The National Coordinator of Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates (KSWA), Chief Gani Topba has dismissed purported reports that Ogoni stakeholders had agreed with the Federal Government on conditions for the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoniland.
Topba reiterated that the one but last meeting of the stakeholders held May 3, 2018 at the NNPC Towers, Abuja, with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu did not agree on resumption of oil production by any company in the area, and warned those peddling such rumours to retrace their steps before they throw Ogoniland into another round of crisis.
He made this clarification while delivering a letter of invitation from the Minister for Petroleum Resources to the family of late Ken Saro-Wiwa in Bane, Khana Local Government Area, last Sunday.
Topba explained that the major reason for attending the meeting in Abuja was to pressure the Federal Government to exonerate the late environmentalist from any murder charges.
He stressed that it was only after the exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa from murder charges that the Ogoni people could begin further negotiations with the Federal Government on the way forward for oil exploration in Ogoniland, adding that the letter by the minister calling for an engagement with Ogoni people to secure their understanding for the resumption of oil exploration came as a surprise to the stakeholders who attended the Abuja meeting.
He urged the people of Ogoni not to despair but remain resilient and patient so as to ensure that what Ken Saro-Wiwa died for comes to pass, adding that propaganda spread around by RoboMichael and its cohorts against the state director of Department of State Security (DSS) would not deter the people from standing their ground as non-violent agitators.
Topba berated some traditional rulers in the area for compromising their reputation and integrity in an attempt to enrich themselves at the detriment of the lives of majority of Ogonis, reminding them that Ogoni people would not shirk their confidence and trust in the ability and capacity of security agencies to protect lives and property while maintaining the peace and security in the area.
Topba called on all the security agencies to partner the Rivers State Government to urgently investigate the activities of RoboMichael in Ogoniland and bring those found wanting to justice, adding that Ogonis were ready to resist attempts by any group of persons to forcefully enter their land to explore for crude oil.
Responding to the letter handed over to him by Gani Topba, the head of Ken Saro-Wiwa family, Harry Wiwa called on the Federal Government to change the venue of the meeting from Palace of the Gbenemene of Tai Kingdom to the Suanu Finima Wika Hall, Bori, or Rivers State Government House in Port Harcourt, claiming that Ogonis would not be safe attending strategic meeting in the palace of a traditional ruler.
“The meeting slated to take place on July 9, is an important one and the governor of Rivers State knows the calibre of people expected to attend. Therefore, to avoid violence and ensure the safety of all Ogonis, we urge the governor to host the meeting at Government House, if they don’t want to come to Suanu Finima Wika’s Hall.”
Wike, Julius Berger MD Inspect Progress Of Work On Three Flyover In PH
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has declared that with the pace of work at the three flyover bridges in Port Harcourt, the contractor would deliver according to the timeframe.
Addressing journalists after a joint inspection tour of the three flyover bridges in Port Harcourt with the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr Lars Richter, last Wednesday, Wike said that he was satisfied with the quality and pace of work.
He said: “We are quite satisfied that they are working within the time frame. I am satisfied with the quality of work.
“We are not disappointed, knowing the capacity of Julius Berger. We believe they will deliver by February, 2021 as scheduled.
“I am quite happy with what I have seen. They are working simultaneously. We must have to appreciate the enormous work required.”
He expressed happiness that the Rivers State Government chose Julius Berger to carry out the construction of the three flyover bridges.
He said: “I thank God we chose a company with the reputation of delivery. Nigerians know that Julius Berger always delivers once the resources are there. I thank God that we have provided the needed resources for the completion of these flyover bridges.
“I came with the managing director of Julius Berger to see things for ourselves and we are very happy.”
Wike directed the Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning to immediately carry out integrity tests on some buildings at Rumuogba.
“At Rumuogba flyover, I observed that some structures that have nothing to do with the construction works need to be inspected by the Ministry of Urban Development and Physical Planning. They have to undergo further integrity tests because we don’t want to lose lives”, he said.
