The Broken Woman: Finding Faith; Memoire (1) By @Blossomobi3

It was a cold evening, I had just gotten back from school when I sat with my mum as she stared into space. She didn’t even hear me walk in, she must be deep in thoughts, I imagined staring at her, wondering what she was drowning in.

“Mother”, I called, but she didn’t flinch which was unusual. Scared that something might have happened to her, I called her again with a push to call her back to consciousness.

‘’what is it, so you are back now and I won’t have my rest’’, she said in a disappointment which was supposed to be my feeling. She stood up from the couch and left the sitting room. I wanted to follow her to the room, but her mood wasn’t inviting, so I gave up.

My parents had no formal education, so it was difficult to get a lucrative job especially ones that came with security. My mum had learned how to read and write along with other basics a bit from her childhood friend Chiza whose parents where wealthy enough to see her to any length educationally.

My mum got tired of Chiza’s regular assistance and she started a fish business which was helping the family.  Sitting back at home became the order of the day for my dad as my mum turned the bread winner of the family.

He would say ‘’the amount I dey use go work every day na the same amount den go pay me, when you
don multiply am by 30days, plus stress oo check am e no worth am. I go dey house help your mama make the business dey move fine’’.

My mum was realizing her dream of sending me to school, even though the school was a back water government school with low grade teachers we feel were strategically dumped there.

I’m turning sixteen soon, all my curves are starting to take their rightful positions which was exciting but the men it attracted was repulsive. My friend Mercy, whose curves had been established even before mine would say ‘’babe this is an advantage that you must use to the fullest’’.

I met this guy named Okey, whom I thought to be different, we’ve been dating for seven months and he hasn’t asked for sex. ‘’He must be perfect’’, I always say to myself, because in our neighbourhoods ‘sex was just like an exercise’. Most girls my age were already dating men old enough to be their father.

Okey wasn’t a saint like I had thought, he was working with his friend Collins who was a pimp and I had no clue that he was grooming me to be the most priced of his jewels awaiting the highest bidder.

By the time we had shared each other’s bed that was when he introduced me to Collins as his friend, who then took interest in me. He voiced his thoughts to my supposed boyfriend who then felt it very normal for Collins to have his way with me, which he did seeing that I had little or no say on the matter.

That was how my body merchandising began. Knowing men to be takers, people who only wanted to take, so I was going to use what they wanted from me to get what I wanted from them.
To be cont.

The road not taken
We are who we choose to be, the decisions we make as a result of the challenges we are passing through will either make or mar us. Sometime we are so fueled with hurt and anger that we think revenge is the best option; we have been dealt ugly cards for so long, that we don’t know how to become anything thing that isn’t ugly.

There is always a comeback for each and every one of us. What we choose to do with this is entirely our consequence. Learn to be strong because you have been weak; become fearless in the discovery of your true self because you have been afraid to fight, too busy dealing the hand that you were dealt. Go for wisdom and true knowledge because you have been a fool and that’s not who you want to be anymore.

Blossom Obi writes from Owerri, Imo State. For comments and responses, reach her via obiblossom8@gmail.com or Twitter/Instagram: @BlossomObi3

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APC UK Chieftain Responds To President Buhari’s TV Broadcast

A chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), in the United Kingdom, Ade Omole, has reacted to President Muhammadu Buhari’s national broadcast.
The broadcast was aired live on radio and television stations on Monday.
Ade Omole, in his words, said: “Hate speeches have no place in our country and I am glad Mr President has stamped his authority on this in his address to the nation.”
He stated further that: “Determination to deal with all forms of terrorism and congratulated him on taking such bold move.”
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Three Tiers Of Government Shared N2.8tr In Six Months – NEITI

The three tiers of government shared N2.788 trillion between January and June this year, which represents a 38 per cent increase on the N2.019 trillion shared within the same period last year.

The shared amount also represents barely 40 per cent of this year’s federal budget.

This disclosure is contained in the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI) quarterly review, which focuses on disbursement from the Federation Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC), which was made available in Abuja yesterday by the Director of Communication, NEITI, Dr. Orji Ogbonnaya Orji.

The review was based on data obtained by NEITI at the meetings of FAAC and data from the National Bureau of Statistics, Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance and the Debt Management Office (DMO).

Out of $2.788 trillion disbursed in the first half of 2017, the Federal Government received N1.09 trillion, 36 state governments got N923 billion while N549.8 billion went to 774 local councils in the country.

