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NHRC Raises Alarm Over Extra-Judicial Killings, Disappearances

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Kevin Nengia

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has raised alarm over increasing reports of extra-judicial killings and strange disappearances of detainees in police custody in Rivers State.
Zonal Coordinator of NHRC South-South, Barrister Emily Herbert in an interview with journalists on Wednesday in Port Harcourt, disclosed that the agency is currently investigating about six of such cases.
Barrister Herbert, who frowned at the attitude of security men, especially the police towards suspects observed that sudden disappearances of suspects under their custody show that, “there is something fishing about the situation.”
The NHRC Zonal Coordinator stated that they have written to the police about the development, “and the Commissioner of Police has promised to treat two of such cases in the room trial and those involved would be stripped of their uniform”.
Though she blamed the situation to the peculiar terrain and developments in the Niger Delta but noted that security agents have the right to protect lives as well.
Aside extra-judicial killings, the NHRC Coordinator lamented the swelling level of companies who fail to Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) before operating in their host communities.
In her view such attitude breeds communal hostilities to companies and is a violation of the rights of such community.
About two reports she divulged are being looked into regarding poor EIA report. The communities she listed include Ogburuta in Buguma and Buguma Community versus Agip Oil Company.
Barrister Herbert therefore called on oil and other natural resources exploiting companies to conduct EIA, as a way of checking negative environmental effects of their activities in their host communities.
Worried over the effect of militancy and violence in the Niger-Delta region, Herbert pleaded on the militants to give peace a chance and embrace the Federal Government’s amnesty, stressing that it would improve human rights as well in the region.

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Rivers

Finima Seeks Host Community Rights From NLNG

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Finima community has decried neglect and poor corporate social responsibility by the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas(NLNG), insisting that the gas multinational has failed to recognise them as host community.
The protest staged by the community was peaceful until some youths alleged to be from Bonny  attacked the protesters, unleashing violence and vandalising properties worth millions of naira in the area.
As at the time of writing the report, nine persons were wounded in the attack and were hospitalised.
Speaking on why the community held the protest, an elder of Finima Community, Mr Dagogo Lambeth Brown said for over 30 years the community was relocated for the LNG plant in  the early 90s, the community had been sided in terms of hosting rights.
Brown stated that despite having signed an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the community, NLNG has reneged on what he called legacy issues. Some of the legacy issues include resettlement of indigenes from their ancestral land now used as site for NLNG, environmental, health, education and employment.
He said, “as at today there is nothing to show for hosting LNG on our land…even we have internally displaced persons in Finima.”
Woman Leader in the community, Mrs.Victoria Brown recalled that the community gave land to the federal government to build the multinational gas firm but today the firm has failed to honour and rexognise their host.
Another community woman leader, Mrs Kabaka Brown said many youths are not employed as part of the MOU.
“ We have master and doctoral degree holders who have no jobs. The jobs they give us is cleaners and security men,” she said.
On his part, Youth Leader and former Chairman of FinimaYouth , Ala Hart decried that NLNG has made billions from it soil while the community suffers.
Mr. Hart explained that the major issues of contention forms part of the Community Content Guidelines, which NLNG do not implement.
He noted that the Community Content Guidelines is part of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board established by law.
The guidelines covers employment, environment, health and general welfare of host communities which the gas giant does not implement.
Reacting to the development, the NLNG General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi- Williams  said the multinational gas firm had always considered all stakeholders in the community  as partners.
“ NLNG remains full committed to sustainable development in the kingdom, hinged on active community participation to drive initiatives and projects that positively impact the lives of the community,” he added.

By: Kevin Nengia

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Rivers

21st Century Business: Company Harps On Digital, Smart Office Technology

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The General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Xerox H.S. Nigeria Limited, Mr Femi Abidoye, has stressed the need for digital printing press as well as Smart Office operations in order to adjust properly in the 21st century office documentation system.
Abidoye, said this during the company’s business exhibition titled “ Digital Printing Press, Smart Office Technology Products And Electronic Document  Management System ‘EDMS’ held in Port Harcourt recently.
He noted that the company has made the issue of work from home a reality.
According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic had actually challenged the people on the need to consider work from home a better business option, which he said the company was handy to provide solution.
The Xerox’s General Manager, Sales and Marketing, further said that his company has been in the forefront of sermonising against analogue system to the digital system.

By: King Onunwor

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Rivers

Foundation Wants Establishment Of Environmental Clubs In Schools

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As part of measures of promoting Environmental best practices in the society, a Non-Governmental Organisation, under the auspices of ‘Biodiversity Protection and Sustainable Development Foundation’, has called for the establishment of Environmental Eco Clubs in Primary, Secondary and tertiary institutions. 
Foremost environmentalist and Chairman, Board of Trustees of the foundation, Engr, Olu Andah Wai- Ogosu gave the recommendation during a one-day, ‘Youth in School Sensitisation Programme on Environmental sustainability’ held at Goel International School, Onne, Eleme Local Government Area, Rivers State in commemoration of the 2021 edition of the World Environment Day.
Wai- Ogosu who described the environment as man’s first right decried the abuses of the environment through bad practices and lack of effective policy regulations and implementation.
He pointed out that the establishment of Eco clubs and full integration of environmental practices in the school curriculum will help in raising proper awareness particularly among the youth to manage the environment effectively.
Wai- Ogosu, a former National President of Nigeria Environmental Society, said the theme for this year’s World Environment Day,  “Ecosystem Restoration” was very apt as it draws attention to the ecosystem which is under severe threat and abuses as a result of bad environmental practices.
He said: “It’s very important that we factor in the environment in all our development plans, the vision 2020 project had no consideration for the protection of the environment and what we have is chaos”.

By: Taneh Beemene

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