The All Progressives Congress (APC) 2019 Delta South senatorial candidate, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan has said he wants to represent Delta South at the Senate in 2019 because of his desire to pursue quality legislation that will lead to the development of the district and the Niger Delta region.
Releasing his manifesto in Warri, Delta State on Friday, Uduaghan, who is the immediate-past governor of Delta State said he hinged his manifesto on four pillars which he called the JEW+P (Jobs, Empowerment, Wealth plus Peace).
In his words: “I salute you, my good people of Delta South Senatorial District. I seek your mandate and support to represent you at the Senate.
“Over the years, I was actively part of and at a time, head of a team that managed the development of Delta State. In those years the Delta State government through its various organs embarked on projects and programs in the areas of peace, human capital and infrastructure development that will lead to job creation and poverty alleviation. In doing this, we faced a lot of constraints. These constraints were mainly in the areas of non-existent extant laws to control the various processes that were put in place to fast-track the development.
“Efforts to bring peace and security to the area were mainly through engagements at various levels and the use of force. Both methods have led to a temporary peaceful environment. However, to attain a level of job creation and alleviation of poverty in the region that will lead to permanent peace, prosperity and a sense of well-being, there must be laws enacted to fast-track the processes of industrialization, wealth creation and a peaceful environment. These are the laws I seek your mandate to bring up at the Senate.
“My mission therefore at the Senate will be focused on four pillars which I call the JEW+P (Jobs, Empowerment, Wealth plus Peace).
Poverty alleviation through the creation of Job Opportunities for the people of Delta South at all levels.
Creation of Industrial Empowerment for the people of Delta South through the promotion and encouragement of indigenous participation, as well as, the use of homegrown technology in the oil industry.
Championing the creation of Enduring Wealth for the people of Delta South through the promotion of Community part-ownership of major and minor oil companies.
Promotion of Enduring Peace in Delta South through the involvement of local and community people in security and peacekeeping.
Do you know why the Jews prosper and flourish anywhere they are? They patronize their own. We can build a new Delta South Senatorial district by creating an environment that employs our talents and utilizes our God-given resources to flourish as a people.
As a former Secretary to the Delta State Government and a former two-term Executive Governor of the state, and also as I be Delta pikin, I know and understand your pains and your needs. You need room to express your God-given talents. As governor, there were a lot of things I wanted to do to open up opportunities and bring economic development to you that I could not do because I was constrained by the laws of our country. This was what fired my desire to represent you at the Senate. We come from a senatorial district that is massively endowed, and all we need to do is to use our imagination, and with the cooperation of our brothers and sisters from other parts of Nigeria, we will drive a New Vision for the people of Delta South Senatorial District. A New Vision that fully explores and exploits our strengths and endowments.
CREATION OF JOB OPPORTUNITIES
The unemployment level in Delta South Senatorial District is embarrassing, given that the region is the economic hub of Delta State hosting up to 72% of high impact industries, especially in the oil and gas sector. As a result of policy and security challenges which were beyond the state government, many of these industries were either shutdown or were operating way below capacity; therefore, many of the oil service companies in particular that used to give employment to a lot of our people, especially the youth were either shutdown or forced to relocate. For example, the major oil companies for so many years did not prospect for new oil fields and this caused a major disaster in the employment, economic and social life of the people of Delta South Senatorial District.
I believe that focused legislative interventions in the Senate can deal with these challenges and launch Delta South Senatorial District into a phase of development and expansion that will meet the demands of our people. Delta South Senatorial District can be galvanized and developed into the industrial base of the state by taking advantage of the oil and gas and the maritime sectors to create jobs for men, women and youths.
We are also endowed with arable lands that we can use to drive active investments and participation in agriculture and agro-processing. However, over the years, our lands, air and sea have been highly polluted by the activities of the oil industry, especially old pipes, sabotage and oil theft. The review of our extant laws to make them more effective and formulation of new laws in the areas of the environment to prevent further pollution of our air, lands and sea and also to clean up the already polluted environment will be needed to enable every relevant authority do the needful. This will encourage investments in agriculture and agro-processing.
