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Independence Day Accident: Environmental Body Decry Poor State of Delta-Edo Highway

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Multiple Accidents Claim Two, Injured Nine on Lagos-Ibadan expressway
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From Alice Onukwugha, Port Harcourt

Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has decried the deplorable state of the East West section of the road linking Delta and Edo State, calling for government urgent reconstruction work to curb further deaths.

HOMEF made the call after an on-the-spot assessment visit to the Independence Day Accident scene at the Ologbo-Ugbenu axis of the Warri-Sapele Road, the boundary between Edo and Delta States, which claimed lives.

 

Speaking during the visit, Executive Director of HOMEF, Nnimmo Bassey, regretted that the state of the road has further compounded the environmental conditions of the Niger Delta region.

He expressed shock that there was no government presence, days after the explosion. He pointed out that those who died in the incident were over 20 persons at the time of the field visit, even as about 10 victims have been buried along the roadside in unmarked graves.

“Although the issue of bad roads is a reoccurring decimal across Nigeria, the East-West Road has suffered unconscionable neglect, and this has further constricted the livelihoods of the people.

“It is sad that our air, and soil have been contaminated. The dead have been consigned to watery graves in the swamp. Our collective humanity is severely damaged by the neglect of the road, the environment and the dead. Government should wake up to its responsibility. This is no time to be silent. What happened here on Independence Day is a nativism tragedy.

“Contrary to some reports that about five lives were lost to the fire, information gathered from some eyewitnesses and community people put the number of lives lost at over 20 persons. During the field investigation, three dead bodies were found lying by the side of the road while more corpses were being discovered.

“HOMEF recommends that the government should immediately rehabilitate the Benin-Warri Highway and rehabilitate the survivors of this tragic incident. HOMEF also recommends an urgent construction of coastal railway as an alternate way of conveying goods and passengers in this part of the country,” he stated.

HOMEF Project Lead, Cadmus Atake-Enade called on the Federal Government to declare a state of emergency on the Benin-Warri Road, especially the Ologbo-Ugbenu axis of the highway, noting that the road plays a very vital role in the economy of the nation. 

He said: “The whole of East-West road must be fixed. The road has caused a lot of harm to the people, lives have been lost, investments have been destroyed, and lives and livelihoods of surrounding communities are all being affected by the deplorable state of the road. We call on the Federal government to commence immediate repairs and reconstruction of the road in order to avert more dangers and deaths.”

A statement by HOMEF Communications Officer, Kome Odhomor, yesterday, said those interviewed during the visit lamented their losses.

Foreign News

Flames, Smoke Continue to Emerge from Massive Landfill in Delhi

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Flames and columns of thick smoke continued to emerge from a massive landfill in the Indian capital city of New Delhi on Monday, officials said.

Fire fighting operations were underway and fire-fighters were splashing water on the burning mounds of garbage.

The fire has continued at the colossal landfill site since it broke out on Sunday evening.

Meanwhile, toxic fumes emanating from the landfill have left residents in the neighbourhood to gasp for breath.

“There is a pungent smell all around. The smoke is poisonous and causes irritation in the eyes,’’ Dileep Pandey said.

Pandey is a local resident, living within the area.

“We are also facing difficulty in breathing.

’’

While the cause of the fire remained undetermined, authorities have initiated legal proceedings against unidentified individuals in relation to the incident.

According to the Delhi Fire Services department, the landfill caught fire because of the methane produced in the heaps of waste.

Officials listed hot and dry weather conditions as the reason behind the blaze. (Xinhua/NAN)

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Human Trafficking: NSCDC Rescues 10 Victims in FCT

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The FCT Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has intercepted 10 victims of human trafficking at Zuba motor park in Abuja.

A statement on Monday in Abuja, by Mr Samuel Idoko, the NSCDC FCT Command Spokesperson, said the rescued victims, aged between 24 and 34, comprised of one male and nine female, who all claimed to be indigenes of Ondo State.

He said that on interrogation, it was discovered that the victims were being sponsored for illegal migration abroad.

”’The victims were accosted at Zuba motor park, Abuja, by officers of the command, following a tip off of their return from Minna, where they had gone to process their International passports as directed by their sponsor.

”The victims confessed to have paid N80, 000 to facilitate the procurement of the International passport.

”They also confessed to being promised migration abroad to undertake ready-made jobs, especially in North Africa and Canada by a yet to be identified sponsor, who according to them, resides in Okitipupa, Ondo state”, he said.

Idoko the victims had been handed over to the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Person (NAPTIP) by the NSCDC Commandant, Olusola Odumosu.

“Be careful of the type of people that are promising you a better future abroad. Don’t be desperate because some of them might end up ruining your live; they deceive you and collect huge sums of money from you for ready-made jobs, whereas, you may end up in slavery or forced to be sex workers.

“If you must travel abroad, follow the right channel that will give you rest of mind, don’t allow somebody to seize your international passport abroad, and place you under an oath that you will regret,” Odumosu was quoted as saying. (NAN)

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First Bank Appoints Alebiosu Acting CEO

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The Board of Directors of First Bank Plc has appointed Olusegun Alebiosu the Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the bank.

A statement issued by the board of the bank in Abuja on Monday said the appointment followed the resignation of the former CEO, Dr Adesola Adeduntan.

The statement said the appointment would take effect immediately and was subject to the approval of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The bank said that Alebiosu was an Executive Director/Chief Risk Officer, who jointly led the transformation of FirstBank over the past eight years.

The bank said he was an integral member of the team under the previous CEO’s leadership and well placed to deliver on the bank’s strategic objectives.

Alebiosu joined FirstBank in 2016 and has over three decades of banking experience. (NAN)

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