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They Claim Buhari Has Done Nothing, UN Scribe, Antonio Gutteres, Says No

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By Femi Adesina

The Yoruba people of South-west Nigeria have a saying: when a child rejects instructions at home, it is from outside that such child is trained.

And that was exactly what happened on Tuesday and Wednesday, when United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Gutteres visited Nigeria as part of a three nations African tour. He said it was “a visit of solidarity with all Nigerians, particularly the victims of terrorism.


The UN Scribe was visiting Nigeria for the first time, and he had probably fallen for the antics of the Western media, and some unpatriotic Nigerians who have nothing good to say about their own country. They even visit the UN and parliaments of leading countries of the world, to de-market Nigeria.

Gutteres had probably thought he was coming to a country where hopelessness and despondency were order of the day.

He started from Maiduguri, Borno State, once the epicenter of the Boko Haram insurgency in the country. When he saw what the Muhammadu Buhari administration, in conjunction with the Babagana Zulum government had done, he had a quick rethink.
At a meeting with President Buhari on Wednesday afternoon in Abuja, he declared: “I was extremely surprised. The image that exists is of a hopeless situation. But what I saw was a Borno of hope.”

I chuckled as the international public servant expressed his consternation. He said he visited a centre where former Boko Haram fighters were being rehabilitated, and also camps of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

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But the naysayers, the wailing wailers, always say President Buhari has not achieved anything in the country. They see roads, rail, bridges, airports, but they say he’s not doing anything. Well, like the contumacious child, who refused to take instructions at home, an outsider has come to tell them the home truth.
They say Nigeria is good for nothing. Gutteres says the country “is a pillar of continental and global cooperation-and a steadfast partner of the United Nations.” He added: “Nigeria is a country where Africa’s promise and potential come to vivid life.”

That is the same country that a clergyman, who should inspire hope and faith, says has been broken, completely destroyed and thrown to the dustbin. Well, when a child refuses to take instructions from home…
The UN scribe said Nigerians were fantastic people, and the country has “solid institutions, and a vibrant private sector.” But that is not what some ever cynical Nigerians say about their country, and that is not the picture they go abroad to paint of their country. Shame, I say again; shame.
President Buhari said Boko Haram was the major security challenge his administration inherited in 2015. “They will kill people, and shout ‘Allah Akbar,’ (meaning God is great). But when you do that it is either you do not know that God, or you are being stupid. God is justice, and you can’t take an innocent soul, and say God is great.
“We began to educate the people, and gradually, they understood that Boko Haram was not about religion. The group is largely decimated today, and government is trying to resettle the people. We are trying to get them back to the land, and things will get better in the near future.”
Yet they say Buhari hasn’t achieved anything. When your adversary sees your robust horse, standing in all its grandeur, he turns up his nose, and says; see this dwarf horse.
They have eyes and see nothing, they have ears and refuse to hear. Well, an outsider will one day come to tell them the truth.
The Secretary-General said the people he saw in Maiduguri “remain hopeful and committed to returning to their communities and resuming their lives.”
Still commending the Buhari administration, he welcomed “the establishment of the Presidential Committee on the Repatriation, Returns and Resettlement of Displaced Persons in the North-East.”

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But to some of our people, the country is broken, destroyed, and nothing is working. Well, when a child refuses to accept instructions given at home, an outsider knocks sense into his head eventually.
Hear Gutteres again: “And I thanked President Buhari for his unwavering support of the Multinational Joint Task Force and the Lake Chad Basin Commission.”
Yet, to the permanent critics, Buhari is not doing anything, and has not achieved anything. I hear.
In 2011, Boko Haram bombed the United Nations building in Abuja, killed many people, and completely wrecked the structure. The Buhari administration undertook the rebuilding of the facility, and got it delivered in good time.
The Secretary-General described it as “an impressive edifice, “ stressing: “I want to thank the Government and people of Nigeria for not only hosting the United Nations, but for rebuilding and reopening the United Nations House in Abuja in 2019 following the terrorist attacks in 2011.”
That’s an outsider appreciating the good works of the Buhari administration, which the willfully blind have refused to see, and the deliberately deaf have refused to hear. If a child stubbornly spurns instructions at home….


