The Chairman of the Rivers State House Assembly Committee on Education, Hon. Christian Ahiakwo, has stressed the need for planting of trees to protect, sustain and restore the environment.
He said to actually preserve and restore the ecosystem, planting of trees is the surest way to go.
Ahiakwo gave the indication during an advocacy event organised by the Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria (AELN) in conjunction with Environmental Law Advocates of Rivers State University Chapter in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, as part of activities to mark this year’s World Environment Day.
He said the theme of this year’s World Environment Day celebration, ‘Our Only Earth’ was apt, and condemned in strong terms what he described as environmental apathy often displayed by Nigerians exemplified in the attendance at the occasion, which he noted is an indication that the issue of environmental management is not taken seriously.
Ahiakwo, also former Chairman of the House Committee on Environment said whereas there is only one earth, mankind still behave as if there is more than one earth, and stressed the need for people to actually work towards restoring the ecosystem.
“We have only one earth. It is our duty to restore it,” he said.
The lawmaker, who was the chairman of the occasion, further narrated a story about a community in India, whose inhabitants took relish in hunting and killing birds for food, and what happened to it when there were no longer birds in the community.
According to him, this resulted in the explosion of the population of anthropods like grasshoppers and other insects in the community, because it had actually distorted a major equilibrium in the society.
The message to take home from this, he said is that “if we are not careful with what we do with the environment, the consequences will be gave.”
Ahiakwo equally emphasised the need for all environmental laws and conventions to be enforced and implemented, saying, the process of Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) must also start and end, as recommended by environmental experts before any major projects are executed.
“If we put our efforts together, we can restore the environment. Tree planting is the way to go. Let us continue to plant trees,” he said.
In his opening remarks, the National President of the Association of Environmental Lawyers of Nigeria (AELN), Prof. Samuel Dike noted that people do despicable things to degrade the environment, and solicited the support of corporate organisations, government and well-meaning Nigerians to enable the association to intensify its advocacy campaigns on the environment.
The Professor of Energy and Environmental Law at the Rivers State University stressed the need for the conservation of the gifts of nature with a view to sustaining the earth, adding that the association had recently distributed waste bins to the university as a way of keeping its environment clean.
He said the association was committed to engaging in research and promoting clinical digital waste management technology as well as driving its other activities to make the earth a better place for all.
On his part, the Dean of the Faculty of Law in the Rivers State University, Prof. Chris Wigwe (SAN), simply defined the environment as where people stay, live and do business, and stressed the need for the environment to be kept clean at all times.
“Do not diminish the environment by your own actions. Do not deplete it by littering the streets. We care charged with the responsibility of protecting the environment”, he intoned.
The keynote speaker, Prof. Chinedu Mmom poignantly took the participants through the gamut of all that constitutes the environment and the need to preserve and conserve it through our conduct and actions.
Prof Mmom, the Dean of the faculty of Social Sciences in the University of Port Harcourt, while going down memory lane, highlighted the importance of the World Environment Day celebration which began in 1972 in Stockholm, Sweden.
He said all hands must be on deck to salvage the environment from the vagaries of degradation and pollution.
Also speaking, the President of Environmental Law Advocates of Rivers State University Chapter, Mr. Onyeso Kelechi ThankGod said students of the organisation had taken steps to mitigate the environmental problems in the university and urged all and sundry to take steps to protect the environment.
AELN presented an award to the Chief Whip of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Evans Bipi for his immense support to the association.
The high point of the event was the unveiling and launch of an endowment fund for the Best Graduating Environmental Law Student; Cleanest Faculty in Rivers State University; and Research Grant on International Best Practices for Proper Waste Management.
The discussants at the event were Dr (Mrs) Rose Tane; Dr. Tony Francis and Dr William Iyama.
By: Donatus Ebi
Rivers Police Confirm Killing Of 2Baba
The Rivers State Police Command has confirmed the killing of a wanted cult leader, Gift Okpara aka 2 Baba, who was declared the prime suspect in the gruesome murder of the Divisional Police Officer of Ahoada Division, Bako Angbashim, in September last year.
Angbashim was ambushed and captured in Odiemudie community in Ahoada East Local Government Area of the State, by the cult gang members who dismembered his body and filmed it.
Since the death of the gallant corp, the command has been on Okpara’s trail, with constant land and air bombardments in the various hideouts of the Iceland cult leader, even as some of his lieutenants were reportedly gunned down.
But the spokesperson for the state police command, Grace Iringe-Koko, in a statement on Monday, said intelligence reports revealed that the wanted cultist was killed in a recent joint security raid in Idu-Ekpeye community, Ahoada West Local Government Area.
Irinke-Koko, a Superintendent of Police, also said a human skull, assorted rifles, explosives, and various charms amongst others were recovered during the last raids, in his new hideout which culminated in his death.
The statement read, “On February 17, 2024, at around 12:00hrs, 2Baba and his gang attacked Okogbe town and Odiokwu community in Ahoda West LGA, destroying pipelines.
“At 04:00hrs, operatives raided 2Baba’s new camp. Despite a fierce gun battle, 2Baba and his gang members escaped.
“However, at around 14:00hrs, intelligence confirmed 2Baba’s death after he lost consciousness and resuscitation attempts failed.
The police said efforts were in progress to retrieve the body of the suspected killer, while investigations into the Iceland cult’s activities in the region would continue.
