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Gold Mining: Victims Narrate Ordeal From Illegal Miners In Edo

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Peter Adelabu and Kokumo Godwin have narrated how they escaped being killed by illegal gold miners at the mining site at Oketegbe in Dangbala, Akoko-Edo Local Government Area of Edo State.

The victims who are still nursing injury sustained from the attack, told newsmen in Benin on Sunday that the denial by some persons that nothing was happening at the site was false.

Adelabu said he was attacked along with others when leaders of the community asked them to find out if there was any mining activity taking place at the site.

Narrating his ordeal, Adelabu said, ” On the 13th of December my kindred asked us to go to Oketegbe to find out if there is any mining activity taking place there.

“On getting there, we saw many people mining gold where the state government had shutdown.

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“The moment they sighted us, they attacked us with dangerous weapon. We just managed to escape. Most of the illegal miners are armed with guns and cutlasses.

“Another victim, Kukumo Godwin, “The illegal miners are back to where governor Obaseki had shut down. Most of them are Hausa’s, we were shocked to see them mining.

“They were carrying guns before we knew what was happening they started attacking us.We were so lucky to have escaped.

“As I speak to you now my life is no longer safe. We have reported the matter to Ososo Police station while the injured is receiving treatment at Dangbala hospital.”

He lamented that four of the illegal miners arrested and taken to Police Area Command at Igarra were released in suspicious circumstances instead of being charged to court.

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However, the spokesman of Police Command in Edo, SP Bello Kontongs said he read about the incidences surrounding illegal mining in the media and he awaits formal report from the area Command at Igarra.

It would be recalled that the community (Dangbala) had raised the alarm of the return of illegal miners to the area and alleged that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) of providing security cover for illegal gold miners.

Spokesman of the community, Mr Collins Nicholas, had made the allegation on Thursday.

The NSCDC had denied the allgation and noted that the mining site was still not opened for any activities since its closure by the state government.

Spokesman of the command, Mr Efosa Ugbebor, reacted to the allegation, and stated that the place was still been guided by its officers since its closure by the state government earlier in the year.

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The Zonal Mining Officer (ZMO), Mr Abdulkadiri Adamu had also denied knowledge of the return of illegal miners to the area since it was shutdown by the Edo Government.

According to him, “Edo State government placed embargo on the activities of miners in the area and am not aware that they (miners) are back there.” End

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UNICEF, Media Ink A Partnership Pact To Advance Children’s Rights Support

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the Nigerian Guild of Editors, and the Diamond Awards for Media Excellence (DAME) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

This partnership aims to leverage the media’s influential power to promote and protect children’s rights across the nation.

The collaboration will focus on advocacy and awareness campaigns, capacity building for journalists, shared research, recognition of impactful media contributions, and influencing policy to support children’s rights.

The MOU underscores a commitment from all parties to work collectively towards a society that upholds and advances the welfare of its youngest members.

“This partnership with the Nigerian Guild of Editors and DAME harnesses the media’s immense potential as an advocate for the welfare of children. Media not only informs public opinion but also influences those in power to enact changes that favour children’s rights.

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“By joining forces, we are setting a course to transform how children’s rights are reported and addressed in the media, ensuring every child’s rights are respected, protected, and fulfilled.” Said Cristian Munduate, UNICEF Representative in Nigeria.

The President of the Nigerian Guild of Editors, Eze Anaba, highlighted the role of media in societal change, saying, “Media has the profound capacity to shape perspectives and effect real change.

Through this MOU, we are pledging to uphold the integrity of journalism by focusing our collective expertise on sensitive and impactful reporting concerning children’s rights. We are committed to working together to build a robust framework that supports this cause.”

 

The Trustee of DAME, Lanre Idowu, emphasised the importance of excellence in journalism, “Recognition through awards plays a crucial role in elevating journalistic standards. By focusing on issues such as child rights, education, and health, we aim to spotlight and incentivise the media to cover stories that can lead to substantial social impact.”

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Nigerian Government Challenges Stakeholders On Strategies To Address Climate Change

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Flooding

The Federal Government has called on stakeholders in the nation’s environment sector to come up with adequate strategies to address hazards posed by climate change in the country.

The Permanent Secretary in the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr Mahmud Kambari made the call at a meeting of the technical committee on the review and update of the National Erosion and Flood Control Policy held in Abuja on Thursday.

He said the benefit of having the policy reviewed and updated for the nation is quite immense, he said it would assist in the reduction of loss and damages due to erosion and flooding.

He said: “The capacity of Government organs to respond to these concerns would be enhanced, I want to assure you that the Ministry reposes great confidence in this pool of experts to give the nation superlative results, it is, therefore, my pleasure to declare this Technical Committee meeting open and wish you fruitful deliberations.”

He revealed that: “The Federal Ministry of Environment in its bid to address the twin issues of erosion and flood developed the National Erosion and Flood Control Policy (NEFCOP) in 2005. The document was, approved by the Federal Executive Council and launched by President Olusegun Obasanjo.”

