The Nigerian police has confirmed that unidentified gunmen suspected to be Niger Delta militants have kidnapped four British nationals in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria . . .
In response to the October 1 ultimatum (quit notice given to the Igbo) by 16 Coalition of Northern Youth Groups (ie Arewa youths) a coalition of nine Niger Delta militant groups have also asked the northerners to leave their region (south-south geopolitical zone) before October 1, 2017 . . .
I am under investigation for corruption – Ex-President Jonathan
In an interview with Bloomberg TV, Jonathan said that he could not make comments about the investigations.
“Of course, obviously, I would be investigated. in fact I am being investigated. Investigations are going on. I would not want to make certain comments because government is working.
It would not be proper for immediate past president to make certain statements. I will allow the government do the work. I wouldn’t want to make serious comments on that.
After all the investigations, the stories will be properly documented. I have just left office and I should allow the president and his team do what they think is best for the economy.”
– Former President Goodluck Jonathan
The former Nigerian president disagreed with claims that his successor, President Muhammadu Buhari inherited an empty federal treasury.
“It is not true; there is no way that he would have inherited an empty treasury and at the same time give bailout to the states. It’s not possible.
Nigeria is a fairly robust economy but sometimes, we over politicize some issues and make it look so bad. It was not that bad. Some people ask questions like I was the president of Nigeria since independence; I was the president for 5 years.
It is routine in Nigeria from the collapse of the first republic, people blamed corruption. When the second republic collapsed, the military blamed corruption. If there is a major change in government, one political party taking over from another one, there must be issues.”
– Former President Goodluck Jonathan
He said that his government could not tackle the corruption in the oil industry because of certain people – people he did not name in the Bloomberg TV interview.
However, he said about another industry: “In the area of fertilizer subsidy, we cleaned up and the corruption was removed. I wanted to do the same thing in the oil industry but the same people who are accusing us of corruption are the very people that were frustrating it.”
President Buhari jets to London for medical treatment
The president’s Twitter handle, @NGRPresident, tweeted on Sunday, “During the holiday, the President will see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist for a persistent ear infection.”
View the president’s twitter handle statement, below:
President Buhari proceeds on 10-day
vacation, from Monday June 6, 2016
NE | Report
Reasons Nigerian Banks Are Sacking Workers
Reasons Nigerian Banks Are Sacking Workers; Raymond Dokpesi Escapes Assassination, Police Detail Shot Dead . . .
Nigerian banks started trimming of staff to suit the economic situation. Last week, two banks, Ecobank and Diamond Bank sacked over 1060 staff citing economic downturn as reason for the cut. Reports say the recent sack has increased the number sacked bank workers in the banking industry in the past one year to about 8,500.
The federal government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, intervened and requested the banks to stop the sacking for now. Whether the banks have stopped sacking according to government’s request is open to conjecture.
Reports indicate that there are 7 major reasons why the banks’ are sacking, below:
1. The fall in global oil prices by nearly 60% from $115per barrel to about $44 per barrel in nearly 2 years, thus resulting in lower government revenues, thereby decreasing bank deposits.
2. The introduction of the Treasury Single Account (TSA) triggered the withdrawal of about N2.9 trillion of government funds from the banks and moved same into the Central Banks of Nigeria (CBN) vaults.
3. Nigerian banks are also faced with significant pressure from the abolition of commissions on turnover (COT), which came into force on January 1, 2016.
4. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has beamed its searchlight on the banks, leading to the arrest of some bank CEOs.
5. The banks are under allegations that they helped the Jonathan administration to launder public funds of over $115m into private pockets. As a result, some banks were forced to return some undisclosed amounts of money to the federal government.
6. The worsening foreign exchange crisis in the CBN, banks and the parallel market.
7. The current galloping inflation in Nigeria.
Raymond Dokpesi Escapes Assassination, Police Detail Shot Dead
Chief Raymond Dokpesi, the Chairman of Daar Communications – owners of Africa Independent Television (AIT) escaped death on Saturday in what appeared to be an assassination attempt in Abuja.
According to Signal NG, Sergeant Den Gaius of the FCT Police Command, a police detail attached to Dokpesi was shot dead during the operation by the heavily armed assailants.
