SOME parts of Nigeria recently witnessed an unprecedented flooding as a result of the rise in sea level and climate change. The unprecedented destruction in term of human lives, property and degradation of the environment is still very fresh in the minds of Nigerians.
These natural disasters bring to question the preparedness of the Nigerian government in responding to crisis of such magnitude. The Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation inaugurated by the President, Good luck Ebele Jonathan is an ad hoc in nature and would not respond to the needs of the displaced persons as contained in the 1998 United Nations Guiding Principles on internal displacement which Nigeria is a signatory; and by extension, the 2009 African Union Convention for the Protection and Assistance of Internally Displaced Persons in Africa. This is also known as the Kampala Convention. This convention has been ratified by Nigeria.
In International Customary law, the Nigerian state has the moral and constitutional responsibility to protect its citizens; and, at the moment, there are no coherent and sustainable legislations, institutional and organisational framework that is dedicated to the plights of internally displaced persons (IDPs). The only constitutional provisions are the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the National Commission for Refugees (NCFR), and perhaps, The Human Rights Commission but there are no clear mandate to responding to issues of displacement arising from conflicts and natural disasters.
In the light of the emerging scenario from climate change and other violent conflicts in Nigeria, it is imperative for President Jonathan to quickly adopt the draft report on the National Policy on Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) which was prepared in 2003 and was recently presented to the Federal Government. The Presidential Committee on Flood Relief and Rehabilitation will not be in a position to sustain the projected natural disasters and the humanitarian interventions mechanism that is required for forced migration induced by climate change.
The proposed National Policy on IDPs is well articulated to provide assistance and protection in the broad areas of profiling and documentation of IDPs, allocation of clear responsibilities among agencies. However, one of the major challenges of the policy is that it lack legal status from the National Assembly; and, therefore, its institutional mandate will be difficult to enforce under the law. Furthermore, the current provision in the National Commission for Refugees which is the lead organisation is also inadequate to address the existing institutional and organisational gaps.
The policy should address core issues of the fundamental rights of the individuals as enshrined in the 1999 Nigerian constitution and taking into account the Kampala Convention on the protection mechanism for IDPs, particularly the recent flood victims across the length and breadth of Nigeria. The humanitarian concept of Do-No-Harm is currently being abuse by the Nigerian government by the ad hoc manner by which the matter has been handled so far. While the committee’s job is to raise fund on behalf the government is a welcome development, the domestication of the Kampala Convention cannot be overemphasised at this point in time.
The Federal Government should as a matter of urgency take adequate constitutional responsibility for IDPs through a sustained legal and institutional framework that will address relief, rehabilitation, resettlement and reintegration of victims of the recent flooding through legislative means.
- Orovwuje, founder, Humanitarian Care for Displaced Persons writes in from Lagos.
- BY SAMUEL OROVWUJE
FORMER Chairman, Isoko South local government area of Delta State, Chief (Dr.) Mike Ugbuku has called on those condemning the former president, Chief Matthew Aremu Olusegun Obasanjo to turn a new leaf.
General Obasanjo (Rtd.) had taken the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan-led administration to the cleaners for poor performance, even as the former’s remark elicited reactions from the latter’s aides, most of whom are serving ministers and special advisers.
President Jonathan recently warned his political aides to cease forthwith from trading words with his political godfather, adding that any aide who flouts the order would be shown the way out of his job.
Hon. Ugbuku said rather than crucifying the former president, he should be commended for telling Dr. Jonathan that it was high time he lived up to the yearnings and aspirations of the electorates.
Charging politicians and public officials to perish praise–singing and eye-service, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain said Jonathan should be grateful and listen to Obasanjo, who systematically made him rose from deputy governor to governor, vice president, acting president and first Nigerian president with a doctorate degree.
“My leader, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo’s open criticism of this administration is the tonic my president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan needs that will make more of him conscious and alert to becoming the greatest president Nigeria will ever produce since independence; just as E.K. Clark and his Delta Elders, Leaders and Stakeholders reformed Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan to be one of the best governors in the federation,” he said.BY RUEMU OSIEBE
THE flood ravaged most states in the country. Properties worth millions of naira were destroyed. The flood respected no man, as the poor and the rich were affected. Landlords became not only tenants but also refugees in their own land. Different communities in Isoko South and North local government areas of Delta State in less than a week were either surrounded with or covered by water.
