Critical stakeholders in the Niger Delta have condemned the reasons advanced by International Oil Companies (IOCs) divesting from onshore assets in preference for offshore fields.
They said that the divestment was contrary to the energy transition advocacy to renewable energy sources, and ploy to evade development obligations and responsibility for polluting the region.
They urged the Federal Government to compel IOCs operating in the region to honour the Memorandum of Understandings (MoU), Global Memorandum of Understandings (GMoUs), and other agreements entered with communities.
These were contained in a communique issued, last Monday, after a one-day “Community Dialogue on Unmasking the Motives of IOCs Divestment in the Niger Delta”.
The forum was facilitated by the Environmental Rights Action Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, held in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.
They argued that while global divestment advocacy was driven by the quest for cleaner energy sources, the same cannot be said of IOCs who are merely abandoning polluted sites to deep sea fields to escape scrutiny on the operations.
According to the stakeholders, the call became imperative following the divestment by the IOCs who have abdicated their social obligations to their host communities spelt out in the MoU and GMoU.
Oil community leaders, youth and women leaders, academia, environmental and rights activists and the media participated in the forum.
They held that “there is a need for a better understanding and deepened community engagements on the global environmental justice and community definitions of investments vis-a-vis the model of the IOCs in the Niger Delta.”
They observed that community people of all classes have suffered exclusion in the divestment process, noting that the divestment process has largely weakened local struggles for environmental justice, divide communities.
The stakeholders noted that there was the need to integrate the communities to make them the central focus of the ongoing divestment process.
“There is complicit silence by the Nigerian state and the regulatory agencies as IOCs dictate the terms of divestment.
“The decision making on the divestment process and other matters relevant to the local communities in the Niger Delta and the IOCs and Nigerians government have excluded the communities.
“There is the need for the IOCs to decommission their toxic assets and carry out remedial actions monitored by independent bodies and civil societies in the communities.
“Need for de-militarisation of the Niger Delta communities that are legitimately agitating for a safe environment for their development.
“The oil and gas companies in Nigeria should be held liable for nearly six decades of ecocide in the Niger Delta as precursor to remedial actions and compensation.
“Divesting abandoned toxic assets and complex problematic relationships with communities that the Domestic Oil Companies (DOCs) have inherited and continued to perpetrate.
“DOCs have inherited and continued the tradition of impunity and lack of accountability to local communities”, the communique read in part.
In his remark, the Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Chima Williams, said the it was a fact that divestment has become a major issue as the oil majors abandon their toxic onshore facilities and go offshore where they evade monitoring.
He explained that the exclusion of communities and community concerns in the divestment discourse motivated ERA/FoEN to facilitate the dialogue.
Vice Chancellor, Federal University Otuoke, Bayelsa State,Prof Teddy Adias; and Sociology lecturer at University of Port Harcourt, Rivers State,Prof SofiriJoab-Peterside, shared their perspectives on divestment to lay foundations for the dialogue.
2023: I’m Only PDP Presidential Aspirant To Defeat APC–Wike
Rivers State Governor and leading presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Nyesom Wike,has said that he remained the only PDP aspirant that could win election against the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).
Wike, in company of some PDP chieftains, made this remark when he met national delegates of the Lagos chapter of PDP in Ikeja, last Saturday.
The aspirant, who noted that he was not running to be vice president to anybody, said that if elected, peace, security of lives and property would be prioritised to strengthen the nation’s sustainable infrastructure, food security, prosperity and economic turnaround.
He said the nation needed a strong and courageous leader like him now, adding that with a courageous leader, difficult decisions would be taken to tackle the nation’s challenges.
“The issue now is who can win election for PDP. Who has the capacity to face the APC? Who will win election for PDP? That is me here.
“I will face APC squarely. If you give me this ticket on May 28 and May 29, go home and sleep with your two eyes closed,” Wike said.
The governor said that PDP must do everything possible not to lose the 2023 presidential election.
“If we lose the presidential election in 2023, we can as well forget PDP.
“I have been tested in terms of performance. Mine is ‘talk and do’,” he added.
Wike, who promised to replicate his outstanding performance in Rivers State across Nigeria, said that he would provide a leadership every Nigerian would be proud of, home and abroad.
The aspirant pleaded with the Lagos delegates and leaders to be united and work for his emergence at the primaries.
“I know APC very well, allow me to face them. I am begging you, delegates, allow me. Support me to take the power from APC and bring back to PDP.
“I depend on the South-West, if the South-West gives me the votes, I have won the election. Donate all your votes to me,” he said.”
