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Riverine Community Laments Fresh Crude Oil Spill In Bayelsa

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Some riverine residents of Ikebiri kingdom in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State have lamented the fresh oil spills in the community. from the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC/ENI) pipeline.

It was learnt that the latest which is coming from Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC/ENI) pipeline reportedly happened in June, making it third in 10 years, with a five-year interval from 2010, 2015 and in 2020.

According to Chief Uroupatei Igoli, at Ikebiri, Boloukubu [special bush] where the spill occurred is where the residents go often to set their fish traps and nets for their livelihood and from which they take care of children’s education and feed the family.

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“This oil spill has affected the aquatic lives, killing all the fishes in the swamp and river. We are left with nothing, as we no longer catch fish even if you go to the swamp or river to fish.

“Those who picked and brought dead fish from the impacted environment to the community and ate all had health problems and some even died. We are suffering from related illnesses.”

Also speaking, Woman leader of Ikebiri 2, Seimieghe Matthew, said “There is a particular bush identified by our people as Boloukubu and currently there is an oil spill from a pipeline and since the incident happened, I have received several complaints from the women folks in the community”

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“Again, due to the connecting rivulets to the river, the crude oil has also spread to affect the river and denied us our main source of drinking water.”

Another resident, Chief Kemeoyatei Festus, said the community has lost eight persons because of the oil spill.

”I am talking about; six from this compound and the other deaths occurred in other compounds in the community. Even when you go into the bush with your canoe and return home through the river, unless you turn the canoe upside down and scrub the body with soap, the crude oil would remain on the body of the canoe. The same with your paddle, it would be soiled with crude oil.”

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World Earth Day: Environmentalist Advocates End to Plastic Wastes to Save Mother Earth

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In commemoration of the 2024 World Earth Day, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) – Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has called for a drastic reduction in the use of plastics to save planet Earth from suffocation.

World Earth Day is an annual event celebrated April 22, and it is designed to shed light on serious environmental problems faced from the climate crisis to air pollution and deforestation. This year’s World Earth Day was themed: ‘Planet Vs Plastic.’

In commemoration of the Day, Dr Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director, HOMEF, in a statement made available to INFO DAILY by Kome Odhomor, Media/Communication Lead, HOMEF, advocated for urgent action to ban the production and
usage of single-use plastics.

Bassey, while calling on everyone to be involved in efforts to kick out plastics, urged humans to build a liveable future for humans, other beings, and natural systems.

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He said: “World Earth Day reminds us as humans that the Earth is ours to protect and preserve but over time humans have abandoned their roles in protecting the planet because of selfishness and drive for profit.

“We stand united in our fight against non-biodegradable waste pollution. Our addiction to single-use plastics suffocates the planet.

“Plastics can take hundreds of years to decompose, clog our water bodies, and cause harmful impacts as a result of their chemical composition. Sadly, the
world is literally a plastic civilisation due to a vested interest in hydrocarbons and ease of application.”

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He continued: “Now is a critical time to choose between planet and plastic. Good sense tells us to choose the planet, our Mother Earth that sustains all lives. A poor sense driven by profit urges humans to choose plastics because of the ease they bring, despite the harmful impacts on our health, climate, and overall health of the planet.

“As we mark World Earth Day 2024, the alarm must be sounded that it is time to uproot plastics from their fossil base or be ready to be turned
into plastic humans living plastic lives and heading to an infernal
plastic future. At HOMEF, we are all for the planet, people, and all
life forms,” Bassey said.

The Executive Director noted that research has shown that 380 million tonnes of plastic are now produced every year, while only nine percent of plastic ever produced has been recycled.

He added: “Campaigns around the world calling for a 60 percent reduction in plastic by 2040 are commendable and worthy of support.

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“At Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), we believe in the intrinsic Rights of Mother Earth and the rights of humans and other
beings to be respected and to live in dignity.

“It is time to build up courage and to preserve and protect our health,
and our livelihoods by embracing alternatives that are sustainable,
healthy, and safe for the planet. We must stop all forms of destructive
extractive activities in Nigeria, Africa, and the World.

“The Planet vs Plastics campaign is a call to arms, a demand that we act now to end the scourge of plastics and safeguard the health of every living being on our planet.

“We are submerged in a sea of plastic wastes, from our creeks to the ocean. It’s time we did better!”

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Obaseki Warns Against Open Grazing, Solicits Stakeholders’ Support

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has said the ban on open grazing in the state still remains, warning that anyone found wanting will be made to face the full wrath of the law.

The governor said this while addressing stakeholders during an interactive session on the Edo State Regional Development and Benin City Master Plan, held at Iguobazuwa, Ovia South-West Local Government Area of the State.

Obaseki who reassured the government’s commitment to the safety and security of residents, called for the collaboration and support of all stakeholders to ensure a peaceful, secure and prosperous Edo State.

He said, “Any herdsman in our bush without permission is working against the law of our State, and anything that happens, they can’t blame anyone.

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“Let us be sure that nobody gives that person the permission to enter our forest and if permission will be granted, let us know the type of permission given to them to come into our bushes or forest to graze with their cattle.

“Open grazing is banned in Edo State. If they are in your forest, let us know where they are because we have police and vigilantes who will help us get them out through a number we will give you to call.”

Obaseki added, “Anybody that wants to do ranching business should contact you, the community people and you will decide on the land to use and method of feeding their cattle. They should do the business with you and not invade our forest indiscriminately as if there are no owners. The forest and bushes belong us.”

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Nigeria Air: EFCC Arrests Ex-Buhari’s Minister Over N8bn Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC has arrested Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation under former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration over an ongoing N8 billion money laundering probe of Nigeria Air.

Vanguard gathered that Sirika arrived at the Federal Capital Territory Command of the EFCC at about 1:00 pm on Tuesday.

Sirika is currently being quizzed by the EFCC investigators over alleged fraudulent contracts awarded by him to a company known as Engirios Nigeria Limited, owned by his younger sibling, Abubakar Sirika.

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Recall that, in February, EFCC investigated the activities of the Aviation Ministry under Sirika for conspiracy, abuse of office, diversion of public funds, and contract inflation.

Others are criminal breaches of trust and money laundering amounting to N8,069,176,864.00 during Sirika’s tenure in office.

Apart from being listed as the company’s Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Abubakar is said to be the sole signatory to the company’s two accounts, domiciled in Zenith and Union Banksy.

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It was gathered that the ex-minister’s younger brother, Abubakar Sirika, has been arrested and detained by the commission in connection with N3,212,258,930.18 paid to his company, Engirios Nigerian Limited’s, bank account by the former minister.

It was noted that there is no trace of work done on any of the contract items to date.

Sirika was arrested Sunday February 4 to assist the commission in its probe of the Aviation Ministry’s financial expenditures during his tenure.

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