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Rivers

PH Lawyer Drags FG To Court Over Soot Epidemic, Demands N500m Damages

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A lawyer, Okparaolu Chioma Chris, has sued the Federal Government over the black soot epidemic in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, and its devastating effects on the health and wellbeing of residents of the state.
Chris, in a suit filed at the Federal High Court, Port Harcourt, is asking the court to compel the Federal Government to pay N500million as damages for gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights.
The suit also wants the court to mandate the government to take “bold and reasonable steps to stop or minimise to the barest minimum the emission of black soot in Rivers State and to begin the process of cleaning the air space and environment of the state”.
Available document revealed that the applicant is praying the court for the following reliefs; “A declaration that the applicant and indeed other indigenes of Rivers State, Nigerians and all human beings living and resident in Port Harcourt and in Rivers State and its environs are entitled to the best attainable state of physical and mental health and a general satisfactory environment favourable to their development as guaranteed by Articles 16 and 24 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ratification and enforcement) Act laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.
“A declaration that the act of the respondent in neglecting several pleas and petitions from the Government of Rivers State and her citizens, to urgently intervene, stop and remedy the hazardous atmospheric condition of Port Harcourt and other neighbouring areas and local governments of the state affected by the dangerous airborne particulate commonly known as black soot amounts to a gross violation of the applicant’s right and indeed that of other indigenes of the State, Nigerians and all human beings living and resident in Port Harcourt and its environs to enjoy physical and mental health.
“An order of this honourable court mandating to pay to the applicant, the sum of N500million only as damages for gross violation of the applicant’s fundamental human rights as guaranteed under Articles 16 and 24 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (ratification and enforcement) Act laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“An order of this honourable court directing the respondent to immediately take bold and reasonable steps to stop or minimise to the barest minimum the emission of black soot in Rivers State and to begin the process of cleaning the air space and environment of Rivers State. And for such order to orders that this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case.”
In the affidavit in support of the application, the applicant explained that, “sometime in the month of April 2016, many Nigerians including myself living in Port Harcourt began noticing the presence of an airborne particulate now commonly called “black soot” within the city of Port Harcourt and its environs.
“Black soot then was visible on white clothes spread outside and on the body of cars parked outside and it even increasingly began to affect the paint especially white colour used in the painting of houses in Port Harcourt.
“When the emission of the black spot continued unabated, and began to be seen in peoples’ living homes and that of myself, I and other residents of Port Harcourt began raising the alarm to both the government of Rivers State and the respondents on the dangerous effects of black soot.
“It has been widely reported that top government functionaries, politicians and general persons of influence have started using the M95 nose mask that filters the air. This mask is very expensive and it is far from my reach and those of ordinary Rivers people and Nigerians living and doing business in Rivers State.”

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Rivers

RSNC Seeks Partnership With Silverbird, Multimesh Communication

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The Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC), publisher of The Tide Newspaper, says it is seeking partnership with the management of Multimesh Communication, owners of Family Love FM 97.7 and its Silverbird counterpart, which operates Rhythm 93.7 FM, to improve its services.
General Manager of the corporation, Chief Ernest Chinwo, stated this in Port Harcourt, yesterday when he led other members of RSNC management on separate courtesy visits to the two radio stations.
Noting that the media organisations have a lot in common, the General Manager said it has become necessary for them to work together for the good of the people.
According to him, the forthcoming general elections in the state has made it imperative for the media organisations to work together to enlighten the people on the new Electoral Act.
Chinwo said, The Tide, which is 51 years old, is the only surviving state government-owned newspaper in both the South-South and South East, noting that the paper also has extensive coverage of events across the country.
He said the Rivers State Newspaper Corporation is also into various printing businesses, and stressed the need for the two stations to include The Tide in their daily newspaper reviews.
At Love FM 97.7, Chief Chinwo commended the station for inculcating in the society high moral standards.
He said The Tide is ready to support the two stations in terms of coverage of their activities and others.
Earlier, the Business Manager, Port Harcourt Station, Silverbird, Miebaka Inyenengi, and the Chief Executive Officer of Multimesh Communication, Mrs. Greg Okonkwo, had thanked the RSNC management for the visit.
They commended the management of the corporation for the continued existence of The Tide Newspaper, in spite of the economic downturn in the country.
They also pledged their readiness to work with the RSNC management, assuring that The Tide would be included in their newspaper review programmes.

By: John Bibor & Oribim Ibama

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Rivers

2023 Guber: MOSOP Threatens Protest If…

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Ogoni people in Rivers State, have threatened to embark on massive protest if the two major political parties, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and All Progressives Congress (APC) fail to pick candidates from the Ogoni ethnic nationality as their candidates.
Speaking through the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), they also rejected any “secondary status”, warning those canvassing for an Ogoni Detputy Governor to stop, stressing that the ethnic nationality would not settle for Deputy.
The positions are contained in a statement signed by factional President of MOSOP and Secretary-General, Prince Biira and Festus Legbara, respectively.
Biira expressed regret in what he called the political injustice meted out to Ogoni people, saying the Central Committee of MOSOP observed that Rivers South-East senatorial district had been grossly marginalised since the creation of the State.
“For the 55 years of the existence of the State, Ogoni has not occupied its proper place in terms of appropriate and adequate political representation in Rivers State, especially regarding holding the office of Governor, Deputy Governor, Speaker (House of Assembly) and Chief Judge.
“For over half a century of the existence of Rivers State, Ogoni had been supporting other communities in the State to achieve their political, social and economic dreams and desires, aware that citizens of these nationalities have occupied the office of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Speaker (House of Assembly) and Chief Judge of the State.
“Out of the three senatorial districts in Rivers State, it is only Rivers South-East Senatorial district, which accommodates Ogoni, that has not produced a Governor of the State.”
MOSOP also warned that only the political party that offers its platform for the actualisation of Ogoni ambition that would enjoy electoral goodness and benevolence of the senatorial district.

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Rivers

Wike’ll Clinch PDP Presidential Ticket –Ijaw Group

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A frontline group advocating power shift to riverine axis of Rivers State in 2023, RG23 Movement, has expressed optimism that the State Governor and presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Nyesom Wike will clinch the presidential ticket of the party at the forthcoming primaries of the party slated for Abuja.
The group, which canvassed this position in Port Harcourt in an interview with newsmen after submitting an appreciation letter to the PDP in the state recently said Governor Wike is sure of clinching the PDP presidential ticket.
The Convener of the group, Mr Pureh Kalango, who spoke on behalf of the group also stressed the need for power to shift to the riverine axis of the state during the governorship election in the state, contending that the position of the group tallies with the clamour for power to shift from the North to the South of the country, on which premise it is confident that Governor Wike would clinch the presidential ticket of the PDP, being a Southerner.
According to Kalango, if PDP in the state allows a riverine person to emerge as its governorship candidate, during the forthcoming primaries of the party, the party would generally be seen as one that believes in equity, fairness, inclusiveness and justice which are hallmarks of peaceful coexistence.
He thanked the PDP leadership in the state for providing direction and leadership to Rivers people within the past seven years, and prayed that the party finishes strong as it strives to resolve all pending issues in the state with the countdown of the 2023 general elections.
Also speaking, the head of mobilisation of the group, Mr Samuel Urang as well as the leader of the Igbo Interest Group, Rivers State of the body, Mr Rommel Ojigwe toed the same line, and advised PDP in the state to pick its governorship candidate from the riverine areas of the state.

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