Means of livelihood became difficult to an extent that canoes, wooden boats, speed boats and tippers were the only means of transportation in almost all the communities affected.
The concern of our government and good individuals brought about great relief. Indeed, the state government needs be commended for wonderful work. Government brought rescuing and emergency vans that evacuated people from their domains and took them to camps it set up. The government provided relief materials, fed victims and offered them with free medical treatment.
In Isoko South, government provided skills acquisition training, especially at St. Michael’s College camp, Oleh. People were trained in various fields, including catering, barbing, sewing, hairdressing and so on. However, politics was later introduced, as food and other materials were diverted by honourable men and women; money were being embezzled, things were been hijacked, caterers stealing food items meant for displaced persons, accusations and arrests became the order of the day.
A caterer was said to have stolen a cooler of soup. Politicians stole bags of rice. The general coordinator was accused of stealing food and other items, including goats donated by government and well-meaning Nigerians. The accusers said out of 21 goats that were supposed to be slaughtered daily, only one was being slaughtered daily. And the big question is: what happened to the other 20 each day? What a leadership! What a flood!
Money meant for victims’ transportation to their homes was diverted by those in charge. This led to fight and protest by the victims. However, the diverted money was later given to some of the victims at the police station. Imagine how police officers were dividing money for the victims in order for peace to reign!
In Isoko North camp at Anglican Girls Grammar School (AGGS), Ozoro, it was gathered that the camp was peaceful, no food or materials’ diversion, no stealing, no fighting. But there was no industrial training as expected by the victims; yet, there was peace. Government distributed books, bags and other learning materials to the children to enable them go back to their various places of learning. A good health centre was also provided for their medical attention. They were also provided with transport fare to their various destinations. It was indeed a peaceful and mutual style of leadership display in Isoko North!
The flood, which ravaged many communities in Delta State and destroyed many people’s belongings, including buildings, created challenging period for those affected.
Mrs. Josephine Etoroma from ldheze, a refugee at Anglican Girls Grammar School, Ozoro, said, “l really appreciate the government for providing healthcare free-of-charge. In fact, the effort of the government is appreciated.”
BY GRACE GODWIN
SAMUEL OGODO AND
A YEAR after Chief Ogbe Onokpite was gruesomely murdered by some identified police officers, the dust generated by his killing is yet to settle. The 38-year-old politician who lived as a hermit still identified with his native Okpe, Uvwie people was shot dead by the police at Beeland Hotel, Orhuwhoran in Udu local government area of Delta State.
Since the politician was killed in a questionable circumstance, plethora of criticisms has continued to trail his sudden and unpleasant demise. Despite series of petitions by the family and other human right groups to ravel the main cause of his death, investigations thus far appeared to be shrouded in mystery. For this singular reason, the deceased family insisted that until his killers are brought to book, his remains would not be interred.
Though since the death of Chief Onikpete, a petition was sent to the Inspector General of Police and the Deputy Inspector General of Police in charge of homicide division, a team of officers was raised headed by one Adamu Hassani. Unarguably, some considerable success was received in their investigation. But the Hassani team later hit brick wall as they were unable to rescue the file containing the matter of Chief Onokpite’s death from one Dalan Dache and his gang who were initially assigned to investigate the case, and who, ironically in their temporary investigations concluded that the late politicians was a gun-runner and was killed in a crossfire with men of the Nigeria police.
As the tango to unravel the killers continued, fresh facts emerged that the police officers fingered as the killers were allegedly mobilised by the Delta State government to eliminate the youngest governorship aspirant in the immediate past governorship election in the state.
The source further alleged that the real killer squad in Delta State was led by one ASP Umara. Consequent upon the startling revelation, officers of the Delta killer squad were summoned to Abuja for temporary investigation. In the process, the team members pleaded guilty as charged as one of them disclosed that the leader of the police team, Umara ordered him to demobilised Onokpite.