Let’s conclude with this very inspiring one from Mr Gutteres.
“My trip to Nigeria is not to visit people in despair, but people filled with hope. When there’s political vision, good things can happen.”
If you have been deluded, brainwashed, hoodwinked into seeing your country as broken, destroyed, good for nothing, then begin to have a rethink. Those who fed you with that narrative have their own sinister agenda. Our country has challenges in security, economy, and other areas, yes, but it is neither broken nor destroyed. “If you don’t say you are, nobody would say thou art.”
President Buhari has worked for this country, and continues to work. Let not an outsider come and tell us the home truth that is right before our eyes.

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*Adesina is Special Adviser to President Buhari on Media and Publicity

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The Agony of Ikarama Community

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FROM TAYESE Mike, Yenagoa

Ikarama is a Community under Okordia Clan in Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State which is also blessed with crude oil in large quantity that have brought untold hardship and penury to them. The oil that suppose to be a blessing is more or less a curse as a community with less than hundred thousand people cannot feel the impact of their God given resources.

What a sad and pathetic situation and the agony Ikarama people are facing might not be too different from other oil and gas producing communities across the Niger Delta. Why Ikarama case is so peculiar is because the community has witnessed the highest frequency of oil spill since 1991 and till date  not much has been done to clean up the environment and proper remediation carried out within and around  the community and its environment.

The peaceful Ikarama Community that have been enjoying agrarian life in time past started their problem when oil was discovered in 1964 and from that time till date every valuable things to the Community have virtually been eroded due to the activities of the multinationals.

Shell Petroleum Development Company started operation of oil exploration in Ikarama community and also Exxon Mobil since that same 1964 but nothing to show forth as an oil producing community.

The constant oil spills in the community has caused so much environmental pollution as the people can no longer farm while fishing activities has completely come to a halt since fish cannot survive in an Hydrocarbon polluted areas, most of the economy trees have gone into extinction while so much sickness and diseases have ravaged the community. Diseases like cancer, skin disease, infertility especially in men, blood disorder, asthma, still birth and other horrible disease due to the activities of the Oil Companies.

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The Community cannot boast of a good health center, clean water and other social amenities that make life more meaningful despite the fact that every part of the community is blessed with crude oil. The recent incident that took Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) to the Ikarama Community was the case of a young man who was trying to make a living for himself and his family hired an excavator last year to excavate the ground for fish pond but surprisingly oil was oozing out of the ground and the same experience this year after spending so much resources only to end in futility.

Visiting the community is the Director of HOMEF and his team in company of Morris Alagoa an environmental Activist to see the extent of oil pollution in the community. Dr. Nnimmo Bassey described Ikarama Community as the capital of oil spill incident in the whole of Niger Delta because Ikarama community has the highest frequency of oil spill. It’s really shocking to see the level of pollution in this community. Meanwhile we heard that shell has come severally to take samples of the soil at various depths but till date, nothing has been heard about the result been released.

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Nnimmo said what really brought HOMEF to the community was to see for themselves the sad situations of a community youth who have invested so much by trying to excavate the ground for fish pond last year and this year and surprising oil was coming out of the ground. He said, they want to make sure the result of various samples shell have collected so far is been released for proper action.

Not just NOSDRA only should involved in it but Ministry of Environment at both the state and federal level should get involved in the process of ascertaining the level of contamination, not just in one location but the entire community soil because oil pipeline transverses the length and breath of the Community and in fact other Niger Delta Community “we are very disturbed by what we are seeing that plants will remain stunted for a over a year. It says a lot about what the people have to contend with and it is a sad thing that government will just be carrying on as if nothing is happening, as if Niger Delta is just a place to be exploited, this is totally unacceptable.

He described the health challenge of the people as pathetic because anywhere there is activities of oil and gas activities, oil spill, gas flair and other unwholesome activities will follow like exposing them to hydrocarbon. They will definitely have serious health challenges like skin disease blood disorder, cancer, still birth infertility especially in men amongst the rest. So the critical thing is to clean up the environment, carry out heath audit across the Ikarama Community and the rest of the Niger Delta, take measure to remove the sickness and diseases hiding in the body of the people or already manifesting and they should make sure they stop completely the oil spill and the gas flares.

