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Nembe Creek Well Explosion: More Than Meets The Eye —- By Ayo Fadahunsi

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The predicament that played out on Friday, 1st March 2019, in Bayelsa is indeed a disaster like the others before it in the different parts of the country.

The Mile 1 community and others within earshot were in the wee hours of the morning, reeled off their beds by an explosion said to have come from the Nembe Creek Well 7, belonging to Aiteo Eastern Exploration and Production.

Within hours of occurrence, stories were churned out with headlines that threw Nigerians into pandemonium.

While both manicured and pruney fingers point at the company with zillion blame for the incident, let’s not ignore the small finger pointing to the accuser. The case of a breach cannot be overruled especially due to past escapades and ensuing crisis and case of militancy in the Niger Delta. 
In a 2018 survey, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said the nation recorded 194 cases of pipeline vandalism between January 2017 and the corresponding period of last year. 

It is impossible to overlook vandalism because not only has statistics placed Nigeria at the top of pipeline vandalism and illegal oil bunkering, it has also shown that out of every three explosions in this part of the world, one is a sabotage for economic gains. 

Considering also that according to the company, facilities at the Creek were shut down on 28th of February due to NCTL outage and judging from the point of the explosion which was not from a pipeline but from a flow station in the oil well whose valves were intact, only a third-party infraction could have been responsible. An IOC which stands to lose hundreds of dollars in Aiteo’s new project and one of Nigeria’s banks have been fingered to be behind the incident.

There is also the issue of yellow journalism to decry. Did scores really die? Just how much of what was published is true? 
First, they put death toll at 100 persons – seriously? Who conducted the census, how did the story find its way to EIN, a paid news wire in less than 24hours? 

Then, International publications latched on to the lie that the NCTL was on fire – what NCTL please? And how is it that New York Times, Daily Mail and Jeune Afrique could stoop to the level of carrying unverified stories? 
Next, they declared 50 persons missing only to turn around and publish a follow up saying missing persons have been found. What search party found them? This is a clear case of lack of professional integrity which is why rather than shamefully admit to have been cleverly used to publish a fake story and retract same, they crafted a different headline to say the latter.  They also said the company did not report the explosion to NOSDRA and appropriate authority and accused them of concealing a high level of leakage and a gas explosion at their facility at Nembe Creek. 

When that failed, they said Aiteo prevented NOSDRA from accessing the incident scene. This chain of lies cascading in the guise of media reports are barely intelligible rhythms with staccato aphorisms. 

Aiteo’s official statement debunked the stories peddled: “Preliminary investigations confirm that there were no fatalities; human incidents or damage to community property. All the wells and facilities in the immediate vicinity have been inspected and secured. This incident did not occur at or involve any part of the NCTL or other pipelines. It is important to note that prior to this incident, all facilities have been shut down since 28 of February 2019 due to NCTL outage.

Accordingly, any account suggesting that this incident arose from or affected any pipelines is wholly inaccurate and misleading.”Contrary to the ugly and destructive lies, available documents of the notification of spill reported that NOSDRA, NAPIMS, and DPR were informed and ipso facto, the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) will Thursday, 7th March, visit the scene of the event. Pipelines are expected to be open immediately after.

Also, a picture sighted saw the wellhead intact except for an external slash on one of the linking pipes to the wellhead. Anyone who saw the puncture would agree that there was a breach. If this is not an act of willful sabotage, an act that will have catastrophic effects on everyone, mostly the poor people of Nembe community, then, I wonder what it is. 

Further, the story about Aiteo denying NOSDRA access to the facility, just like others, is a publication targeted at dragging the company’s image to the mud. Judging from an angle of corrupt practices that has bedevilled the country, we can understand that a hungry and dishonest journalist is given cash in exchange for a self-serving story; we can understand that a hare-brained journalist writes reports without first verifying its authenticity, and we can understand that when something of this nature happens, it is the company that gets the first blame. But what cannot be comprehended is why a government agency would effortlessly relay information soiled with dishonesty to the media.