A further breakdown shows that the amount released to the three tiers of government was N430.16 billion in January, N514 billion in February, N496.40 billion in March, N418.82 billion in April, N418.82 billion in May and N462.36 billion in June.

However, despite the 38 per cent increase in disbursements in the first half of 2017 when compared with 2016, all the three tiers of government suffered significant revenue decline in terms of projected FAAC disbursement.

For instance, while the expected FAAC disbursement for the three tiers of government was N4.7 trillion, the actual FAAC disbursement to them was N2.788 trillion, representing a shortfall of over 40.67 per cent.

The review further disclosed that N513 billion was spent on debt servicing by the three tiers in the first quarter of 2017. This was against the N1.276 trillion disbursements in the first quarter. This means that debt servicing took 40.27 per cent of FAAC disbursement for the first quarter of this year.

The publication expressed concern that, the nation’s debt in relation to revenues appears to have reached critical levels. It further disclosed that domestic debt servicing constituted 90 per cent of total debt servicing.

On the Paris Club debt refund to the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), it confirmed that N760.18 billion was released to the 36 states and the FCT Abuja.

It hinted that the money paid in two tranches represents refunds of over deductions from FAAC allocations to states and local councils used for quick payment of debt relief granted to Nigeria by the Paris Club between 1995 and 2002.

The quarterly review also confirmed that the NNPC has completed the refund of N450 billion owed the Federation Account, as a result of portions of domestic crude receipts withheld by the Corporation from November 2004. This followed the implementation of a payment schedule worked out between the Corporation and the Federation Allocation Accounts Committee.

Guardian

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Wike: High Tension No More, Political Fortunes Have Dwindled By Solomon Okocha

In the build-up to the 2015 gubernatorial election in Rivers State, clothed with a dramatic name that massaged his ego and intoxicated his young volatile followers, Governor Nyesom Wike piloted a political movement that inundated Rivers State with uncertainty. Wike displayed the posturing of a man who controlled the seven heavens. Hell was opened up and demons of violence were unleashed upon the State. The Supreme Court would later declare Rivers State a ‘theatre of war.’
Holding firmly unto the forces that then ruled Nigeria, the man whose toxic fans call ‘high tension’, maintained an unfettered access to federal might and resources and a political god was born. Rivers State was to be delivered into the hands of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, by any means possible. That was Wike’s supreme mandate. One, two, ready, go!
Like lightning and thunder, Wike bolted and rumbled through the Rivers political space and not a few persons could stand in his way. Not even fellow party bigwigs in the state could match the high current that Wike generated back then. Some of them who minutely attempted to resist him were loaded with hot slaps in Wadata House, Abuja, and their doubts were eventually cleared. Power karila!
With all the fire and brimstone that Wike wrought on the political landscape of Rivers State, it is worthy to note that members of the opposition party – All Progressives Congress, APC, under the leadership of the former Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, still stood up to the historical, yet deadly occasion. Irrespective of the fact that Amaechi was stripped of his official security apparatus, he still fearlessly galvanised loyal followers to a fight which many observers termed as a suicidal battle (here, controversial Joseph Mbu and his ‘shoot at sight’ police officers clearly comes to mind).
In the end, Wike had his way. Gesila Khan, the embattled former Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, Resident Electoral Commissioner for Rivers State, delivered a total of 1,029,102 votes to Wike, and merely dashed the APC a meagre 124,896 votes. And on the 29th day of May 2015, Wike was sworn in as the 6th Governor of Rivers State. Mission accomplished!
As the next political season draws near, political watchers in the state are of the view that the hands of time are fast turning against Wike. The heightened tension that now exists in Wike’s political camp is a clear indication that the centre can no longer hold. For instance, in the entire political history of Rivers State, apart from Wike, no other Governor had ever lost two Commissioners for Information to sudden resignation, in less than two years of service.
Opunabo Inko-Tariah was the first to throw in the towel. Opunabo denounced Wike’s government immediately after the Governor told him to ‘go and die’ with his father. The former Commissioner for Information in Rivers State received the shocking verbal assault of his life when he went to inform the Governor of an ailment which was troubling him at that time. Do you know heartlessness?
Next in line was the brilliant and erudite Dr. Austin Tam-George. After trying too hard to manage Governor Wike’s usually uncouth media presentations, Dr. Tam-George could no longer bear the heavy damage which the communication malaise inflicted upon his personal and professional life. Not too long after Wike hastily and without fact claimed on national television that ‘Ikoyi Billions’ belonged to Rivers State, Tam-George frantically waved goodbye and left with his family for Lagos.
Apart from Wike’s political appointees, he is also loosing grip on the majority of his rank and file. There is a loud rattling of disaffection going on in so many quarters where the Governor once held sway. From those who feel betrayed by Wike’s elitist based empowerment style, to those who are sincerely distraught over Wike’s mediocre attitude towards governance in the State, there is an increasing decibel of disquiet in Wike’s kitchen. The boys are not happy!
One perfect example of the rising discontent in Wike’s political setup is the recent outcry by George Kerley, a diehard of former President Goodluck Jonathan and Dame Patience Jonathan. Kerley, a young, vibrant and politically conscious Kalabari politician, lambasted Wike for poor governance and squarely blamed Goodluck Jonathan for imposing Wike on Rivers people. According to Kerley on his Facebook page, “I apologize to every Rivers man who followed me and my insinuation. Wike is incapable of leading Rivers State… Goodluck Jonathan and and his wife Patience Ibifaka decided to destroy River State and unleashed upon our people Nyesom Wike…”, he cried.
Leader of Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, a strong supporter of Wike, also added his voice to the growing rhythm of disenchanted rhymes around Wike’s political circle. Hear him: “the man Wike has proven to be very, very unqualified to govern a heterogeneous state like Rivers”, Asari wailed.
Even the Civil Society is beginning to distance itself from Wike. Recently, the Director of Integrity Group, Livingstone Wechie, a lawyer and civil society activist, who worked closely with Wike during the Amaechi-must-not-become-a-minister saga, has openly recanted all that he said against Amaechi, both in writing and otherwise. During a live television programme, Livingstone declared that all the documents supplied to him by Wike to indict Amaechi, were all politically fabricated and forged. Nothing more to add!
It is very obvious that in 2019, Wike cannot commandeer federal forces and resources like he did in 2015. There will be no Gesila Khan and Joseph Mbu to do his bidding. Wike’s house is already divided, his ‘high tension’ epithet has been demystified, and his bad leadership style is now staring everyone in the face.
O how has the mighty fallen! High Tension is no more, for political fortunes have dwindled.
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NANS Urges President Buhari To Reshuffle Cabinet