The suspected assassins, numbering four were sighted in a Honda Accord car. According to an eyewitness account, they accosted the deceased in front of Child Care and Awareness Clinic at No 7, Fez Street, Off Kumasi Crescent Wuse 2 Abuja at 2.30am on Saturday, June 4, 2016.
The FCT Police Command was yet to officially react at the time of filing this report.
Tompolo is in Libya, we’ll get him dead or alive – Militant group
Tompolo flees to Libya . . .
Tompolo is in Libya, we’ll get him dead or alive – Militant group; Osinbajo to act as President for 10 days; Militant group threaten to bomb Aso Rock . . .
Tompolo, has fled to Libya, the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) alleged on Monday. The group which threatened last week to test six missiles in the Niger Delta states, beginning from tomorrow, said in a statement, below:
“The Military can’t locate Tompolo but we have identified where he is now.” Gen. Akotebe Darikoro, Commander, General Duties; Gen. Torunanaowei Latei, Creeks Network Coordinator; Gen. Agbakakuro Owei-Tauro, Pipelines Bleeding Expert and Gen. Pulokiri Ebiladei, Intelligence Bureau of JNDLF.
Presently, Tompolo is in Libya and we’ll get him dead or alive for betraying us in supporting the federal government against us.”
Osinbajo to act as President for 10 days
President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said he has transmitted a letter to the National Assembly intimating the federal lawmakers of his 10-day vacation starting today.
Buhari disclosed this while speaking to journalists at the Nnamdi Azikwe International, Abuja shortly before leaving for London where he is expected to attend to his ill-health.
With the letter to the National Assembly, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo is expected to act as President for the period Buhari will be away.
Militant group threaten to bomb Aso Rock
A militant group in the Niger Delta, The Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, has threatened to attack the presidential villa in Abuja.
In a statement on Monday, the group said it has listed key areas in the country to carry out its attacks and that occupants of the listed areas to “vacate urgently”.
Some of the buildings the group threatened to attack are the police headquarters, defence headquarters, NNPC towers, CBN headquarters, national assembly, military formations across the country, among others.
The group vowed to lay the foundation for the breakup of the country, adding that former President Goodluck Jonathan should not be brought into the rebirth of militancy in the Niger Delta.
The statement reads: “The followings occupants of these buildings should as a matter of urgency vacate in them immediately IN THEIR OWN INTEREST to save their lives because our fight is not for ANY HUMAN BLOOD but to destroy all those infrastructures that were built with our oil and gas monies in this country. We will make federal government and oil companies to suffer as they have made the people of Niger Delta region suffer over the years.
“We shall fire these Missiles’ simultaneously at the night, as this will enable every Nigerians to see the movement of the MISSILES and equally to believe us of our seriousness attached to the final breakup as predicted by the United States of America (USA).
“We equally advise the diplomatic community to be neutral on this issue as wrong comments against us will be seen as saboteurs. Where they are staying presently will not be affected which is not part of our targeted areas of destruction in the country.”
The militants boasted that the deployment of war arsenal in the region cannot stop them from operating, vowing to embarrass the air force.
They also warned oil companies from repairing destroyed pipelines.
“We shall embarrass the self acclaimed Nigerian Air Force with their recent deployment of fighter aircraft, helicopter gunship and surveillance aircraft when at this digital age, countries are talking about missile development, and they still condescend so low of their present obsolete equipment,” they said.
“Note, we are going to destroy the ones they have deployed to Escravos, Forcados in Delta State; Bonga oil field, Agbami offshore and Brass in Bayelsa; Bony in Rivers; Qua Iboe Terminal in Akwa Ibom State, and Opuekeba in Ondo State if they fails to remove them before time. Our crack team has taken inventory of their equipments. Even the present suffering from a rare ear disease known as Meniere’s disease by President Muhammadu Buhari will not win any sympathy to save our action against the federal government. The name Nigeria as a country will come to an end this week.”
President Buhari will die if he visits Ogoniland – Niger Delta Avengers; No talks with Niger Delta militants – Army; Buhari & Igbo leaders meet; Niger Delta Avengers destroy another Chevron facility; Military siege in Niger Delta creates pandemonium; Nobody Can Deny Fulani Herdsmen Access To Their Land – Prof. Abdullahi; Saraki’s CCT trial adjourned ‘indefinitely’; What Governor Wike Is Planning To Do To Buhari in Ogoniland Tomorrow – Rivers APC . . .
