The people of Polobubo (Tsekelewu) community in Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State at the weekend urged Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, to quench the fire in Ikpalakpalabou oil well and embark on assessment of the toxic effects on residents and the immediate environment as well as pay varying monetary sums as compensation for the disaster.
The people made the call at a peaceful protest following the recent fire outbreak four days ago which has been degrading the land and life of the people.
National President of the community, Ebilate Mac-Yoroki, in a presentation co-signed by Secretary of Polobubou, Midwest Kukuru, said, “As we speak, there is a thick cloud of smoke over Polobubo, constantly raining soot and oil on our people. In this current situation, the oil-well fire has caused Polobubou and its people so much pains, loss and is leaving so much damage behind.
“Chevron should immediately send qualified medical doctors to start attending to all the sick and weak in the community.
“We don’t need to die before they will believe that their activities are seriously affecting us adversely. We need clean potable water urgently because even the ones we currently drink have been polluted from their sources.
“We urgently need all sorts of food stuffs because we no longer have access to our main source of livelihood; fishing, which is also our main source of food. Hunger is worsening in the community.
“We need Chevron to, with immediate effect, embark on a process of cleaning the waters within and surrounding the community immediately.
“This is because they provide life for seafood, it is still the only means of recreation for our children, but as it is currently polluted by crude oil and gas, we can’t fish, just as our children cannot swim in it. It is almost a ‘concentration camp’ experience for us currently.
“We are a community of peaceful and hardworking people, but besides the fact that Chevron has refused to give our people jobs, the natural environment that ought to have been their source of livelihood has been taken away from them by the activities of the company. In the light of this, we demand that Chevron pays compensation to every member of Polobubou.”
Mac-Yoroki also said Chevron Nigeria Limited should provide them with potable water, food, medical aid among other things.
He said they are hungry and in dire need of medical attention, stressing that the fire has polluted their lands.
Mac-Yoroki said, “Our water and food sources”has been polluted by the fire.
He lamented the “unfair treatment” the people have suffered despite its peaceful disposition towards Chevron Nigeria Limited.
“All entreaties to Chevron to save our from the toxic effects of this fire have yielded no result. A much more grievous injustice by this company that has feigned friendship, against our ever-welcoming and peaceful people is the ongoing attempt to cede our land to Ondo state and thereby fan another needless ethnic crisis,” he said.
In his reaction, the Deputy Governor of Delta State, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro assured the people that the state government will not later than next Tuesday, send a delegation that may include CNL officials to assess the damage and proffer possible solutions to the issues raised.
He appreciated the community and its leadership for toeing the line of peace.
The Deputy Governor stated that while the State Government is aware of the fire incident, it also knows that the oil company is “making some frantic efforts towards getting that fire off”.
“I want to assure you that the Delta state government, led by Sen. Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, is a responsive government; a government that responds to the yearnings of its people and just like you have said, there is an issue and I want to say that between now and Tuesday next week, we will send a high power Delta state government team, possibly in collaboration with Chevron Nigeria Limited, to see, first hand, what the issues are, with a view to addressing some of them,” he said.
SEEFOR Empowers 500 Youths With Starter Packs, Shops In Rivers
The State Employment and Expenditure for Result Project (SEEFOR) in Rivers State has issued cheques of N100,000.00 each to rent shops for over 500 graduates of the state’s craft development centres who earlier received its starter packs for self-employment in the state.
The State Coordinator of SEEFOR, Mr Kelcious Amos, who officially supervised the disbursement of the funds in Port Harcourt, said the process was the second phase of the empowerment programmes to the young graduates of craft development centres across the state.
According to him, the graduates who were selected from different schools including from technical colleges and school-to-land programmes centres in the state, were earlier provided with starter packs of all kinds of electrical, welding and mechanical.
“What we are doing here today is part of the process we started some years ago to skill-up youths from various governments craft development centres, technical colleges and school-to-land centres across Rivers State.