Following the arrival of President Muhammadu Buhari into the country after months of medical vacation in London, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has urged him to immediately reshuffle his cabinet for effectiveness and efficiency.

A statement by NANS’ President, Chinonso Obasi, yesterday in Abuja, said there is need to bring on board, cerebral, competent, vibrant, contemporary and dynamic young people to stimulate the administration.

“As Mr. President settles down, I will, in the spirit of comradeship and solidarity, mobilise the leadership of Nigerian students to pay a special welcome back solidarity visit to him.

“We will intimate him of certain developments in the nation’s educational sector and other issues of critical national importance.

“We urge the President to use the opportunity of his return to quickly introduce a new sense of vigour into his administration by re-positioning his cabinet for effectiveness and efficiency.

“There is need to bring on board, cerebral, competent, vibrant, contemporary and dynamic young people to stimulate the administration and revive the ailing economy,’’ he said.

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Full Text Of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Broadcast

My dear citizens,

I am very grateful to God and to all Nigerians for their prayers. I am pleased to be back on home soil among my brothers and sisters.

2. In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.

3. In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.

4. Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.

5. Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.

6. I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.

7. This is not to deny that there are legitimate concerns. Every group has a grievance. But the beauty and attraction of a federation is that it allows different groups to air their grievances and work out a mode of co-existence.

8. The National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse.

9. The national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

10. Furthermore, I am charging the Security Agencies not to let the successes achieved in the last 18 months be a sign to relax.

11. Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety.

12. Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against, elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets, kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes in addition to ethnic violence fuelled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.

13. Finally, dear Nigerians, our collective interest now is to eschew petty differences and come together to face common challenges of economic security, ?political evolution and integration as well as lasting peace among all Nigerians.

14. I remain resolutely committed to ensuring that these goals are achieved and maintained. I am so glad to be home.

15. Thank you and may God bless our dear Nation.

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Arewa Youths Call For Arrest Of Kanu Over Hate Speech

The Arewa Youth Forum (AYF) has called for the arrest of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu, over what they described as increased rise in hate speeches emanating from him.

In a statement signed by its national president, Alhaji Gambo Ibrahim Gujungu, he said that action must be taken against Kanu’s activities which, according to him, is responsible for the current divisive tendencies that threaten the nation’s unity.

“As the umbrella organisation of all youths in the North, we are worried of the descend to regionalism by major actors in the country but the federal government is to be blame.

