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ERA/FoEN Urges FG to Hold Shell Accountable For Environmental Crimes

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From Mike Tayese, Yenagoa

The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has called on the Nigerian government to put the brakes on Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) divestment plans and ensure it pays for its environmental crimes in the Niger Delta.

This demand was informed by SPDCs plans to sell its onshore facilities to a conglomerate of five domestic oil companies.

Shell was the pioneer of Nigeria’s oil and gas exploration since the 1930s, with hundreds of oil spills traced to its operations in host communities that continue to suffer the consequences of pollution to their environment, health and livelihood.

Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Barr. Chima Williams faulted Shell for “trying to run away from its crimes even with the uproar that has greeted its divestment plans in affected communities and among civil society organizations.

“As an organization that has tracked the activities of multinational oil companies for decades we insist that the decision of Shell to sell off its onshore facilities to domestic companies, with the intention of remaining in Nigeria to conduct their business offshore, is a deliberate attempt to evade the liabilities the company has incurred overtime. “

He also pointed out that Shell should not be allowed to abandon its onshore facilities to domestic companies without cleaning up the damage they have caused on the environment, and the cost to locals who have been impoverished by their business activities.

“These communities who have played host to Shell for decades have been left in abject poverty, with several degrees of damages to their health and environment, while Shell explores their resources to enrich foreign coffers. Shell should not be allowed to sell off its facilities and abandon the liabilities they owe these communities.”

Williams said it will be shameful that the Nigerian government will value its quest for revenue, over the lives and livelihoods of the common people who have suffered from the decades’ long environmental pollution caused by Shell.

He called on the President Bola Tinubu led administration to ensure that Shell’s divestment plans are accompanied by full remediation plans in their various communities of operations, and full payments of loss and damages to host communities.

He also called for a close evaluation and monitoring of Shell’s offshore operations to checkmate the scope of their activities in order avert any impending damages to the environment.

NEWS

SEC Warns Nigerians Against Investing in $Davido Meme Coins 

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The Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigeria (SEC) on Friday warned Nigerians against investing in Meme Coins, known as “$Davido”, allegedly linked to popular Nigerian singer David Adeleke, known as Davido.

In a statement on its website, SEC said that it does not recognise $Davido as an investment product or investable asset class under its regulatory purview.

The regulator noted that, consequently, individuals who invest in it do so at their own risk.

“Generally, meme coins are cryptocurrencies inspired by memes and internet jokes.

“They are often envisaged as a fun, light-hearted cryptocurrencies promoted through a social media community and sometimes through celebrity endorsements,” it said.

According to SEC, meme coins are not intended to serve as a medium of exchange accepted by the public as payment for goods and services or as digital representation of capital market products.

The commission listed such capital market products as: shares, debentures, units of collective investment schemes, derivatives contracts, commodities or other kinds of financial instruments or investments.

The regulator said: “The general public is hereby advised that meme coins lack fundamental value and are purely speculative.

“The general public is further warned that investing in meme coins, including $Davido, is highly risky and should be done with a full understanding of the associated risk.

“Capital market operators are by this notice warned not to associate with instruments that fall outside the SEC’s regulatory purview.

“Such instruments should not in any manner be distributed or monitored through any capital market mechanism.

SEC stated it would continue to monitor developments within the ecosystem and would not hesitate to deploy its regulatory powers as needed. (NAN)

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NEWS

Nigeria Deploys Troops for Peace Keeping in Gambia

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The Armed Forces of Nigeria on Friday, announced the deployment of 197 personnel for the peace keeping mission in the Gambia.

The Chief of Operations Nigerian Army, Maj-Gen. Boniface Sinjen made the announcement in Jaji, Kaduna State, at the graduation of troops of Nigerian Company 9 Economic Community of West African States Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG).

Report says that the 197 troops began Pre-Deployment Training (PDT) on May 4, at Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership and Peacekeeping Centre (MLAILPKC) Jaji Kaduna State.

According to him, the PDT is in line with the commitment of the Chief of Army Staff , Lt -Gen Taoreed Lagbaja and the Armed Forces of Nigeria in deploying quality peacekeepers in support of international peace and security.

He said that the training had equipped them with the necessary tactical skills and knowledge required for peace support operations.

“It  has prepared you for the protection of civilians and the accomplishment of assigned tasks under the ECOMIG mandate.

“You have learned the importance of teamwork, leadership and cultural sensitivity as well as other factors that would ensure your success in the mission area.