President Buhari will die if he visits Ogoniland – Niger Delta Avengers
A suspected member of a newly established militant group in Nigeria has warned the life of President Muhammadu Buhari is in danger if he visits the oil-rich Niger Delta region. In a recording sent to IBTimes UK, a man is heard saying during a phone conversation with one of the hosts of UK-based Radio Biafra, that Buhari “should sign his death warrant” before his visit.
Buhari is due to visit some states in south-eastern Nigeria to discuss with local leaders ways to tackle renewed violence in the area.
The president’s planned visit – which is expected to begin on Thursday (2 June 2016) – comes as attacks on oil pipelines blamed on the new group Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) partially halted oil production, and forced Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell to close at least two plants.
“Buhari is trying to visit Ogoniland, but he should sign his death warrant before coming to Port Harcourt or try to visit any state of the Niger Delta community, Biafra land,” the suspected NDA member said during the phone call.
“We are starting a dance he cannot finish. We shall dance like vultures. He [Buhari] has dared to wake a sleeping lion, but I promise him this time around if he tries to step his foot in any community of the Niger Delta, in Biafraland, he will not go back alive. Any Niger Deltan who will try to walk with Buhari shall also go to his grave that day. This is our assurance.”
Buhari & Igbo leaders meet
Twenty-four hours after the bloody Biafra Day protests, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with some Southeast leaders at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The 18-man delegation, led by former Senate President Ken Nnamani, included All Progressives Congress (APC) National Auditor George Moghalu; Senators Ifeanyi Ararume and Osita Izunaso and former House of Reps member Sharon Ikeazor; former Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Ernest Ndukwe.
Also in the team were the APC National Vice-Chairman (Southeast), Emma Eneukwu; Chief Austin Edeze; Dr. Uzoma Obiyo and Mr. Chris Akomas. The leaders arrived in a bus belonging to the Ken Nnamani Leadership Institute. They met privately with the President under the aegis of Southeast Group for Change. The delegation ýdeclined to speak with reporters at the end of the meeting.
Niger Delta Avengers destroy another Chevron facility
Militants at the early hours of yesterday dared the heavy presence of security operatives in the Niger Delta creeks and blew up oil wells belonging to the American oil giant, Chevron. The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) immediately claimed responsibility for the latest sabotage and said the action was to ridicule the Nigerian Army.
The Avengers wrote on their Twitter handle that “with the heavy presence of 100 Gunboats, 4 Warships and Jet Bombers, NDA blew up Chevron Oil Well RMP 23 and RMP 24 3:44am this Morning.
“This is to show the whole world that Nigeria Military is good in harassing innocent Civilians. RMP 24 and RMP 23 are Chevron Swamp Highest producing Wells. #Boom”
Spokesman for the militant group, Muddoch Agbinibo, had specifically warned Chevron not to dare the Avengers by going about to carry out repair the Valve Platform which the group earlier blew up. Agbinibo had stated that no repair should be carried out in any of the facilities which they attacked until their demands were fully met, accusing Chevron of insensitivity to the plight of locals within the creeks.
Agbinibo boasted: “We are capable of bringing down your tank farm if you continue with repair works on the blown valve platform. If you continue to undermine us and go ahead with the repair works you won’t see us coming but we are coming for you.”
No talks with Niger Delta militants – Army
Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has ruled out negotiations with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), arguing that the government’s strategy is to first smoke them out of hiding. Gen. Buratai spoke in Abuja yesterday at the “state of the nation conference” organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Gen. Buratai, who was represented by Major General J. Hamakim, justified the ongoing onslaught against members of the NDA. “I quite agree that dialogue is very important. But, where it is not too obvious that the adversary is ready to come out and talk, you can also force such a person.
“I think that is what the Nigerian Army is trying to do. Yes, we don’t know the group’s leaders for now. That is the only option. Possibly, we have to bring the people out to know who you can dialogue with,” Gen. Buratai said.
