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EX NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL OBODO RELEASED FROM ABDUCTORS

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Nigeria's Flying Eagles at FIFA U-20

Ex midfielder, Christian Obodo, who was abducted by unknown gunmen along Refinery Road, Warri in Delta State yesterday, has been released.

Delta State Police Command Public Relations Officer Onome Onovawakpoyeya confirmed to men that the 36-year-old was abducted while buying bananas along the Refinery Road.

In an interview with Brila FM, Obodo, who has 21 caps and four for Nigeria said he was locked up in a car trunk for hours and robbed by the abductors.

“It was really discomforting locked up in a hot car trunk for hours,” Obodo told Brila FM.

“The kidnappers were even telling me about how they lost money for placing bets on Nigeria to score in the second half.

“They didn’t hurt me or intimidate me but I can’t understand the reason for anyone to want to put me through this sort of thing over again.”

It’s the second time the former Udinese midfielder will be kidnapped by gunmen.

He was first abducted on June 9, 2012, on his way to church in Effurun, Warri.

But the day after he was taken, police tracked his abductors to Isoko, just outside Warri, where they found Obodo and arrested some suspects.

Governance

NDDC Boss, a Promise Keeper, says UNIUYO VC

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The Vice Chancellor of the University of Uyo, Professor Nyakudo Ndaeyo, has described the Interim Administrator/CEO of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Mr. Efiong Okon Akwa, as a promise keeper for ensuring that the long-abandoned 1000-bed NDDC hostel would soon be completed.

Professor Ndaeyo made this declaration when Mr. Akwa paid him a courtesy visit at UNIUYO Senate Chambers, as part of an inspection of the hostel project in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State capital.

The Vice Chancellor disclosed that he had extracted the promise from the NDDC boss to complete the project shortly after his appointment as Head of the interventionist agency.

Professor Ndaeyo thanked the NDDC for assisting the university to ease the pressure of accommodation, stressing the need to provide the university’s undergraduates with a conducive learning and living environment in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mr. Akwa, who was accompanied by the state director of the Commission, Mr. Obot Udoette, and directors of the Commission, stated that the hostel, sited at the permanent site of the University, will be completed and commissioned next month.

He said that the NDDC’s commitment to the completion of the students’ hostel project was a result of a directive from President Muhammadu Buhari to the Commission to ensure the completion of all its projects in the Niger Delta region.

He said: “The 1,000 bed students’ hostel being built will be a first of its kind in the region. It will have 500 bed spaces for male undergraduates and 500 bed spaces for female undergraduates and will include recreational spaces as well.”

He stated that the university was playing a very important role in the economy and lives of the people of Akwa Ibom State and the South-South region.

The NDDC boss observed that in an era of Covid-19 pandemic, it was necessary to assist universities to properly accommodate students in order to ensure adequate provision for social distancing in the hostels.

Speaking after inspecting the hostel project, the NDDC boss assured that the Commission would assist universities in the region to ensure that their students undertake their studies in comfortable and safe environment.

Akwa expressed delight that the project had reached 95 per cent completion, with only external works and landscaping still being worked on.

He added: “We need to pull out our students from the surrounding villages where they currently reside and host them in a conducive environment fit for learning.”

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Governance

Fara Dagogo’s bill seeking 13% derivation to be paid directly to host communities bill first reading

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A bill seeking to alter the Constitution of the country to pay the 13% derivation fund directly to oil producing host communities has passed first reading on the floor of the House of Representatives.

If passed into law, the 13% derivation fund will be paid directly to the host communities of each benefiting states through the Host Communities Development Commissions.

Sponsor of the bill, Hon. Doctor Farah, Member representing Degema/ Bonny Federal Constituency from Rivers State, said the bill ‘Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (HB. 1570)’, is intended to address and correct the injustices the oil producing communities have been experiencing.

In demonstrating its seriousness, a section of the bill recommended that ‘ failure of any state to establish the Host Communities Development Commission shall be deemed as an offence and such a state shall forfeit 30% of her monthly benefit from the 13% derivation fund till such a time that the Commission is established’

Before the presentation of the bill, the Federal Lawmaker had accused the Governors of the Niger Delta states, of wasting N10 trillion from the derivation fund over the years

“This is a very sad commentary as it relates to the oil-producing communities of the Niger Delta. The 13 per cent Derivation is the fund set aside to assist oil-producing communities to tackle infrastructural decay and degradation, emphasis on the oil-producing communities. What it means basically is that in sharing the federation account revenue, 13 per cent should be set aside to assist the development of these oil-producing communities.

” About two decades down the line what is there to show for the humongous monies that have come in? The Governors, past and present, view it as free monies”, he said.

“Between 2000 and 2018, over N10trillion from the 13 per cent derivation principle, have been shared to the Niger Delta Governors, on behalf of the oil-producing communities, yet the deplorable living conditions of the people from these oil-producing communities have remained nauseating and deplorable with the people battling and still reeking with the worst and highest form of poverty, “he noted.

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