In his remarks, Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, Dr Lars Richter, reassured that his company would deliver on schedule and in line with specifications.
Rivers HoS Task FG On Oil Spill Fine
Rivers State Head of Service, Rufus Godwins jas urged the federal government to increase the one million narea penalty fine for default in cleaning up oil impacted sites and environments.
The Head of Service stated this at the maiden edition of Chief Nwobidike Nwanudi memorial lecture organised by Selemati Foundation in Port Harcourt.
According to him the stipulated amount for failure to cleanup affected environment by oil spiillers was insufficient to carry out the cleanup as well as compensate victims of the pollution.
He said that oil companies that are contributing to environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region should be sanctioned and made to face the law.
Godwins while speaking on the theme “The Impact of Environmental Pollution on Human Health and the Challenges of Interpretation and Enforcement of Environmental Laws and Regulations in the Niger Delta,” said Niger Delta region had borne the brunt of oil exploration and has flaring for about Sixty-four years.
“ The reprehensible apathy by government and the multinational companies towards the remediation of the deplorable condition of the Niger Delta environment, with its attendant systematic has been acknowledged even by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country’s giant regulatory authority of the oil and gas sector.
The keynote speaker also called for a more proactive and responsive approach by National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to ensure safe, effective, and appropriate monitoring and response to public alerts on pollution.
Also speaking Chairman, Board of Trustees of Selemati Foundation, Mrs. Judith Nwanodi, said the foundation was established with the vision to inspire Nigerians to be global academic leaders with transformative impact on the lives of marginalized people through their research in the fields of environmental studies, law and medicine.
She said the Founation had the objectives of funding innovative research in the fields of environmental studies, law and medicine, improve infrastructural services in community health centres in the Niger Delta region, hold biennial memorial lectures with the audience participation in Nigeria, Great Britain, Canada and the United States of America, and a host of other objectives.
By: Iragunima Benice
RSG Releases Fund For Reconstruction Of CEA Council Chambers …As 2,910 Students Matriculate For 2020 Academic Session
As part of its concerted efforts to improve academic standard and provide learning infrastructures across institutions of higher learning in the state, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has approved the release of funds for immediate reconstruction of the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic Council Chambers destroyed by a whirled wings that hit the institution last two years.
The governor also approved the release of funds for the construction of two storey building at the polytechnic to carter for the deficit office accommodation affecting the institution.
The Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Samuel B. Kalagbor, disclosed this while addressing 2,910 matriculants at the 29th matriculation ceremony of the institution held at the school campus in Rumuola, Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Kalagbor while given the breakdown of the newly admitted students said the 2,910 cut across both National Diploma and Higher National Diploma certificates, and urged the students to shun all negative tendencies that would be detrimental to their academic futures.
According to him, the management of the polytechnic has zero tolerance for cultism, corruption, examination malpractices, among others, adding that any student found culpable will be disciplined in accordance with the rules governing the institution.
“The school is noted for its academic excellence; any student found indulging in nefarious activities will be rusticated from the school.
The management is poised to protecting the students at all time ensure you engage in positive activities through the students union”, he stated.
The rector told the gathering that the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE) recently has approved 14 programmes for during the last accreditation visit to the institution, and added that the management of the institution is pushing seriously to ensure that more programmes were accredited for the school this year.
Kalagbor expressed optimism that the polytechnic would soon be listed among the beneficiaries of TETFund going by the recent visit by its officials to the institution in order to improve both human and infrastructural needs of the institution.
He used the opportunity to thank the State Chief Executive and Visitor to the institution, Chief Nyesom Wike, for his commitment and interest in the development of the polytechnic, and added that the institution has been repositioned in order to continue to play its leading roles in the development of manpower for the state and the country at large.
The highlight of the event was the administration of the school’s matriculation pledge on the matriculants by the polytechnic registrar.
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