He said the activities of the group were affecting the nation’s oil production, which has plummeted to 1.1 million barrels per day.
Military siege in Niger Delta creates pandemonium
As the Nigerian military forces, from land, creeks and air assault various communities in the creeks of Niger Delta in search of oil pipeline saboteurs, scores of fleeing locals especially from within villages of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State are reportedly trapped in the bushes.
Controlled movement within the creeks by the military has compounded the woes of the fleeing locals as they can no longer get immediate help from friends and relatives outside the hostile area.
Reports are trickling out that fears of mass death of women and children of Oporoza, Kurutie, Kunukunuma, Kokodiagbene and some other villages near the creeks are now very high, as they continue to take refuge in the bushes without food and shelter.
Nobody Can Deny Fulani Herdsmen Access To Their Land – Prof. Abdullahi
The Spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and former vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, has said, under the Nigerian Constitution, nobody can deny the Fulani herdsmen access to parts of the country.
According to Prof. Abdullahi, the Fulani herdsman is a businessman like any other business person, who should have free movement and free access to the resources that are available for him to run his business.
Prof. Abdullahi said, inter alia:
“And if for any reason, somebody in one section of this country will deny him access then we have to take measures to response to that. We are not saying that if a herdsman encroaches on a farm land . . . and this has been the tradition here for years; when they do some crops get damaged and an assessment is made and they pay. So why all the petty attitude?
I see what is happening today as a new dimension to political and ethnic cleansing that if not carefully handled may lead to other big things. The Herdsman is a Nigerian his rights must be exercised as a Nigerian he has free movement like everybody else to pursue legitimate business and he cannot be denied access to any part of the country.”
– Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), & Ex-VC ABU
Saraki’s CCT trial adjourned ‘indefinitely’
The Code of Conduct Tribunal has adjourned the trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, indefinitely, after a star witness for the prosecution failed to show up at the court.
The tribunal announced the decision on Wednesday. Mr. Saraki’s trial was on May 25 adjourned till Wednesday, for the cross-examination of the witness, Michael Wetkas, to continue.
The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, said the adjournment was to give the court time to hear other cases. The prosecution and defence teams also said the break would allow them prepare their cases better.
A court official, who asked not to be named, told PREMIUM TIMES Mr. Wetkas was attending another trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja. The development is coming a day after an expected ruling on Mr. Saraki’s case at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, stalled after the court failed to form a quorum. The tribunal’s spokesman, Ibrahim Alhassan, later told PREMIUM TIMES that the decision was taken at the instance of the prosecution counsel.
“He said his prime witness one is to appear before another court to testify against another high-profile personality today in Abuja,” Mr. Alhassan said.
“Tribunal chairman was initially resistant to the request but we later asked them to make a formal request in writing and suggest a date which the tribunal would look into and take decision at its convenience. As I am writing you, I don’t have the knowledge of whether the letter has come to CCT or not.”
What Governor Wike Is Planning To Do To Buhari in Ogoniland Tomorrow – Rivers APC
The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has concluded plans to sponsor members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs and hoodlums to protest and disrupt the visit of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to Rivers State to flag off the UNEP cleanup of Ogoniland in the Nigerian Niger Delta on Thursday, 2nd June, 2016.
In a statement signed by the Rivers State APC publicity Secretary, the Rivers State opposition said, inter alia:
“It has also come to our notice that the protesters will disguise as citizens who have been mobilised to give Mr. President a rousing welcome on his visit before they will turn on their protests with placards and dangerous weapons with the singular purpose of embarrassing Mr. President, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Senator Magnus Abe, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and the All Progressives Congress, APC, amongst others.”
– Chris Finebone, Rivers State APC publicity Secretary
The party notes that it was solely political desperation that drove the Governor to hurriedly flag-off the dualization of Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road last week to deceive Nigerians that Wike cares about Ogoni people after sponsoring militants to kill them.
BUHARI VANGUARD SOUTH-SOUTH APPEALS TO NIGER-DELTA AVENGERS (NDA) TO EMBRACE DIALOGUE IN THE INTEREST OF PEACE & DEVELOPMENT FOR OUR REGION. THE EFFORTS OF FORMER PRESIDENTS HE Yar’Adua . . .