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Kalu, Ibori, Uduaghan, Others Were Awarded NDDC Projects, Says Akpabio

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The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, has linked two former governors of Delta State, Messrs James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduaghan, to the various contracts awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission.

Others on the lists submitted to the Speaker, House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on July 23 by Akpabio are the Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu, and Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, among others.

The letter, which was also copied to the office of the Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice, was addressed to the Clerk to the House, Mr Patrick Giwa, with Reference Number MNDA/HM/04/IV/158.

It was titled, ‘Some Niger Delta Development Commission Contracts Allegedly Given to Some Members of the National Assembly (Senate and House of Representatives).’

The emergency repairs projects linked to them, according to the document, obtained by our correspondent, were awarded in 2018 at a cost which range from N400m and N560m each.

One of the projects linked to Ibori, was the emergency repairs of Onoghove community road from Ajanesan to Western Delta University at a cost of N485.7m.

Uduaghan was linked to the emergency repairs of Close B, Alhaji Estate & Environs, Rumuodomaya, Port Harcourt at a cost of N429m.

Five projects were linked to Kalu, who was simply identified in the document as OUK-Kalu (the project source).

The emergency repairs on roads projects linked to Kalu are in Abia State and the costs ranged from N517m to N560m.

The details are Emergency repairs of Ezere-Acha-Ndiokoukwu Road (N517.9m) and repairs of Amaubiri-Eluama-Uru Ring Road, Lokpaukwu, Umuchieze (N560m).

Others linked to Kalu are Ndi Oji Abam-Atan Road (N523.7m), Okafia-Ozuitem-Bende road (508m), and the Ozu-Amuru-Abam Road at the cost of  N523.4m.

The cost of the 12 projects linked to Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, located in Imo and Rivers states, were not indicated in the documents.

The NDDC document, however, listed some of the projects to include, emergency repairs of Umuelemai-Aba branch road, Anara-Okwelle-Umuna Road, Okpara-Road junction-Ogili Community all in Imo State.

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Finally, Buhari Fires Service Chiefs, Names Replacements

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After years of complaints by Nigerians about the worsening security situation amidst the overstay of Nigeria’s military chiefs in office, President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday relieved the officials of their positions.

Presidential spokesperson, Femi Adesina, said in a statement, Tuesday, that Mr Buhari “accepted the immediate resignation of the Service Chiefs, and their retirement from service.”

The four men – Gabriel Olonisakin, a general and Chief of Defence Staff; Tukur Buratai; a lieutenant general and chief of army staff; Abubakar Sadique, an air marshal and chief of air staff, and Ibok Ibas, a vice admiral and chief of naval staff – were supposed to have retired over two years ago based on their years of service.

But President Buhari kept them in office even as the security situation across the country worsened with bandits wreaking havoc in the North-west and North-central states, the Boko Haram carrying out attacks in the North-east and kidnapping becoming the norm in several states across Nigeria.

As the security situation got worse and more Nigerians called for the replacement of the service chiefs, Mr Buhari stuck to his guns, insisting they were doing their best and did not deserve to be replaced.

Even when he finally relieved them of their positions on Tuesday, the president praised the officials for their “overwhelming achievements in our efforts at bringing enduring peace to our dear country.”

President Buhari’s claim of “overwhelming achievements’ by the outgone military chiefs not only contradicts the perception of many Nigerians but also contradicts the position of the National Assembly dominated by members of the president’s party, APC.

At least on three different occasions, the National Assembly called for the sack of the service chiefs based on the worsening security situation. On each occasion, the president ignored the lawmakers and retained the Olonisakin-led service chiefs who were appointed on July 13, 2015, after President Buhari assumed office.

In his statement, Mr Adesina announced that the president appointed Leo Irabor, a major general, as the Chief of Defence Staff.

Mr Irabor formerly led Nigeria’s war against Boko Haram as the Theatre Commander of the Operation Lafiya Dole.

Ibrahim Attahiru, also a major general, was named the new Chief of Army Staff. Like Mr Irabor, Mr Attahiru had also led the war against Boko Haram.

The president also appointed A.Z. Gambo, a rear admiral, as Chief of Naval Staff and Isiaka Amao, an air vice marshal, as Chief of Air Staff.

“The President congratulates the new Service Chiefs, and urges them to be loyal and dedicated in the discharge of their responsibilities,” Mr Adesina said.

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Just In: Chelsea Fire Manager Frank Lampard

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Chelsea announced on Monday they had sacked manager Frank Lampard after a poor run in the Premier League.

“This was a very difficult decision for the club, not least because I have an excellent personal relationship with Frank and I have the utmost respect for him,” said owner Roman Abramovich.

Chelsea are struggling in ninth place in the Premier League table, 11 points behind leaders Manchester United.

They have lost five of their past eight Premier League matches after a good start to the season.

Former Paris Saint-Germain boss Thomas Tuchel in line to take over, reports said.

(AFP)

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Eagles Captain, Ahmed Musa Set to Join West Brom

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Super Eagles captain Ahmed Musa is set to join Premier League club West Bromwich Albion on a short term deal.

The 28-year-old has been unattached since quitting Al Nassr in October 2020.

According to Daily Mail, the Baggies have requested a visa for the winger and have also scheduled him for a medical on Wednesday.

Capped 95 times by Nigeria, Musa’s career has stalled since he left CSKA Moscow in 2016. Having scored 55 goals in 167 appearances for the Russians, he joined Leicester City in the summer of that year.

Things did not work out at the King Power Stadium, as the African made just seven league starts in 21 outings.

He joined after the Foxes had claimed the Premier League title and hoped to be part of something special with the club.

But he was loaned back to CSKA for the second half of the 2017/18 campaign.

He was then sold to Al Nassr in January 2019 and played 62 times in all competitions before being released.

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