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The Director Erosion, Flood and Coastal Zone Management Department, Federal Ministry of Environment. Mr Etigbue Dilichukwu said the revisiting and mainstreaming relevant policies into Nigeria’s national adaptation plan is of utmost importance.

Dilichukwu noted that the potential benefits of having a comprehensive and up-to-date policy in this area are enormous, not only in reducing loss and damages but also in enhancing the country’s institutional framework and capacity to effectively respond to environmental concerns.

“On behalf of the Ministry, we extend our gratitude to our Partners and Collaborators for their unwavering support in tackling environmental challenges, with your continued collaboration as we strive to drive the implementation of a robust NEFCOP that will effectively address current and future challenges related to erosion and flooding.”

He however called for an open exchange of ideas and perspectives to work towards a stronger and more environmentally resilient Nigeria.

The National Project Coordinator ACreSAL, Mr Abdulhamid Umar said the project is working to permanently end the issues of flooding in Nigeria.
“Issues surrounding flood control and coastal challenges in this country are very, central to reasons why the World Bank hasn’t found it necessary, to intervene by making a very handsome amount delegated to the implementation of this project,” he said.
He further said that the Agencies of the Agro-Climatic Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project will support the implementation of all the policies that would be reached at the technical session.

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Umar said the government must ensure compliance and penalties for people who illegally destroyed structures and infrastructures that are supposed to help in controlling flood hazards.

The National Erosion and Flood Control Policy and its associated documents (National Erosion and Flood Control Action Plan and the Technical Guidelines) were developed by the Ministry of Environment, approved and adopted by both FEC and NEC in 2005. It would address the widespread hazards of erosion and flood which had led to devastating loss of lives, properties, productive agricultural lands, pollution of water resources and sedimentation of rivers.

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Gov Uzodimma Says His Government Is Committed To Peace, Urges Youths To Pursue Dreams Relentlessly

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Governor Hope Uzodimma has reiterated his government’s unwavering commitment to achieving peace, not just in Imo State but throughout Nigeria.

He stated that if our society is to progress, we must remain committed to peace and harmony.

The Governor met with the Ihube Peace Committee in his office on Tuesday to discuss restoring peace and harmony in Imo State and Nigeria.

Governor Uzodimma acknowledged Imo State’s setback as a result of insecurity in the Ihube area of Okigwe and promised ongoing collaboration with local leaders and stakeholders to achieve the desired peace and harmony.

He thanked the Ihube Peace Committee, led by the Emeritus Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, Most Rev Dr Sunday Uche, for their visit and interest in the government’s efforts to achieve long-term peace and harmony in their area.

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Earlier, Rev Uche told the Governor that they, along with other well-meaning members of the public, were committed to ensuring peace in all parts of Imo State and Nigeria in order for sustainable development to thrive.

He thanked the Governor for providing quality leadership in Imo State and urged him to do everything in his power, including working with leaders and stakeholders, to ensure peace in Imo State and beyond.

In a related development, Governor Uzodimma has advised Imo State’s youths, and by extension the entire country, to pursue their dreams relentlessly and passionately.

The Governor gave the advice Monday night in his office at Government House Owerri, where he was joined by Miss Angel Obinwanne, an Imo State native and first runner-up at the recent Teen Queen Nigeria 2024 Pageant held in Sapele, Delta State.

Governor Uzodimma congratulated Miss Angel, a Food Science Technology student at Imo State University in Owerri, for having the courage to pursue her passion, and used the occasion to encourage young people in general to pursue their dreams relentlessly.

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Governor Uzodimma stated, “It brings me immense joy to extend my heartfelt congratulations to Miss Angel Obinwanne.”

on her remarkable achievement as the first Princess in the Teen Queen Nigeria 2024 Beauty Pageant. Your commitment and talent have truly shined through.

“My administration is still committed to developing the potential of every Imo citizen, and your victory is a testament to our collective efforts, with your triumph serving as an inspiration to fellow youths, reminding them to pursue their dreams relentlessly.

“I encourage you to keep blazing your path with passion and determination. Remember that with perseverance and resilience, you will undoubtedly reach greater heights. The State Government is fully behind you, ready to help you achieve excellence in all of your future endeavours.

“Congratulations once more.”

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Miss Angel, who was accompanied by her mother and aunty, thanked Governor Uzodimma for supporting her dream when she expressed an interest in participating in the contest.

She stated that she was delighted to return to the Governor with her heart full of gratitude for his encouragement and to reassure him of her determination to make Imo State proud whenever the opportunity presented itself.

Secretary to the State Government, Chief Cosmos Iwu, Chief of Staff to the Governor, Barr. Nnamdi Anyaehie, Commissioner-designate, Mbadiwe Emelumba, and others joined the Governor in receiving the beauty queen.

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