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FEDERAL MINISTRY OF ENVIRONMENT HYDROCARBON POLLUTION REMEDIATION PROJECT (HYPREP) Communications And Community Engagement Unit RE: BETWEEN HYPREP AND OGONI; OUR POSITION

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The attention of the Management of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has been drawn to a publication by one youth group which goes by the name, Ogoni Development Drive (ODD) calling for the sack of the Acting Project Coordinator, Professor Philip Shekwolo for reasons that are self-serving, parochial, interest driven and not that the renowned Hydro-geology Professor has failed in his responsibility as the helmsman of HYPREP. Before addressing the petty allegations of the leader of the group, one, Lenu Solomon, let us establish the over-arching fact that most of the attacks on HYPREP and its Management by critics are enflamed by dashed private expectations, personal opinions and protocols that the project is not legally bound to accept or work with since they are not procedurally spelt out by the remediation codes of Nigeria.
It is odd, just as the acronym for the caller group, (ODD); to call for the sack of Professor Shekwolo at this point when he has brought stability, speed and standard to bear on the operations of the project. Never had the coordinate areas of remediation, livelihoods, water, and public health run concurrently as it is now, and it would be in the interest of the project that the feat is sustained and surpassed in the deft hand of Prof. Shekwolo who expanded the frontiers of knowledge in remediation with the development of RENA – Remediation by Natural Attenuation which knowledge can be applied in any part of the world. It would be wrong, and morally so, to ask a performer to leave the stage on the flimsy reason that he is not a local especially now that the world is a global stage and runs on ideas and professionalism not sentiments. Granted that there is need for more Ogoni participation in the running of the project but that does not cede an exclusive right to the Ogonis to the exclusion of other citizens who have what it takes to make the Ogoni clean-up project a success. It would be a disservice to the memories of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni heroes by minimizing and restricting their struggles to Ogoniland alone when indeed they advocated for a greater and better Nigeria where meritocracy is the guiding principle.
Furthermore, it would be wrong for ODD to at every turn throw tantrums at the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and anyone who had been in its employ as the company is responsible enough to make timely disbursement of funds for the clean-up. A corporate organization of such outstanding character cannot again be accused of ‘complicity in the oil spill in Ogoniland’ as the ODD group would want the public to believe.
The group had also alleged that the HYPREP Acting Project Coordinator goes about to ‘bribe people to support his confirmation as the substantive PC.’ In this life, there are people that providence smiles on and Prof. Shekwolo is one. Until his appointment as the Acting Project Coordinator, Prof. Shekwolo was the Head of Operations of HYPREP and at the expiration of the tenure of the former Project Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, he was asked to act being the most senior and most experienced in the Management team of the project. Those who appointed him as the Acting PC do not need bribe to confirm him as a substantive PC if the need arises.
In our view as a project, it would be in the general interest that no group tries to pitch Ogoni against HYPREP but to make concerted efforts at making both entities bond to deliver on the mandate of the project. Just as the Editor of the Tide Newspaper in the editorial of 20th December 2021 rightly advised, “while we remain responsive to ODD’s stand on Shekwolo’s acting assignment, we advise the Ogonis to grant peace a chance and care less about who heads HYPREP since the organization’s mandate extends beyond Ogoniland. The clean-up project is not just for Ogonis, but for all the people in the Niger Delta and beyond. Therefore, anyone from the region or outside could be appointed to head the agency.
Rather than feud over who heads HYPREP, the people of Ogoni should unite to enable them pull through their numerous uncoordinated and disordered agitations. New thinking and strategies are required to pursue their demands. By constantly shutting out others from their affairs, the Ogonis may succeed in foreclosing their chances of heading critical federal agencies outside the region.
Stakeholders and youths in Ogoniland should close ranks and strengthen HYPREP for a successful clean-up exercise in the area. This would amount to a legacy of the Ogoni struggles handed over to the coming generations. Their shared commitment should be to ensure that at the conclusion of the clean-up, Ogoni will be transformed environmentally and economically into a more prosperous and harmonious community.”
Professor Shekwolo’s commitment to Ogoni development and prosperity predates the set-up of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP). In fact, his pioneering works, and negotiations were what paved the way for UNEP to undertake the Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland. Though he was working for SPDC at the time, he never took sides with the company against the truth and that was what made the leadership of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) to open its doors to the Federal Government Reconciliation Team known as Peace Initiative Committee (PIC) led by the Revered Bishop Matthew Kukah. He provided UNEP with all registered oil spill data to make their work easy.
This period that he has been in the saddle as the acting Project Coordinator, HYPREP has recorded tremendous success in project delivery. The first six water contracts that were awarded in 2020 are at different stages of completion. Specifically, the water works in Alesa have been completed and the taps are running. The bids for the second batch of water contracts have been opened and the process is on for the award of 12 more contracts.
In the area of remediation, Prof. Shekwolo has led the project through the completion of the first twenty-one lots awarded in 2019 and fourteen out of the twenty-nine lots in the phase one batch two lots with the rest at different stages of completion. The sustainable livelihood programme of the project is steaming back with vigour. Recently, the project was in the field distributing five thousand needs assessment forms in Ogoni communities.
The bids for the start-up of the construction of the Centre of Excellence have also been opened and the process is on for the selection of competent companies to handle the project. The other key deliverable component of the project is the health impact study. Talks are on with the World Health Organization to put in place a standard health registry in Ogoni.
Those and many others are what the Professor Shekwolo’s Management is doing to ensure a timely and sustainable delivery of the mandate of HYPREP, and it is only natural that stakeholders within and outside Ogoni reciprocate by giving him the needed support to make him succeed.

