The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has flayed a Federal High Court ruling which ordered the Federal Government to renew the licence for Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
It would be recalled that in the judgment delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, last week, the judge said that though the oil giant had applied for a term of 30-year period for the OML 11, he could only grant a 20-year period in accordance with the provisions of the Petroleum Act.
The Tide reports that Shell and the Ogoni people have been having a running battle since the early 90’s with the former forced to pull out of the area during the heat of the crisis in 1993; with the latter vowing never to allow the firm re-enter the area to resume oil production as a result of the loses, including many deaths the Ogoni people have incurred.
Reacting to the judgment in a statement, MOSOP President, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, expressed concerns that despite the non-violent posture of the people to draw attention to its plight, Ogoni has continued to suffer abuses and injustices since 1957 when oil was discovered in the area.
Pyagbara said the judgment came at a time when Ogoni people have said that all the parties must be involved in discussing issues relating to the licence for the oil mining lease, describing the development as worrisome.
The statement reads, “MOSOP receives the report of the Nigerian Court, ordering the Federal Government of Nigeria to renew the Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 Operatorship Licence for 20 years to the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria with great concern.
“We have over the years consistently and non-violently drawn the attention of all institutions, successive governments and fellow citizens of the Nigerian State as well as the international community to the persistent injustice and plight of the Ogoni people as host to the oil multinationals.
“These abuses and injustices have continued unabated for over 60 years from 1957, when oil was discovered in Ogoni land. Our peaceful and defenseless people have been killed in thousands, communities sacked, means of subsistence destroyed through reckless oil mining activities, polluting our environment, including farmlands, aquatic life and forest resources, without redress by the government or change of attitude by the oil companies, particularly SPDC.
“The community, as a critical stakeholder, must be carried along with the Federal Government and the oil company in discussion relating to anything about licensing of any oil company to operate in Ogoni land, particularly, in discussing issues of externalities associated with oil extraction and even the question of benefits’ sharing.
“We have thought and had expected that having committed our lives, resources and everything about us into this non-violent struggle, and remaining law-abiding in the face of obvious oppression, suppression and provocation by, most times, combined forces of the oil giants and the government, that this injustice will cease and our people begin to have a new lease of life.
“It is, therefore, an issue of worry and deep concern that the cries, woes and anguish of the people of Ogoni seem not to be seen and understood, in a country they belong and have made huge sacrifices to keep her together and even growing.
“While we call on our people not to be disillusioned but to remain calm, we appeal to the Nigerian Government to act responsibly, and do everything to protect the fundamental rights of the Ogoni people and all citizens of the country.
“We continue to demand justice for our people, and will never renege or compromise the people’s position on where they stand, particularly as it relates to the issue of oil resumption in Ogoni land.
“The issue of benefits’ sharing, community participation and environmental management plan of the Ogoni environment must be put in place, and the Ogoni oil field continued to be treated as a green field as far as the issue of oil operation is concerned.
“We would engage the key actors, the Nigerian Government and the oil multinationals on this latest decision of the court, and ensure the ideals of our struggle stand, and of course, remain irrevocable,” the MOSOP president added.
UBEC, RSUBEB Begin Digital School Construction In Rivers
As part of government’s efforts to realize its dream of making the nation’s educational system a global digital community, the Federal Government, through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) and the Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), have commenced the construction of a modern digital Smart Basic School in the state, with 14-month completion schedule.
The school, which is a pilot modern basic education facility, is designed by UBEC in collaboration with RSUBEB to entrench digitization of ICT-driven basic education system across the 36 states and FCT, Abuja.
Speaking with journalists at a brief handover ceremony of the proposed smart school site to UBEC by RSUBEB at the Community Primary School, Uzuoba in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state, over the weekend, the National Consultant, UBEC Smart School Project, Prof Masud Abdulkarim, said the school was designed to incorporate digital technology into the basic education system in the country, which he said, has been in practice in advanced countries for years.
Abdulkarim stated that the desire of the Federal Government was to ensure that Nigerian children were not left out in the digital space, saying that the school would have great impact on the youth and give them equal opportunity to compete globally in the technology world.
He described the school as the first of its kind in the history of the country, adding that the school would have four categories that would take care of the nursery, handicapped, primary as well as junior secondary students with a maximum of 35 persons per class of two streams.
Abdulkarim noted that with the strategy, no fewer than 700 children would be enrolled into the school.
According to him, the school would afford the children the opportunity to become robotic engineers, artificial intelligence (AI) engineers and ICT engineers, and added that as future leaders, they need to be equipped and encouraged.
The UBEC consultant commended the state government for the provision of the school for the construction of the smart school, and described the site as the most suitable across the 23 states so far visited.
“Let me thank the RSUBEB for the site, in fact, it is the best and most suitable site among the 23 states we have so far visited. Because it has an existing school structure with a fence to protect our equipment and infrastructure. Moreso, the project will impact on the schools around because they will benefit from our Wi-Fi”, he stated.