This confession has created more questions begging for answers since they failed to establish that Chief Onokpite was killed in crossfire. But the said officer, however, admitted that he shot the innocent politician below the knee and eventually demobilised him at the Beeland Hotel, Orhuwhorun road in Ovwian, Delta State.
Umara also admitted without blinking an eye that he drove the pathfinder jeep that led the two Hilux vans to the Beeland Hotel where Onokpite was caught. This report was in tandem with the statement of oath from the prime witness, Gbenga Onasiji who dismissed the allegation that Onokpite was never a gun-runner and that he was the driver who was assigned to convey Onokpite to collect some amount of money from the nearest ATM before the police descended on him.
The driver has however identified the police officer who shot him below the knee and also the man who blindfolded and used sharp dagger on him. Again, a fresh twist was added into the matter when an arrested suspect, Malick Okorokporo confessed that he was instructed by the deceased to deliver two AK 47 rifles found on him to one Mr. Collins Egbara. Yet, another question, on why he was shot dead and the questionable circumstances that led to his mysterious demise have all combined to doubt the justice system in the land.
Delta State police commissioner, Mr. Mammam Tsafe now the Assistant Inspector General (AIG) of police, Zone 2 at a press conference shortly after the dastardly incident, posited that the slain politician was gunned down in his noted while attempting to escape from the grip of the police, and that he died on the way to the hospital.
“Also, at about 2pm on November 26, 2011, undercover operatives at Beeland Hotel, Orhunwhoro intercepted a vehicle with registration No. AM 528 JRT driven by one Malik Okorokporo, aged 33, of 31 Abasiomo Druona compound, Alegbo, Warri. The driver was stopped by police patrol team at Udu, Orhunwhoro road and to their chagrin, two AK-47 rifles with Nos. 20613 and 13702, with over 60 rounds of live ammunition were found in his possession. These rifles were alleged to be delivered to Collins Egbara, Chairman of Agaga Community, who is currently on the run at the instance of Ogbe Onokpite through his conveyor, Malik Okorokporo.
“The suspect, however, took the patrol team to Beeland Hotel to apprehend his principal, who attempted to escape upon sighting the police but was maimed. The principal eventually died on the way to the hospital,” the commissioner stated with a time of finality.
Amid these conflicting reports, the younger brother to late Chief Onokpite, Diemo has declared that it was obvious that the AK 47 riffles were planted on the slain politician’s hotel on the ill-fated day he was assassinated, and that the late Chief Onokpite was killed by the Nigeria police.
Already, Diemo disclosed that the ASP Umara who led the operation that killed Chief Ogbe Onokpite was confronted with the evidence from their personal investigation. According the slain politician’s younger brother, Diemo, the investigation of the Nigeria Armoury, Lagos shows that the AK 47 riffles were issued to the police force (31 MPF), Asaba.
Diemo further averred that one of the AK 47 raffles was issued to Umara’s aides, while the other one, AK 47 riffle planted on late Chief Onokpite was issued to CPI Benjamin Joel in Government House. The bereaved Diemo further stated that the AK 47 was in the custody of the area commandant, ACP Abutu, who on that day brought out the AK 47 riffle from his bedroom and planted it on Chief Onokpite. From these investigations, Diemo declared that it was clear that ACP Abutu cannot be ignorant of the death of the CPI shot dead by unknown gunmen at Airport road in Effurun.
Against this backdrop, Diemo insisted that ACP Abutu must be properly investigated over the death of the CPI police officer allegedly killed by unidentified gun men. The younger brother who disclosed that all these stories were the confessions of ASP Umara to the police investigating team raised by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) in Abuja and most particularly established that the area command planted the two AK 47 riffles on late Chief Onoikpite, said the family and Nigerians are waiting to see the killers of Chief Onokpite and why they killed an innocent man.
Also, counsel to the slain politician’s family, Mr. Odiana Eriata said that revelations from police investigation thus far, showed that the killer gang of Chief Onokpite exists in the state. The lawyer who alleged that there had been several attempts by the Delta State police command to sweep the matter under the carpet, said their efforts had culminated to the serial murder of two other persons, British Egene and Orlando Owodo on July 17, 2012.
