CIEPD PRE GUBERNATORIAL AND STATE HOUSE OF ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS PRESS RELEASE.
The Collaborative Violence Prevention and Mitigation in Rivers State Election project is implemented by Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development (CIEPD) with funding from Partnership Initiative in the Niger Delta (PIND). The goal of the project is to sensitize the electorate especially youths and the general public on the need for peace through a constructive engagement before, during and after the Elections in 8 high risk LGA’s in Rivers State namely: Port Harcourt, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Akuku-Toru, Eleme, Obio/Akpor, Tai, Asari-Toru, and Ikwerre
The project trained and deployed 23 Community Stakeholders Network members and 149 Conflict Trackers to monitor Elections and report incidents of Electoral Violence across Rivers State with focus on the 8 high risk local government Areas.
In view of the Gubernatorial and State House of Assembly Elections in Rivers State coming up on the 18th March 2023 and as a follow up to our preliminary report from the Conduct of the Presidential Elections on February 25th 2023, we hereby call on INEC, the Security Agents in the state to work toward non-violence elections by the following recommendations:
EARLY ARRIVAL OF ELECTORAL OFFICERS AND MATERIALS: It has been observed that electoral materials and INEC staff arrived at the polling units late in some LGAs. By this act, INEC intentionally or unintentionally creates environment that is susceptible to voters’ suppression, voters’ intimidation, anxiety and chaotic thereby exacerbating electoral violence. These effects are more experienced in polling units with very high number of registered voters such as Obio-Akpor Ward 6, unit 1 Woji with a voting strength of over 8,000 and also in unit 2, 3, 4 and 19 and others.
We therefore call on INEC to avoid triggering electoral violence by making sure that electoral materials including sensitive materials arrive early enough as stipulated in the Section 120 of Electoral Act that states that the polling unit should be opened at 8am. Any polling official who fails to report promptly at his or her polling unit on an election day without lawful excuse commits an offence of dereliction of duty and is liable on conviction to maximum fine of N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of 12 months or both.
HIJACK OF NEW POLLING UNITS CREATED: It was reported by our observers in Akuku Toru Ward 5 and in Tai LGA, that the new polling units that where created by INEC were hijacked by influential people in the community to their personal homes as a result of the INEC staff inability to locate the polling unit. This no doubt is a conflict trigger
It is therefore imperative that INEC properly identify and mark the new polling units created for easily identification not just by INEC adhoc staff by all to avoid such situation that can escalate violence.
ATTEMPT TO DISENFRACHISE ELECTORATE: Reports getting to our situation room, indicated a deliberate attempt to scare people from tcoming out to exercise the right to cast their votes by threatening them that if they are not voting a particular party they should stay at home from Iwofe axis of Port Harcourt, township Area Ward 7 Tourist beach, Ikwerre LGA Ward 7, Elekiahia just to mention a few. This obviously can undermine peaceful election. We are therefore calling on Security Agents to take these threats serious by providing unbiased apolitical securitization of electorate in Rivers State. We call on the military to extend the show of force parade especially areas with such security threat, in addition mount road blocks starting from Thursday evening especially around hotels that are likely to accommodate agents of violence to prevent them from causing mayhem.
Declaration of the Result at the polling Unit: Reports getting to us from the Presidential and National Assembly election indicates that this was a major trigger to violence . However. Section 60 of the Electoral Act states that the presiding officer should count and enter the result obtained at the polling unit before proceeding to the LGA collation centre. A presiding officer who wilfully contravenes any provision of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not more than N500,000 or imprisonment for a term of at least six months. We therefore call on INEC to educate and encourage their staff irrespective of being permanent, adhoc to be law abiding and follow the stipulated provisions of the Electoral Act.
BYPASS OF WARD COLLATION CENTRES AND RESULT UPLOAD: There have been circulation of warnings that polling Officer must upload the polling unit result before leaving the place. We are also mindful of the discretional power that the Electoral Act bestowed on INEC Section 63 “that voting and transmission of result under the Act shall be in accordance with the procedures determine by the commission” we are therefore calling on INEC to communicate clearly to Nigerians the procedure of transmission that they have determined for the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly and abide by it. INEC should not heat up the polity by surrounding the process of transmission of the result with ambiguity
From the reports getting to us so far there have been kidnapped of 3 candidates in Rivers State, we therefore seize this opportunity to call on the release of all kidnapped candidates , Election is not a war
We call on all stakeholders involved to ensure destruction of lives and properties are reduced to the barest minimum in Rivers state during and after March 18th 2023 elections
We say No to Electoral Violence
God Bless the federal Republic of Nigeria
God Bless Rivers State
Community Initiative for Enhanced Peace and Development
World Cancer Day 2023: To prevent cancer in Nigeria requires public awareness, literacy for early detection and treatment
Lagos — Monday, February 6th 2023: To prevent deaths and infirmity due to Cancer in Nigeria would require national and sub-national public awareness and literacy aimed at finding cancer early and treating it. As the world marks the second year of the 3-year World Cancer Campaign with theme: Closing the care gap, Development communications Network calls for institutionalization of processes to foster cancer literacy amongst the Nigerian public. We call on health practitioners, inclusive of all cadres, especially health promotion and health education experts, national media organizations, and stakeholders to provide requisite resources as we unite to address the burden of the disease in the country.
The Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR) recently raised alarm over the rising figures of cervical cancer in the country. The disease, which is easily preventable and treatable during its early stages has seen a whooping 12,000 cases diagnosed and 8,000 deaths registered annually. Being one of the leading causes of cancer deaths in the country and the second most common cancer amongst females after breast cancer, the country needs to address the low level of public cancer awareness.
Although general awareness of cancer screening, prevention, and treatment is low among global populations, especially in low and middle-income countries (including Nigeria) with poor literacy rates leading to an increase in cancer prevalence, there is an urgent need to fill this void with proper education as a tool for individual care. This year’s World Cancer Day should bring the attention of the public to how important it is to prevent cancer, find it early, and treat it.
In handling any problem, such as life-threatening diseases like cancer, awareness is the first step to its prevention. Nigeria needs to take action against cancer challenges with the adequate funding of cancer registries as part of multi-thronged approaches to prevention and care.
Communities and individuals should not be left out of initiatives aimed at building stronger alliances and new collaborations to make a powerful appeal to governments at all levels in the country. This will ensure improvement on the public understanding of the severity of cancer, thereby promoting its prevention, detection and cure.
About DEVCOMS: Development Communications (DevComs) Network is Nigeria’s leading media development organization with more than two decades’ experience in science, public health and social sector advocacy through the media. DevComs won the first ONE Africa Award (2008) based on her innovative strategies in addressing maternal and child in Nigeria. For further information: Please contact via email firstname.lastname@example.org; Vunamba7@gmail.comor call: 08060638058, 09077894137
CONCERNS OF DISENFRANCHISEMENT WITH UNPRINTED PVCS & UNIVERSITY STUDENTS
“You cannot live a normal existence if you have not taken care of a problem that affects your life and affects the lives of others; that is the value you hold which in fact defines your very existence.”
– Wole Soyinka
According to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), collection of Permanent Voters’ Cards will end this Sunday, January 29th at 5pm.
However, reports from voters in different collection centres across the country revealed that some validly registered voters were informed by the INEC officials that their PVCs were not available; while some others were asked to return on a later day beyond the deadline or after the election to collect their PVCs. This is a breach of the Electoral Act 2022 which mandates INEC in Section 16(1) to design, print and issue voter’s cards to voters whose names appear in the register of voters. INEC also, had further committed to and promised that everyone registered and, in their database, will have their PVC provided and available for collection. The emphasis on a deadline for collection is an indirect disenfranchisement of validly registered voters whose PVCs are not available due to INEC’s administrative lapses. Denying these voters their right to vote due to a failure on the part of INEC is unacceptable.
And to be clear, this is not only a problem in Lagos. Citizens have provided reports from Abuja, Rivers, Delta, Anambra, Imo, Ondo, Nasarawa, Akwa Ibom, Kaduna, Borno, Sokoto, Ogun, Kano, & Kwara.
We also note the concern of the students who registered at home while tertiary institutions were shut down for over 8 months. According to INEC, 40% of the 9,518,188 newly registered voters are students. If they registered at home and are now at school, INEC must ensure they can pick up their cards in the least expensive way possible.
Reclaim Naija has received hundreds of calls and texts from its observers across the country about these challenges. With six episodes of Twitter Spaces and three Instagram Lives with different INEC officials; in addition to reports submitted through its www.rsvp.ng Complaints Portal, EiE Nigeria has supported over 10,000 voters through this PVC Collection process.
Given the reported challenges, we ask that INEC do the following:
Inform Nigerians if it is still printing cards and when all the cards for registered voters will be available for collection.
Extend PVC Collection to ensure that everyone whose cards were not found are reprinted, and there is a clear process for them to pick up the cards.
Work with the Nigerian Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure that there are no classes or exams the week before elections so students can go home to vote.
Communicate with newly registered voter’s especially students when the PVCs are ready.
Create a dedicated desk for civil society organisations, media and citizens to escalate the issues being observed for quick resolution.
The engine to drive this process is clear and proactive information sharing from INEC. There are high expectations for this election and INEC can not be seen to be deliberately or inadvertently disenfranchising certain groups of people.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!