Abdulkarim called on the host community to jealously guard the project as a growing child, till its maturity to adult stage, saying that they were important stakeholders in the project.
Also speaking on behalf of the Chairman of Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board (RSUBEB), Ven Fyneface Akah, a commissioner in the board, Chief Faith Amaso, called for synergy between the contractors and host community in other to remove every impediment that may affect the delivery of the project on schedule.
Akah opined that the project, when completed, would improve basic education in the state, and expressed happiness over the commencement of the project in the state.
Rivers United Beat Young Africans Of Tanzania 1-0
Rivers United Football Club of Port Harcourt, yesterday, at the Adokiye Amasiemaka Football Stadium, trounced the Young Africans Football Club of Tanzania 1-0 in a return leg match of the ongoing Confederation of African Football Club Champions League competition.
The stadium, which was filled to capacity, witnessed a trilling encounter, which saw the crowd craving for more.
It would be recalled that Rivers United had defeated the Young Africans of Tanzania 1-0 in the first leg of the championship at the Benjamin Mkapa Stadium, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania, last Sunday.
Reacting to the feat, the Chairman of Degema Local Government Area, Hon. Michael John Williams, expressed joy over the victory of the Rivers United FC of Port Harcourt against the Young Africans of Tanzania in the ongoing Confederation of African Football (CAF) Champions League.
The match, which ended 1-0 in favour of the Rivers United FC, took place at the Adokiye Amiesimaka International Stadium in Rivers State, yesterday.
Top government officials in the state, including Rivers Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo; LG council chairmen and commissioners, amongst other sports enthusiasts, graced the event.
Speaking on the outcome of the match, Williams stated that the Rivers United players exhibited the Rivers team spirit, which culminated in their victory.
The political heavyweight in Degema LGA, noted that nothing would be impossible for Rivers people to achieve when they work together in unison and firm determination.
He added that the massive support and huge investment in the sports sector by the Governor Nyesom Wike administration, also motivated the Rivers team, who worked hard to secure a back-to-back victory.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
NJC Okays Six Chief Judges, 30 Others For Appointment
The National Judicial Council (NJC), has recommended the appointment of chief judges and 30 others as judicial officers to beef up judicial functions in some states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
At its 95th meeting held on September 15 and 16, 2021, the council considered the list of candidates presented by its Interview Committee, and recommended the 36 successful candidates to their respective state governors for appointment as heads of courts and other judicial officers in Nigeria.
They are Hon. Justice Richard O. Olorunfemi as chief judge, Kogi State, Hon. Justice Joe Itsebaga Acha for Edo, Hon. Justice Akintoroye Williams Akin for Ondo, Hon. Justice Husseini Baba Yusuf for FCT, Hon. Justice Ekaette Francesca Fabian-Obot for Akwa Ibom, and Hon. Justice J. O. Adeyeye for Ekiti State.
Others are Hon. Kadi Baba Gana Mahdi as Grand Kadi, Yobe; Umaru Ahmad Liman as Grand Kadi, Bauchi; Hon. Justice Osagede Osado Emmanuel as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Nasarawa; Hon. Justice Mashud Akintunde Akinfemi Abass as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Oyo State; and Siyaka Momoh Jimoh Usman as President, Customary Court of Appeal, Kogi State.
Three judges are recommended for High Court of Gombe, and they are Zainab Abdulkadir Rasheed, Abdussalam Muhammad, and Daurabo Suleiman Sikka.
Akwa Ibom has Effiong Asukwo Effiong; Bauchi has Nana Fatima Jibril; while Kaduna High Court has Abdulkarim Mahmud.
The three candidates recommended for Katsina State are Kabir Shuaibu, Ibrahim Ishaku Mashi, and Ibrahim Abubakar Mande, while Prof Alero Akeredolu was recommended for Ondo State.
Four successful candidates for Oyo State are Olusola Adebisi Adetujoye, Folabimpe Beatrice Segun Olakojo, Prof Taiwo Elijah Adewale, and Kareem Adeyimika Adedokun.
Kogi State has three candidates, and they are Abubakar Sule Ibrahim, Abdullah Sulyman, as well as Aminu Ali Eri.
Two Kadis for Sharia Court of Appeal are Adamu Kuna Jibril and Ahmed Baba Bala, while the four for Bauchi are Musa Sani Abubakar, Mahdi Manga, Khamis Al-Hamidallah Muhammad and Sani Musa with Ondo State having one in the person of Orimisan James Okorisa and Oyo Customary Court of Appeal having Ajadi Olubukola Omolayo.
A statement by the NJC Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, and released in Abuja, yesterday, said that all the recommended candidates are expected to be sworn-in after approval by President Muhammadu Buhari, and their respective state governors, and confirmation by the respective state Houses of Assembly.
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