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COMMUNIQUE ISSUED BY THE PDP GOVERNORS’ FORUM AT THE END OF THEIR MEETING IN PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE, JANUARY 17, 2022

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The PDP Governors’ Forum held its regular meeting crucial to the sustenance of our Democracy on Monday, 17th January, 2022, at the Rivers State Government House, Port Harcourt, the first in the New Year. The meeting once again reviewed the state of the States, the state of the nation and THE PDP and issued the following Communique:
1. The PDP Governors congratulated the entire PDP family for conducting a smooth and credible National Convention that led to the emergence of the highly acclaimed Senator Dr.IyorchiaAyu-led National Executive Committee and commended the new PDP NWC for hitting the ground running with respect to repositioning the PDP into a credible vehicle for RESCUING and REBUILDING Nigeria which has been battered by bad economy, insecurity, unemployment and other social ills by the incompetent and inept APC Administration.
2. The PDP Governors requested the National Assembly to quickly conclude deliberations on the Electoral Act Amendment Bill either by overriding Mr President’s veto or deleting areas of complaints. The meeting advised that the option of sustaining Mr President’s veto would lead to a quicker resolution and would deny Mr President the opportunity to once again truncate a reformed Electoral jurisprudence for Nigeria. An early concluded Electoral Act is vital for credible elections.
3. The meeting lamented the continued state of insecurity in the country, the persistent and ceaseless flow of Nigerians’ blood on a daily basis in many parts of Nigeria, the near collapse of the security situation in Nigeria. The strategies to confront terrorists, kidnappers, bandits and other criminals is still a major problem of the APC administration.
4. The meeting expressed regrets that Mr President is unwilling, from his recent comments discountenancing the proposals for state policing, to participate in reviewing the structural problems of tackling insecurity in Nigeria and urges Mr President to reconsider his position and consider decentralisation and restructuring of the security architecture as the most viable solution, together with proper arming, funding and training requirements for Security Agencies.
5. The Nigerian Economy has continued to deteriorate and Nigerians have become numb and accustomed to bad economic news as exemplified by the inconsistent and differential exchange rate regime, high interest rates, unsustainable unemployment figures and borrowing spree some of which have not been applied to important projects, and other bad economic indicators. In particular, it is clear that the APC Government is a massive failure when compared with the records of PDP in government. The PDP handed over a $550 billion economy (the largest in Africa), but under APC, Nigeria is the Poverty Capital of the world. In 2015, under PDP, the exchange rate was N198 per Dollar, it is now under APC almost N500 to a Dollar; In 2015, unemployment rate was 7.3% under PDP, it is now 33%, one of the highest in the world under APC; In 2015, the Pump price of Petroleum was N87 per litre, it is now N165 per litre and climbing under APC. Debt servicing now under APC takes over 98% of the Federal budget. The tales of woe is endless.
6. The PDP Governors noted that the management of our Oil and Gas resources, the administration of Federation Account remittances have remained opaque, confusing and non – transparent. In addition, the transition to NNPC Ltd under the Petroleum Industry Act has not been properly streamlined to ensure that the interests of all the tiers of Government are protected, consistent with the 1999 Constitution.
7. The meeting urged eligible Nigerians of all walks of life, particularly the Youths, to register en masse with INEC to exercise their franchise in the 2023 general elections. It further noted that the next election is a very consequential election that should be used to end the dominance of very youth unfriendly APC Government; a government that had the arrogance to deny Nigerian youths of the use of TWITTER, a business friendly tool for the young, for over a year. The youths should empower themselves to determine who leads them.
8. The PDP Governors congratulated the Chief Host, His Excellency, Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, for the very high standards of hosting and for the great leadership performance he has entrenched in Rivers State.
9. The PDP Governors wished Nigerians and PDP Members a happy new Year.
In attendance are: Rt. Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, CFR- Sokoto State – Chairman; Gov. Udom Emmanuel – Akwa Ibom State – Member; Gov. Sen. Douye Diri – Bayelsa State – Member; Gov. Samuel Ortom -Benue State –Member; Gov. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa – Delta State – Member; Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi – Enugu State – Member; Gov. Nyesom Wike, CON – Rivers State – Member; Gov. Engr. Oluseyi Abiodun Makinde – Oyo State – Member; Gov. Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri -Adamawa State –Member; Gov. Bala Mohammed -Bauchi State – Member.

