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Niger Delta

Illegal Refineries: Bayelsa Communities Lament Pollution Of Kolo Creek

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Residents of 14 communities of Kolo Creek in Bayelsa State, have appealed to the state government and the Niger Delta Joint Task Force to save them from the harmful effects of oil pollution.
Our correspondent reports that the Kolo Creek had been receiving crude as fallout of activities of illegal artisanal refiners with the worst polluted communities in recent times being Otuasega, Imiringi, Yiba-ama and Ibelebiri.
They lamented that the illegal oil refining camps had impacted the Kolo Creek, which is their only source of drinking water.
Some leaders of the communities in a field report released yesterday by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and signed by Mr Morris Alagoa said the residents were helpless.
“The main subject of discussion is how to stop the activities causing the Kolo Creek to be so polluted.
“But our fear, to be truthful to you, is that anybody within this area that champions the moves aimed at stopping the local refining will be attacked by those perpetrating the act.
“So, the resolution was that we are going to approach the operators and owners of the crude oil refining camps to tell them not to allow the crude oil come down to the Kolo River.
“They should look for a way, either to dig a pit where the residue of their operations could be directed and later burnt off.
“Anybody that champions that, especially in this our area, will be attacked. But government is bigger than them and communities will support such efforts of government,” the report said.
Some residents, Angelina Ngeribo and Agnes Ibugom, said the people could no longer bathe in the creek or fetch water for domestic uses, stressing that the situation had made life difficult for them.
“This crude oil on our water is affecting us in many ways. There is no way to bathe in the creek again. If you venture to go in and come out your body will be oily as if you rubbed pomade. We are suffering as a result of the current condition of the river.
“We are not telling lies. When you are paddling in your canoe, all your hands, your chest, clothes will all get soiled with crude oil including your canoe,” Ngeribo said.

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Niger Delta

Diri Suspends Twin Kingdom Youth Election 

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has directed the immediate suspension of the election of a new executive of the twin clans of Epie-Atissa, popularly referred to as the Oguan Youth Congress (OYC).
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s directive was sequel to the factional crisis that has engulfed the kingdom’s youth body, resulting in tension in the state capital, Yenagoa.
A statement made available to newsmen by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Wednesday, noted that the Oguan Kingdom comprises 29 Epie and Atissa communities in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The statement added that the suspension was indefinite, pending the resolution of the impasse by the State Government.
Alabrah also said the Governor has directed the police and other security agencies to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order as a result of the feud.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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Niger Delta

US Consulate Trains 25 Girls On STEM In Edo

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The U.S. Consulate says it is training 25 girls in underserved secondary schools in Edo State on STEM initiative (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics).
The Tide’s source reports that the training is called the GirlLEAD STEM Talent Accelerator Programme, and was inaugurated recently.
Addressing the female students at the Benin City Window on America, in Benin, the Consul-General, US Consulate in Lagos, Will Steven, said  the programme was aimed at bridging the gender divide in STEM.
Stevens said:  “We want to see more of female founders in the tech space as well as doing well in STEM.
“Technology is one of the drivers of the Nigerian economy, and it holds a lot of opportunities for job creation.
“The job opportunities are there but not to be filled only by boys”.
According to him, the STEM programme prepares secondary school girls for possible scholarships in universities in the U.S. or for the students to continue in Nigeria universities or other universities in the world.
He also talked about the AI (Artificial Intelligence) conference to be organised in Lagos by the United States in collaboration with the Nigerian government.
He said the conference would encourage both countries to work together to talk about the framework as well as the safe environment for AI.
“We want to bring in AI training to the 27 American spaces across Nigeria”, he added.
Earlier, Dr. Georgina Erifeta, Director, Benin City Window on America, said the U.S. space had contributed to making the tech ecosystem in Edo to emerge as a major player in Nigeria’s tech landscape.
“By equipping young people with digital skills, we empower them to innovate, solve problems, and drive economic growth, fostering a brighter future for our community and beyond”, he said.
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Niger Delta

Impeachment: Security Operatives Take-over C’River Assembly Complex

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Security personnel have taken over the Cross River State House of Assembly complex, following the impeachment of the Speaker, Mr Elvert Anyambem, recently.
The Tide’s source  reports that the Speaker’s removal almost resulted in a clash between his supporters and other members of house.
The State Commissioner of Police, Gyogon Grimah, was sighted in the midst of other security personnel around the Assembly Complex.
Analysts say the presence of the security personnel is to forestall breakdown of law and order around the complex.
It would be recalled that the Speaker was impeached on Wednesday on grounds of  gross misconduct, high-handedness and misappropriation of funds.
Anyambem’s impeachment was carried out at a sitting of the Assembly in which he was presiding.
The impeachment notice was singed by 17 out of the 25 members of the Assembly.
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