“You have been trained in the latest techniques and procedures for maintaining peace and stability in a complex environment and instilled with the values of discipline, respect for human rights and compassion for the people you are going out there to protect.

“Your mission comes at a critical time, as The Gambia faces a period of

uncertainty and instability, “he said.

According to him, the country’s political crisis has affected the lives of many innocent civilians and their presence will sustain the existing peace and stability to the region.

“Your role is crucial in maintaining peace, protecting lives and promoting sustainable development.”

Sinjen  charged  the troops to uphold the highest standards of professionalism, discipline and respect for human rights.

He advised them to adhere strictly to the ECOWAS’ mandate, which guides your mission and ensure that your actions align with the principles of peace, stability and human rights.

”Remember that your conduct will not only reflect on yourselves but also on your country, the ECOWAS region and the international community.

”Additionally, your training has exposed you to the culture and religious diversity of The Gambia.

 “You are, therefore, expected to approach all interactions with sensibility and respect. Be mindful of the local customs, traditions and socio-political dynamics of the mission area.

”You must remain vigilant in the face of potential security threats and   avoid any actions that may be perceived as insensitive,” he said.

He said that as peacekeepers in a sovereign nation, they must adhere strictly to the UN principles and guidelines for peacekeeping operations.

 “Respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of The Gambia and avoid any actions that may be perceived as interference in the country’s internal affairs.”

He said the Armed Forces of Nigeria had zero-tolerance on sexual exploitation and abuse in line with United Nations’ policies.

”Therefore, any form of sexual exploitation and abuse will be met with severe consequences.

“As ambassadors of the armed Forces of Nigeria and our great nation, you must uphold the esteemed values and enviable image of this country, “Sinjen said.

Earlier, the Commandant of MLAILPKC, Maj-Gen. Ademola Adedoja, said the six weeks training had been intense, comprehensive, and was conducted in line with the Standard UN Core Pre-Deployment Training Modules.

Adedoja said the PDT was to equip the earmarked unit with the requisite skills and knowledge to function effectively and efficiently in their deployment to the Gambia.

He said as  part of their training, the troops were taken through crosscutting issues like Sexual Exploitation and Abuse, Conflict Related Sexual Violence, Conduct and Discipline as well as Protection of Civilians amongst others.

“This graduation is a testament to the capacity and capability of the MLAILPKC as a United Nations accredited Centre to conduct quality training of prospective peacekeepers for deployment to multidimensional Peace Support Operations in fulfillment of her mandate.

“The Centre has within the last six weeks been able to train, retrain and refresh the troops on requisite knowledge and expertise to succeed in a Peace Support Operation environment.

” It is my fervent belief that these men are better informed and equipped to perform their roles in the Gambia, “Adedoja said.

He said the graduation ceremony once more showed the commitment of Nigeria and the Nigerian Armed Forces to global peace and security. (NAN)

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Foreign News

Putin Demands Ukrainian Troop Withdrawal in Exchange for Peace

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Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday said the withdrawal of Ukrainian troops from the territories annexed by his country is a prerequisite for any settlement of the ongoing war.

Putin said this during a visit to the Foreign Ministry in Moscow ahead of the Ukraine peace summit in Switzerland at the weekend.

If Ukraine also renounces membership of NATO, Russia would be prepared to cease fire and enter negotiations immediately.

His speech was clearly aimed at the current G7 summit in Italy and the Ukraine event opening on Saturday in the Swiss mountain hotel resort of Bürgenstock.

The affiliation of the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhya and Kherson to Russia is no longer in question, Putin said.

Ukraine should withdraw its army from the parts of these regions that it still controls, he added.

The Kremlin leader said he was stating Russia’s minimum demands in order not to freeze the conflict but to resolve it once and for all.

At the same time, Putin repeated the demands he made when he ordered the invasion of the neighbouring country in February 2022: The creation of a neutral, non-aligned and nuclear-free Ukraine.

The country should also be disarmed and “denazified,” said Putin, using a term widely interpreted in the West as meaning the instalment of a Russia-approved leadership in Kiev.

Russia currently occupies around a fifth of Ukraine’s territory, including the Crimean peninsula, which it illegally annexed in 2014.

Ukraine has so far adhered to its stated goal of retaking the occupied territory, including Crimea.

President Volodymyr Zelensky is also calling for the prosecution of Russian war crimes and Russian reparations for the destruction caused. (dpa/NAN) 

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