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Delta govt reaffirms commitment to peace in warring communities



Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Friday reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to ensuring that peace returned to warring communities in the state.

The governor gave the assurance when he received the report of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry into the disputed Okpe-Urhobo Forest Reserve from the Chairman of the Panel, Justice Tessy Diai at Government House, Asaba.

He urged communities with land disputes to exercise restraint in their disagreement, saying that “once lives are lost, they can’t be recovered”.

He said that government could only carry out development programmes when communities were peaceful.

Okowa thanked the chairman and members of the panel for the great job they did and gave an assurance that the state government would study the report with a view to implementing their recommendations.

“We must thank God for this day and we are glad that you finished your work and you did a very thorough job.

“Right from the beginning when the panel was constituted, we were sure that we had men with proven integrity.

“We are glad that you gave room to all manner and shades of opinion and that you also conducted public hearings.

“We are glad that a proper survey has been done because what we had before cannot truly be said to be a proper survey.

“We reassure you that as a government, we will study the report very quickly and put the recommendations to use,’’ he said.

Okowa said the state government had confidence in the recommendations of the panel and actions would be taken based on the findings of the recommendations.

“I thank the communities for allowing peace to reign during the period of the enquiry and I appeal to all warring parties to allow peace to reign as we study the report,” he said.

The governor appealed to affected communities to live peacefully, assuring that government would continue to do its best without sentiment to ensure that all communities in the state lived peacefully among themselves.

“We want to appeal to all the warring communities to allow peace to reign, allow us room to study this report, put all necessary things in place and government will come out with its position.

“It is with a peaceful environment that government can develop the state.

“I assure all Deltans that we will continue to do our best, God willing, to ensure that all our communities live in peace with themselves.

“I know that there are lots of areas in Delta where various communities are at logger heads with themselves concerning the ownership of lands.

“In some instances they have taken to battle but I will like to appeal to the leadership of our various communities that they should please ensure that whatever they do concerning lands, they should do it in a way that is acceptable,’’ Okowa said.

According to him, for communities to take to battle and lives are lost, obviously is not right because even when they settle and lives are lost, they are not able to recover such lives.

“We will continue to do our best and to ensure that without sentiments, we will assist them to live in peace.

“When the communities are at peace, Delta is peaceful and we will concentrate on developing the state,” the governor said.

Okowa thanked the security agencies for their role in ensuring peace in warring communities across the state.

He also commended the Special Adviser on Peace and Conflict Resolution, Chief Edwin Uzor, for his role in reconciling warring communities in the state.

Earlier, Diai while presenting the report, said that the panel conducted public hearing and received 11 memoranda and 16 witnesses on the disputed Okpe-Urhobo Forest Reserve.

She thanked the governor for the confidence reposed in the panel and gave an assurance that the government would find the panel’s recommendations useful.

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Minna district head suspended over forceful marriage



District Head of Allawa in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State, Mallam Bello Haruna has been suspended by Minna Emirate Council for engaging in forceful marriage.

The district head who was accused of forcefully marrying out a girl (name withheld), humiliating her father and also ordering that she be beaten by vigilantes, was also accused of insubordination by not answering the calls from the Emirate council leaders to explain some of the complaints against him.

In a letter signed by the Emirate’s assistant secretary, Usman Umaru Guni, the district head was accused of not having the leadership qualities necessary for peace and progress of the community he was appointed to lead.

Galadima Allawa, Ahmadu Magaji has now been appointed as the acting district head.

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Nnamdi Kanu: Imo residents observe sit-at-home for IPOB leader’s trial



Residents of Imo State, especially Orlu town and Owerri municipal, on Tuesday, stayed indoors to observe the sit-at-home order issued by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in solidarity with its leader, Nnamdi Kanu, who appeared in court today.

It was gathered that the state secretariat, motor parks, schools, banks, shops and markets across the major cities were all shut down.

Even the Imo State University junction, Government House Roundabout, Control Post Roundabout, Warehouse junction Roundabout, Ikenegbu, Mbari, Douglas, Okigwe Road, and Wethedral Roads, were scanty.

In Orlu, the ever-busy Banana junction and Okwudo junction were more like ghost towns.

A journalist, Mr Martin Nwoke, in Owerri North Local Government Area of the state, made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to release Nnamdi Kanu.

He said Imolites and the people of southeast states were the ones suffering the heat of the order.

Nwoke said, “In this part of the world, everything we do here involves money. I am begging President Buhari to pity us and free Nnamdi Kanu.”

A lawyer, Barr. Emeka Obi, told our correspondent that he could not go to file a court process due to non-availability of transport, while children, who could not go to school, resorted to playing football on the streets at Akwakuma.

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Plateau monarch abducted



Barely three weeks after the kidnap of a paramount ruler in Plateau State, the military task force responsible for the maintenance of peace in the state, code-named Operation Safe Haven (OPSH), has confirmed that gunmen have abducted HRH. Da Gyang Balak Gut, the Da Gwom Rwei of Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area of the state.

The traditional ruler was kidnapped on Sunday night on his way home to Vom, a few metres from the gate of the National Institute For Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru in Jos South LGA.

Recalls that following the abduction of the Sum Pyem, Da Charles Mato Dakat, on the 26th December, 2021, before he was released five days later, the United Mwaghavul Lawyers Association (UMLA) had described the incident as not an attack on an individual, but on the entire traditional institution in Plateau State.

The lawyers equally had said it views the kidnapping of the royal father as not an isolated incident, “but the beginning of a well-orchestrated plan to intimidate and decapitate our treasured leaders in the state and the Middle Belt at large”.

While condemning the dastardly act, on behalf of UMLA, Barr. Philemon Daffi reminded the federal, state and local governments of their shared responsibility under the 1999 Constitution as amended.

Spokesman of OPSH, Major Ishaku Takwa, who confirmed the incident, said, “Troops of Operation Safe Haven (OPSH) in conjunction with other security agencies are on trail of the kidnappers.

“God’s willing, the security agencies will soon close-up on the criminals”, he maintained.

Vwang District is where the famous National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI), Vom is situated in Plateau State.

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