“The Rivers State Police Command remains resolute in its duty to protect the lives and property of the citizens, and it will continue to employ all necessary resources and strategies to ensure a safe and secure environment for all,” it concluded.
The statement listed items recovered from the camp to include one AK47 rifle, one G3 rifle, one scorpion rifle, one double-barrelled locally made gun, and two locally made pistols.
Others were one cut-to-size double-barrelled gun, one bulletproof vest, 13 pieces of dynamites, five rounds of 9mm live ammunition, 10 army camouflages, 11 assorted charms, one human skull and one jack knife.
Meanwhile, there has been reported jubilation in the Ahoada area of the state following the killing of the infamous cult leader whom they said kept terrorising communities in the area and demanding various sums of money from households with severe negative threats for those who didn’t give in to his demands.
MOSIEND Hails Former NNPCL Executive Vice President
The foremost Niger Delta mass mobilisation organisation, the movement for the Survival Of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND) has described Sir Adokiye Tombomieye as a detribalised leader and a philanthropist of uncommon degree in Niger Delta region MOSIEND also hailed the Niger Delta former Vice President, Upstream Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited NNPCL as he marks his 60th birthday in Port Harcourt.
President General, MOSIEND, Dr. Kennedy Tonjo West said the celebrant had touched the lives of thousands of youths across Nigeria.
Described as a great character, father, an influential and a peace maker, MOSIEND said Tombomieye had transformed the lives of thousands of youths across the country by empowering them positively and seeing them through their various careers and dreams.
MOSIEND in a statement signed by the National President prayed Almighty God to grant the celebrant more longevity on earth as he sojourns in all affairs of humanity on earth.
“On behalf of the leadership and teeming members of Movement for the Survival of the Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND), we join the host of heaven and millions of the global community in celebrating a man of great character and influence, a detribalised Nigerian, an enigma, peacemaker, trailblazer, leader par excellence, compassionate in his work, one with a large heart, philanthropist of unparalleled degree, father to countless many, man of inestimable value, a living legend, Sir Adokiye Tombomieye as he turns 60 today.
The statement also described the celebrant as a philanthropist and father to the less privileged Niger Delta youths and Nigerians at large.
Sir Adokiye Tombomieye who recently retired from the NNPCL getting to the zenith of his career as the Executive Vice President Upstream is one of the few Niger Delta illustrious son with vast connect , friends and associates as the length and breadth of the country. A silent achiever , an unsung hero of some sort. A pillar and a role model to young and upcoming leaders.
MOSIEND leader who described Sir Tombomieye as an Icon and a trailblazer noted that he had given hope to many hopeless youths of the region through his philanthropic ventures.
He noted that Sir Tombomieye’s immense contributions towards the socio economic and institutional advancement of the Niger Delta cannot be over-emphasised. “During his days in NNPCL even as he rose to the Executive President Upstream, NNPCL, he was more accessible than a local government chairman in the Niger Delta region. His office was wide open for everyone with one issue or the other in Abuja, and Adokiye was ready to hear everyone out, solving problems. He is a rare gem, Adokiye lived his life for others. Retired but not tired. Leaders in the region should emulate the sterling qualities of Tombomieye in order to attract development to the region,” he said.
As a leader, the Organization wishes him good health and long life in all his undertakings
The statement urged people of the region to supports and pray for him in all his endeavours as a true leader and a blessing to the region.
We wish him best of luck in his future endeavours.
N’Delta Youth Leaders Warn Against Sabotaging New NDDC
A conglomeration of youth leaders from the Niger Delta has warned those frustrating the new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) “Project Hope” to have a rethink or face the wrath of the youths.
The youth leaders in a joint press conference in Port Harcourt, yesterday warned that any group or individuals who want to thwart the “Project Hope” scheme will be considered enemy of the Niger Delta.
Former Special Adviser to the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youth Matters, Ambassador Alfred Etule, said the current plight of Niger Deltans requires cogent plan that will lift the people out of poverty.
He explained that the new Managing Director of NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbunku, had conceived the Project Hope as path to empower the region and the people.
Ambassador Etule expressed regrets that since the project was conceived, some big wigs driven by selfish interests are working to frustrate it.
“That project was supposed to kick start by December last year, but uptil, now, this February, we have not seen anything,’’ he lamented.
The youth leaders said those who love to frustrate good plans and development of the Niger Delta have teamed up to see how they can kill the dream of the new NDDC management, but the youths will resist them.
On his part, Comrade Adokiye Muji-Tab revealed that some communities have donated land for the projects, as it is disheartening to hear of the delay to commence the scheme.
He said, “the NDDC has good intention, and for us, this is the first time they want to get it right. The projects cover the nine States of the Niger Delta. It is so sad that we still have people who want things to be done the old way.”
Comrade Muji-Tab urged all stakeholders and youths to stand up and defend their rights. “We stand by this project with this new idea and we are grateful to the Managing Director who initiated the idea,’’ he said.
Explaining the benefits of “Project Hope”, President of Niger Delta Youth Movement, Comrade Prince Boboye Peretu stated that it covers all areas of development including technical skills and physical infrastructure.
“ The vision is to empower the region and reduce the suffering and pains of the people. It is something that will transform the area since over the years we have not gotten development yet,” he revealed.
He added that the idea is to ensure each NDDC member state focus on area of strength like agriculture, youths development, skills and empowerment.
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