The national leadership of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas (HOSTCOM), has inaugurated a 30-man executive of the association for Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, with a call for grassroot mobilisation and team work.
The thirty-man Akulga leadership committee led by Chief Opuda Orumo as chairman, Elder Prestow M. Bob-Manuel, Vice chairman, Apostle Pakiriman Alaku, Secretary-General and Orukio George Nigeria organising secretary among others, were inaugurated at the AWO Memorial Hall, Manuel’s Compound, Abonnema, Akuku Toru LGA.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, the National Vice Chairman of HOSTCOM who represented the chairman, Evang Ibinabobo Sanipe said the group came into existence in order to ensure the equitable distribution of 10 percent oil derivation fund to the oil and gas producing communities across the nine states of the Niger Delta.
Ibinabobo stated that communities in the Niger Delta region were suffering as a result of oil and gas explorations in the area, adding that the people were not positively impacted by the 10 percent derivation payment due to abysmal squandering of the fund by few privileged individuals in the region.
According to him, the Federal Government paid over N70 billion from 1999 – 2008 to state governments but regretted that the impact of such money had not been felt by the people.
Also speaking, the state chairman of HOSTCOM, Hon Herbert C. Awortu called for the establishment of RIVSOPADEC in the state like Edo, Delta and Imo States to be saddled with the management of the 10 percent oil derivation fund in order to address the developmental needs of the oil and gas host communities in the state.
Traditional Ruler Empowers Widows, Others In Elele
A traditional ruler, Eze Okechukwu Okah, Eze Ali Omokpirikwu of Elele, in Ikwerre Local Government, Rivers State, has empowered widows, women and chiefs in his community.
Eze Okah, gave out five milion, five hundred thousand naira to over 5000 persons for empowerment.
The annual empowerment programme was held at the weekend in Elele, in his palace. The aim was to assist women and chiefs to cultivate their farms.
Speaking at the ceremony, the traditional ruler said the major aim of the empowerment was to make feeding in various homes easy.
”This annual empowerment programme was to enable our mothers return to their farms. It is the only way I can assist them feed their homes and society at large.
For now, this is what I can do to assist our precious mothers, widows and the less privileged in the society”, Eze Okah said.
He further promised to build a befitting market for Omokpirikwu women, as to improve the economic activities of the area.
“The market, if built would end transporting goods to other neighbouring communities for sale.
Consequently, I dedicate this empowerment programme to Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, because he is the pride of the state.
Governor Wike’s massive infrastructural and human capital development in the state deserves commendation”, he stated.
He used the forum to call on the governor to contest 2023 presidential race, saying that he has the capacity and support.
Earlier, an 89 year old woman, Edith Amadi, one of the beneficiaries expressed joy with tears, thanking Eze Okay for his benevolence, adding that since she lost her husband life have been so difficult.
The women leader of Ali Mama Omokpirikwu Chapter, Mrs Dorathy Ogbonna, Ezenne Justin Kinika, 79, and other beneficiaries’ thanked Eze Okah for the empowerment.
Why Ogoni Should Be Supported For Governor -VON
A politico-social group christened Vanguards of Ogoni Nation (VON), has canvassed for an Ogoni to be governor in 2023.
Chairman of the group, Favour Reuben, in a live radio programme monitored by The Tide in Port Harcourt said, Ogonis have potentials to lead the state.
He solicited for other ethnic groups to join in the quest for an Ogoni governor, noting that they cannot do it alone without support of other parts of the state.
In his words:” We are consulting and reaching out to other groups and we believe the Ogonis should be given a chance.”
Reuben dismissed the claim of riverine and upland dichotomy in the state guber race, stressing that current political developments have overtaken such position over the years.
Reuben, who is former chairman of Labour Party, also hinted that his party is ready to field any candidate from Ogoni in the party.
The former labour party chairman in the state urged all Ogonis to jettison their differences and ensure that they produced the governor in 2023.
He counselled against all forms of divisiveness and violence, emphasising the need for unity, compromise and sense of nationality among the Ogonis as a way of clinching the guber seat in next year.
By: Kevin Nengia
Soberekon Calls For Six Vice Presidential Slots For Nigeria
An elder statesman in Niger Delta, Rev Sokari Soberekon, has called for a provision for six vice presidential slog for the country. This is as he called for the restructuring of Nigeria before the 2023 general election.
In a memo titled “proposal for the restructuring of Nigeria for peace and stability, sustainability, rapid development and good governance”, made available to The Tide in Port Harcourt, the cleric said the political zones have been grossly neglected for years especially the villages that produce the resources that have sustained the country for 65 years, hence, the six vice presidential positions if put in place, would serve the interest of the autonomous geopolitical zones of the country.
Soberekon maintained that only restructuring will correct injustice and encourage healthy competition among the zones for rapid development since all the zones have resources that can be developed for growth and development.
Each of the six geopolitical zones include; south east, south west, south-south, north-east, north-central and north-west zones, he said, ”is naturally endowed with wonderful mineral resources that need be tapped and developed for rapid economic growth and development”
Soberekon in the same memo, warned against heeding to calls for the division of the country instead, he sued for “staying together as one indivisible entity”, as the best option for Nigeria, via restructuring.
Meanwhile, Soberekon has also called for the establishment of a petroleum and gas university in Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, as he invites President Mohammadu Buhari and other world leaders to visit Oloibiri to see the level of underdevelopment in the place.
Regretting the absence of a federal presence in the community, he said nothing less than the establishment of a petroleum and gas university would serve enough compensation to a people and land where crude oil was first discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria.
By: Kalu Emmanuel
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