood.”

NDDC commissions Oku Iboku Roads, inspects UNIUYO projects

The Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, has inaugurated the 5.15-kilometre Oku Iboku Internal Road Project in Itu Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State. It also inspected the road and erosion control project which it is executing at the University of Uyo.

Speaking at the commissioning of the Oku Ibokun roads and drainage, the NDDC Managing Director, Mr. Nsima Ekere, urged the benefiting communities to be grateful to the All Progressive Congress, APC, administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement by the NDDC, Ekere was quoted as saying that: “I am very happy with what I am seeing today in this community. Oku Iboku is one of the very prominent towns in Akwa Ibom state. It has a history and pedigree. It is not wrong that the community was not even remembered before now.

“Recall that we have had various vilifications and attacks by the government of Akwa Ibom State. They have repeatedly said that NDDC has not constructed even one kilometre of road in Akwa Ibom State.

“Earlier today, we inspected the road that links Nsasak Junction-Akon in Essien Udim Local Government Area that connects Abia State. This is a 30-kilometre road project, out of which 15 kilometres have been completed. The contractor is currently working on the bridge to link both states. I saw 15-km of solid and quality road being handled by an indigenous contractor, who is also from Akwa Ibom State.”

The NDDC boss noted that the Commission also engaged a local contractor to execute the Oku Ibokun internal roads. He expressed satisfaction with the quality, stating that it would compete with roads in any part of the world.

Ekere expressed disappointment with the attitude of some officials of the Akwa Ibom State Government whom he accused of misleading people. He said: “Somebody needs to educate some of the officials of the Akwa Ibom State Government that as responsible officers of government, they should not speak until they are sure of their facts. Again, I repeat, NDDC is not competing with any of the state governments in the region. We are just here to complement the efforts of the state governments.”

The village head of Ikot Essien, Chief Evans Enwan, commended the NDDC for building a quality road for his people. He, however, pleaded with the Commission to extend the road to Mben Inyang.

At the 1.2-kilometre University of Uyo dual carriage access road, Ekere said that NDDC took on additional responsibilities when the university authorities appealed for help to tackle the drainage challenges on the road.

The MD said: “We include the 1.4 kilometres drainage outfall to address the challenge. That way we are sure that when the road is completed it will stand the test of time. Again, a local contractor has proved his mettle here and that is why we are committed to using them so long as they are qualified and have technical and financial capacity.

“We want to empower them to improve on their capacity so that ultimately they can engage the engineering graduates from our universities to give them hands-on experience in construction projects.”

Ekere commended the UNIUYO students for maintaining peace and allowing the contractor to work without hindrance. He promised that the NDDC would put in more efforts to complete the hostel in the university.

According the MD, “the hostel has been largely completed, what is left is external works and landscaping as well as a few finishing touches to the building. The contractor will meet the NDDC Director of Project Monitoring and Supervision so that whatever needs to be done is done urgently.”

Ekere stated that the NDDC was building hostel projects in other universities, adding that they were experiencing some hitches which would soon be resolved. He said: “Most of the hostel projects were awarded many years ago and the contractors unfortunately had not delivered on them. Some of them were awarded when a bag of cement was sold for 60 Naira.

“In some of them, the scope of work has had to be reviewed and the process of getting approvals from the Bureau of Public Procurement to increase the contract sums takes time. Right now, we are in the process of reviewing them to ensure that these projects are completed. We want our students to as much as possible study in comfort. NDDC is committed to doing whatever has to be done within its capacity to ensure that we add value to the educational system in the Niger Delta.”

He assured that the NDDC hostel projects in the various universities in the Niger Delta region would be re-activated as soon as possible and the contractors would be mobilised back to site to complete them.

 

Amnesty Programme catering to the needs of ex-agitators in Niger Delta, says group

*Lauds appointment of Dokubo

A group, the Forum for the Advancement and Upliftment of the Niger Delta (FAUND), has lauded the Presidential Amnesty Programme, which it said is fulfilling its key mandate of catering to the needs and aspirations of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta.