Centre for Journalism Innovation and Development (CJID) (www.thecjid.org) is a media innovation think tank founded in 2014 to enable a West African media that advances the values of human rights and democratic accountability. CJID builds and/ incubates innovative media platforms including Premium Times, Dubawa, Leaks.ng, and gosi.app. We also provide thought leadership to deepen the inclusive development discourse and tackle information disorder in the region.
ConnectHub (www.connecthubng.org) is a human rights platform that documents, defends and advocates against police brutality and state violence in Nigeria.
Enough is Enough Nigeria (www.eie.ng) is a network of individuals and organizations committed to instituting a culture of good governance and public accountability in Nigeria through active citizenship. EiE’s #RSVP – Register | Select | Vote | Protect is Nigeria’s longest-runing get-out-the-vote campaign. EiE was an integral part of the #OccupyNigeria movement in 2012; co-leads the #OpenNASS campaign and launched the #OfficeOfTheCitizen campaign to mark its 5th anniversary in 2015. It publishes a collection of essays to mark its decade plus of impact in 2022 – Footprints: Past | Present | Future.
#FixPolitics (www.fixpolitics.org) is a citizens-led research-based initiative advocating for structural change of politics and governance in Nigeria and on the African continent. #FixPolitics recently launched its Office Of The Citizen (OOTC) campaign in Nigeria and is currently executing its 2023 Elections:Matters Arising awareness campaign Initiative.
Kimpact Development Initiative (KDI) (www.kdi.org.ng) is a youth-focused nonprofit, nonpartisan, nongovernmental organization that inspires citizen-led democratic development that is anchored on the principles of participation, data-driven advocacy, promotion of strong democratic institutions, and public policies.
Reclaim Naija (aka Community Life Project – CLP) (www.communitylifeproject.org) is a nation non-profit organisation challenging inequality and advancing social justice by empowering marginalised grassroots communities.
The Electoral College Nigeria (www.electoralcollng.org) is a political literacy institution that takes civic education up another notch. ECN believes political literacy is critical to every sphere of a democracy and has involvement in debates, virtual courses and training for elected and political appointees. ECN has partnerships with CJID on its Politeracy 101 course; with states on LG Chairpersons Training and the Nigeria Elections Debate Group (NEDG) on debates.
Women Advocates and Research Development Centre (WARDC) (www.wardcnigeria.org) is a feminist human rights organisation supporting gender justice and good governance.
Yiaga Africa (www.yiaga.org) is a non-profit civic hub of change makers committed to the promotion of democratic governance, human rights and civic engagement. We focus on in-depth research, providing critical analysis on key democratic and governance issues, crafting practical solutions, training and empowering citizens to lead change in their community.
Communique from the Stepdown Training From SDG16 to SDG 16+: Understanding Interlinkages for Greater impact
The Sustainable Development Goals(SDG) is the road map developed by United Nations to drive the process of making a better live for the citizens of the world by the commitments of member nations to implement them in their different countries on their own pace to support their unique sovereignty.
Based on the mandate of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative(OLPHI) now Amaclare Connect & Development Initiative (ACDI) we took a step forward to cascade a stepdown training from the knowledge acquired during the Localization of Sustainable Development Goals in Nigeria -Understanding the SDG16 & SDG16+ held in Ibadan, Oyo State, organized by Civil Society Coalitions on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) to CSOs in Rivers State, Nigeria.
This is a communique reached at the end of a one-day step down training of civil society organizations (CSOs) organized by SDG16+ Club in conjunction with Civil Society Coalition on Sustainable Development (CSCSD) anchored by Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative (OLPHI), with the objective of Increasing the knowledge of SDG 16 and SDG 16+ to enhance SDG implementation and achievement among CSOs in Rivers State. The specific objective of the training was the Localization of SDGs by understanding SDG16, SDG 16+ & intersectionalities and interlinkages to other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to development & service providers.
The training held on the 21st of June 2022 in Port Harcourt had 18 organizations in attendance and the following resolutions were reached:
It was agreed that a communique and press statement should be crafted as one of the outcome from the training engagement.
It was agreed that advocacy visits should be taken to relevant government Ministries. Departments and Agencies (MDAs) as a way of creating the needed partnership on the SDG goals.
It was agreed that a notice of advocacy also should be sent to the Rivers State House of Assembly house committee on special duties, SDG committee and the speaker of the house to build political trust.
It was agreed that CSOs and NGOs should strategize to ensure their impacts are captured within the SDG national frameworks.
It was agreed that CSOs and NGOs should incorporate the SDG 16+ strategy into their developmental engagements.
It was agreed that CSOs and NGOs should build synergy that allows for greater working partnerships and collaborations for efficient service delivery to communities, using the SDG goals.
