The people of Nvakohia Rumuekpe comprising Ovelle, Imogu and Ekwutche communities in State have decried the devastation of their environment allegedly caused by the operations of Total E&P Nigeria Limited and demanded N800bn compensation.
The demand was made by the chiefs, community development committees and other stakeholders in a joint press conference in conjunction with Integrity Friends for Truth and Peace Initiative in Port Harcourt.
The Executive Director, TIFPI, Livingstone Wechie, who read a written statement on their behalf, said Total had operated in the area for 60 years leaving behind environment degradation caused by oil spills and other health hazards.
They vowed to report their travails to all known international human rights bodies.
Wechie alleged that the resulting health hazards claimed the lives of over 600 persons in the past 10 years, adding that people continued to die from the operations of the oil and gas firm.
He said, “We are demanding N800bn compensation for all the environmental degradation we have suffered in our communities in the past 60 years without which we will be compelled to shut down Total activities.
“We have lost over 600 persons arising from health issues because of their exploration activities in the last 10 years now.”
Wechie said Total should be made to do the needful by answering as well as addressing, compensating for its corporate negligence and injustice, adding that the company should address all the issues as soon as possible.
On his part, the Chairman, Nvakaoha Council of Chiefs, Eze Dennis Orji, said the oil firm had rejected them and had failed to carry out remediation of their devastated environment.
However, efforts to reach Country Communication Manager, Total Companies in Nigeria, Charles Ebereonwu, proved unsuccessful as he neither picked his calls nor replied a text message sent to his mobile at the time of filing this report.
Emohua Admin Building For Delivery In December
By: Theresa Frederick & Wokoma Emmanuel
The Chairman, Emohua Local Government Area (LGA), Dr. Chidi Lloyd, says the Council’s administrative building being executed at the headquarters is expected to be delivered in December ahead of the next phase of project commissioning by his administration.
He said the administrative building will upon completion provide comfortable office accomodation for members of the management committee and principal officers of the LGA.
The Council Chairman disclosed this during an unscheduled visit to project sites within the council headquarters.
He charged the contractors handling the project to comply with the agreed delivery date and specification of the project, with a view to delivering it before the next phase of project harvest by the LGA.
Meanwhile, work has commenced in ernest at the proposed site for the construction of a vaccine cold chain and office complex for Emohua Local Government Primary Healthcare Center, following the council chairman’s approval, in line with his administration’s commitment to improving healthcare services in the LGA, as well as the working condition of staff of the council.
Dr. Lloyd during the project inspection said the construction of the vaccine cold chain became necessary following the absence of any cold storage facility for vaccines and other temperature controlled pharmaceutical instruments in the local government area.
According to him construction of the office complex was also conceived by his administration to provide comfortable working environment for staff of the primary healthcare center who had over the years blamed their negligence to duty on the insufficiency of the office space at the healthcare center.
The Council Chairman said no staff of the Primary Healthcare Center would have any reason to justify their negligence to duty after the completion of the project.
At the ongoing construction of the local government legislative council complex and the 350 seater ICT studio named after Chief Emeka Woke, being executed simultaneously at the council headquarters.
The Emolga council boss expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the project sites and encouraged the contractor handling the projects to intensify efforts to ensure that they are delivered on time.
Dr. Lloyd was joined by the Vice Chairman of Emohua LGA, Hon Mrs. Edna Nyeche.
Andoni Youths Disown Group
Some youths in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State under the aegis of Obolo Community Youth Leaders Council (OCYLC) have disowned the purported existence of a group known as Obolo Youth Stakeholders.
This was contained in a press release made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
According to the group, there is no youth body with the name Obolo Yotuth Stakeholders in Andoni LGA, describing those behind the purported group as faceless individuals who are out to cause disaffection in the LGA.
“Firstly, there is no such organisation like Obolo Youth Stakeholders in Andoni, at least to the best of our knowledge”, the statement noted.
Noting further that the purported group cannot even speak for their respective community youths, the Obolo Community Youth Leaders Council also claimed that some of those behind the purported group have applied for a merger with it, a request which it turned down.
It noted that since OCYLC formation in 2018, it has been on the field interfacing with relevant stakeholders on how to get the youth involved in the oil and gas industry.
The release, signed by Comrade Amini Moses Clifford, the Chairman, stated that “to achieve this, we have discussed with our brother and leader, Hon.Timothy Igbifaa, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) National President, and urged him to use his good office to fast track these opportunities, adding that the effort has yielded results as Total Energy has implemented most of their agreements with Andoni.
They listed some projects carried out by Total Energy in Andoni to include the award of Several scholarships, skill acquisition programmes, employment through the award of contract to local contractors, construction of roads at Ikuru Town, and donation of learning materials to schools in the area.
The group commended the Andoni Council Chairman, Barrister Erastus Awortu, the Traditional Rulers Council, and the President of IYC for putting smiles on the faces of Andoni youths.
By: John Bibor
Federal Agric Ministry Empowers 30 Rivers Poultry Farmers
In a bid to encourage agricultural growth, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has empowered 30 poultry farmers from Rivers State.
This was part of a 2-Day training/empowerment programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture.
The 2- Day training, taking place at the Rumuodomaya office of ADP, saw starter packs handed over to the 30 beneficiaries drawn from the 23 Local Government Areas of the State
In his speech, the Programme Manager, Rivers State Agricultural Development, Vitalis Chindah, said the empowerment would enhance food security and alleviate poverty.
Chindah hinted that the training would prepare small holder poultry farmers to appreciate poultry business.
“The small holders farmers who constitute 75% farming population will make maximum use of the platform,” he stated.
He noted that the poultry industry played vital role in reducing malnutrition, poverty and promoting economic growth.
“The farmers’ efforts in producing eggs, chickens are vital sources of animal protein and maybe the only source for high quality protein for the poor and venulrable in the society
“It is essential for capacity building, strengthening the business economically by developing knowledge of trainers on production practices to, enhance market strategies that will enable farmers perform effectively to enhance household income and food security.
“It will also reduce poverty and sustain the economy. It will remove misconception, and give right direction to the small holders farmers”, he said.
He commends the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development for demonstrating the political will in agricultural development by ensuring regular payment on agric businesses and supporting farmers and providing necessary incentives for farmers.
According him, the vision of the Ministry is to work with relevant stakeholders to build an agric economy capable of delivering prosperity and meeting domestic food security through extension services.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to take it serious and warned that they should not sell the starter packs.
Also speaking, representative of the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Extension Department, Gloria Iboroma, said the empowerment would make them be independent.
She charged the beneficiaries to sustain food production in the country, saying the exercise was taking place simultaneously across 23 states of the federation.
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