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Save Us From Ocean Encroachment, N-Delta Coastal Communities Cry Out

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Community along the coast of the Niger Delta who are on the verge of been wash off into the sea/rivers, a situation that has led to the eviction of several coastal communities, have cried out to government to come to their aid and tackle the rampaging sea level rise.

Stakeholders of coastal communities including women and youths leaders from Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa and Rivers States, made the appeal in Yenagoa the Bayelsa State capital, weekend during a ‘National Community Dialogue on Fossil Fuel Exploitation and Sea Level Rise (SLR) in Nigeria’ organized by Oilwatch Nigeria.

The communities lamented that they have suffered loss of sources of livelihoods, displacement of indigenes and acidification of fresher waters, a situation they said has affected sources of drinking water and the life expectancies of the people.

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According to the communities, the exploration and production of oil, gas flaring have exacerbated the problems of sea level riseL, natural resource depletion, and the washing away of historical sites like the grave of Lord Luguard in Forcados, Delta State and the aesthetic nature of Niger Delta communities.

They urged the Nigerian government, the World Bank, and other bilateral agencies to commit funding to address sea level rise just like the attention that is currently being given to desertification.

Speaking at the one day community dialogue, the Coordinator, Oilwatch Nigeria, Kentebe Ebiaridor, said it is fact that the impact of climate change is real and is gradually erasing Niger Delta communities in the fringes of the Atlantic Ocean, adding that it is imperative to hear from the community people and know their plight.

He said “We have noticed in the past that apart from flooding our communities are gradually going extinct on the fringes of the Atlantic Ocean because of that we think that it is important that we hear from the communities and also use it as a platform to advocate for government attention towards putting their eyes in frontline communities and most importantly trying to reduce the impact of climate change on our communities because they are the ones suffering the impacts.”

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READ ALSO: FEC Approves $11.17bn Rail Project To Link All Coastal Cities

Also in his remarks, Mr. Alagoa Morris, the Head of Environmental Rights Action, Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, Niger Delta Resource Centre, admonished the stakeholders for taking proactive steps in ensuring that they live in harmony with nature and consciously work to stand firmly against all activities that will cause mother earth to retaliate against human actions.

In a communique issued, the stakeholders noted that desertification, sea level rise and coastal erosion are some of the causes of resource conflicts and disputes being experienced in the country, such that the natural forest and land resources of the Niger Delta are gradually disappearing based on the effects of oil and gas activities, government inaction, sea level rise, and deforestation.

Parts of the communique reads: “Many Niger Delta communities have been washed off and many others are at the verge of being washed off. A practical example is that of Koluama Community in Bayelsa State that was wiped out some years ago. This made the community to migrate to two separate locations which gave birth to the present day Kolauma 1 & 2 and in the nearest future, both communities will go under the sea.

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“Niger Delta communities thought the coming of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA) was the solution to the problems of oil-bearing communities, but it is not only a threat to the lives of the people and the environment and it is also worsening the existing impacts in the region.

“Government should provide drinking water to coastal communities to combat increased salinity in freshwater sources due to sea level rise and ensure that emergency preparedness measures and databases to cope with increased climatic disasters such as floods and ocean encroachments are made available to the people.

“All environmental laws should be strengthened to address the several environmental challenges confronting communities as a result of fossil fuel extractions mankind in our respective states.

“Governments should make use of the ecological funds to address issues of sea level rise.”

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PAP: Again, Otuaro Meets Stakeholders, Re-emphasises Importance Of Collaboration

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The administrator, Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, Dr. Dennis Otuaro, has re-emphasized the need for a collaborative approach in maintaining peace in the Niger Delta, even as he met with various stakeholders in the region.

Otuaro, who spoke when he met with various stakeholders, in Warri, Delta State, including ex-agitators, community leaders, and youth groups, emphasised the importance of involving more stakeholders from impacted communities in the PAP in order to achieve sustainable peace in Niger Delta.

The meetings, held in different locations on July 23rd, 2023, aimed to strengthen peace in the Niger Delta region.

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READ ALSO: Otuaro Visits Edo/Delta Liaison Office, Declares PAP Apolitical

He stressed the need in engaging more women, and providing refresher training to previously trained beneficiaries to qualify them into the labour market.