ILLEGAL REFINERIES AND INDUSTRIAL EMPOWERMENT
I know that pragmatic legislation in the Senate can secure legality for the use of indigenous technology for small-scale oil refineries. Scattered all over the Delta South Senatorial District, as it is in many parts of the Niger Delta, are illegal refineries that make use of local technology that is damaging the environment, including soil, water and air pollution which has resulted in the soot crisis in our communities and cities. The legislation of laws in this area will guarantee best-practices and create jobs for men, women and youths in the region, directly and indirectly, in the value chain of crude procurement, refining, petrochemicals, product marketing, logistics, hospitality and other ancillary services.
About 6,000 illegal refineries were reportedly destroyed by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) in 2015. Some of these “refineries” were actually rickety science projects that are over-glorified by calling them “oil refineries”. However, among the thousands of illegal refineries, there must be some that are well set-up. Should a country that cannot put its four “legal” refineries in full working order afford to destroy its own indigenous refineries? Illegal refineries should be done away with, but those youths and women should be engaged in better set-up refineries. The illegal refineries that are being destroyed offer a lot of employment for the youths and women, which in turn, relieve the government of the burden of providing jobs for them.
I believe that there has to be a rethink towards the concept of “illegal refineries”. The so-called “illegal refineries” are a testimony of the ingenuity of Nigerian youths and women in their ability to creatively innovate, driven by the daily challenges of their existence. The ingenuity that has been exhibited by the operators of the so-called “illegal refineries” should constitute the foundation of technological breakthrough.
As the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, I will push for the promotion and encouragement of indigenous technology in the oil industry and also legislative backing to recognize and reform non-conventional refineries.
EFFECTIVE DISPOSAL OF SEIZED CRUDE
It is no secret that there is a high level of illegal bunkering activities in the Delta South Senatorial District like it is in other parts of the Niger Delta. There has been a lot of government security measures to arrest the situation. These measures have led to the seizure of stolen crude in various vessels, especially the wooden Cotonou boats. The current practice is for security operatives to burn these boats with the confiscated crude or dispose of seized crude oil on the high seas and the creeks. This is assumed to be the best way to discourage crude oil theft in the Niger Delta. Sadly, the destruction of seized crude has not only failed to solve
the problem but has contributed immensely to the degradation of the environment. Destruction of seized crude by burning or disposal at sea pollutes the land, air and water. Furthermore, it is a colossal waste of the nation’s natural resource.
I believe that the nation needs to evolve an effective way to disposing of seized crude without destroying it. This will achieve a three-pronged benefit for: (1) the oil industry, (2) the Niger Delta environment, and (3) the nation’s revenue.
Seized crude would be more beneficial to all if it is effectively
channeled back into the oil industry. For instance, it can form part of the stock made available to registered non-conventional refineries or even sent to the nation’s conventional refineries for processing into petroleum products. This will help the country generate revenue from seized crude, service the oil industry and reduce environmental pollution.
I also believe that effectively disposing of seized crude without destroying it will:
- Reduce pollution of the air, land and water in the Delta South Senatorial District;
- Enhance the availability of crude oil to registered
non-conventional refineries operating in the Delta South Senatorial District;
- and generate revenue for the country as a whole.
As the Senator Representing Delta South Senatorial District, I will push for legislative backing to evolve effective ways of disposing seized crude that will be beneficial to the community, the environment and the nation.
I am certain that articulate legislative intervention in the Senate can accommodate the youths of Delta South Senatorial District within the security architecture of the region. Community-based policing which entails professional security operatives working hand-in-hand with indigenes of the area to solve problems of crime and disorder is a recognized strategy of keeping peace and order worldwide.
Professional security operatives are usually deployed from
the central commands at the national level to Delta South Senatorial District. Most times, this entails posting of people who know very little or nothing about the terrain, to manage the security of the area. The result, in many instances, is poor security in the creeks.