It makes no sense that a government agency would be denied access to a property that also belongs to the government; it is in fact, a campaign harangue with meaningless underpinning. Edification is not needed to realize the deliberate falsehood being peddled here or the creating and withdrawing sensation targeted at heating up the polity. 

When unverified facts and baseless stories are published, if it is not to mislead the public, it is to drive the country into the realm of a reality show conspiracy and when better to do this if not now that the country is starting a new dispensation. Some publications even hinted that the incident is going to affect production with the loss of 2500 barrels of oil that Well 7 produces per day. Exactly what kind of effect will a minuscule 2500 bpd have on a country that produces 2.5million bpd

People need to wake up and realize the real lies in these stories flying around. This is simply a case of cash for stories with the sole aim of discrediting the company because from every indication, the stories are all traceable to one source.

Fadahunsi writes from Ekiti State 

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AGURA STOOL: Ajiboso Ruling House Will Produce the New King

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The ongoing Kingship tussle presently in Gbagura Kingdom of Abeokuta has taken a new dimension as the Ajiboso ruling house is presently claiming the rightful mandate to the throne.

However an Ogun State High Court sitting in Abeokuta has been asked to declare the appointment of Saburee Babajide Bakre to fill the vacant stool of Agura of Gbagura as null and void by the Ajiboso ruling house for the stool of Agura of Gbagura, in Abeokuta Ogun state, Prince Adetayo Mufutau Adedeji Lugboso.

The Ajiboso ruling house declare that the election of Bakre by the kingmakers was irregular and of no effect and give an order directing the Jiboso Ruling House to present a candidate to the kingmakers in accordance with the Agura Chieftaincy Declaration of 1958.

The Agura Chieftaincy Declaration of 12th November 1958, recognises two ruling houses; namely Ajiboso and Egiri.

Citing the Agura of Gbagura Chieftaincy Declaration, Lugboso claimed that the emergence of Saburee Bakre as the new Agura is an aberration to the thrown as instituted by his uncle, a retired judge who used his influence to foist Bakre on the family even when he knew that he was not a prince nor qualified to be appointed as the Agura of Gbagura.

He further stated that Bakre does not qualified to be nominated for the Agura stool, adding that it is the turn of Ajiboso ruling house to produce the next king.

In order to avert crisis in the Kingdom, Rtd. Justice Bakare is using his influence and power among his people and has single-handedly chose Saburee Babajide Bakare who recently claimed the name of Jamolu, the first king of Gbagura.

Oba Jamolu is from Ajiboso ruling house and not Egiri family while the so called Bakare claimed to have hail from Egiri ruling house which he doesn’t even know the Egiri’s ancestoral home in Iddo.

Justice Bakare, has since been fabricating false stories in the kingdom to suit his narratives while he’s ignorant of the history of both ruling house and the kingdom as a whole.

Bayewumi Balogun Ojo who was brought up in Isapon area in Abeokuta is not a kingmaker and does not have any knowledge about the kingdom aside the one fed him by Bakare is conniving to falsely and forcefully impose Bakre who does not belong to any of the ruling house to be the next Agura.

Therefore, the Ajiboso ruling house is hereby using this medium to inform the general public that any attempt to impose an unknown person on the people of Gbagura Kingdom will be resisted by all means necessary.

The head of the Ajiboso ruling house, Prince Mufutau Lugboso caution the outgoing Governor of Ogun State or his agents from acknowledging the purported appointment of Bakre as the Agura of Gbagura.

“it all started when Balogun Ojo, Balogun Ika, Justice Bakare and chief kingmakers introduced application form publicly to the throne at the rate of 50, 000 Naira which was obtained by 19 person without any interview.”, Prince Lugboso posited.

Aside Oba Laloko, seven Agura has been enthroned namely Oba Jamolu ruled the kingdom from 1870 – 1877 while Ijaade from the Egiri Ruling House, between 1877 to 1893, Oba Olubunmi; from Jiboso between 1897 to 1910.
Others were Oba Abolade from the Egiri royal house ruled the kingdom between 1910 to 1915, he became the king with so much influence and power because he belong to non of the ruling house which led the Iwarefas’ to return the kingship back to Egiri ruling house.