Signed by the following organizations:
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative (OLPHI), Signed Date: 21-06-2022
Community Resource Development Foundation (CREDEF)
Partners for Peace in the Niger Delta(P4P)
Centre for Justice(C4J)
Oyigbo Global Development Initiative
Chadal International Charity Foundation(CICF).
Centre for Creative Development Strategies (CCDS)
Voice of the Vulnerables
Connecting Peace Initiative(CPI
Women In Missions
Rivers Indigenous NGOs(RINGOS)
Centre for Social Development Initiative(CENSDI)
Widows and Orphans Empowerment Organization (WEWE)
Ofure Centre for Peace & Development(OCPD)
Centre for Social Justice & Environment Rights Protection(CESJERP).
National Association of Female Teachers (NAFET)
Ministry of Health-Sexual & Gender Based –State Program
EIE, BudgIT and PIN are set to host the 5th Edition of NMCG Conference.
Enough is Enough Nigeria, BudgIT Foundation, and Paradigm Initiative are set to host the fifth edition of the New Media, Citizens and Governance conference tagged ‘Protecting Digital Rights in Closing Spaces’ on Thursday, November 17, 2022, at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua centre, Abuja, Nigeria.
The one-day hybrid transnational conference will feature speakers and dignitaries from across Africa—Cameroon, South Africa, Zimbabwe, The Gambia, Ghana, and Kenya—with over 300 registered delegates to discuss critical topics in the new media and how they affect various facets of the society.
According to BudgIT’s Global Director, Oluseun Onigbinde, the year’s edition has been designed to drive conversations on Africa’s digital economic space, social media restrictions and shutdowns, data privacy, elections and public accountability, marginalization and digital security.
“Digital rights are human rights in online spaces, which include the right to privacy, freedom of opinion and speech, freedom of information and communication, gender rights, and the right to freedom from violence, among others. Violation of digital rights in Africa has become a prevalent issue, and if proactive steps are not taken, it may persist,” Oluseun said.
The Executive Director of Paradigm Initiative (PIN), ‘Gbenga Sesan, described the conference as timely, as it is coming at a time when freedom in the digital space is threatened, more so with Twitter’s recent moves, which has seen the organization cutting off teams working on human rights and ethics.
“The times we are living in demand that we hold honest discussions to safeguard our shrinking digital spaces, and this forum provides that platform. It is, therefore, imperative to have an intellectual conversation on safeguarding the digital rights of African citizens before, during and after elections.” he added.
Also commenting, the Executive Director of EiE Nigeria, ‘Yemi Adamolekun, noted the conference would be instrumental in providing the opportunity for various stakeholders to discuss key issues on digital rights and elections in Nigeria and Africa as a whole.
“This is a good forum for both the civil society and government representatives from the continent to discuss matters of importance for the continent.” she stated.
Confirmed speakers include Ms. Anriette Esterhuysen, Senior Advisor, Internet Governance, Policy Advocacy and Strategic Planning (South Africa), Mr. Anthony Okechukwu Ojukwu, SAN, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC, Nigeria), Ms. Toyin Akinniyi, African Representative, Luminate (Nigeria) among others.
Note to Editors:
BudgIT is a civic organization that applies technology to intersect citizen engagement with institutional improvement to facilitate societal change. A pioneer in the field of social advocacy melded with technology, BudgIT uses an array of tech tools to simplify the budget and matters of public spending for citizens, with the primary aim of raising standards of transparency and accountability in government.
Enough is Enough Nigeria (EiE) is a movement of knowledgeable citizens that ensures our leaders serve us. EiE launched the concept of the #OfficeOfTheCitizen as part of its 5th anniversary activities in 2015 to educate Nigerians on their rights and responsibilities. EiE’s #RSVP – Register/Select/Vote/Protect is a key voter education campaign. EiE was an integral part of the #OccupyNigeria movement in 2012 and is very active in the #OpenNASS campaign. 2020 was EiE’s 10th anniversary and it has continued to drive the #OnePerson campaign to reinforce its belief that one person can make a difference in building a better society.
Paradigm Initiative (PIN) Paradigm Initiative (PIN) is a Pan African social enterprise that builds ICT-enabled support systems and advocates for digital rights in order to improve the livelihoods of under-served young Africans. The organization has worked in communities across Nigeria since 2007, and across Africa from 2017, building experience, community trust and an organizational culture that positions it as a leading social enterprise in ICT for Development and Digital Rights on the continent.
PIN, which has presence in Nigeria, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Cameroon and Kenya, has built online platforms that educate and serve as safe spaces for the reporting of digital rights violations. These mediums, in the form of reports, short films, and educational online platforms, include Ayeta, Londa and Ripoti. It is also the convener of the Digital Rights and Inclusion Forum (DRIF), a pan-African bilingual Forum that has held annually since 2013.
