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Corruption: Many governors richer than their states — Clark

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Former Federal Commissioner for Information and South- South Leader, Pa Edwin Clark has accused many state governors of using the position to amass wealth overnight to the extent of being wealthier than their states.

He also accused them of spending their security votes without accountability.

Clark, who stated these in his 688-page autobiography titled: “Brutally Frank,” regretted that corruption has being the undoing of Nigeria.

The 25-chapter book, which was launched in Abuja, last Thursday, revolves around Clark’s journey as a classroom teacher, commissioner, Minister, Senator and Nationalist spanning over 70 years.
In Chapter 23, titled: “Kleptocracy in our society” from Pages 539 to 542, Clark took a swipe at some governors, saying they were nowhere yesterday and have now become so rich and powerful overnight because they were elected as governors.

The elderstatesman also accused President Bola Tinubu and Senate President Godswill Akpabio of introducing what he described as two irresponsible laws when they were governors of Lagos and Akwa Ibom states respectively, adding that Tinubu introduced Ex-Governors’ Life Pension Law while Akpabio introduced Former Governor and Deputy Governor’s Pension Bill 2014.

Clark said: “It is most regrettable and disappointing that corruption has eaten so deep into all facets of the Federal Government to the extent that those we expected to eradicate corruption in their states and the Attorney-General under whom anti-corruption agencies operate, seem to be involved in scandalous practices over the Paris Club loan repayment… Some lawyers bargain with the Governors Forum as to how much they are entitled to in the repayment being made to them by the local government even though it is not possible to follow all the exchanges. Corruption is the greatest tragedy of Nigeria…

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Britain introduced corruption into Nigeria

“It can rightly be said that the British colonial government was the first to introduce corruption to Nigeria in their scramble for Africa with other European countries after the Berlin Conference of 1884 through the traditional chiefs, who acted as their agents. A typical case which affected my people is the role played by the British colonial government in using a powerful local chief in the Niger-Delta, Dore Numa, to remove other local chiefs from office when they refused to cooperate with the colonial government. A good example is Nana Olomu of Koko Benin River. An expedition war was staged against him in 1892 and he was later deported to Accra in the Gold Coast. This gave the colonial government uninterrupied entry into the interior land.

“Similarly, they used the same Dore Numa against His Royal Highness, Oba Ovonramwen Nogbaisi of Benin Kingdom in 1897. He too was deported but this time to Calabar, where he spent the rest of his life. This gave the British officers room to loot local artefacts and monuments. The looting of artefacts in 1897 was carried out by Capt. Philip, who further sold them to various countries in Europe. It is remarkable that today, a lot of these artefacts sold to Germany are being voluntarily returned by the German government after 124 years.

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“The same British government rewarded Dore Numa by making him a Paramount Chief of the Itsekiri people and the political agent of the British.

“This gave him enormous power over others. The British government used him to acquire extensive land in Warri township which was leased to prominent businessmen in the same Warri township. In fact, there was much to be said of British corrupt practices as in the famous 1925 case of Omenta v. Dore Numa – a case which Omenta brought in defence of Agbasa people. Dore Numa had fraudulently leased to the British a portion of Agbasa land. An intelligence report stated that the case went on to Appeal in 1934; whereas, Dore Numa had died in 1932.

“It was expected, based on the foregoing, that this trend of corrupt practices would be handed over to Nigerians when eventually they became part of government.

“There was one of such alleged corruption cases involving the Premier of Eastern Nigeria, Nnamdi Azikiwe, the foremost politician at the time. A Nigerian Tribunal of Enquiry was appointed to enquire into allegations of improper conduct (on the 4th of August, 1956), by the Premier of Eastern Region and certain other persons holding ministerial and other public offices in the Eastern Region of Nigeria. The alleged improper conduct was in connection with the affairs of the African Continental Bank (ACB) Ltd. and other relevant matters with the minutes of evidence taken before the Tribunal by Nigeria.

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“A statement was made by the Hon. Premier in the House of Assembly on the 8th of August, 1956 during the debate on a motion to appoint a Judge of the High Court of the United Kingdom and independent persons to serve in a Commission of Enquiry to investigate the relationship of the Hon. Premier with ACB. This enquiry was going on at this particular time when Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was the pre-eminent champion for the struggle for Nigeria’s independence. He was indeed very popular all over Nigeria.

“Once again, I want to re-emphasise that corruption has eaten deepinto the fabric of society and unless corruption is reduced, it will destroy Nigeria.

Govs used humongous powers to enrich themselves

As said earlier, Nigerian Governors have enomours powers. But what have they done with these powers? Nothing, except to enrich themselves.

“It is a pity that Governors who were nowhere yesterday, become so rich and powerful overnight because they were elected Governors. Their powers as governors and the money they have access to allow them to do anything, except that which God has not permitted them to do. In fact, some governors have become so wealthy that they are wealthier than their states. Contracts are awarded at inflated prices and the governor has to take 80% of the project for himself and only 20% goes to the state which he serves. This is illicit and criminal. Governors are now demi-gods because they own almost everything imaginable.”

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Oil theft: Army uncovers 40 illegal oil wells in Rivers

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The Nigerian Army has made a startling discovery of over 40 illegal crude oil wells in Rumuekpe community, in the Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State.

 

The illegal oil wells were discovered on Wednesday during an operation led by the General Officer Commanding, Nigerian Army 6 Division, General Jamal Abdusallam.

 

Speaking to Journalists shortly after the operation, Major General Abdusallam noted that the wells which are approximately 40 feet deep, represent a new tactic employed by criminals to siphon crude oil from underground reserves.

Major General Abdusallam emphasised the significance of this discovery in the fight against oil theft and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta.