The terrain of the Niger Delta has always proven to be a great challenge to conventional security forces. This has made their operations quite difficult and sometimes frustrating. As a governor, I started the Delta Waterways Security Committee made up of many of our youths who understood the terrain and could guide the security forces through the creeks when the need arose. These youths who were part of the communities were able to gather intelligence which helped the security agencies preempt planned security breaches arising from community hostilities and sometimes criminalities.
I propose that the local youths and community people should be involved in securing the pipelines and the keeping of peace and order.
Involvement of the people of Delta South Senatorial District in security will:
- provide employment and economic empowerment for the people;
- enhance the operations of the Federal security agencies in Delta South Senatorial District as the professional security operatives would be helped to effectively gather intelligence and also to navigate the area by locals who are familiar with the people and the terrain;
- reduce the level of crime and criminality in Delta South
Senatorial District of Nigeria; and
- promote a conducive atmosphere for doing business in Delta South Senatorial District.
As the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, I will push for legislative backing for the inclusion of the youths of Delta South Senatorial District in the security architecture of the area.
CREATION OF ENDURING WEALTH AND INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT: 5% COMMUNITY OWNERSHIP OF COMPANIES IN THEIR DOMAIN
The management of Nigeria’s oil industry will remain at the centre of the Niger Delta crises in the country, until the government evolves a realistic and permanent solution. This practical solution will be best premised on addressing the very heart of the matter. One of the reasons Nigeria’s Niger Delta crisis has persisted is related to disharmony between the oil companies and host communities. On the one hand, the host communities tend to make the operational environments of the firms in the oil industry hostile because of perceived or obvious unfriendly disposition of the oil companies to their host communities. While on the other hand, many of the oil companies are unhappy with their host communities on the ground that the host communities do not show understanding of the realities plaguing the oil companies. The above scenario is an indication that the problem in the Niger Delta, which significantly affects the Delta South Senatorial District, is an issue of mutual distrust and suspicion. By extension, therefore, if this mutual distrust and suspicion are addressed, there is hope for lasting peace and development in the oil industry and the host communities.
I firmly believe that one way to achieve lasting peace and development
in the Niger Delta is by community participation and ownership in Nigeria’s oil industry. When communities in the Niger Delta (including those in the Delta South Senatorial District) are allowed to be actively involved in the ownership and management of oil firms domiciled in their areas, they would have firsthand experience of the prospects and challenges in the oil industry and become more realistic in their expectations from them. This will STABILIZE the Niger Delta.
I believe that community participation and ownership in the oil industry will:
(1) enhance the security of infrastructure of the industry in the Delta South Senatorial District as the communities would not be hostile to their own economic interest; (2) create jobs for the people;
(3) benefit the participating communities and their environs by opening up opportunities for the establishment of service firms at second and third tier levels; and
(4) enhance effective management of the oil industry in the Delta South Senatorial District in particular and the Niger Delta, in general.
As the Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District, I will push for legislative backing to recognize community participation and ownership in the oil industry.
In addition to the above, as Senator representing Delta South Senatorial District of Nigeria, I will push for:
- Legislation on Constitutional role for Traditional Rulers.
- A collective agenda in the Senate to review extant laws bordering on Peace, Security and Prosperity of the Delta South Senatorial District and
- provide good and effective representation through a strategy of synergy and feedback with the people of Delta South Senatorial District. To achieve this, we shall hold town hall meetings every six months.
Why we re-arrested ex-judge Ofili-Ajumogobia in court premises – EFCC
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has explained why it re-arrested a dismissed judge of the Federal High Court, Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia.
A statement on Tuesday by its acting Head of Media and Publicity, Tony Orilade, revealed that Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia was re-arrested to enable the anti-graft agency to prefer a fresh criminal charge against her.
It added that the arrest was in line with the decision of the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, in a case involving Justice Hyeladzira Nganjiwa, where the court held that a judge could not be prosecuted until he or she had either been dismissed or compulsorily retired by the National Judicial Council (NJC).
The EFCC noted that consequent upon the fact that it had presented Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia before the NJC for disciplinary action and that the council had taken a position, it would approach the court to prefer fresh charges against her.
