Deputy National Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Mr. Yekini Nabena, has reacted to recent threats by Niger Delta militant groups to blow up oil installations and facilities in the region over a purported plan to take away supervision of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) from the Ministry of Niger Delta to the Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF).
Nabena said Nigerians should hold the former NDDC Managing Director, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa, responsible if the militant should carry out the threat of bombing oil installation in the oil rich states.
The militants in Niger Delta on Monday threatened to cause collateral damage to oil installations and facilities in the region should the Federal Government go ahead with the purported plan to take away supervision of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), from Ministry of Niger Delta to the Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The threat came in a statement by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) and the coalition of nine militant groups “We will bring the nation to its knees and return Nigeria to the era of another recession if the Secretary to Federal Government and the so-called selfish self- centered, greedy power- drunken politicians refuse to stop their evil arrangement.”
But speaking with newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday, Nabena accused the former NDDC boss, Prof. Nelson Brambaifa and his political masters of attempting to destabilize the oil-rich region through unconstitutional manoeuvres to control the NDDC.
The APC chieftain, however, called on security agencies to investigate the activities of Brambaifa and the people he described as Brambaifa’s ‘political masters.’
Nabena said: “I will only urge the Federal Government not to take the threat coming from the militant group as mere threat. Any action by these individuals capable of destabilising the fragile Niger Delta region must be taken seriously.
“We cannot afford to go back to era of bombing and destroying government facilities in the Niger Delta because of the selfish interest of the few,” Nabena stated.
When asked to name who are the Brambaifa’s political masters, the APC deputy spokesman said: “The brains behind the dissolution of the NDDC board and the appointment of Professor Nelson Brambaifa as the acting Managing Director in January know themselves and it is public knowledge. They are the ones attempting to destabilise the Niger Delta region with their selfish plan to continue control of the NDDC.”
Nabena also urged the Niger Delta youths to embrace peace and not allow themselves to be used by some persons to disrupt the peace and development of the oil-rich region.
“Our people should know that this President Muhammadu Buhari means well for the Niger Delta. People should stop reading political meaning to any action taken by the government,” he stated.
President Muhammadu Buhari recently approved the composition of the new Board of the NDDC with former Deputy Governor of Edo state, Dr. Pius Odubu as Chairman, Mr. Bernard Okumagba as Managing Director, Engr. Otobong Ndem as Executive Director (Projects) and Maxwell Okoh as Executive Director (Finance and Administration).
NCDC To Establish Molecular Lab In Nasarawa
The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is to establish a molecular laboratory and an Emergency Operation Centre in Nasarawa State.
NCDC Director-General, Chikwe Ihekweazu, disclosed this on Wednesday during a visit to Governor Abdullahi Sule at the Government House in Lafia, the state capital.
The laboratory will be set up at the Dangerous Disease Diagnostic Centre in the state.
According to the health agency, the state has 234 confirmed cases of coronavirus disease.
In its latest update on July 8, NCDC noted that 113 people have recovered from the virus while eight have succumbed to COVID-19.
Two Soldiers Killed, 17 Boko Haram Terrorists Neutralised In Borno
Two soldiers and four others of the 25 Task Force Brigade deployed at Damboa have lost their lives during an encounter with Boko Haram terrorists in Borno, Northeast Nigeria.
The Coordinator of Defence Media Operations, Major General John Enenche, confirmed this to Channels Television in a statement issued on Wednesday.
According to him, the soldiers in conjunction with elements of Sector 2 Special Forces while on clearance operations along Damboa -Maiduguri Road, made contact with a Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals’ ambush team along their axis of advance.
The defence spokesman noted that the attack which occurred on July 7, left at least 17 terrorists dead, adding that several others were believed to have been injured.
“In the aftermath of the encounter, 17 Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals were neutralized as several others were believed to have narrowly escaped with varying degrees of gunshot wounds while a cache of arms and ammunition were equally captured by the gallant troops.
“Regrettably, 2 valiant soldiers paid the supreme price while 4 others were wounded in action,” the statement partly read.
Enenche explained that the injured “soldiers have been evacuated to a military medical facility and currently responding positively to treatment.”
Meanwhile, the Theatre Commander of Operation Lafiya Dole has been “directed to immediately deploy a Special Forces Battalion to reinforce and dominate Damboa – Bulabulin – Maiduguri axis.”
This, according to the defence spokesman is to “completely deny the terrorists any chance of escape during the final assault against the criminals.”
Reacting to the development, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai commended the “troops for their resilience and patriotism in crushing the remnants of Boko Haram/Islamic State’s West Africa Province criminals.”
He, however, asked them to sustain the onslaught against the “criminals as we approach the end of the insurgency in our country.”
Domestic Flight Operations Resume In Lagos And Abuja
Flight operations in Lagos State and the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja have resumed after over three months of being shut down following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, the turnout of passengers was low as press monitored activities at the domestic wing of the Murtala International Airport, Lagos.
Passengers were seen with their masks on, observing social distancing and adhering to other COVID-19 protocols.
It was gathered that only five airlines have been given approval to fly.
Meanwhile, in Abuja, passengers were also seen arriving at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport to board flights to Lagos.
The Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 gave the go-ahead for the commencement of domestic flights following approval by the president, as the second phase of the eased lockdown was extended by another four weeks.
On July 1, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika announced that the Abuja and Lagos airports will resume domestic operations on July 8, while the Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri airports would resume on the 11th.
Other airports are also expected to resume operations on the 15th.
Sirika, however, noted that a date for the international airports will be announced in due course.
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