Seafarer Detained By IGP Team Demands Justice
A boat helmsman in the Rivers State, Lucky Onisokume, has demanded justice for his alleged arrest and manhandling by men of the Inspector-General of Police Monitoring Team in Borikiri, Port Harcourt, who detained him for five days without food. Onisokume, while narrating his ordeal to newsmen in Port Harcourt shortly after he breathed the air of freedom, said he was arrested at the Eneka area and taken to Borikiri and dumped in a cell without knowing his crime.
He said his family put out a statement on social media seeking his whereabouts and reported his disappearance to the police before news of his arrest filtered out.
The traumatised man said, “It was on a Thursday afternoon. I came out to work and I stopped at a restaurant called Mary Jane. All of a sudden, someone grabbed me from behind.
“They took me into a Lexus E-350 car. One of them slapped and punched me on my jaw. That was how I kept quiet. They took me to IGP Monitoring Team’s office in Borikiri and said I shouldn’t call anybody. I was kept in that cell and starved. They gave me food just once in five days.”
He said his family was alerted by a man, who had just been released from detention and recognised him.
Onisokume added, “The policemen said they would be moving me to Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, anytime soon without any charge. They didn’t tell me my offence and I kept asking: ‘Oga what did I do?’ They only showed me pictures.
“The two faces they showed me I have never seen in my life. It was a miracle because I was really shocked when I saw everyone outside waiting for me.
“When the man, who was released from detention earlier, saw me, he was like I know this face. I told him that he should please go to my house and inform my people that I had been arrested by the IGP Monitoring Team in Borikiri.”
On his experience in the cell, the boat driver said, “It was so horrible. They bring in different people every day, especially at night, and tie them up. While in the cell, I was starved. They gave me food just once in five days.
“I need justice. I was so scared because I thought that would be my last, because they did not allow me contact anybody, not even my dad. Since that Thursday, they have been using my car.”
Efforts to reach the spokesman for the state Police Command, Nnamdi Omoni, probed abortive as he neither answered calls put across to him nor replied a text message sent to his mobile phone as at the time of filing this report.
Monarch Tasks Newly Government Recognized Traditional Rulers On Peace, Integrity
The Eze Oha Evo III, His Majesty, King Leslie Nyebuchi Eke, Eze Gbakagbaka, has called on the newly recognised Traditional Rulers by the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike-led administration to ensure that they use their offices to support the peace initiative in the state as created by the Governor.
Eze Eke made the appeal while addressing newsmen in his palace in Woji in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area during the week.
He said as paramount rulers, their major stake was to maintain peace and integrity and not a double standard life.
According to him, Governor Nyesom Wike’s plans to have a peaceful state should be complemented at various levels including the traditional institutions.
The Evo King noted that if all communities in the state are peaceful, the state at large will live harmoniously.
He expressed hope that the upgrade/classification of additional traditional stools across the state was a pointer to the fact that Governor Wike has every sector at heart.
“I hail and thank His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, Mr. Quality Projects, Life Bencher, for the classification/upgrade of traditional stools across the state. Indeed, the Governor is doing well”, he said.
He also called on his new colleagues to see the opportunity as a call to duty wherein, the people’s challenges will supercede their personal interest.
He sued for uprightness among the traditional rulers and their immediate communities, saying that “a house divided against itself cannot stand”.
He prayed that God Almighty would continue to bless and keep them in good health and sound mind as they have attained another height of greatness in life.
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s action was from the strength of Section 13, Subsection 1 of the Rivers State Traditional Rulers Law No. 4 of 2015.
By: King Onunwor
Stakeholders Task Govt On Special Fund For Host Communities
Some stakeholders in the Niger Delta are calling on governments in the region to set aside special percentages from the 13percent derivation fund for the development of oil producing communities.
This was part of a resolution at a town hall meeting organised by Connect Development (CODE), a non- governmental organisation in Port Harcourt.
The stakeholders who were drawn from Akwa Ibom, Rivers and Cross River States, particularly lamented general backwardness of host communities in the region.
They urged the government to set aside certain percentages for the host communities.
Speaking with newsmen, the Akwa Ibom State lead coordinator, Ubong Ekpe, said oil producing communities should not be denied of their fair share of development.
Ekpe said the implementation of the 13 percent derivation which has brought in trillions of Naira has not had any positive impact on the host communities.
He said the town hall meeting was to dialogue with major stakeholders, including host communities, with a view to ensuring that host communities benefit from natural resources from their Land.
Ekpe noted host communities, particularly in Akwa Ibom State, are yet to feel the impact of their resources.
Also speaking, the Cross River State Coordinator, Connecting Development (CODE), Effang Etim, said the meeting will share ideas between the organisation and community leaders , civil societies and government officials to create an action plan.
He said investigation revealed that most host communities in the region are not benefitting from resources being exploited from their areas.
“We had a survey across the State on host communities in which we made some findings that we’ll share to government personnel to enable them see what people in the communities are going through”, he said.
According to him, most host communities lack the basic necessities of life such as health centres, schools water and others.
A cross section of other participants who spoke were unanimous that host communities deserve better living conditions.
By: John Bibor
Community Laments Neglect Despite Hosting 48 Oil Wells
Resident of Joinkrama community in Ahoada West Council of Rivers State have expressed worries over the level of environmental degradation, poverty, and neglect in the area, despite having 48 oil wells, operated by multinational companies.
The community plays host to Adibawa Oilfield, operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited. The community is ravaged by poverty, environmental degradation and neglect, with inaccessible roads, cut off by flood and erosion.
Some residents, who spoke with The Tide source during Community Diagnostic Dialogue on the issues of oil pollution, organised by Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), lamented that Orashi River, which serves as their major source of water, is highly polluted with crude.
A member of the community, Azaga Ovie-Oniso Kelvin, said: “Our rivers are highly polluted and the river crosses from one community to another. The roofing sheets are all brownish. What we want is the oil company operating here to mitigate the effects of their operations in the community.
“We have written letters to Shell, Agip and others, including their local contractors but unfortunately, they do not listen. They only listen to violence and because we are peaceful people, they keep taking us for granted,” he said.
Another resident, Mrs. Avigien Ubileoniso Goodwill, said poverty is clearly written on the faces of Joinkrama residents.
“The 2022 flood really dealt with us, our crops were all destroyed and we all were rendered homeless. The oil companies are not helping matters, even the access road is completely broken.
“The oil company should repair our only access road because the road is very important. Our graduates have been reduced to peasant farmers because there is no employment. There are no benefits at all from the oil company, we are still drinking from Orashi River.”
Environmentalist and Director of HOMEF, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey, described Joinkrama as a geographical laboratory for the study of environmental problems, ranging from flood, gas flaring and oil spills.
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