SCHOOL OF ECOLOGY (HEALTH OF MOTHER EARTH FOUNDATION) ORGANIZED A TWO-DAY WORKSHOP (26TH -27TH SEPTEMBER, 2022) ON “BLUE ECONOMY, DIVESTMENT AND THE END OF FOSSIL AGE” AT HAVILAH TOWERS GOLDEN SUITE HOTEL, UYO.
The training was moderated by Mfoniso Anita (HOMEF Team), followed by a warm welcome address by Nnimmo Bassey (Director, HOMEF). The Director of HOMEF emphasized that, the essence of this kind of training is to; “arm Africans with knowledge, so that Africa will not be a dumping ground”.
Before the shift for a “Blue Economy”, there has been emphasis on “Green Economy”, which in practice is more about placing nature in the marketplace. The idea however, was subverted. “Blue Economy”; idea looks at the Ocean as limitless. By 2050, we may have more plastics than fishes. Particularly, for those of us in the Niger Delta. The Ocean struggle is already around and pirates are on the Sea shores.
End Fossil Fuel: End War Ending the Fossil Age! By Nnimmo Bassey.
Distribution of Climate Impact. “The major driver of Climate Change is the burning of Fossil fuel”. Africa has contributed minimally to the distribution of Global warming, yet the most affected by the impact of Climate Change.
Today, Plantations are still meant for export. “Useful Africa”; it’s a territory of exploitation. Africa and a distorted rights to pollute. Ending the Oil age globally, yet digging for more fossils in Africa. Oil companies plan to sink $230billion in the next decade on new Oil and Gas projects and #1.4trillion by 2050.
“Progress that doesn’t speak with the people, will not be able to address the people”. Nnimmo Bassey. The rights to pollute or extract, is something we have to reject. At a time, when we are supposed to stop fossil fuel, the Oil industry is pumping more money. The sooner, the end of fossil fuel, the better.
Cut Emissions at Source, Climate Debt ignored, Climate Finance-Lip Service.
“If you don’t get the imagination right, you can’t get the money right”. France as a country, made a new law; you can’t get license to operate on fossil fuel.
Nature Based-Solutions. Supposed 2 trillion dollars for Climate Debt. Nature based solutions points towards fictional net-zero (nature absorbs carbon). It is a strategy to silent Africans. According to SHELL- defines “Nature based solutions as a project that protects Land”. The UNFCCC promotes negotiations between state parties and in an unfair and neo-colonial scenario, has transferred their responsibilities to the south. Carbon Market is “False Solutions”.
Simple Solution- “Leave the Oil in the Soil”. After Oil, we will flourish.
Ken Henshaw facilitated on “Examining Policy and Key Issues in Divestment in Nigeria”:
Since 2010, Multi-national Oil Companies have been selling off their On-Shores assets and moving further Off-shore.
Between 2010 and 2014, SHELL quietly sold off 8 Oil mining leases (OML) etc.
In February 2022, Exxon Mobil announced that it has reached an agreement to sell its equity interest etc.
Why are Companies really Divesting?
Clearly distraught by the ruling, SHELL’s CEO declared that “development like we are still seeing at the moment means that we have to take another hard look at our position in On-shore Oil in Nigeria. We cannot solve community problems in the Niger Delta, that’s for the Nigerian Government perhaps to solve”.
Gas Flaring: the environmental dangerous and resource wasteful phenomenon of Gas flaring has been in the Niger Delta for over 6 decades. Despite several flare out date instituted by Nigeria’s Federal Government since 1979.
A Crude Journey: British Colonialism awarded Oil exploration rights to SHELL D’Acry in 1938. The implementation of large extractive projects requires that the free, prior and informed consent of indigenous people is sought and received before-hand.
‘’The Oil companies wants to leave Nigeria, the same way they came’’.
What is Nigeria’s Divestment Policy? Unfortunately, there is no Policy on Divestment by Nigeria.
What outlook should the Divestment Policy have? a). It should be restorative and corrective of the legacy of extraction. b) It should recognize the historical injustice meted on the people of Oil producing areas and aim to correct them. c) It should recognize that the fossil Age has come to prepare for a transition. d) It should be driven by We The People and not the markets. e). It should adequately establish the link between Oil and Gas extraction and Climate Change impact. f). Strengthening Climate Change adaptation strategies for impacted communities, including in food security, and in migration and housing.
Olatunji Buhari, on “How to Make Corporations pay in the issue of Divestment”; he emphasized that, we need to set the agenda for Divestment and it is our responsibilities as CSO’s, Citizens and Communities impacted by fossil fuel to hold our Government accountable, so that they can hold the Multi-Nationals in regards to restoration bond.
Sofiri Peterside (Prof): Concerning the New NNPC Ltd, it will no longer contribute to the Federal Government on Single Treasury Account. NNPC changing from State owned, now being Commercialized. The change in name will not make any difference in operation. Corruption, ethnicity is so endemic in this Company, how can it then operate efficiently.
