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Niger Delta

Okowa Calls For More Dams

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has called on the Federal Government to build new dams and dredge major rivers in the country to check flooding.
Okowa, who made the call while addressing newsmen after visiting flood victims at some Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps, said five persons lost their lives to flood in the State.
He also urged the Federal Government to make efforts at de-silting Rivers Niger and Benue to deepen their depths to accommodate high volume of flood water.
He said the best way to end the loss of lives and valuables to flood was for the government to take proactive steps towards stalling perennial flooding each time neighbouring countries opened their dams.
He commiserated with families that lost persons and property to the flood, adding that state government had established 11 holding camps to take care of displaced persons.
He said daily feeding of the IDPs was a priority, and that medical facilities and personnel were in various camps to take care of medical needs of the inmates to avoid possible outbreak of diseases.
“I was informed by the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, when the team briefed me on Monday, that as a result of the flood, five deaths were recorded, not inside the camps but across the state.
“We have 11 camps that are currently in place and some of them are in schools and some others are in high places in some locations where the schools have been overrun by the flood water.
“Climate change, obviously, is becoming very impactful globally and it is beginning to affect a lot of issues. The sea levels are rising and so is the water level.
“Another issue is the dam in Cameroon. It always causes a major overflow in our river.
“From the preliminary information I have, what could be done is to build our own holding dams here in Nigeria and a regular de-silting of our rivers.
“And, that is not going to be the state government’s function. It is that of the Federal Government because of the type of dam that will be built across the river. So, it is going to be a major dam.
“So, I believe that it is important that the Federal Government will look into it very quickly and begin to start the process,” he said.
“When we look at the pains that come to our people cumulatively as a result of the flood and the destruction it brings, it is so huge and runs into several billions.
“So, I think that it is something that the Federal Government would consider building a dam across River Niger to prevent this from happening,” Okowa said.
“We are immediately taking care of the people in the camp, which is the first thing to do by providing food, security and healthcare for them here.
“They have been organised into groups and they are cooking for themselves and we ensure that there is regular supply of food items to cook. So, we are sure that they are not suffering from any form of hunger.
“We can see doctors and nurses here, living under the same conditions as the IDPs just to provide health care. In two of the camps, some pregnant women have already been delivered by the medical personnel.
“You can see that they are well taken care of. In previous years, after their return to their homes, we have always provided some form of assistance and we will also do so this year.
“We are always compassionate,” the governor said.
He called on donor agencies and well-spirited individuals to partner government in alleviating the plights of those affected by the flood, adding that his administration would assist them.
The camps visited by the governor included those at Ogbe-Afor Primary School and Oneh Primary School in Asaba and Ewulu Mixed Grammar School, Ewulu in Aniocha South Local Government Area.
Ogbe-Afor Primary School camp has 1,548 IDPs, Oneh Primary School, 1,684 IDPs and 1,475 in Ewulu camp.

 

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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