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I don’t hate Idoma people – Ortom



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From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

The Benue Rebirth Movement, BRM, a pressure group championing the agitation for power-shift to the Benue South South Senatorial District popularly known as Zone C has expressed shock over the selection of Speaker of the House of Assembly, Titus Uba as the sole aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) by the 14 Tiv speaking local government areas of the state.

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The Movement in a statement signed by its National Coordinator, AVM Monday Morgan (rtd), also accused the State Governor, Samuel Ortom of championing what it described as an ethnic agenda in favour of the Tiv speaking areas against the people of Zone C.

This is even as Governor Ortom, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nathaniel Ikyur, has debunked all claims made by BRM, insisting that he does not hate the Idoma people.

The BRM expressed shock over statements credited to the Governor in an interview where he was quoted to have said that the PDP cannot zone the position of state Governor to Zone C for the 2023 election because if the party picks its Governorship flag bearer from zone C and the All Progressives Congress (APC) does not do the same, the PDP would lose the Governorship election in the state since politics is a game of numbers.

“We view the Governor’s statement as a deliberate attempt to foreclose the possibility and chances of a Zone C person becoming the state Governor next year. We also consider the process of the purported selection of Rt. Hon. Uba as a ruse designed to frighten zone C into abandoning its Gubernatorial aspiration. It is like rubbing pepper in the 46-year-old ethnically motivated political wound inflicted on the people of zone C.

“We consider it inappropriate for Governor Ortom who is the leader of PDP in Benue state and father to all to publicly take a definite position against Zone C and openly align himself with the aspiration of Zone A.

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“We reject completely the deployment of virtually the entire state PDP machinery by the Governor to the pursuit of a Tiv ethnic agenda. We reject the situation whereby well-established party structures would be replaced overnight with an illegal body known as the “caucus for the Tiv speaking area” for the purpose of picking the party’s candidate for election.

“The Governor’s roles in (6) and (7) above are prejudicial and against the principles of equity, fairness and justice. This is inimical to the credibility and integrity of any process for the selection of the consensus Governorship candidate at the state level in which the Governor is supposed to play a neutral, fatherly role,” the statement read in part.

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Reacting, Governor Ortom, in a statement described the BRM’s allegation against him as spurious and far from the truth, particularly as it relates to the 2023 governorship election in Benue state.

The statement which was signed by Ikyur added that, “Since 2015 when Governor Samuel Ortom came to office, he has continued to promote the unity of the state with accentuated vigour.

“This is also displayed in the now famous ‘Unity Cap’ which he preaches to build unity among all ethnic nationalities in the state and Nigeria in general.

Ikyur reminded the BRM that the governor swore to the oath of office and oath of allegiance which makes every citizen of the state his primary responsibility, stressing that he (Ortom) has displayed this in both his appointments and siting of amenities by ensuring that no zone in the state lags behind.

“The idea behind this is to show that Benue is for all and not just for the Tiv alone as the AVM Monday Morgan’s Benue Rebirth Movement, BRM wants the public to believe.

“It is on record that Governor Ortom had counselled the leadership of the Benue Rebirth Movement to reach out to their Tiv brothers to canvass support across all political parties, and not just in the People’s Democratic Party, PDP for the purpose of an Idoma son or daughter to be elected as Governor of the State. That way, Governor Ortom believes there will be a singleness of purpose and approach for our Idoma brothers to have a level field of contest.

The statement therefore, advised the Benue Rebirth Movement to do more homework by building trust and confidence with their Tiv brothers in their quest and not to turn and make Governor Ortom an issue in their contest for the governorship of the state.

“Governor Ortom is not against an Idoma man becoming the governor of the State. It is a process that involves everyone, the statement concluded.



Nigeria Newspapers

President Buhari departs Abuja for UAE



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President Muhammadu Buhari will on Thursday depart Abuja for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to meet the new president of the country, His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The president will meet the new President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to convey his condolences on the passing of the former president and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, His Highness, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The President will also extend his congratulations to the new President, renewing bonds of the longstanding friendship between Nigeria and the UAE.

Buhari, in an earlier congratulatory message to the new UAE leader, had reaffirmed Nigeria’s cordial relationship with the country.

He noted that the cooperation between both governments has helped Nigeria in tracking down illegal assets and tracing terrorist funds.