Tijah Bolton Akpan: He covers the topic of “Does Nigeria’s PIA Establish Frameworks for a just Transition? Examining the Threats and Faults lines.” The challenges of the PIA is the “Process” and the “Corruption in the Process”. The PIA 2021, a unique opportunity but a missed one. The PIA was unique opportunity to rethink the role of the Oil and Gas Industry in Nigeria. The PIA ultimately fails to account for Climate Change, the Energy transition etc. What is a just energy transition? Energy transitions are about people and power. A just transition requires tackling the challenges faced by Communities and workers as they shift towards sustainable livelihoods…etc. According to Tijah, the following Steps should be adopted; Diversifying away from Oil, Investing in Clean Energy sources, Improving governance, Redressing legacy harms and addressing equity issues.
GLOBAL CONTEXT: An inevitable transition; The Oil Industry currently stands as one of the worst performing sectors in the S & P 580 Index. There are some ethical investors that are beginning to change/stop investment in the Oil Industry.
NATIONAL CONTEXT: A Petroleum predicament, Oil is big business for the Nigerian state, Defunding of Fossil fuel projects combined with the net zero carbon targets, Nigeria sits on the largest export earnings of the Oil and Gas in Sub-Saharan Africa.
What has the PIA done right with regards to the transition? Removal of dual, incestuous powers from the NNPC and transform it to a Public Limited Company. Provide two new regulators NUPRC and NMPDPRA, each for a section of the industry. Provide for transparency of contracts, licenses or leases. Attempt to create a governing framework for Community beneficiation. The Host Community Development Trust and Fund. The PIA provides for 3% OPEX to be contributed to the Community. Recommendations: Review the PIA etc.
Stephen Oduware…‘’IOC’s Divestment Moves’’: The Trilemma faced by Communities; a) Climate Change b) Pollution c) Divestment Drive. The voices of the affected Communities is very essential. Steps to achieving it is through; Advocacy visit, Mapping alliances, community dialogue, target Multilateral spaces and protest where necessary.
Mr. Wale gave detailed insights on “Advocacy”: Advocacy helps us to challenge the way we have done things and thought about Socio-Political, Economic and Environmental issues. Advocacy is about working with people to support them in strengthening their voice. “To be an Activist is to Speak. To be an Advocate is to Listen”…Society can’t move forward without both. Focus on those things that will bring change, not the easy way. Build coalition, timing is key and identify the windows of opportunities and then leverage on it. Communicate: Advocacy is about listening to what people are not saying and what they are saying at the same time.
Oceans, Geo-Engineering and Climate Threats by Neth Dano (Action Group on Erosion, technology and Concentration): Climate Geo-Engineering is simply a set of technologies to intentionally intervene in and after Earth systems on a mega scale. Particularly to manipulate the Climate to counteract some of the effects of Climate change. Proposed Geo-Engineering techniques to intervene in Land, Ocean and Air. Climate change will still continue. Why oppose Science Experiments? Experiments may impact the real world, place, society, environment. Are rarely for “Science”- often hardware development. Geo-Engineering is under UN moratoria. In conclusion, there is no advantage to Geo-Engineering.
Counting the Ecological Costs of the Blue Economy by Nnimmo Bassey: Terms to note are as follows;
Dipti Bhatragar Friends of the Earth International: Why Do We Call T.T Climate Justice.
Climate crisis is inherited unjustly. Challenging the Oil and Gas TNCs is critical. Transnational Corporations New escape hatch-the deception of the Net Zero.
No TO Net Zero, The Big CON! Nature based solutions: Wolf in Sheep clothing. COP 27 is another opportunity to fight back against false solutions. We want the Energy transition to be just, fair and equitable. A just Recovery Renewable Energy Plan for Africa. Annual Investment of U.S $130 billion per year needed for this plan. Rich countries need to pay the climate debt. Political statement signed by 50 Organizations in Africa. Food and land solutions for system change. Economic justice solutions for system change. Change in the value system. Ubuntu- I am because, we are Africa.
Q & A: How do we balance Change and Energy need? We are calling for a just transition. Our African leaders, rich countries know about this development, decades ago, yet they have not done anything. So, we need to talk about the Energy Transition urgently and the transition ought to be just, fair and equitable. We need to build solidarity among each other to fight this Climate situation. We need to do this urgently, but we need to do it right.
Prof. Patrick Bond: “Unmasking the Blue Economy Concept in South Africa”.
Corruption between mega-ports of Nigeria and South Africa. Collaboration between Activists in Nigeria and South Africa. “We are losing the fight against Climate Change” …. The Status quo.