The PDP chieftain lamented that some party leaders aspiring to contest for PDP presidential ticket now, were the ones that threw the former ruling party into being opposition when they left the party in 2015.
Wike, who noted that he had been with PDP since 1998, said: “I will never leave this party. Whatever I am today, by the grace of God, God used PDP for me”.
He, however, said that he would never leave PDP even if he did not win the primaries, pledging to support whoever won.
The governor, who appealed to the Lagos PDP to end all infighting and division, said that if the party was not united, it would not win in the state.
In his remark, former Governor of Gombe State, Dr Ibrahim Dankwambo, who led Wike’s delegation, described the presidential aspirant as a fearless and courageous leader, with strong capacity to drive Nigeria forward.
Army Bombs B’Haram Commander’s Convoy, Kills Scores, Destroys Gun Trucks
Troops of the Nigerian Army under the auspices of Operation Hadin Kai have bombed a convoy of a Commander of Boko Haram in Sambisa forest, Abubakar Sarki, killing scores of terrorists who were with him.
Sources said the offensive was coordinated by the General Officer Commanding 7 Division, Nigerian Army and Commander Sector 1 North East Operation Hadin Kai (OPHK), Maj-Gen Waidi Shaibu on Saturday, May 14, 2022, at Yuwe location, within the Konduga Local Government Area of Borno State.
The Army was said to have deployed a massive artillery gun after sighting eight moving convoys conveying Abubakar Sarki and unconfirmed numbers of fighters in devastating hits.
The source said that based on intelligence information, Abubakar Sarki and his team were heading toward Abu-Ubaida’s camp to engage its rival fighters from the Islamic State of the West African Province (ISWAP), in a battle of supremacy.
Counter Intelligence expert with knowledge of terrorists activities in Lake Chad, Zagazola Makama confirmed the artillery bombing of the BH Commander’s convoy.
“A ground assessment confirmed that three guntrucks with all its occupants were completely destroyed, while the remaining five vehicles, including Abubakar Sarki escaped” the source said.
The source added that the terrorists, however, aborted the mission and evacuated the dead and wounded fighters towards the axis between Pulka and Banki.
The sources said that the troops were mandated to go after the fleeing terrorists and eliminate them completely.
The infighting between the two terrorists groups had intensified with the ISWAP hunting Boko Haram during the day time while the Boko Haram are coordinating reprisal attacks at night because of their knowledge of the terrain.
NDDC Fund, Account For Alleged N700b, Inaugurate Board, Monarch Tasks FG
Barely three days after some ministers resigned, including Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, Sen. Godswill Akpabio, the Paramount Ruler of Idjerhe Kingdom of Delta State, King Obukowho Monday Whiskey, yesterday, called for urgent inauguration of the already screened and confirmed board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) just as he called on the Federal Government to the over N700billion he alleged has been allocated to investigate the commission in the last three years.
He said these steps by the government would help resuscitate the agency and rekindle hope of the people whose regional resources, he alleged, were criminally plundered by the leadership of Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
In a press statement personally issued by the monarch and made available to journalists in Benin City, Whiskey said, “Having voluntarily resigned as Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs, our beloved son, Obong Godswill Obot Akpabio, should come out clean to explain to fellow Niger Deltans the whereabouts of the three years running budgetary allocations of the NDDC which inside sources claimed were more than N700billion.
“For presiding over the ongoing illegality in NDDC, Akpabio is not fit to be president.
“The Federal Government and Akpabio, who held the region perpetually captive and denied her of her developmental agenda because of an inglorious forensic audit that never brought out anything should now explain to our people of our collective regional wealth.
“The father of the nation, Mr. President must have seen now that those he entrusted with the developmental agenda of the oil and gas bearing communities of Nigeria had their own nefarious intentions to swindle and cause more havoc and deny the people their collective dreams of development.
“It is instructive to note, Mr. President, that three options are still available to the Federal Government of Nigeria. The first being the immediate inauguration of the screened and confirmed board of the NDDC under the Chairmanship of Dr. Pius Egberavwe Odubu, and Olorogun Bernard Okumagba as managing director. Secondly, immediate dissolution of the illegally constituted sole administrator that is alien to the NDDC Act 2000, and thirdly, every of the allocation to the NDDC from 2019 to 2022 except for those used for staff salaries and sundry expenses, every other monies of the over N700billion be recovered from whoever were part of the Macabre dance of shame in the past four years.”
The traditional ruler stressed that the inauguration of the already screened and confirmed board would rekindle hope and restore the Federal Government’s integrity before Nigerians and the international community.
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