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Below are the headlines found on The Guardian Online Newspaper for today, Sunday, 12 November, 2017.

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
Thirty-eight days after the Senate resolved to investigate the alleged abuse of due process in the award of contracts worth $25b by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the investigation is yet to commence in earnest.

The only meeting held by the ad hoc committee investigating the matter was an inaugural one, which took place on October 24, 2017. That was exactly two weeks after it was constituted.

The four-week deadline given to the ad hoc committee by Senate President Abubakar Bukola Saraki, when it was constituted expired over a week ago without a word from either the committee, or the Senate leadership.

Chairman of the committee who is a former Sokoto State governor, Aliu Wamakko, has refused to speak on the investigation.

But a member of the Committee and Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum Resources, Downstream, Senator Kabiru Marafa, (APC, Zamfara Central,) had tried to adduce reasons for the delayed probe.

According to Marafa, the committee could not start because the three chairmen of Senate Committees on Petroleum Resources (Upstream, Downstream and Gas) were all away with Saraki to attend a function in Russia.

However, Saraki and all those members returned to the country three weeks ago. Marafa also claimed that the search for a clerk for the ad hoc committee was also responsible for the delay in take-off.

Marafa had said: “ We had to wait for communication on the directive by the Senate to the committee. When the Senate sets up an ad hoc committee, there are some procedures the mandate has to pass through, including the appointment of a clerk, and provision of a secretariat. An ad hoc committee is different from a standing committee- a standing committee has everything in place, but an ad hoc committee does not.”

It would be recalled that the Senate had on October 4, announced the composition of a committee to carry out a holistic investigation into allegation of insubordination and abuse of due process leveled against the Group Managing Director (GMD) of NNPC, Maikanti Baru, by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu.

The Senate had also resolved to investigate Kachikwu’s call for the cancellation of the recent appointments in the NNPC, just as it had resolved to carry out a probe into the finances and activities of the NNPC.

The decision to probe the allegations raised by Kachikwu against Baru was sequel to additional prayer by Senator Kabir Marafa (APC, Zamfara Central) during a discussion on a motion by Senator Samuel Anyanwu (PDP, Imo East) titled, “Allegation of Corruption against NNPC Trading: Time to Conduct a Holistic Investigation.”

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
Elder statesman and former Federal Commissioner for Education, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, has alleged that Transport Minister, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, former Bayelsa State governor, Timipre Sylva, and Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, were responsible for the stoppage of the General Assembly of the forum in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, last month.

He has, however, vowed that the group would go to any length within the ambit of the law to find out why the Federal Government decided to stop the meeting, since efforts to get answers from high-ranking government officials, including the Minister of Interior, General Abdurahman Dambazzau (rtd), and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, have not yielded fruits.

A source close to the Vice President claimed he did not receive the distress call Chief Clark sent.

In an interview with The Guardian, Clark while recalling the circumstances that led to the meeting being aborted said before the botched meeting, another chieftain of the group, Anabs Sara-Igbe informed him that an indigene of the area that is involved in oil company operations had approached him and indicated interest came to pay for Atlantic Hall, venue of the General Assembly at Hotel Presidential, and was also prepared to give the delegates lunch.

“These were the things that young man promised. We did not go to another oil company to solicit for help. It was PANDEF that asked NDDC for assistance in the area of accommodation during the meeting. As a result of this request, NDDC gave us N15m on the day we were to hold the meeting. They brought the N15m to pay for accommodation in various hotels in Port Harcourt. This money I did not see or touch. By the way, what is N15m to someone like me?

“Not only that, I was the one that wrote a personal letter to Governor Nyesom Wike to host us. The governor then called to inform me that he was going to America to pick up an award, and from there he would be going to Chatham House in London to give a lecture, and as such, he was not going to be available, so we should postpone the meeting. I told him it was too late to cancel the meeting, as delegates were beginning to arrive the venue of the meeting in Port Harcourt.

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
Richard Mofe-Damijo is back at his desk producing artistic content and coaching young people to be the best in the performance arts. He just produced a new show at his studio titled The Mr. X Family, which is ready to be aired. RMD, as he is popularly called, said he has bid politics farewell; not that he was a politician in the first place. He’d gone to serve his state, Delta, and found politics somewhat unsavoury and said he would not play in that turf again except at the highest level, where the buck stops at his desk. He explains to ANOTE AJELUOROU some of his experiences in politics and his return to base in the world of the creative

How was government for you? Will you go back?
Everybody can be a lay critic of those in government. See, if you have never been in government you cannot understand it. From outside, people see it differently. It’s like you being the arts editor and your editor keeps giving you only what you should publish no matter what you bring in. That is how government is for me. You can have a budget of N10.00 allocated for the year and they probably give you 1 kobo to work with. You can operate zero budgeting for four or five years. Have you ever heard of zero budgeting?

Yes, but that sounds crazy. How can the work get done with that?
Indeed, it sounds so. I was forced to ask stupid questions in my first executive council meeting I attended. I didn’t know about zero budgeting; I didn’t know about deficit budgeting. I said, “If, in a year you are supposed to give me N10.00 in a year, why don’t you say this year you will give me N2.00 and tell me to priotise around the N2.00; that way I can tell you exactly what I can deliver and also you can monitor whatever you have attached that N2.00 to.’ And they said government doesn’t work like that. That is why governments in Africa or Nigeria are designed to fail. You can quote me on that: government is designed to fail in Nigeria because of how budgeting is done! And there are no standards of measurement for projects executed.

And so when a minister says he has N1 billion budget and you give him N1 million, how do you expect him to do the work? How do you expect the contractors to do the work, when you are giving less than one per cent of the sum to work with? That is how government is.

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
There is simmering tension in the Niger Delta between the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and the Pan Niger Delta Peoples Congress (PNDPC) that now threatens to impede the peace process and spark fresh violence in the region. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
One year after we submitted a 16-point agenda, the government says it is still working on it. What we need in these areas are bulldozers that will go in there and start the process of bringing about development. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
The Federal Government cannot but attend seriously, and with some sense of urgency to the present threat by the Niger Delta Avengers, knowing that the nation cannot afford another spate of violence in the Niger Delta space. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
We presented a 16-point agenda to the Federal Government and it commissioned a 20-point agenda. We have, however, discovered that government's 20-point agenda is only three points of our 16-point agenda. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
When we decided to probe further, we discovered it was Rotimi Amaechi, Timipre Sylva, former governor of Bayelsa State, alongside Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, who really stopped the meeting. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
As the countdown continues, one of the issues that have been trending in the state is the concern for unrelenting campaign by members of the outlawed Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) for a poll boycott. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
An elated Oba Ganiu Adebowale Adegbesan (Onise of Ise Land) couldn't contain his pleasure, as he conveyed his people's gratitude at receiving such a valuable and lasting gift from the Chinese community in Nigeria. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
In fact, a stretch of about 500 metres on the Nigerian side has about 15 checkpoints, with the Nigeria Customs Service, the Nigeria Immigration Service, and sundry government agencies, manning them. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
I came back and I showed the governor and I said, 'Oga, please buy us a bus.' I was on my own when former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan called me to work with him; I was completely nave. I didn't know anything about politics. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
The former Director General, Fayemi Campaign Organisation in the 2014 Governorship Election said the duo should be statesmen and see the 2018 Governorship Election beyond parochial interests. 

Sun, 12 Nov 2017
Art is constantly in aid of explicating the traditional values and ways of life of the people and projecting those values to the future. This has been the preoccupation of Oluwaseyi Paul Oshodi, founder and CEO of Oshodi Arts Gallery. 

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