Oba Adeosun then took over from Abolade and ruled the kingdom from 1915 – 1936.
Between 1936 and 1960, Oba Bakare Laloko became the Agura with the power of Balogun Iddo Olalekan which is clear to the people of Gbagura that he’s from Igbore land beside Lemboye’s house in Abeokuta claimed Ajiboso family while his mother is not related to the family in anyway.

Oba Rauf Adeosun, from the Egiri was coronated in 1961 but joined his ancestors in 1978. The throne was supposed to return to Ajiboso family, this brought about another irregularity which made the past king, Oba Adebayo Ajani Laloko who transited last year.

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14 Professors, 66 Others Shortlisted For SAN Awards

Gbemileke Ajayi

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The Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee (LPPC) has released the names of 80 lawyers it is considering for the conferment of the award of Senior Advocate of Nigeria for 2019.

Among the 80 shortlisted lawyers were Lagos-based activist lawyer, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, and 13 professors, who are being considered for the award under the academic category.

The 13 professors are Joseph Abugu, Damilola Olawuyi, Olaide Gbadamosi, Mamman Lawan, Uchefula Chukwumaeze, Oludayo Amokaye, Alphonsus Alubo, Rasheed Ijaodola, Sampson Erugo, Edward Oyewo, Oghenemaro Emiri, Bankole Akintoyesodipo and Afeisimi Badaiki.

In a Monday newspaper advertorial signed by the LPPC Secretary/Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadizatu Mustapha, the body said the 80 shortlisted lawyers had sailed through the “first and second advocates’ filtration, academic pre-qualification exercise and the appeal process, preparatory to the award of SAN for the year 2019.”

Mustapha said the general public was at liberty to comment on the integrity and reputation of the shortlisted candidates.

“Any complaint(s) presented to the Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee must be accompanied with verifying affidavit deposed to before a court of record in Nigeria.

“Ten copies of such comments or complaints must be submitted at the office of the Secretary, Legal Practitioners’ Privileges Committee, at the Supreme Court of Nigeria Complex, Abuja, not later than 4:00 p.m. on Monday, 17th June, 2019,” she said.

(Independent)

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Don’t Blame PDP, They Are Handicapped By The Feelings Of Their Colossal Defeat — Tinubu

Gbemileke Ajayi

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President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Bola Tinubu, on Monday met in Makkah, Saudi Arabia.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, said both men met at the breaking of fast dinner (Iftar).

Also at the dinner meeting were the Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammadu Sa’ad Abubakar III and the Emir of Kazaure, Dr. Najib Hussaini Adamu.

Tinubu, speaking after the dinner appealed to elder statesmen to avoid inflammatory statements that could undermine peaceful co-existence among the nation’s diverse communities.

The former Lagos State governor said all citizens should consider the enormity of challenges facing the nation, and support the president.

He urged Nigerians to rally round President Buhari to solve the problems and stabilise the polity.

“The president has worked hard and will continue to do so to ensure peace and stability in the country, which are important for the economy to make progress. These are the key pegs of his agenda. Let us all come together to support him,” he said.

Tinubu accused the People’s Democratic Party of being reputed for “saucy and distractive statements,’’ urging Nigerians not to be angry with the opposition party, but assist them to overcome their “colossal defeat” in the February 2019 elections.

“Don’t blame them. They are handicapped by the traumatic feelings of the colossal loss of the election. You should help them to manage the trauma,” he added.

Tinubu commended President Buhari for the recognition of June 12 as the nation’s Democracy Day.

In his remarks, Sultan Abubakar pledged his support for the success of the president’s administration.

The Sultan led prayers for President Buhari’s second term in office, and for the nation to overcome its current challenges.

Other guests at the Iftar dinner were Nigerian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Justice Isa Dodo, Malam Mamman Daura, Isma’ila Isa, Mr Wale Tinubu and Mr Hakeem P. Fahm, the Commissioner of Science and Technology, Lagos State.

(The Sun)

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