In a statement signed by FAUND President, Nimitein Oyibo, the group also commended the Federal Government and the President Muhammadu Buhari for the appointment of Professor Charles Quaker Dokubo as Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).

It also described Dokubo’s appointment as a step in the right direction for the development of the Niger Delta.

“As a leading Niger Delta stakeholder and renowned academic, Professor Dokubo has provided a new vehicle for the people of the Niger Delta to feel first hand, the gains of the Buhari presidency with respect to plans and programmes designed for the advancement of the lives of the people of the Niger Delta,” the statement read.

It further stated that less than 6 months into Dokubo’s tenure as Coordinator of the Amnesty Programme, “the programme has been returned to its cardinal mandate of catering to the needs and aspirations of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta who have chosen the path of peace, stability and progress.”

According to the statement, “The Reintegration of the thousands of young men who laid down their arms in the Niger Delta has been moved into new gear with new enthusiasm and commitment.

“Entitlements to these young lads are now being paid on time and empowerment programmes have been greatly reconfigured to ensure that the beneficiaries are equipped with the knowledge, skillset and tools they require to live productive lives.”

The statement added that, “At a time when political players and stakeholders in the Niger Delta have become so divisive and offensive, we commend the foresight of the Buhari government in the appointment of a leading technocrat, academic and progressive to the very sensitive role and position.

“Prof. Dokubo’s humaneness, humility, sense of purpose and commitment to the advancement of the Niger Delta has in so small way, helped to mold the conscience and consciousness of hundreds of thousands of Niger Deltans scattered across the 9 states of the Niger Delta.

“Since his appointment as Coordinator of PAP, Prof. Dokubo, a professor of International Diplomacy, War, Defence and Peace Studies, has won new friends and followers for President Buhari in the Niger Delta than all other political leaders in the Niger Delta.

“We call on all people of the Niger Delta to support the efforts of Prof. Dokubo in fixing the Presidential Amnesty Programme in order that it can be returned to the mandate for which it was set up for. The era of reckless petition writing aided and abetted by disgruntled contractors and stakeholders should come to an end. The advancement and upliftment of the Niger Delta must be the concern of everyone.”

Niger Delta: Navy destroys 1,000 illegal refineries in creeks

The Nigerian Navy Ship, DELTA, on Wednesday said it had destroyed over 1,000 illegal refineries with swamp buggies in the Delta creeks.

Speaking with newsmen in Warri, the Commander, NNS DELTA, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, said the illegal refineries were destroyed in the last 29 days in its ongoing raids.

He said the illegal refineries and the equipment were destroyed in Otumara, Ogbegugu, Okpuku creeks and Bennett Island with the aid of swamp buggies, amphibious vehicles used in traversing swamps.

“We decided to apply swamp buggies because they are more environmental friendly and make it difficult for the perpetrators to resuscitate the illicit businesses after crushing their facilities.

“So far the exercise has been successful and we will not rest on our oars until the illicit trade is completely eradicated in our maritime domain,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the navy had in the past relied heavily on the use of fire to destroy illegal refineries.

The commander said the use of swamp buggies would bring a lasting solution to the ongoing economic sabotage.

On Tuesday, the commander led some navy personnel and journalists to Bennett Island in Warri South Local Government Area of the state to monitor the operation.

He told newsmen that the oil thieves had adopted a new method to prevent his men from carrying out the operation.

“The perpetrators in Bennett Island set fire round the illegal refineries to prevent us and the swamp buggy from gaining access.

“However, we were able to find our way into the sites and crushed their equipment despite the thick smoke and rain.

“Since we started clamping down on the illegal refineries with the aid of swamp buggies, the perpetrators have been restless’’, the commander said.

Dewu said the saboteurs were already feeling the impact of the destruction.

“This might have generated the recent campaign for the removal of the Commander, Joint Task Force (JTF), code name “Operation Delta Safe,’’ Rear Adm. Suleiman Apochi, by the people.

“The campaign against JTF is a distraction; we will not be deterred,’’ he said.

He warned the saboteurs to desist from the illicit act or be made to face the full wrath of the law.