“Kanu has violated all his bail conditions but the judiciary has kept mute. The federal government on the other hand is allowing him to carry on as if he is operating a country with the Nigerian state.

“A character like Kanu should not be allowed to hold the country to ransom. The earlier government act, the better.

“We also want to use this opportunity to call on all those who, through their utterances or actions are doing what is threatening to dismember the country to desist from such, as we are better together as one indivisible country.

“We are of the believe that the federal government has the capacity to reign in all those threatening the cooperate existence of the country, the government must not fail in its duty.” Gujungu said.

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President Buhari Reiterates Commitment To Nigeria’s Unity, Vows To Step Up Fight Against Boko Haram

President Muhammadu Buhari, has again reiterated his commitment to the unity of Nigeria, irrespective of the challenges confronting the nation.

Buhari made the statement in an address to the nation two days after his arrival from London for medical treatment.

According to the President, every citizen of the country has the right to live in any part of the country without any hindrance.

His words: “Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood. Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance. I believe the very vast majority of Nigerians share this view.”

Buhari further stated that his government will reinvigorate its campaign against the Islamic extremist insurgency in the country’s northeast.

“Terrorists and criminals must be fought and destroyed relentlessly so that the majority of us can live in peace and safety,” said Buhari in a televised speech on Monday. “Therefore we are going to reinforce and reinvigorate the fight not only against elements of Boko Haram which are attempting a new series of attacks on soft targets, kidnappings, farmers versus herdsmen clashes, in addition to ethnic violence fueled by political mischief makers. We shall tackle them all.”

In his address, Buhari talked about political divisions, urging that Nigeria must be united. He said that while he was in London he kept in touch with daily events at home.

“Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far,” he said.

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Nigeria’s Unity Is Settled And Not Negotiable, Says Buhari In National Broadcast

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has declared that Nigeria’s unity is not negotiable.

He stated this in a national broadcast on a Monday, heralded his 103 days sojourn for medical attention in the United Kingdom.

The President who said he has watched events during his stay in the UK, said comments especially in the social media crosses the red lines by daring to to question our collective existence as a nation.

He said it is a step taken too far.

“In the course of my stay in the United Kingdom, I have been kept in daily touch with events at home. Nigerians are robust and lively in discussing their affairs, but I was distressed to notice that some of the comments, especially in the social media have crossed our national red lines by daring to question our collective existence as a nation. This is a step too far.”

The President recalled his meeting with Late Chief Emeka Ojukwu, where after a robust discussion, concluded that the country must remain one and United.

“In 2003 after I joined partisan politics, the late Chief Emeka Ojukwu came and stayed as my guest in my hometown Daura. Over two days we discussed in great depth till late into the night and analyzed the problems of Nigeria. We both came to the conclusion that the country must remain one and united.”

“Nigeria’s unity is settled and not negotiable. We shall not allow irresponsible elements to start trouble and when things get bad they run away and saddle others with the responsibility of bringing back order, if necessary with their blood.”

“Every Nigerian has the right to live and pursue his business anywhere in Nigeria without let or hindrance.”

He said the National Assembly and the National Council of State are the legitimate and appropriate bodies for national discourse, stressing that the national consensus is that, it is better to live together than to live apart.

 

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Acting president Osinbajo Orders IGP Ibrahim Idris To Enforce Community Policing

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has issued a presidential directive to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to with immediate effect initiate community policing.

This was contained in a press release signed by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande, and issued to pressmen in Abuja, on Sunday.

According to Osinbajo, policing the country and the entire law enforcement generally, cannot effectively continue without devolving policing and law enforcement out to the States.

He noted that while the idea of State police requires constitutional amendments, the Community Policing Model must now be enforced.

His words: “We must enforce a model that democratizes security in such a way as to include everyone in the process of protecting themselves, securing their own lives and the lives of people in their community.”

Continuing he said “the simple advantage of the arrangement is that it means that it would involve the ordinary citizen in ensuring his security and that of his community. It must involve all local leaders, all structures of civil society. And on every street, the police ought to have one or two persons who can contact the police at short notice.”

The presidential directive to the Inspector-General of Police  initiating community policing is pursuant to the provisions of section 215(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended and section 10(1) of the Police Act Cap. P19, LFN 2004.

According to section 215(3) of the Constitution, “the President or such Minister of the Government of the Federation as he may authorise in that behalf may give to the Inspector-General of Police such lawful directions with respect to the maintenance and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary and the Inspector-General of Police shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with.

Also section 10 (1) of the Police Act, “the President may give to the Inspector-General such directions with respect to the maintaining and securing of public safety and public order as he may consider necessary, and the Inspector-General shall comply with those directions or cause them to be complied with.”

