• Niger Delta Avengers are saboteurs —Osinbajo
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), on Friday, again wreaked havoc on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
The militants’ economic sabotage, this time round, was carried out in Bayelsa and Rivers states where the group said on its website,that its strike force had bombed Nembe 1,2 and 3 crude oil trunklines.
The group did not, however, mention the operators of the trunklines, but added that the attack was carried out between 3:00a.m and 5:00a.m suspectedly on Friday.
“At about the hour of 3am to 5am, the Niger Delta Avengers blew up Nembe 1, 2, and 3 trunk-line in Bayelsa/River States,” the group, in the post signed by its spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Mudoch Agbinibo, disclosed.
Spokesperson for the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Desmond Agwu, was said to have confirmed one of the attacks.
According to reports, Agwu said the attack took place at Lasukugbene, adding that one of the pipelines is operated by Agip in Rivers State.
Agwu was said to have further disclosed that operatives of the NSCDC engaged the militants in a shoutout after the attack on the oil installations.
The Avengers, in the post, also warned the public to be wary of frauds impersonating it on social media.
“We are still using this medium to warn the general public of impostors of Facebook accounts. Niger Delta Avenger is not on social network anymore,” it insisted.
Meanwhile, a non-governmental organization, Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), has condemned the continued militarisation of the Niger Delta region.
The NGO said the region has been turned into a battle ground as a result of confrontations between the military and adamant militants.
The group also expressed worries over the degradation of the region by pipeline vandalism orchestrated by the nefarious activities of the rampaging militants and the exploration and exploitative activities of the multinational oil companies.
In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Comrade Sheriff Mulade and made available to Saturday Tribune in Warri, Delta State, the group said “it will shock the public to know that well over 75 riverside communities are adversely affected as a result of the unabated bombings by militants, illegal bunkering and oil theft as well as the failure of the multinational oil firms to adopt environmental best practices.”
The NGO believes that the Federal Government’s reprisals on militants will further bastardise the region as the environment is the only heritage of the people and explains that the future generation will suffer greatly if the environment is completely destroyed.
The centre also carpets the International Oil Companies (IOCs) for starting the militarisation of the region when they engaged military personnel to man key and strategic facilities, thereby “using force to get what rightly belong to the people from them.”
It therefore reiterated the call for the Federal Government to engage critical stakeholders in constructive dialogue, saying it is the only way to resolve the simmering conflicts and restore enduring peace and security to the region.
Niger Delta Avengers are saboteurs —Osinbajo.
Meanwhile, the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbanjo, on Friday said the new militant group in the Niger Delta region of the nation, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) are saboteurs.
Osinbajo states this at the second annual Foundation Day Lecture delivered by him at Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Ondo State, titled: “The Future Is here, Earlier than We Thought.”
The vice-president frowned at the agitations of the NDA, saying that the group comprises individuals driven by selfish interest and questionable agitation to frustrate the anti-corruption war of the Federal Government.
He said “The Niger Delta Avengers are not freedom fighters. They are not fighting for the people, they are only fighting for themselves. You cannot be blowing up pipelines and making governance difficult in the state and say you are freedom fighter.”
The vice-president said that destroying the nation’s economy under the guise of fighting for human right will cause more harm to the nation and will aggravate the poor state of the nation.
While commenting on the frantic agitations by some states in the South for federal restructuring, he pointed out that he was in the Supreme Court for a minimum of 12 times to pressurise the FG to yield to the demands when he was the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Lagos State.
Osinbajo said the major thrust for restructuring and resource control, which is oil, has plummeted and is no longer sustainable as it used to be during the oil boom days.
He urged the states to manage the available resources and diversify their income, urging every federating unit, especially the elite to desist from comments that can destabilise the polity.
He said: “We must continue to engage ourselves but we must be very careful not to allow the elite to divide us along tribe and religion. It is not a tribal issue, not religion, we have to come together to show ourselves how to live a peaceful life.”
He however said that breakthroughs in science and technology are meant to make life better in the 21st century and listed the new inventions to include: robots, drones, self-drive cars, telemedicine, electric cars that wipll be commonplace before year 2040, having 35% of the new cars now fitted with electric charging ports.
He said the recent and most astonishing breakthrough was the 3D printers that was used recently by surgeons in Indiana University School of Dentistry to replace the jaw of a man damaged by cancer.
He explained that the technological breakthrough was also used to for the FG N-Power platform to train 500, 000 persons in three months, announcing that same will also be used to train 25, 000 young Nigerians in hardware, software and animation soon
The guest lecturer explained that’ the students to utilize the ample opportunities to develop themselves ahead of future challenges since the robot evolution is poising a great risk to human labour.
He said “Many jobs will be irrelevant, many skills will be replaced with smarter ones,” he warned, listing the benefits and preference of the robots by employers that “they don’t get tired, they don’t ask for sick leave and they don’t go on strike.”
He identified advanced teaching, learning and research as catalysts to smarter innovation, affirming that those who are not well read will be left out in the competition.
The VP urged them to embrace the principle of hardwork, diligence, integrity, saying “no one is too young or too old to be creative, time and chance which is controlled by the Almighty God.
“No more monolithic career. There is no question at all that the opportunity exists for young men. Anyone looking back for the old day is deceiving himself; the good old days are here and better future are coming, and the Future is here.”
Aleo speaking, a ondo state governor, Dr Olusegun Mimiko isaid the need for federal restructuring, formula sharing and other demands made by the state for more concessions for the federating units.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to be proactive in the agitations made by the 36 states and 772 local government areas of the federation.
Mimiko said the innovation and development in technology does not necessarily mean the lives of the people will be better if it is not driven towards the welfare of the people. He urged the FG to approve the demands of the state so that they can have enough money to build sustainable infrastructure for technological development.
Earlier, the Visitor and Founder of the university, Chief Michael Adeojo welcomed the guest lecturer, the royal father of the day, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Ooni of Ife and other royal fathers and dignitaries across the nation.
Adeojo pledged his commitment towards providing qualitative education, bringing the gap in foreign education overseas and raising responsible leaders for the development of the nation and Africa at large.