The Senate, Tuesday, called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency put all relevant agencies to work on the devastating havoc being wrecked on Edo and Anambra States by erosion and othe to related environmental issues.
Four senators took took turns at the plenary raising the alarm on the havoc being wrecked on communities and roads of various communities in Edo , Anambra and Ondo by environmental issues as they called on the federal Government to address the issues and stall further damage and danger .
The Senators who came through different motions noted that lives and livelihood of the members of the communities are in great danger .
Senator Victor Umeh, who represents Anambra Central senatorial district, in his motion, tagged “Urgent Need to Control the Erosion Ravaging Onitsha-Oba Section of the Onitsha-Owerri Federal Highway in Anambra State,” warned of severe consequences if the issues are not addressed.
He said: “We note with dismay the devastating effects of ravaging gully erosion and landslide on Onitsha-Owerri Federal Road, between Electrical Parts Market and Metallurgical Training Institute, Obosi (Idemili North LGA) and Oba Junction near Rojenny Games Village in Idemili South LGA – along Onitsha-Owerri Federal Highway, all within Anambra Central Senatorial District of Anambra State.
“One lane of the affected road has been cut off by the gully erosion at the Oba junction with the second lane under serious threat of imminent collapse while buildings and factories within the vicinity are on the verge of collapsing into the gully.
“The erosion and landslide are creating traffic gridlock along the sections of the Onitsha-Owerri Highway.
“If the menace of gully erosion and landslide is not urgently controlled, those sections of the road will completely cave in, thus leading to total disconnection of the highway with attendant severe consequences and cutting off of vehicular movement to Imo, Abia, Akwa lbom, Rivers and Cross River States.
“Onitsha-Owerri federal highway is a gateway to business activities and other relationships between the Western States and South-East and South-South States. The magnitude of the menace is beyond the control of the State Government.
“We urge the Federal Government to direct the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to commence repairs and re-construction of the affected parts of the Onitsha-Owerri Federal road particularly, the sections between Upper Iweka Round about in Onitsha and Onitsha-Owerri in Idemili South LGA of Anambra State which span about 6 kilometers.
“We also urge the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to ensure regular surveillance of Federal High ways to identify and nip erosion threats to Federal roads in the bud.
“We urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) to join the detection and prevention of erosion menace on highways.”
Senator Tony Nwoye raised a motion on the urgent need for restructuring and rehabilitation of the Onitsha – Otuicha – Adani road boundary by Enugu state .
Among other prayers ,the motion the NNPC and FiRS under the Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme to prioritise the roads
Senator Monday Okpebholo, Edo Central) in his motion tagged “Urgent Need for Erosion Control in Edo Central Senatorial District to Save Lives and Property”, said the flooding menace has put many communities under the constant threat of erosion devastation, resulting in massive gully erosions, flooding and road devastations.
He said: “The Okene-Auchi-Benin expressway, a major road infrastructure in Nigeria began to fail at the Ekpoma axis owing to several gully erosions. The Ewu-Uromi-Agbor Road corridor has also experienced similar fate in Uromi axis. Nigerians in Irrua, Ekpoma, Uromi, Ewu and other communities have fled their homes or got their access roads damaged owing to the erosion problems.
“In June, two persons died after being swept away from their homes in Ujoelen, Ekpoma. A school girl died two years ago in Efandion, Uromi, on her way to school due to the uncontrollable flooding. It is difficult to construct roads to Udo community because of the wild erosion gullies. This trend is all over the area
“The highway road projects in Edo central face the risk of being damaged even before they are completed, as a result of which the country may just be losing hundreds of millions of naira because of the natural disaster. The cost of interventions in erosion disaster is too weighty for local and state governments to bear.
“We urge for the collaboration of federal agencies, namely; the Federal Ministry of Environment, Ecological Fund Office and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing towards tackling the menace of erosion devastation in Edo Central Senatorial District
“We also urge the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, FERMA, and the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to collaborate and carry out emergency works on Ekpoma (Uhiele, Ujoelen, Ukpenu, Borehole Road & Emuhi), Irrua (Uwesan and Ikekato), Ewu (Eguare and Uzogholo), Uromi (Efandion, Eguare & Uzegwa), Udo and Illushi.”
In a similar development, the Senator representing Ondo South , Senator Jimoh Ibrahim raised a motion on the need to arrest incessant Sea Incursion ravaging Ayetoro community of Ondo State .
Senator Ibrahim in his motion noted that the community is of utmost economic importance to the nation as an oil producing community as well as it’s thriving fish trade and urged the Senate through its Committee on NDDC when constructed to commence immediate interventions to save the community.
Senator Jimoh Ibrahim also called for investigation of N6-5 billion contract earlier awarded for the protection of the shore lines
All the prayers of the options were adopted as Senate resolutions at Plenary .
By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja
NEDC Distributes Palliatives To People With Disabilities In Borno
The North East Development Commission (NEDC) has commenced distribution of palliatives to people living with disability in Borno State.
During the exercise on Saturday in Maiduguri Metropolitan Council, the Managing Director of the Commission, Mr Mohammed Alkali, said the gesture was in line with the commission’s mandate.
Alkali, who was represented by the NEDC Coordinator for Borno, Mr Mohammed Umaru, said the exercise started with the people with disability in Maiduguri metropolitant and would be extended to their members in the 26 LGAs of the state.