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RIVERS STATE NEWSPAPER CORPORATION …PUBLISHERS OF THE TIDE

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Appreciation

The Management and Staff of Rivers State Newspaper Corporation wish to appreciate the underlisted individuals, Ministries and Corporate Organisations for their patronage in 2021.

1. Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike
2. Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo
3. Secretary to State Government
4. Rivers State House of Assembly
5. Ministry of Information and Communications
6. Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning
7. Ministry of Health
8. Ministry of Lands and Survey
9. Ministry of Special Duties
10. Ministry of Power
11. Ministry of Youth
12. Ministry of Transport
13. Ministry of Social Welfare
14. Ministry of Justice
15. Local Government Service Commission
16. SIAT Nigeria Limited
17. Okrika Local Government Council
18. Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers
19. Rivers State Civil Service Commission
20. Rivers State University
21. University of Port Harcourt
22. Rivers State Hospitals Management Board
23. Rivers State University Teaching Hospital
24. Rivers State Universal Basic Education Board
25. Raffoul Nig.
26. Andoni LG Council
27. GLO Unlimited
28. EXXONMobil
29. SPDC
30. SNEPCO
31. PULSAR
32. Federal Ministry of Environment
33 Niger Delta Development Commission
34. Rivers State Housing and Property Development Authority
35. Nigerian Bar Association
36. Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt
37. Total E&P
38 NAOC
39. Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology
40. Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic, PH.
41. Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori
42. High Chief Dumo Lulu-Briggs
43. Dr (Mrs) Seinye Lulu-Briggs
44. O.B Lulu Briggs Foundation
45. HRH Eze Emeka Ihunwo and Woji Council of Chiefs and Elders
46. Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP)
47. Rivers State Employment & Expenditure For Results Project (SEEFOR)
48. Obio/Akpor Local Government Council
59. Probate Registry
50. ONELGA Council of Traditional Rulers
51. Petson Yellowe Ventures
52. Abuloma Divisional Council of Chiefs
53. Ntuk Ventures
54. Khana Local Government Council
55. Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited
56. Ignatius Ajuru University of Education
57. PAMO University of Medical Sciences, Port Harcourt
58. Eleme Local Government Council
59. Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice
60. Rivers State Primary Healthcare Management Board
61. Ministry of Physical Planning & Urban Dev.
62. King (Dr) Dandeson Douglas Jaja, Jeki V, Treaty King, Amanyanabo of Opobo Kingdom
63. Nigerian Ports Authority
64. HRH Eze (Hon) Anthony W. Akarolo, Amangada XI of Rebisi and Paramount Ruler of Elekahia Kingdom
65. Judicial Service Commission
66. King Edward Asimini William Dappa Pepple, Perekule XI Amanyanabo of Bonny Kingdom
67. HRH Eze Sunny Weli Chukwu, Eze Elelenwo Etor
Nyenwe-Eli Elelenwo Etor
68. HRH Eze Jeremiah Worenwo
69. King (Dr) Samuel Amaechi
70. Ogbakor Etche
71. Lucky & U
72. HRM Eze Omunakwe Nsirim, Apiti of Rumueme
73. PHED
74. Bureau for Public Procurement
75. Federal College of Education (Technical), Omoku
And the general public

We wish you a prosperous 2022 and look forward to a more rewarding business relationship.

Signed
MANAGEMENT

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