The roll-out of the Community Policing Programme is intended to enhance crime prevention and control, improve intelligence-gathering capabilities of the police and deliver quality and people-oriented policing.

The programme will involve the community partnering with the police to uncover and solve crimes through a process involving Town Hall Meetings to assess security situation and security priorities of the communities, the performance of the police and the nature of the support the communities can provide to improve the quality of policing.

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EFCC Planning To Abduct Me, Says Ex AGF Adoke

Former Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, has said that he is aware of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) plan to “illegally abduct and forcibly drag him to Nigeria.”

Adoke in a statement on Sunday said the anti-graft agency was working on the order of the presidency to humiliate and detain him for challenging his “continuous persecution, intimidation and harassment by the EFCC” in court.

“I made spirited efforts to engage with relevant officials of government including the EFCC, the office of the attorney general of the federation and the presidency to furnish them with all the information in respect of the OPL 245 settlement agreement between the federal government of Nigeria and Malabu Oil & Gas Limited which was brokered by the administration of President Olusegun Obasanjo, GCFR,” Adoke said.

“I also furnished copies of relevant agreements and presidential approvals to implement the settlement agreement; evidence that the signature bonus of US$210 million due to government was duly paid and that all the officials that were involved in the implementation of the settlement agreement acted in furtherance of the requisite presidential approval to actualize government’s desire to end a long standing dispute over the ownership and operation of Block 245 that had prevented the commercial exploitation of the block for the benefit of the country.

“Despite my best endeavour to explain the transaction, it became obvious that those who felt aggrieved by my refusal to use my office to further their interests in Malabu Oil & Gas Limited, (the beneficiary of the OPL 245 Settlement Agreement) were intent on impugning the transaction in order to strengthen the hands of their collaborators in government to repudiate settlement.

“It was against this background that I approached the federal high court for interpretation of the provisions of sections 5(1); 147, 148, and 150 of the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended in order to determine whether as a minister in the government of the federation, I could incur criminal liability for carrying out the lawful directives of the president and commander-in-chief, particularly where it has not been shown that I acted in excess of such authority or directive.

“I was made to understand this move did not go down well with certain persons in the presidency and the EFCC, hence the renewed harassment and intimidation that followed in form of searches of my residences in Kano and Okene and that of my brother.

“I have petitioned the UN special rapporteur on the Independence of judges and lawyers about my plight and the deliberate efforts being made by the EFCC and the government to deny me my livelihood, family life, as well as my legitimate right to fundamental freedoms.

“I therefore wish to use this medium to once more sensitise Nigerians and the international community about the flagrant abuse of my rights being perpetrated by Nigerian authorities under the guise of fighting corruption and the plan to illegally abduct me against all known international laws, rules and norms in order to forcibly take me to Nigeria akin to the botched ‘Umaru Dikko Saga’ in the UK in 1984 for the sole purpose of humiliating and illegally detaining me indefinitely for daring to challenge the actions /illegalities of the EFCC before Nigerian courts and relevant UN human rights mechanisms.”

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Boat Accident Kills Nine People In Lagos

The Lagos State Government on Sunday confirmed the death of nine persons in the boat mishap which occurred at the weekend in Ilashe area of the State.

In a statement issued by the Managing Director of Lagos State Waterways Authority, Engr Abisola Kamson, the State Government attributed the unfortunate mishap to overloading of passengers on a Banana Boat and operation of illegal jetty.

Kamson said four victims of the mishap who were rescued are already receiving treatment at a nearby hospital, while search and rescue operation was still on-going.

Going into details of the mishap, Kamson said: “An unfortunate incident occurred at Ilashe today Sunday August 20th arising from overloading of passengers on a Banana boat taking off from an illegal Jetty which has become a perennial issue of the Lagos State Government to rid our Waterfront areas of illegal operators.

“We sympathize with the families of the deceased as nine lives were lost in the mishap and four people receiving treatment in the hospital.

“The LASWA rescue team has been on ground and search is still on-going. This brings to fore again the need for NIWA to allow the judgement of the Appeal Court granting Lagos Control of her waterways to take effect without hindrance.

“It is a matter for regret that ever since the judgement was pronounced, NIWA has ejected all State Water Guards monitoring standards from all Federal owned Jetties. In spite of this, the Government of Lagos State aligns to the safety of citizens on the waterways. All Lagosians are enjoined to wear standard life jackets at all times on our Waterways,” Kamson said.

Punch

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