Eriata, however, enjoined the IGP to investigate the role of a particular Assistant Superintendent of Police (name withheld) in the murder saga. The family lawyer, who alleged that Egene and Omode were the two persons suspected to have set up the late Onokpite, also averred that the car in which guns were planted against Onokpite belong to Owodo.
The lawyer disclosed that the duo, Egene and Owodo were murdered in
Bayelsa when fresh facts begin to emerge on the killers of Chief Onokpite, particularly when the eyewitness, Mr. Gbenga Onasiji, identified eight of the 11 policemen involved in the dastardly incident in Abuja. His words: “We believe that the assassination of Egene and Omodo could not have been a coincidence but planned to break the chain of investigation and information in order to frustrate the unravelling of the procurers of Onokpite’s murder.”
He implored the police to expand its investigation to the owner of the vehicle that conveyed Egene and Omodo on the day they killed them. It
Will, however, be recalled that the slain politician during the 2011 general election, pitched tent with Chief Great Ogboru and with his massive followers, delivered many candidates under the umbrella of the Democratic Peoples’ Party (DPP). Again, the question begging for answer is, who killed Chief Ogbe Onokpite, the amiable politician and why?By GAB EJUWA
- Per day – 2.5m barrels
- Current price – $113 per barrel
- Daily sales – 2.5mx $113 = $282.5million
- Monthly sales – 282.5m x 30 days = 58.475 billion
- Yearly sales – $8.475 billion x 12 = $101.7 billion
- Naira equivalent – 101.7 billion x N160 = 16.272 trillion naira, yearly.
- Nigeria’s budget for 2012 – 4.5 trillion naira
The question is: Where is the surplus going?
- Analysis by Femi Falana, Lagos lawyer (SAN) and activist on Channels Television.
PERMIT me a space in your incisive and informative newspaper, Isoko Mirror to express my views on how Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), in conspiracy with Delta State government have shortchanged Uzere kingdom, even as peace has continued to erode us.
Crude oil production by Shell as reported to Hon. Justice Ehiwario Panel of Inquiry is on the average 30, 000 barrels daily.
- Crude oil production/day – 30,000 barrels
- Current price – $113/barrels
- Daily sales = 30,000 X 113 – $3,390,000
- Monthly sales = 3, 390, 000 X 30 days – $101, 700, 000
- Yearly sales = $101, 700, 000 X 12 – $1,220, 400,000
- Naira equivalent = $1,220, 400,000 X N150 – 1.83 trillion naira per year.
The question is: How much is spent on the community, or are we not qualified for any benefits?
Chief (Dr.) Fidelis E. Adaka (JP, FNSA), National Vice President, Nigerian Statistical Association.
KINDLY permit me a space in your widely read newspaper to air my views on Hon. Benjamin Okiemute Essien’s seemingly poor performance in the Delta State House of Assembly. If I may ask, where was Hon. Benjamin Okiemute Essien, who is representing Isoko South Constituency I, with all the clans and communities that are oil-producing but have nothing to show in the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPPADEC) 2012 budget, when Irri and Oleh have nothing as to proposed projects, let alone ongoing projects and now 2013 budget defence that is going on without projects for our God-given natural land? Why? Why are we blaming the northerners, who are exploiting Niger Delta resources to their few elites, whereas non-oil producing communities are the ones benefiting, with people in position of sharing of the resources and projects; who do we cry to? May the Lord change this situation in the coming both local government and general elections in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Hon. Dickson Ebegbare, vice chairman, Isoko South:
THE need for Isoko to have a state will take a lot of time. Agitating for the creation of a state is wish for the people, but even at that, there are rules or constitutional provisions to be followed. The questions to be asked are: What does it take to own a state? What are the qualifications of having a state? Do the Isokos have the population to have a state? Is it possible for the lsokos to have a state?
The land mass is enough to own a state but l think Isoko is not big enough to own a state. State creation is not a problem of Nigeria. It is a political wish, it is a game of interest which cannot actually address the problem I will rather wish the agitation should be in controlling the headquarters if Delta is split into two but it is not enough reason for lsoko to agitate for a state.