He urged stakeholders to take advantage of the PAP’s ongoing scholarship opportunities and register online accordingly.

Otuaro reiterated President Tinubu’s commitment to sustainable peace and rapid development in the Niger Delta, encouraging stakeholders to work together to achieve this goal.

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READ ALSO: PAP: IPDI Tackles Group Over Attack On Otuaro

A vote of confidence was passed on the PAP boss for his transformational leadership and revolutionary reforms, urging President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disregard opposition.

He concluded by thanking PAP beneficiaries and stakeholders for maintaining the existing peace in the Niger Delta, and commended them for their continued cooperation and support for president Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration.

The stakeholders, including HRH Godday Smith, the king of the forest, the Meinbotus communities and the Ijaw Youth Council, Western zone, commended Otuaro’s charismatic leadership and pledged their support.

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READ ALSO: PAP: IPDI Tackles Group Over Attack On Otuaro

In response, the stakeholders pointed out that Otuaro is the right man for the PAP job, admonishing the president Bola Ahmed Tinubu to disregard the antics of the enemies.

They assured him of total support and good working relationship throughout his reign as administrator of PAP.

The stakeholders thanked Otuaro for coming down to hold further meetings with stakeholders after undergoing rigorous meetings with the stakeholders in the Niger Delta region in the penultimate months in Warri, Delta State.

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They expressed enthusiasm over his powerful reforms and good initiatives. They prayed for him for more opportunities, good health and more God’s direction.

 

 

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Four Suspected Cultists Arrested With Arms In Edo

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The Edo State Police Command says it has arrested four suspected cultists.

The suspects arrested were Isioma Unwogo, 21, Godstime Imareigbe, 32, Apeleokha Raymond, 28, and Mutar Igie, 30.

Police Public Relations Officer in Edo, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, who disclosed this to journalists in Benin City, said the suspects were arrested during a stop-and-search operation.

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He said the suspects were arrested in Ahor, a community along the Benin-Lagos bypass and on the Benin-Auchi Road, respectively.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Lagos Police Receive Test Results Of Teenager Allegedly Raped By Officer

The command’s spokesperson said Isioma was arrested with one cut-to-size gun and a live cartridge by operatives of the Ahor Police Station Division on patrol.

The other three suspects were arrested when police operatives intercepted a Toyota Camry with registration number ABC 265 RA, and upon a search, they recovered a pistol concealed inside the vehicle’s bonnet.

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SP Nwabuzor alleged that the suspects confessed to being members of a secret cult group in the state.

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Reps Ask NERC, DISCOs To Reverse Band A Tariff Hike

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The House of Representatives on Tuesday asked the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and the distribution companies, DISCOs, to reverse the tariff hike for Band A customers immediately.

This resolution was reached after the adoption of a report presented by the House Committee on Power.

Chairman of the Committee Victor Nwokolo who presented the report, stated that Nigerians cannot afford the new tariff.

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The Committee recommended a return to the status quo.

READ ALSO: BREAKING: Shelve Planned Hardship Protest, Tinubu Appeals To Nigerians

The recommendations were adopted by the Committee of the Whole, after which it was passed.

Further investigation into the tariff hike is to be conducted by the House.

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The NERC in April announced a hike affecting Band A customers, who are to pay N225 per kilowatt.

According to the regulatory commission Band A subscribers would have at least 20 hours of power supply per day

It also explained that only electricity customers in Band A would be affected by the increase.

READ ASLO: JUST IN: Reps Increase 2024 Budget To N35.055 Trillion, Amend Finance Bill

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At the time, it said only 15 per cent of the electricity consumers were affected by the hike, however, the decision generated negative reactions since its announcement.

“We currently have 800 feeders that are categorised as Band A, but it will now be reduced to under 500. This means that 17 per cent now qualify as Band-A feeders. These feeders only service 15 per cent of total electricity customers connected to the feeders,” NERC Vice Chairman, Musliu Oseni said on April 3.

“The commission has issued an order which is titled April supplementary order and the commission allows a 235 kilowatt per hour.”

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