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Cover Stories, News

MEND Declares Resumption Of Violence Over Fake Letter Indicting Henry Okah

The dreaded outlawed Niger Delta militia group known as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has provoked a security scare with the issuance of a warning over its decision to resume violent attacks on some unidentified locations in the region over alleged existence of a fake letter used to indict Henry Okah at the South African Court.

According to MEND, theFake letter was allegedly forged by the Nigerian and South African Governments and claimed to have originated from the group ahead of the bomb attack on the Independent Day.

The statement of MEND signed by Jomo Gbomo stated that after a careful deliberation and other considerations of the facts of the case, they have resolved to launch a sustained attack on the region and code named Hurricane Exodus.

According the MEND, “wiith effect from 00:00Hrs, Friday 05, April 2013, The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (M.E.N.D), will commence with a plague of sustained attacks codenamed “Hurricane Exodus”.Hurricane Exodus is a direct repercussion of a forged threat letter contrived by the Nigerian and South African governments purporting to have originated from MEND. This fake letter was used as evidence against Henry Okah for which a thirteen (13) years sentence was passed.”

The group accused one of  the prosecution’s second witnesses and a member of the Amnesty Implementation Committee of exclaiming in court over the purported lack of genuiness of the  letter,”after failing to catch the prosecutor’s eye who wanted him to lie under oath.We are now determined to conjure this imaginary trumped up threat into a painful reality.The attacks will be sustained until an unreserved apology is offered to MEND and the Nigerian government shows their willingness to dialogue. The same way they are willing to dialogue with Boko Haram.”

Reacting to the development,the authorities of the Joint Military Task Force code named Operation Pulo Shield said though they are aware of the statement made by those they described as “some persons parading themselves as MEND”, “the people of the region are not in any bondage and therefore do not require armed struggle or emancipation as claimed by this threatening gang. “

“What Niger Deltans are in a dire need of now, is peace for sustainable development having emerged from the dark days of turbulence in the region. Informed by this development we have  effected some redeployment to tackle any upheaval. This set of people are advised to tow the path of law and order in addressing whatever grievance they have and to desist from any action that will upset the peace and development of the Niger Delta.”

” The good and peace loving people of the Niger Delta are enjoined to dissociate themselves, their communities and leadership from this unwholesome approach as portrayed by this group.”

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Crime, News

NSCDC Rescues 32 Pregnant Teenagers Arrests Proprietor In Abia

The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NCSDC) in Abia says it rescued 32 pregnant teenagers from a maternity home at Umuzuo, Osisioma Local Government area of Abia.

Mr Victor Ogbonna, the state NSCDC Public Relations Officer, made this known when he presented the pregnant teenagers rescued the home to newsmen in Umuahia on Wednesday.

Ogbonna said that the proprietor of the centre, Nnenna Mba, and two men – Mba Agbai and Chinwoke Mba , –  who allegedly aided and abated the act, were arrested by the NSCDC.

He said the rescue and arrest took place on April 2, at Umuzuo community while the teenagers and the owner of the home were around.

He said that investigations by NSCDC revealed that victims were induced to sell a baby boy for N100, 000, while a girl goes for N80, 000.

“More investigations conducted showed that the owner of the maternity home, in turn sales the baby boy for N450, 000, and a girl  for N400, 000,’’ he alleged.

Ogbonna said the NSCDC discovered that the home was established in 2009, but got registered with the state government in December 2012.

“In spite of the home being registered with government, investigations by our men revealed that the owner, hides under this to commit evil,’’ he said.

He said that investigations were ongoing in the matter.

Ogbonna said that the relatives of the victims had been contacted to  reunite them with their people.

The proprietor of the home denied claims that she induced the victims to sell their babies.

Mba said the centre officially registered with the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development, was meant to assist pregnant teenagers.

Chinwoke Mba, one of the suspects, claimed he was a member of the Abia State Vigilance Service, deployed officially to the centre.

He said that the NSCDC officials overpowered him before the arrest.

“I told them I was posted to the centre officially by vigilance service and since the arrest, the NSCDC officials refused to allow me contact anybody, including the state office of the service,” he said.

Mr Martins Idika, the Commander-General, Abia State Vigilance Service, told NAN that the unit commander at Osisioma reported case of the arrest of one worker on duty by the officials of NSCDC on April 3.

Idika said the matter would be adequately looked into to ascertain if there was any complicity by the worker.


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Business, Energy, News

Daura Residents Demand End To Power Outage

Residents of the ancient city of Daura on Wednesday called on the Katsina State Government to urgently intervene to end the persistent power outage affecting the town and its environs.

The residents made the call a week after the Emir of Daura, Alhaji Faruk Umar, summoned the PHCN Area Manager, Alhaji Ibrahim Dayyabu, over the situation.

A cross section of the residents who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Daura lamented that the area had remained in darkness for more than three weeks.

The situation, they said, had adversely affected socio-economic activities of the people.

They urged the state government to complete work on the Daura electricity sub-station, which was abandoned by the Federal Government for decades.

“The entire Daura emirate has not been enjoying stable electricity supply for years, hence the need for the state government and the PHCN to do something to address the situation.

“For instance, for the past one month we do not have electricity in our houses and no explanation was made by the PHCN over the situation, yet they send bills and threaten us with disconnection,” Alhaji Abdulfatah Mahmud, a resident said.

The Dan’Madamin Daura, Alhaji Abdulrahaman Dan’Malam, also appealed to the government and the PHCN to address the problem in order to reduce the suffering of people in the area.

NAN observed that some of the residents now rely on power generating sets for their domestic electricity needs and businesses, while others were forced to close down their businesses.

It was also observed that the incessant power failure had forced many operators of grinding machines in the town to operate with gasoline, thereby hiking the cost of grinding a measure of grain from N10 to N30.

Reacting to the development, the PHCN Manager in Daura, Alhaji Ibrahim Dayyabu, attributed the problem to the breakdown of some electricity transformers.

“Two transformers in Daura metropolis have problems, but we are working round the clock to repair them so as restore normal supply of electricity to the town.

“I have briefed the Emir of Daura on the situation.”  



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