“Precisely today, we are supporting them with N100,000.00 each to get a workshop, where the starter packs will be used to start their own businesses.
“They should use the opportunity to get themselves workshops to earn a living in life.
“Our next step of action is to disburse working capital of N50,000.00 each to enable them operate in the workshop but that will be after they might have rented the shops” the SEEFOR Coordinator explained.
Amos said that the project would ensured that the young school leavers in the state have their own businesses even before they further them education.
He also advised parents and guardians to monitor their wards and children to ensure proper management of the fund provided for their.
Also speaking, the Director Crafts, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr Obisike Anthony, commended SEEFOR for providing starter packs and fund for the youths to start their life after schools.
Anthony urged the young graduates to take the project serious, saying that the project was to ensure that they live a better life in the state.
Also speaking at the occasion the Principal Government Craft Development Centre, Port Harcourt, China Ameka, and Director, Planning,Research and Statistics Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr Samuel I. Nwokugha commended SEEFOR for the projects.
They urged the recipients to ensure the money is judiciously used for the purpose it was provided.
Mr Nwokugha appealed to SEEFOR to extend the projects to the youths in the rural areas as means to reduce restiveness and social vices in the state.
2019: NDDC Trainees Protest Over Neglect In PH
Some youths of Niger Delta region undergoing the 2019 NDDC ICT training have alleged of being shortchanged by consultants handling the programme.
The youths who said this during a demonstration in Port Harcourt also alleged of being brutalized by secretary Agencies at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
The alleged of being denied accommodations, especially those from Rivers State after being forced to sign the accommodation paper, while starter packs and other post training Assembly was denied them.
The protesters also alleged that the training was not allowed to run its full course of three months as proposed, adding that they were only given three weeks tutorials and asked to go.
The youths numbering over 200 further demanded for post training benefits and starter packs to enable them start up businesses after the training, and for their transport allowances and accommodation benefits be paid to them.
Reacting to the protest, a consultant to the commission on the programme, Mr. Ebi Chimezie, denied that the trainees were short-charged in the programme.
Chimezie, who was in charge of trainees from Abia, Delta and Cross River States, said all the trainees who sat for the final examinations have recivered their allowances.
He also expressed the commission’s willingness to reaccommodate those who embarked on the protest adding that the programme was designed by the commission to create opportunities for graduates from the region to become employers self employed with a view to contribute to the development of the region.
Community Lauds Wike Over Market Completion
The Rumuwoji Community Council (RCC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State have commended Governor Nyesom Wike for keeping his promise of rebuilding the Mile One Market, which was gutted by fire over a decade ago.
They however faulted claims that the Rumuwoji Market popularly called Mile 1 Market may be renamed by the State Government and urged the people of the State to continue to support the Governor in his vision of a New Rivers State.
The Chairman of the RCC, Hon Isaac Chibueze Wigodo who disclosed this in a statement said such claim of renaming the market is misleading, saying though he was not speaking for the State Government it is not true that renaming the market is being contemplated.
The RCC is the apex decision making body of Rumuwoji Community of Abali, Rebisi in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Wigodo in his statement issued on Monday was reacting to a publication in a local tabloid that the State government may have the market renamed, just as he urged the public to disregard such misleading information which he said was concocted to create confusion amongst the people.
“Although, i do not hold brief for the state government, it has not come to our notice and the government we know will not think in that direction,” adding that the writer was only trying to cause confusion between the chiefs of Port Harcourt and Rumuwoji the community, Wigodo said.
He further said that the place has been named Rumuwoji Mile Market even before the civil war, alleging that the author of the said publication who is from a neighbouring community probably wants the name of his community to be added.
”The report is misleading and fall short from the ethics of journalism profession. Nobody from the state government or chiefs as stated in the story spoke of the purported move to rename the market,” Wigodo noted, noting that the aim of the author was clearly to create confusion.
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