- Renewed Anxiety over Ogoni Cleanup
Appointment of the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, as the deputy secretary-general of the United Nations has led to renewed anxiety about the Ogoni environment cleanup.
The growing anxiety stems from grave concern that irrespective of the minister’s avowed commitment to implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme report on Ogoniland, no visible structure and framework has actually been put in place for the remediation and restoration exercise.
President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Bari-ara Kpalap, expressed the anxiety in Ogoni about the implications of Mohammed’s exit from government’s team on the Ogoni cleanup process that has been stymied by bureaucracy.
Kpalap told The Guardian that the announcement that the incoming United Nations Secretary General, Antonio Guterres has appointed Mohammed is bound to have enormous implications for the implementation of the UNEP report.
“For a person who has shown high level commitment and passion based on her background on the environment, to be leaving that position when no visible structure has been put in place, no framework has actually been put in place for the remediation and restoration exercise, we are deeply concerned. As she is leaving, we do not know if the next minister will be as passionate as she is in order to ensure that the exercise is commenced and completed successfully,” he said.
He explained some vital structures that are pivotal to the implementation of the UNEP report, such as the central representative and general representative committees, that are supposed to interface with the local people and the governing council to enhance the seamless implementation of the cleanup process, have not been created. Besides these committees, he pointed out that a project manager who will be saddled with the coordination of the entire clean up process, in terms of supervision has not been recruited.
“If actually the thing we are hearing is correct and she is leaving, we will like somebody who show serious commitment to replace her. We will need somebody with serious passion like her, knowing Ogoni people are fishing folks and farmers. Our life is dependent on land, and once this continued to be damaged as it is, our lives will be further compromised and that is what we do not want. And that is why we will insist whosoever is going to replace her will have similar passion for the restoration of the Ogoni environment,” he said.
“Our fear is that with this delay and there will be general elections in 2019, going by the way Nigerian politicians behave, beginning from 2017, the process leading to 2019 will commence and that is the fear we have. We expect that government will put politics away from what affects the lives of the people. As a matter of fact, the destruction of the Ogoni environment, threatens the lives of the Ogoni people,” he added.
Similarly, a member of the Presidential task team on the launch of UNEP report implementation and convener of the Ogoni Solidarity Forum, Celestine Akpobari, told The Guardian that he was optimistic that the minister must have made concrete arrangement on ground for her successor to ensure that the project is not abandoned.
“The Amina Mohammed that I know must have made concrete arrangement on ground such that whosoever takes over will not abandon the project. It is a project that nobody can abandon because of its global visibility. The eyes of the world are here. The processes are clear.”
President Muhammadu Buhari Appoints New Service Chiefs as Buratai, Others Resign
President Muhammadu Buhari has appointed new service chiefs in an effort to bring the growing insecurities in Nigeria to an end.
The appointed service chiefs are Major-General Leo Irabor, Chief of Defence Staff; Major-General I. Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A.Z Gambo, Chief of Naval Staff; and Air-Vice Marshal I.O Amao, Chief of Air Staff.
Femi Adesina, a presidential spokesman, stated in a statement issued on Tuesday.
According to him, the appointment was after Buratai and other service chiefs resigned and immediately retired from service.
The resigned and retired service chief were the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin; Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai; Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ekwe Ibas; and Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar.
President Buhari thanked the outgone service chiefs for their dedication and commitment towards securing and protecting the lives of Nigerians.
University Of Ibadan (UI) Goes Digital, Releases Timetable for Virtual Academic Session
University of Ibadan (UI) on Friday announced it is going ahead with resumption on February 20 despite the second wave of COVID-19.
In a statement released by the school, the First Semester of the 2020/2021 academic session will commence virtually on February 20, 2021.
The virtual academic session will last for 13 straight weeks and end on Friday May 12, 2021, while the matriculation ceremony will hold on Tuesday March 16, 2021.
The University of Ibadan also scheduled one week for the Finalization of Continuous Assessment, to begin from Mon. 17 May and ends Friday 21 May.
The rising number of COVID-19 cases has compelled the Senate to approve the virtual academic session in an effort to ensure the tertiary institution abides by the protocols established by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the pandemic.
“It, therefore, agreed that the 2020/2021 First Semester lectures will be delivered online. In this regard, students will not be accommodated on campus,” a statement from the school said.
“Senate also approved the cancellation of the 2019/2020 session. The next session is, therefore, renamed 2020/2021 Academic Session. Consequently, students who have been admitted for the 2019/2020 session will now be regarded as the 2020/2021 intakes.
“Kindly note that online opening of Registration Portal and Orientation Programme for the 2020/2021 intakes may commence ahead of the Sat 20/02/21 date indicated above,” the statement said.
House of Representatives Impeached Trump Over Capitol Invasion
The United States House of Representatives on Wednesday impeached President Trump for the second time after instigating the US Capitol invasion.
Led by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, 232 representatives, including 10 Republicans, voted to impeach the outgoing president against 197 that voted for him to remain in the office for the next six days when he would handover to the president-elect, Joe Biden.
The ten Republicans were Representatives Liz Cheney of Wyoming, the party’s No. 3 leader in the House; Jaime Herrera Beutler of Washington; John Katko of New York; Adam Kinzinger of Illinois; Fred Upton of Michigan; Dan Newhouse of Washington; Peter Meijer of Michigan; Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio; David Valadao of California; and Tom Rice of South Carolina.
Speaking before the vote, Pelosi said “a constitutional remedy that will ensure that the Republic will be safe from this man who is so resolutely determined to tear down the things that we hold dear and that hold us together.”
“He must go. He is a clear and present danger to the nation that we all love,” she said, adding later, “It gives me no pleasure to say this — it breaks my heart.”
Republicans, who unanimously stood behind president Trump in 2019 during his first impeachment, were divided this time over the attack on Capitol.
A Republican representative from California, Kevin McCarthy, said “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters,” Mr. McCarthy said. “He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding.”
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