“What we are doing here today will also be done in remaining 26 LGAs of Borno.
“It has also commenced or has been done in other north east states as part of measures to ensure that everyone is given a sense of belonging in line with the NEDC mandate”, he said.
Responding, the Chairman of people living with disability in Borno, Mallam Mohammed Abubakar, thanked the commission for the gesture and assured of the leadership’s commitment to ensure fairness in sharing the 50 bags of rice and 50 cartons of spaghetti to its members in the metropolis.
Abubakar urged other organisations to emulate the gesture by the commission in reaching out to vulnerable groups in their support to victims of insurgency at this critical period.
Tribunal Upholds Gov Alia’s Election
The Benue State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal in Makurdi on Saturday upheld the victory of Governor Hyacinth Alia of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 Governorship Election.
Delivering the judgment, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, held that the tribunal lacked jurisdiction to entertain pre election issues raised by the petitioners, Titus Uba and PDP.
Karaye, who read the unanimous judgment, stated that only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain issues bordering on pre-election matters.
He further said the petitioners’ case was also an abuse of court processes because the same case was filed by the petitioners before the Federal High Court Abuja Division and its judgment was not challenged by the petitioners.
He said the petitioners lacked locus standi to challenge the nomination of the 2nd and 3rd respondents by the 4th respondent since they were not members of the 4th respondent.
Justice Karaye further said that the petitioners failed to prove their allegations of forgery against the 3rd respondent before the tribunal.
He said the 2nd and 3rd respondents were qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election and therefore, dismissed the case.
The petitioners, Titus Uba and the PDP, had dragged the respondents, INEC, Hyacinth Alia, Dr Sam Ode, and the APC before the tribunal, challenging their declaration by the INEC.
The petitioners argued that the 2nd and 3rd respondents, Gov Alia and Dr Ode, were at the time of contesting the election, not qualified to contest the March 18 Governorship Election.
They averred that the 4th respondent – the APC – did not follow the provisions of the law in the nomination of the governorship and deputy governorship candidates.
They also alleged that the 3rd respondent had presented a forged certificate to the 1st respondent, INEC, therefore, should be disqualified.
They therefore, prayed among other things, for the nullification of their election and declare the petitioners as winners of the election, having scored second highest lawful votes.
They also contended that having not qualified to contest the election, their votes should be declared invalid and certificates earlier issued to them by INEC be withdrawn.
The Tide’s source reports that the petitioners in the suit did not challenge the result of the March 18 Benue Governorship Election but qualifications of the candidates.
However, the respondents in their counter arguments, urged the tribunal to dismiss the suit in its entirety as it was an abuse of court processes.
The respondents stated that the Federal High Court Abuja Division, had before the election, delivered judgment on the same matter which was filed by the petitioners but they did not appeal the judgment till date.
They also said the issues raised were all pre election matter and only the Federal High Court had the exclusive jurisdiction to entertain same.
The 2nd and 3rd respondents clearly stated that since the prayers sought by the petitioners were all pre-election matters, the petitioners case was status bar and should be struck out.
They said the petitioners lacked locus standing to challenge the nomination of candidates of other political parties as they were mere meddlesome interlopers.
PDP Chieftain Makes Case For Culture, Tradition Maintenance
A Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Osun State, Prince Dotun Babayemi, has called on traditional rulers and other relevant stakeholders not to allow culture and traditions to go into extinction.
Babayemi gave the advice in Osogbo on Saturday to commemorate the Olojo festival celebration slated to hold between Septwmber 29 and October 2 in Ile-Ife.
The Tide’s source reports that Olojo festival is an ancient festival aimed at celebrating the remembrance of “Ogun”, god of iron, who is believed to be the first son of Oduduwa, progenitor of the Yoruba people.
Babayemi said relevant stakeholders in Yoruba land should rise up to rescue the culture and traditions as well as the language of the race from going into extinction.
“We have to go back to the days of yore because our known valued ethos and mores are fast ebbing.
“Sadly, these are already taking tolls on our value system as reflected in the moral decadence pervading our society today.
“It is sad that gradually our culture is being submerged by modernity/ civilisation and this portends a great danger for the future of the culture and traditions of Yoruba race.
“Unless everyone rises up to rescue this avoidable cultural eclipse, the future of our culture and traditions will be in jeopardy”, he said.
Babayemi, who is also a former PDP governorship aspirant in the state, congratulated the Ooni of Ife, Oba Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, sons and daughters of Ile-Ife across the world on the celebration of the Olojo festival.
He said the constant celebration of the festival would not make the coming generations to lose touch with the history of the race, thereby rekindling cultural renaissance.
“I want to sincerely congratulate our highly revered traditional ruler of Ile-Ife, Ooni Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja ll, and the good people of the ancient town home and abroad on the celebration of Olojo Festival.
“Sincerely speaking, unless we sustain the tempo of celebrating our culture in Yoruba land in the challenging face of modernity/civilisation, coming generations will lose touch with our history.
“Moreso, we are blessed with relics, artefacts and other cultural events worth celebrating”, he said.
The party stalwart urged custodians of Yoruba cultures and traditions to ensure cultural engagements that would continually ingrain the needed values in the subconscious of the younger generations.
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