Anti-Extraction: Protest correlation. Extractivism’s ten shortcomings- do these apply to the Blue Economy? Community genuine free, prior and informed consent denied, amidst state/capital’s divisive bulldozing or co-optation. Local Ecology loss, degradation and pollution of land, air and water. Opposing offshore Oil and Gas drilling. Violating planetary boundaries (many in Oceans). Global Climate Risk Index.
Blue Economy deployed in Climate managerialism’s ‘’False Solutions’’. Price of natural gas volatile Russia, 2022. Blue Economy can help fight poverty and inequality. Multinational Corporate Profiteers. Rich countries must pay their Climate debt and other Climate damage to affected people. Judging UNFCCC progress by Climate justice criteria: 1. Cut greenhouse gases, adopt sufficiently ambitious and binding global greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements so as to keep temperatures below 1.5c, ensure the cuts are fairly distributed, not imposed. 2. Transition gracefully; ensure job-rich just transition from carbon=addicted economies for all affected workers and communities during carbonization …. 3. Redress social injustices; empower oppressed constituencies in racial-justice …. 4. Manage green technology as a global public good; allow dissemination of climate friendly technology and localized production technology. 5. Leave fossil in the ground. 6. Finance planetary and social survival; apply carbon taxation and pricing judiciously. Book by Prof. Patrick Bond: “Politics of Climate Justice”.
Desmond D’sa: “Connecting the Blue Economy”.
People Power: Organizing people. Oil and Gas companies should go parking, we don’t want them in our shorelines, exploring. We must have the rights to say NO to mining, to Oil and Gas and that should be our law. Collectively, we need to walk and talk on “Divestment”. We need ethical investors and end abuse to people’s conscience that are destroying our communities and the planet at large. Repatriation, Restoration and Remediation from the Oil and Gas companies, because of the emission and damages by them that have affected our people and communities. Education is key, we need to train our people and arm them with knowledge. We need to educate our people that whatever that is proposed by the multinationals are not an alternative. Education to the communities to know how to deal with the Multinationals/Big corporations. We don’t need their Oil money, its dirty money, that kills innocent people, we need better alternatives. Leave no one behind; there is a lot of commonalities among us, we should drop our differences and work together. To fight big corporation; let the communities document facts against the activities of the big corporation. Ensure that the voices of the people on ground is strong. Ensure the constitution are for the people, work together to use it as a tactics to beat big corporation. Have regular meetings with the people. We need to integrate these struggles to our struggles to fight the common enemy.
The Executive Director of HOMEF (Nnimmo Bassey); appreciates all the facilitators, participants for a power packed two-days engaging sessions on “Blue Economy”. Some of the takeaway; “In fighting together, we can fight better and stronger”. False Solutions on Blue Economy. “We are in for many generations of struggle for restoration to happen”. Solidarity; its love on the street, meeting together. When you say “No” to anything, say “No” to alternatives, even if its inconvenient
CLIMATE LEARDERSHIP FELLOWSHIP 2022 COHORT 2 (Motto: Galvanising Youth For Climate Action), this initiative is supported by Access Bank Plc, Glow Initiative For Economic Empowerment (GLEE) and Climate Smart Nigeria (CSN) and it has over 30 Climate Fellows selected in the Nigeria, that were involved in a 10-week Fellowship Programme, that started 30th May, 2022. In Rivers State, Smith Nwokocha (A Climate Leadership Fellow), after a virtual Expert training that lasted for weeks, and the Fellows are to teach secondary schools with an equipped toolkit; Smith championed the project (Adopt A School Project) for four weeks from 16th June to 14th July, 2022 across two schools (Government Comprehensive Secondary School and Woodville School, Port Harcourt).
In the first week, he started with a discussion on understanding what Climate Change is all about, the terminologies involved and the impact of Climate Change in Rivers State. In the following week, he discussed the need for Renewable Energy, the sources of Renewable Energy and the benefits of Solar Energy, then again, he talked about the Greenhouse Gases, Greenhouse Effect, the impact and importance, all in Week two. In week three, he focused on the 3R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) and the benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling. At the final week, which is week four, he initiated the Green Club by adopting students as Green Ambassadors following the stated criteria in the curriculum by the Organizers and he coordinated a demonstration of Climate Campaign/rally within the school premises with a Climate Parachute.
It was a beautiful experience to behold. Engaging students, stimulating their interest and getting the schools becoming environmentally conscious. The Green Ambassadors have promised to plant trees, keep the school environment clean and initiate climate change related projects going forward under the supervision of Mr. Smith Nwokocha alongside the Head Teachers attached to the Green Ambassadors to ensure “The Adopt A School Project” becomes a reality and the schools to be part of it fully and make a continuous activity. Our reporter gathers that, at least over 50 students were part this project. However, it is worthy to note that, the Green Ambassadors will work together to find solutions for the emanating surge (the Black Soot) in Rivers State among other Climate Change issues.