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Shell and other oil companies must need to carry out thorough remediation in the community. The HOMEF Director said what is going on in Ikarama and the Niger Delta can be called environmental racism and they won’t do this in their country. So we are calling for enough clean up.

As the oil companies are planning to sell of their Assets and move to deep waters, obviously they are running away from responsibility and accountability and before they move to the deep waters operation they should consult with the communities that they are leaving and must be ready to clean up the environment they have polluted over the years and carry out proper remediation and make sure adequate compensation are paid.

Seeing the pathetic situation of the people and the community environment is Mr Alagoa Morris, an environmentalist, who said  monitoring the environment demanded factual and evidence-based data collection, recording and reporting. Alagoa who had written over seventy (70) reports on Ikarama oil spills called on Shell and other oil companies to be proactive when such happens for the safety of the rural dwellers, and the aquatic lives that the people depend on. 

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The World is Burning; We Need  Renewables Revolution

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By António Guterres

As we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, the benefits will be vast, and not just to the climate. Energy prices will be lower and more predictable, with positive knock-on effects for food and economic security. When energy prices rise, so do the costs of food and all the goods we rely on. So, let us all agree that a rapid renewables revolution is necessary and stop fiddling while our future burns.

The only true path to energy security, stable power prices, prosperity and a livable planet lies in abandoning polluting fossil fuels and accelerating the renewables-based energy transition.

Nero was famously accused of fiddling while Rome burned. Today, some leaders are doing worse. They are throwing fuel on the fire. Literally. As the fallout of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine ripples across the globe, the response of some nations to the growing energy crisis has been to double down on fossil fuels – pouring billions of dollars more into coal, oil and gas that are driving our deepening climate emergency.

Meanwhile, all the climate indicators continue to break records, forecasting a future of ferocious storms, floods, droughts, wildfires and unlivable temperatures in vast swathes of the planet. Our world faces climate chaos. New funding for fossil fuel exploration and production infrastructure is delusional. Fossil fuels are not the answer, nor will they ever be. We can see the damage that we are doing to the planet and our societies. It is in the news every day, and no one is immune.

Fossil fuels are the cause of the climate crisis. Renewable energy is the answer – to limit climate disruption and boost energy security. Had we invested earlier and massively in renewable energy, we would not find ourselves, once again, at the mercy of unstable fossil fuel markets. Renewables are the peace plan of the 21st century. But the battle for a rapid and just energy transition is not being fought on a level field. Investors are still backing fossil fuels, and governments still hand out billions in subsidies for coal, oil and gas – some $11 million every minute.

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There is a word for favouring short-term relief over long-term well-being. Addiction. We are still addicted to fossil fuels. For the health of our societies and planet, we need to quit. Now. The only true path to energy security, stable power prices, prosperity and a livable planet lies in abandoning polluting fossil fuels and accelerating the renewables-based energy transition.

…we must make renewable energy technology a global public good, including removing intellectual property barriers to technology transfer. Second, we must improve global access to supply chains for the components and raw materials of renewable energy technologies.

To that end, I have called on the G20 governments to dismantle the coal infrastructure, with a full phase-out by 2030 for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries and 2040 for all others. I have urged financial actors to abandon fossil fuel finance and invest in renewable energy. And I have proposed a five-point plan to boost renewable energy round the world.

First, we must make renewable energy technology a global public good, including removing intellectual property barriers to technology transfer. Second, we must improve global access to supply chains for the components and raw materials of renewable energy technologies.

In 2020, the world installed five gigawatts of battery storage. We need 600 gigawatts of storage capacity by 2030. Clearly, we need a global coalition to get there. Shipping bottlenecks and supply-chain constraints, as well as higher costs for lithium and other battery metals, are hurting the deployment of such technologies and materials, just as we need them most.