Ofili-Ajumogobia and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Godwin Obla, were first arraigned on a 30-count on November 28, 2016, on offences bordering on alleged perversion of the course of justice, graft, unlawful enrichment, providing false information and forgery.
They were later re-arraigned on an amended 31-count bordering on an alleged perversion of the course of justice, unlawful enrichment and forgery.
According to the anti-graft agency, the judge and the lawyer had pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against them, thereby setting the stage for the trial.
It revealed that it presented 12 witnesses and tendered several documents that were admitted in evidence by the court in the course of the trial.
The EFCC said counsel to Ofili-Ajumogobia who was the first defendant, Robert Clarke, in an application dated November 27, 2018, said the court lacked jurisdiction to hear the case and urged the court to discharge and acquit his client.
But counsel for the second defendant, Obla, Ifedayo Adedipe, told the court on January 25, 2019, that the charges preferred against his client could be entertained.
He, therefore, urged the court to separate the charges so that his client could continue with his trial.
After listening to both parties, the EFCC quoted Justice Hakeem Oshodi in his ruling as saying, “The issue of substantive jurisdiction must be cleared before the issue of no-case submission could be heard.”
The judge had further directed both parties to make their submissions based on the application on the jurisdiction of the court.
In his ruling at Tuesday’s sitting, Justice Oshodi stated that based on the judicial precedent set by the case of Justice Nganjiwa V. FRN, the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the suit as the EFCC “jumped the gun” in filing the first amended charge.
“As at Monday, December 11, 2017, the EFCC was aware of the decision reached by the Court of Appeal in Nganjiwa vs FRN. As at that date, the amended information was yet to be filed and the 12 prosecution witness was still giving evidence,” he was quoted as saying by the EFCC.
The anti-graft agency stressed that in view of Tuesday’s ruling by Justice Oshodi and having complied with the NJC procedure, it would prefer fresh criminal charges against Justice Ofili-Ajumogobia.
Amnesty Programme: My vision has paid off, says Dokubo
*As 20 graduate beneficiaries get NAEC Training
Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, Prof. Charles Dokubo said on Tuesday, that his vision of creating a Job Placement and International Partners Engagement Unit (JP-IDPE) last year has started yielding results.
He stated this in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, at the opening ceremony of a Train the Trainer (ToT) training on Nigeria Agricultural Enterprise Curriculum for 20 graduate beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.
The training programme is fully funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) Nigeria, and organized in partnership with the Presidential Amnesty Programme by Market Development in the Niger Delta (MADE), a non-profit project sponsored by UK-DFID.
Dokubo who noted that the partnership project was the first of its kind in the Amnesty Programme described it has historic, and expressed optimism that it will create pathways for other international agencies to partner the Amnesty Office.
“On my appointment and assumption of duty as Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in 2018, I studied the existing implementation strategies and realized that little effort had been made to extend a hand of partnership to relevant international organizations.
In order to rectify this omission, I created the Job Placement and International Development Partners Engagement Unit on May 2, 2018. I am glad that my vision has paid off today. The JP-IDPE unit network produced this MADE project that we see today and we look forward to having more of it”.
He disclosed that in a Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Amnesty Office, MADE agreed among others, to facilitate linkage between the Presidential Amnesty Programme and service providers working within its fisheries and poultry sector; provide a Train the Trainer (ToT) training for 20 beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme, and select the best five beneficiaries from the NAEC ToT programme for further training for them to become master trainers.
To ensure that the project is sustained, Dokubo said beneficiaries of the training programme would be certified as Amnesty Programme training consultants in all vocational and empowerment refresher programmes of Agric-based contracts, and future agric training programmes will as a matter of criteria utilize trained MADE beneficiaries as a requisite for their contract liabilities and payments.
“The JP-IPDE unit shall ensure that beneficiaries of this post-training scheme receive their full engagement package and are listed as engaged/placed in the database. This includes provision of office space and training room with the necessary office and training room setups through the already contracted job placement consultants.