 

According to him, the perpetrators devised a method of excavating deep into the ground to access crude oil deposits directly. He expressed concern over the danger posed by these activities to both the environment and individuals involved.

 

Major General Abdussalam also said he will notify relevant authorities and deploy troops to prevent further exploitation of the area.

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Several suspects were apprehended at the crime scene and are currently in military custody to enable further investigations.

 

One suspect, speaking anonymously, admitted that the wells were allegedly owned by various families in the community.

 

While describing the hazardous process of digging, the suspect highlighted the risks involved, including gas inhalation and suffocation.

 

The suspect revealed that individuals involved in the operation were paid around N40,000 to excavate a well, emphasizing the communal ownership of the resource and the perilous nature of their endeavors.

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Tinubu’s visit: Akinterinwa’s Campaign Organsation accuses Aiyedatiwa of unleashing terror on citizens

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The Campaign Organsation of the frontline governorship aspirant in the November gubernatorial election in Ondo State, Adewale Akinterinwa, has accused Governor Lucky Aiyedatiwa of using suspected political thugs to unleash terror during the visit of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to the state on Wednesday.

President Tinubu was in Ondo State where he paid a condolence visit to the family of the late former Governor of the State, Rotimi Akeredolu.

According to statement by the spokesperson of Akinterinwa’s Campaign Organsation, Segun Ajiboye, suspected thugs loyal to the governor unleashed violence on the citizens and destroyed billboards of political opponents of the governor.

 

It will be recalled that the campaign organisation had on Tuesday accused the governor of preventing All Progressives Congress APC members from accessing the venue of the president’s visit expressed sadness over the return of thuggery to the political space the State.

 

The campaign organisation said “On Wednesday, February 28, thugs sponsored by the governor of Ondo state, Mr Lucky Ayedatiwa, descended on the peaceful people of the state who had turned out in large number to receive President Bola Tinubu, GCFR, to the sunshine State.

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“The thugs, fully loaded in unmarked vehicles, did not in any way hide their devilish intentions, as they went round major streets of Akure, destroying the bill boards of the other gubernatorial aspirants of the All Progressives Congress.

 

“The thugs fully armed with different types of guns, shot sporadically into the air to create fears in the people. Expectedly, thousands of supporters of the APC who had prepared to receive the president ran helter-skelter for dear lives.

 

“The ugly incident was coming barely 24 hours after the Wale Akinterinwa Campaign Structure raised the alarm about the dastardly activities by certain element acting for and on behalf of Lucky Orimisan Ayedatiwa to prevent members of the APC and leaders who are not in his camp to receive Mr President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR during his visit to Akure.

 

“Today’s action by the thugs acting on the directives of Mr Governor is most undemocratic, disrespectful, unreasonable and disdainful attempt by any Chief executive in the anals of democracy in Nigeria.

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“This is a sad reminder of the wicked old days in the politics of our dear state. It marks an avoidable return to the dark days of hooliganism and political bandits in Ondo state.”

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Good morning! Here Are Some Major News Headlines In The Newspapers Today: SIM-NIN linkage: NCC rules out extension, telcos bar 12 million lines

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1. The Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has ruled out an extension of the February 28, 2024, deadline for the linkage of Subscriber Identity Module cards to National Identification Numbers. As a result, telecommunication companies have been directed to bar 12 million lines which have not been linked to the owners’ NINs after the expiration of the deadline.

 

2. President Bola Tinubu, on Wednesday, appealed for patience from Nigerians over the current economic hardship in the country, giving the assurance that there was light at the end of the tunnel. The President said he was fully aware and took responsibility for the difficulties Nigerians had been subjected to on account of government policies.

 

3. The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, on Wednesday, said the importation of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, into Nigeria has reduced by 50 per cent since the withdrawal of subsidy on the commodity.

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4. The military Joint Task Force, North-West Operation Hadarin Daji, said on Wednesday that it neutralised scores of bandits and rescued eight kidnapped victims in Zamfara State. The Information Officer of Operation Hadarin Daji, Lt. Col. Suleiman Omale, stated this in a statement on Wednesday in Gusau.

 

5. The war against illegal oil bunkering and oil theft received a huge boost on Wednesday as troops of the 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, uncovered over 40 dugout crude oil wells in Rumuekpe community, Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State. The troops uncovered the site during a sweep-and-clear operation on the Trans Niger Delta Pipeline.

 

6. Operatives of the Edo State Police Command have arrested five suspected cultists, Emeka Eke, Chizoba Okolie, Samson Ochonobor, Friday Agbebayo and Julius Eguasa, for engaging in a street fight in Edo State. It was gathered that the suspects, alleged to be members of the Eiye Confraternity, engaged in street fighting at the Ramat Park area over failure to pay monthly dues and attend meetings of Eiye confraternity.

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7. Two Binance executives — an American and a British- Pakistani — have been detained on the orders of National Security Adviser, NSA Nuhu Ribadu over alleged involvement in foreign exchange manipulations. It was learnt last night that the Federal Government obtained a Court Warrant to detain the men for 12 days, pending further investigation by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

 

8. An Executive Order to “significantly reduce the cost of drugs and pharmaceutical products” in the country will soon be signed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Health and Social Welfare Minister, Muhammed Pate stated these on Wednesday during the second edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series in Abuja.

 

9. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) apologised yesterday to their subscribers for the service hitches they have experienced for some days. The MNOs, under the aegis of the Association of Licensed Telecoms Operators of Nigeria, ALTON, blamed the service disruptions on “severe fibre cuts” by contractors.

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10. The Federal Government has allayed the fear of job loss with the implementation of the Oronsaye Report. Speaking at the fourth edition of the Ministerial Press Briefing Series in Abuja on Wednesday, Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, said the implementation of the report would not lead to retrenchment.

 

 

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