The moment we start talking of Isoko state, the ljaws will want to have their own; the ltsekiris will want to also have their own, the Urhobos will want to have their own, and even the lbos will want to have their own, thereby making it to be an abuse which will lead to jeopardy because every community would want to be autonomous. Upon these, I would want to say Isoko should not have a state, but if Delta is split, it can have its own state.
Isoko is due to have one more local government areas. Talking about population and size, for example, from political divides, we have INEC ward where one ward has eight autonomous community. Example is Aviara and lrri. Such cluster is not healthy. So, we are very due for more local government areas.
Hon. Charles ltiveh, secretary, Isoko South local government:
If they can allow us, I think we need a state, mostly with the resources we have in Isoko. The lsokos are not seeing them; but if we have a state, we will be able to manage our resources very well. If the lsokos should have a state, it will really help them. At least, there will be development and it is what we need.
We need more local government councils. And in time of election, it will reduce a lot of stress like political planning from the Isoko people; community development in term of projects to be able to reach the community. We have many reasons but we should work on these first.
Dennis Presley Onoriode:
Isoko does not have the variable or facilities it takes to have a state for now. The land mass, the resources and the population; the size of lsoko is too small to become a state. Yes, we should have more local government councils considering our size and diversities. The lsokos in the riverine areas need a local government to accommodate them.
It should be good if there is a reason for that. First, we will be taken care of.
Geographically, Isoko is large. We can agitate for more local government councils so that the resources can go round.
I am not for it; Isoko is not as big as a place that can be a state of it own regardless of the resources compared to the nature of Nigeria because Nigeria is a big place. If Isoko becomes a state, then every geographical tribe will seek for their own.
The truth is that Isoko itself has enough resources to care for its people but there are some conditions. There should be more local governments, using Isoko South as a case study where the Isoko are being joined with Aboh. Igbide do not feel the impact of being part of Isoko South. So, if there are more local governments, places like lgbide and other riverine communities that these resources are not getting to will be adequately taken care of.
Pastor Friday Eduzoube:
To start with, the states we have in Nigeria are the creation of the constitution. But if we are to ask, I will say yes that Isoko should have a state of its own because within the western African region, there are states that are not up to Isoko. It depends on our position and agitation because we cannot sleep and expect others to do it for us.
I don’t think adding more local governments to the ones we have is the solution, even if we have one hundred local government areas with the ones we have. The question is, will there be good governance? It depends: because democracy is better felt in the local government areas. We, as gospel ministers, have the responsibility to educate our church members at the local government level, that these resources should not be seen as government cakes. The richest people in the world are businessmen, not the president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan. It is the people that make the government. Therefore, any government that forgets its people should know that one day, it shall seize to exist. Leadership is all about people; power should not take them too far from their people.
I see a glorious future for our country and local government. Our democracy is young and metamorphosing for us to have a better democracy.
Hon. Stephen Kofi ldume:
Isoko is due for a state creation because we have the resources. The major money needed to run a state is from the federal. We should manage our own resources. The volume of oil in Isoko, especially in agriculture can sustain us. We derive our economy from land and water. So, there is the need for more local governments. For example, Isoko South has 11 wards, Oleh as the capital is large and has many communities; Oweh has about 15 wards. In fact, only Isoko South can get up to six local governments. And Isoko North which has two constituencies can get more than six local governments.
BY GRACE GODWIN
SAMUEL OGODO AND
A WOMAN who allegedly stomped her 92-year-old grandmother because she feared the old woman was possessed by a demon may face stiff penalties now that the victim has died.
Angela Armstrong died recently at a hospital in St. Louis Country, Mo, following the November 21 attack by her granddaughter, Rachel Armstrong.
The younger woman threw her grandmother down the stairs before stomping her, which left Angela with broken arms and eight cracked ribs.
The granddaughter confessed, police said, and was charged with first-degree elder abuse. The grandmother’s death has authorities considering stiffer charges though.
At the time of the attack, Rachel Armstrong, a nurse by trade, told police she though her grandmother was a demon and tried to beat it out of her before tucking her in bed.