A memorial park in honour of the late environmental right activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogonis excuted during the military administration of Sani Abacha has been unveiled at Bane home, town of Ken Saro-Wiwa.
The occasion also witnessed the planting of nine trees in honour of the nine Ogonis executed by the military junta in 1995.
Meanwhile, the Ken Saro-Wiwa Foundation has promised to collaborate with relevant stakeholders to promote environmental sustainability in the Niger Delta region.
Programme Manager of the foundation, Dum Syl Aminikpo who disclosed this during the anniversary said the foundation also aims at finding solution to the problem of poverty in the region.
According to him, “the foundation founded in 2009 has a mission to foster environmental sustainability climate in which the management of national resources, technology advancement, investment decisions and socio-economic development all work in harmony, fulfilling the needs and aspirations of the people of Niger Delta.
“The foundation’s programmes will emphasise empowering women through education, reproductive health rights, increased participation in peace building and political representation of all levels of decision making.
“Through the Ken Saro-Wiwa technological hub, the foundation aims to collaborate with the Nigerian governments, international NGOs, diplomats and the people of the Niger Delta in conducting research and technology that will end environmental degradation and poverty in the Niger Delta while promoting peace and prospecting”, he said.
He said the memorial park which has been opened to tourists will serve as inspirations not only to Ogonis but to lovers of democracy and human rights across the world.
Also speaking, an environmental right activist Nnimmo Bassey said Saro-Wiwa fought and died not only for the Ogonis but for the entire Niger Delta region.
He called on the Ogoni to form a united front with the view to achieving their ambitions.
Also speaking, Mr Charles Wiwa said the Ogonis will not relent in the fight against environmental injustice.
Climate Change: Senate Seeks Broader Action To Tackle Gas Emission
President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan, last Tuesday called for broader action to reduce gas emission, being one of the major pollutants contributing to climate change in Nigeria.
Lawan made the call at the opening of a two-day National Green Summit on climate change organised by the Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change in Port Harcourt.
The theme of the event is “Collective Action for Gas Emission Reduction and Climate Change Mitigation in Nigeria: A Call to Action.”
Represented by Sen. Frank Ibezim, Imo North Senatorial District, Lawan said the Federal Government was fully focused on tackling climate change head-on, and as such, had set its zero emissions target by 2060.
“So, I am pleased to be part of this summit organised as an interactive platform for stakeholders in the private and public sectors, to engage on the critical issue of climate change.
“The interaction is coming at a time of increasing need for greater attention to questions about our environment, the importance of gas and the need to develop a carbon market framework.
“The development of a framework is part of a continuing quest to harness the benefits of nature to improve living standards,” he said.
Lawan said the summit would also discuss and proffer solutions on how to reduce greenhouse gas emission in line with the National Determined Contributions.
According to him, the summit will also look into the inclusion of the United Nations Framework Conventions on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the National Environmental Policy (NEC), and the Paris Rulebook from COP 26.
“Examining possibilities from these efforts is helpful to growing our scope of actions; trusting in our collective ability to expand our understanding and charting new frontiers towards initiating new or more policy frameworks.
“The summit will subject issues to further technical scrutiny, before a possible recourse to the legislature either to enhance the Climate Change Act or to imagine future regulatory mechanisms.
“These endeavours amount to prioritising consultations, involvements and inclusions in both climate change governance and matters that have short, medium and long-term implications for the people and society,” he added.
The senate president said the legislature was looking forward to receiving and deliberating on resolutions adopted at the two-day summit, to chart a better climate change framework.
On his part, Sen. Lawal Anka, Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, said that Nigeria was currently ranked among the 10 highest gas emitting countries in the world.
He said the country had been hard-hit by climate change as witnessed in the rapidly drying of the Lake Chad Basin as well as the climate-induced conflicts in the country.
“So, this summit will harness ideas on possible legislative interventions, to ensure that Nigeria meets her commitments under the Paris agreement on gas emission reduction.
“We have assembled eminent scholars and practitioners, captains of relevant industries, relevant agencies of government, civil society groups, and other stakeholders to brainstorm on the various sub-themes of the summit,” he said. (NAN)
Flood Engulfs Communities In ONELGA
Report reaching The Tide has it that no fewer than six communities including some government primary and secondary schools have been engulfed by flooding in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
According to the report, the affected communities are Obiofu, Utu-Umuoriji, Ase-Azaga, Ogbeogene Utuechi and Agwe among others, which are all within the Ndoni axis . Though details of the incident are sketchy as at the time of filing this report sources within the affected communities said residents are having hard times as the water is rushing to every part of the area.
However, in an interview, an environmentalist, Ikechukwu Ojoba, said some other communities are about to be submerged.
He mentioned these communities to include: Kriegani, Aligwu, Idu-Obosiukwu, Idu-Osobile, Agbogwe, Usomini-Omoku, Obieti 1 and Ebeocha, respectively.
According to him, a fact-finding mission which was carried out on Monday informed that farmlands and crops worth millions of naira had been badly affected by the flood.
The affected residents were said to have been confused as a lot of them have did not an alternative place to relocate.
The authorities of Ogba/ Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area are yet to be reached for comments.
By: John Bibor
Flooding: Our People Are Helpless, Ubie Monarch Cries Out
The Eze Igbu Ubie of Ubie Kingdom of Ahoada West Local Government Area, Eze Okpokiri Maxwell, has blamed the Federal Government for failing to do the necessary things to check the perennial flooding in his kingdom.
Eze Okpokiri, who said this in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, said his people are helpless in the face of the surging water.
“The flooding issue is a very pathetic situation as far as Ubie kingdom is concerned.
“They said we should move to higher grounds, how do we move, who will help us? As far as I am concerned our people are helpless”, he said.
The royal father regretted that Ubie kingdom has not received any assistance from any quarters as far as flooding is concerned, adding that the kingdom has lost property including human lives to flooding.
“Ubie has lost buildings, farmlands including lives in the last three years to flooding and there is no assistance from any body,” he said.
He said farmers in his kingdom are now in panic mood, adding that some of them have started harvesting crops to avoid being destroyed by the coming waters.
“Our farmers have started harvesting crops that have just been planted”, he said.
He also said the last flooding rendered many of his people homeless, stressing that those affected are yet to recovers even as another flood is coming.
Okpokiri faulted claims by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) that relief materials were donated to victims in previous years and said that none of his people received relief materials from any agency.
According to him, as the king of the Ubie kingdom, his palace ought to be aware of any agency or company bringing relief materials to his people. He alleged that materials, if any was given, did not get to the right people.
The king blamed the federal government for not doing enough, stressing that proper attention is not given to the issue in the Orashi region.
It would be recalled that the National Emergency Management Agency(NEMA) had recently directed communities in the Orashi part of the state to begin to move to higher grounds as the region will be affected by flooding this year.
Some residents of Ubie and Engenni kingdoms who also spoke on the issue said federal government had not helped them during previous floodings.
They called on the government to dredge the Orashi river to facilitate free flow of waters.
By: John Bibor & Oreoluwa Adigun
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