It will interest you to note that since the creation of the Amnesty Programme, we’ve not had our own beneficiaries as training consultants, neither have we setup office/training rooms for anyone. This is an entirely new model that we have formed with the help of MADE and that is why I am here today. Each of these beneficiaries will be registered with the CAC as a consulting firm; provided with an office and training room, NAEC aquaculture and poultry kits, among others. We are hereby creating a business model with multiplier effects. I commend MADE, DFID and DAI for this project”.
In his remarks, MADE Team Leader, Mr. Tunde Oderinde, said the partnership with the Amnesty Programme is about the youth of the Niger Delta and the future of Nigeria. He gave assurance that MADE will back up beneficiaries of the NAEC training with mentorship.
“This initiative is not just another capacity building; it is handing over a business to our participants, just like the Coordinator emphasized in his speech, and you are actually our future consultants. The most important thing to learn about NAEC is that it is a tool that will help enterprises understand the problems around their business. It is not just one of those training curriculums; it is actually a tool to diagnose any problem in any enterprise. We are charging you not just to take this lightly but to see it as the future that is yet to come.
Within your engagement in the community and the sector you eventually settle in, some of us that will become the master trainers can begin to adapt this into other sectors. I want to tell you that it is not just garbage in, garbage out; it is about you internalizing what you are receiving here and turning it into business. It is not just going to be a training that you have PAP with time supplying you with people to train; you need to go all the way out into the market. In all you do, wherever you go, you must become the ambassador of NAEC”.
Also speaking at the event, a traditional ruler, Sir Edidiong Eyoh Nsuquo Essien, commended President Muhammadu Buhari for developing the Niger Delta region through the instrumentality of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. Essien, who is the Village Head of Nsukara Ufot- Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, expressed hope that beneficiaries of the training programme will live up to expectation.
UNIBEN scores another first, kicks off PGD programme in Forensic and DNA Analysis
One of Nigeria’s most respected higher educational institutions, University of Benin, UNIBEN, Benin City, Edo State, has scored another first in the tertiary educational sector in Nigeria as it recently commenced a post-graduate diploma programme in forensic and DNA analysis.
The development is another landmark achievement recorded by the institution under the leadership of the vice-chancellor, Prof. Osasere Orumwense FNSE.
The Centre for Forensic Programmes and DNA studies of the university provides high quality instruction and advanced hands-on training in forensic science techniques and crime laboratory methodologies.
Speaking at the orientation programme for the pioneer postgraduate students for the 2018/2019 academic session, the vice-chancellor, Prof. Osasere Orumwense FNSE, urged the students to be committed and focused so as achieve their desire of being forensic experts.
He noted that they are very fortunate to be the pioneer set while enumerating the effort made so far by his administration to ensure they get a world class standard of training.
Prof. Orumwense informed the students that he and other principal officers of the university recently traveled to the United States of America and Canada to sign a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Centre for Forensic Research and Education, Philadephia, U.S.A, Paleo DNA Centre and Lakehead University, Ontario, Canada.
In his welcome address, the programme coordinator, Centre for Forensic Programme and DNA Studies, University of Benin, Prof Edeaghe Ehikhamenor while congratulating the students added that the centre undertakes postgraduate diploma in forensic and DNA analysis (PGD Forensic) as well as other training such specialized short certificate courses in areas of DNA analysis and forensic science .He also added that the centre shall also provide services in DNA technology and forensic specialties for other departments within the university and other service/research institutions of higher learning in the country.
The dean, School of Dentistry, University of Benin, Prof. M. Sede gave a brief lecture on career in forensics alongside lectures by sub-unit heads on DNA Analysis, Forensic Law, toxicology, Digital Forensics, Forensic Accounting, Forensic Document Examination, Forensic Social Work and Forensic Nursing.
Some of the students expressed readiness to acquire all the necessary skills and assured the vice-chancellor that they will do the university proud.
Present at the event were principal officers of the university as well as staff of the centre.
A total number of 45 students were admitted for the programme which will run for nine months.
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