Finally, similar and even more innovative approaches are been adopted by other fellows in Nigeria and beyond. The Climate Leadership Fellows and students alike are now better equipped in Climate matters. In appreciation, the Founder of this initiative, who is also the founder of Climate Smart Nigeria (CSN), Glory Oguegbu and her indefatigable team (Victoria Edeha-Anthony, Wilfred Okeke, Tola Oni, Emmanuel and others not mentioned), including GLEE and Access Bank, for working very hard to promote Climate Change Education in Nigeria through Climate Literacy Programme like this and in essence, provide capacity building on Renewable Energy Technologies.
SDG 16+ CLUB IN COLLABORATION WITH CIVIL SOCIETY COALITION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT @ PIND OFFICE, PORT HARCOURT. THEME: “UNDERSTANDING INTERLINKAGES FOR GREATER IMPACTS”. DATE: 21ST, JUNE, 2022.
Civil Societies in Rivers State were well represented and, in a Session, presented by Mrs. Loretta Ahuokpeme of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Initiative and the Coordinator of the forum. She emphasized that SDG16+ contains SDGs 16 and all other factors linking to it. Peace, Justice and an inclusive society, among others. Alternative Conflict Resolution should be considered in resolving conflicts. Inadequate Political will and concrete commitments are challenges towards achieving the SDGs. Shrinking Civic Space across the globe is also a limiting the engagement of SDG16+. Lack of High-Quality, Accessible, Timely and Reliable Disaggregated data hampers the achievement of the SDG16+ Financial Support for SDG16+ is severely lacking.
SDG16+ Targets and Interlinkages: SDG 16 = Target 1, Target 2, Target 3, Target 4, Target 5, Target 6, Target 7, Target 8, Target 9, and Target 10. SDG 16 (a): This “Means of Implementation” (MOI) targets for SDG16 includes various ways that Government and Stakeholders can advance SDG 16+ by strengthen institutions, capacities and International Cooperation. SDG 16 (b): This “Means of Implementation” (MOI) target ensures that SDGs 16 rest on Human Rights-based approach of non-discrimination. One of the outcomes of the meeting, is that CSOs, have to engage Line Ministries on the linkages for development. Then, Breakout Session were held to link the SDGs to the targets and after the breakout sessions, the meeting came to a close.
TECHHER NG IN COLLABORATION WITH PARADIGM INITIATIVE Supported by Luminate, Osiwa, MacArthur Foundation, Shehu Musa YarAdua Founation, and Ford Foundation. Presents: “A Conversation with Digital Rights Advocates”. @De Edge Hotel, GRA, Port Harcourt. 24th June, 2022. The Session were moderated by Amina and Khajidat. Conversation that sparks the moments were centred on “Data Protection, Online safety and Internet Governance”. Atat, a participant opened the conversation and shared his experience in the digital space, after Amina’s (TechHer NG) Opening remark. Then, Sam Oracle emphasized on Surveillance as inevitable in the digital space. Threat to lives of the end users of social media and a follow up question was that, what will citizens do to mitigate the growing threats of social media users? In response, a legal luminary in attendance, added that; Citizens should not over shoot their activities online, as well abuse Office holders. The same way, we have rights, we should be careful to do what is right and say what is right. Citizens should know how to exercise their rights online.
A participant mentioned how the ENDSARS saga made social media platform so relevant in Nigeria politics. Khadijat added, Cyber-Laws in the eyes of Digital Rights Activists tend to hide a lot of illegalities. A participant said, there are some values lost for social media being in existence. Chioma, responded and said, social media did not change our values as Nigerians, Nigeria is a secular state. Atat, said we should have video captioning for the Disabled Community, the Digital space should be all inclusive. John Best, talk on the Code of Practice in the Digital space not favourable to the end users. Amina re-directed the conversation, bringing pointers from Government Policies, Platform Policies and the end-users. In order words, what we as Community can do to protect ourselves, what Government policies to protect us and Platform policies to protect ourselves. Mr. Ihueze, encouraged we form a forum, strong community of Online users, find a way to organize ourselves, being a voice for each other and support each other were necessary. Mr. Smith, said for individual/end-users, please don’t put too much personal information online and forming a Community of Digital Rights is a way forward. Some feedbacks from the Disabled attendees were worth-while, that they use android’s phones too and should be fully included in the laws and practices in the digital space. Key-Points highlighted by Khajidat (Paradigm Initiative): Surveillance More Awareness/education on the digital space/Online Threat to the Social/Civic Space. Collaboration Chioma (TechHerNG) added by saying in all, “Internal Vigilance is the price for democracy”. We are in this together, we will continue to educate ourselves in the social and civic space.