Under the new leadership, President Buhari looks forward to a bigger and stronger partnership for peace, stability, and prosperity for both countries.

President Buhari will be accompanied by the Minister of State Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Prof. Isa Ali Pantami, the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

Other members of his delegation are the National Security Adviser, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Monguno (Rtd) and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar.

The President is expected back in the country on Saturday.



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Nigeria Newspapers

$200bn investments needed to access clean cooking gas by 2030-Sylva



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From Uche Usim, Abuja

With the global energy transition chants reaching a crescendo, the Minister of State, Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva has said that an annual investment of around $25 billion in the next eight years could help 2.6 billion people globally access clean cooking by 2030.

He also canvassed for $25 billion annual investments for electricity so that 759 million Africans who currently lack it can enjoy it.

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The Minister, who said these at the annual Symposium and Exhibition of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), on Tuesday in Lagos.

However, the Minister stressed that with “approximately 208.62 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of proven gas valued at over $803.9 trillion and potential upside of 600TCF of gas, the most extensive in Africa, and in the top 10 globally.

“And in line with Federal Government’s declaration of years 2021-2030 as the ‘Decade of Gas’, we are taking steps to expand and develop the nation’s huge gas resources through

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enhanced gas exploration, development and utilisation schemes which will lead to gas reserves growth, increased gas production, maturation of the domestic and export gas market, as well as gas flare elimination,” he said.

His suggestions drew inspiration from the United Nations Commission for Africa’s (UNECA) report, which highlighted that Africa needs about $40 billion worth of investments every year if it is to meet its energy needs.

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The Minister, while making reference to the United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs report, noted that everyone in the world could have access to clean, affordable energy within the next nine to 10 years if countries modestly increase investments in the energy sector.

He said: “A major question that is yet to beanswered is whether Africa will benefit from an equitable share in this global

investment and growth or, will continue to fall further behind global standards as encapsulated in the UN’s 17-SDGs.

“Despite the long-term and required drop in demand for fossil fuels, short-term demand and prices remain robust, providing strong commercial justification for their extraction and a need to smooth the transition”.

Sylva added that the required investment represents only a small fraction of the multi-trillion-dollar global energy investment needed overall.

He noted that despite contributing less than 6% of world energy consumption and 2% of total global emissions, there is a need for the continent to shift to cleaner energy use.

With significantly untapped fossil fuel reserves, which could provide much-needed foreign direct investment and export revenue, Sylva said Africa has the ability to play a leading role and should play a leading role in the transition to a net-zero energy future. According to him, the continent’s enormous resources can be harnessed using clean energy technologies.

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Describing the PIA as a game changer, Sylva said the legislation will help support the continent to alleviate energy poverty.

He said: “The PIA has generous incentives to enable development, distribution, penetration, and utilisation of gas even as it incentivizes entry into the midstream, especially for pipelines with an additional 5-year tax holiday for investment in gas pipelines.

“The PIA is a supply-side enabler, capable of provoking and triggering commercial interests and investments in gas utilization as well as treating gas as a stand-alone commodity.”

“As a nation, we are following a transition pathway that combines technology, investment, business strategies, and government policy that will enable Nigeria to transition from its current energy system to a low-carbon energy system with natural gas playing a pivotal role over the next generation, roughly between now and 2060.

“Natural gas is a key resource for a just energy transition and has all the credentials to support Nigeria and indeed Africa meet up with her commitment with the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“As a major source of wealth and energy in Africa, the development of oil and gas resources proves critical for our

economic growth and revenue expansion,” he added.

The Minister insisted that there must be multiple pathways to the energy transition in order to ensure that no country is left behind in the process of achieving net-zero by 2060.

“As a continent, we need to be

intentional and recognize the need to develop hydrocarbon resources in environmentally and socially responsible ways.

“And as alluded to by the African

Union, we need to be realistic in choosing the energy transition pathways which addresses our unique requirements and circumstances. As well as enhancing policy, legislation and implementation approaches across national, regional, and continental level, to enable a favorable environment for development.

“We need to develop bankable projects to scale up access to funding and investment. And adopt a mix of energy solutions to address the needs of each country including solutions to high tariffs and accessibility to sustainable energy options.

“We need to promote energy efficiency which is necessary for energy transition and focus on building energy infrastructure and strengthening transmission corridors,” Sylva said.



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