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Third, we must cut the red tape that holds up solar and wind projects. We need to fast-track approvals and put in more efforts to modernise electricity grids. In the European Union, it takes eight years to approve a wind farm, and 10 years in the United States. In the Republic of Korea, onshore wind projects need 22 permits from eight different ministries.

Fourth, the world must shift energy subsidies from fossil fuels to protect vulnerable people from energy shocks and invest in a just transition to a sustainable future.

And fifth, we need to triple investments in renewables. This includes multilateral development banks and development finance institutions, as well as commercial banks. All must step up and dramatically boost investments in renewables.

There is no excuse for anyone to reject a renewables revolution. While oil and gas prices have reached record price levels, renewables are getting cheaper all the time. The cost of solar energy and batteries has plummeted 85 per cent over the past decade. The cost of wind power fell by 55 per cent. And investment in renewables creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels.

We need more urgency from all global leaders. We are already perilously close to hitting the 1.5°C limit that science tells us is the maximum level of warming to avoid the worst climate impacts. To keep 1.5 alive, we must reduce emissions by 45 per cent by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by mid-century. But current national commitments will lead to an increase of almost 14 per cent this decade. That spells catastrophe.

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The answer lies in renewables – for climate action, for energy security, and for providing clean electricity to the hundreds of millions of people who currently lack it. Renewables are a triple win.

There is no excuse for anyone to reject a renewables revolution. While oil and gas prices have reached record price levels, renewables are getting cheaper all the time. The cost of solar energy and batteries has plummeted 85 per cent over the past decade. The cost of wind power fell by 55 per cent. And investment in renewables creates three times more jobs than fossil fuels.

Of course, renewables are not the only answer to the climate crisis. Nature-based solutions, such as reversing deforestation and land degradation, are essential. So too are efforts to promote energy efficiency. But a rapid renewable energy transition must be our ambition.

As we wean ourselves off fossil fuels, the benefits will be vast, and not just to the climate. Energy prices will be lower and more predictable, with positive knock-on effects for food and economic security. When energy prices rise, so do the costs of food and all the goods we rely on. So, let us all agree that a rapid renewables revolution is necessary and stop fiddling while our future burns.

António Guterres is the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

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Why we Directed Citizens to Acquire Guns – Matawalle

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Governor Bello Matawalle of Zamfara has said that the State Government relied on an extant legislation to direct residents to acquire weapons to defend themselves.

This is contained in a statement issued by Jamilu Magaji, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday.

Magaji stated that the governor made the remark while inaugurating some security committees in Gusau.

The statement explained that the governor’s directive was part of the administration’s efforts to tackle protracted security challenges in the state.

It added that the State Government was aware of the misgivings expressed in some quarters regarding the new measure.

It noted that the measure was meant “to encourage the communities suffering almost daily from the inhuman aggressions from the bandits to acquire firearms to defend their communities.

“Self-defence is a natural instinct and has always been part of human survival strategy.

“As those entrusted with the safety of lives and property of the people, we will do everything possible to uphold this responsibility within the ambit of the law.

“We are also aware that the security forces are doing their best to combat this formidable challenge.

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“Their efforts are, however, hampered by the lack of adequate modern warfare equipment and the dearth of personnel.

“Our decision to mobilise people to secure their communities is, therefore, for the people to complement the efforts of the conventional security forces in dealing with banditry and fishing out informants

“The acquisition and usage of firearms by the public, who desire to do so, would be governed by the Nigeria Firearms Act,” he further stated.

The statement added that the state government had explored all options to address the issue to no avail.

It explained that apart from dialogue, reconciliation and disarmament, the government also had regular engagement with Federal Government and neighbouring states, including the Nigerien authorities.

“We also shut down mobile telecommunication networks to give security forces the leeway to take the battle directly to the bandits,” the statement added.

The governor further said that his administration had provided modern RUGA settlement for nomads and logistics support to security agencies, including vehicles and drones.

He said that in recent weeks, the state witnessed increased attacks in some parts of Gusau, Bukkuyum and Gummi Local Government Areas.

Matawalle said that government had provided 20 new Hilux Vans and 1,500 motorcycles to the committee on security to commence operation. (NAN

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