Shell Warns Of Safety Risks At Occupied Plant

Photo: Channels Television/Emmanuel Ereyi

Royal Dutch Shell has raised an alarm over the continuing siege at a Nigerian facility by protesters, saying they could be putting their safety at risk.

Hundreds of protesters from the Kula and Belema communities in Nigeria’s restless southern Rivers state have occupied the plant since August 11 to press their demands for jobs and better living conditions.

“The illegal occupation of Belema Flow Station and Gas Plant in Rivers State has safety implications both for the people at the facilities and nearby communities,” the company’s Nigerian subsidiary, Shell Petroleum Development Company, said in a statement on Sunday.

It said it was “deeply concerned that unauthorised persons, including women and children, have been observed in close proximity to equipment that processes crude oil and gas without the protection of safety clothing.”

Shell said the occupation “exposes people at the plant to higher safety risks as anything could trigger a spill or fire with potentially serious consequences.”

The company said it had not been able to gain access to the plant since the seizure, and called on the protesters to leave.

The protesters also want Shell to shift the operation of the plant to a local company.

“We want Shell to hand over the operations of the flow station to Belema Oil Company because it appreciates our challenges and needs,” community leader Godson Egbelekro told AFP.

The plant transports crude oil to the Bonny Light export terminal, which has a production capacity of 225,000 barrels per day.

In 1993, Shell was forced to quit operation in Ogoniland because of community unrest, but the company still runs a network of pipelines in the area.

Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer with some two million barrels per day, relies on the sector for 90 percent of foreign exchange earnings and 70 percent of government revenue.


Group Protests Against Call For Buhari’s Resignation

A Pro-Buhari March has commenced in Abuja, to counter the #ResumeOrResign protest of a group under the aegis of Concerned Nigerians, led by entertainer Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy.

The group, which goes by the name Coalition For Good Governance and Change Initiative was seen with several banners some of which read: “Our President is recuperating, Nigeria is moving forward, the system is working, no cause for alarm”.

Read Also: Concerned Nigerians Protest Enters Day Four

The Concerned Nigerians group on Monday embarked on the protest to call for the President, Muhammadu Buhari to either resume work immediately or resign.

In its fourth day of the sit-out protest on Thursday, the group has now asked the President to resign if he fails to resume within eight weeks.

President Buhari has been in the United Kingdom for over 90 days where he has been undergoing medical treatment.

Governors and several top government officials have paid him visits in London, confirming that he is recuperating fast and would return as soon as his doctors give the go ahead.

Pro-Buhari Protesters
Pro-Buhari Protesters
Pro-Buhari Protesters

Concerned Nigerians Protest Enters Day Four

It is now four days since the Concerned Nigerians group commenced its sit-out protest to demand the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari if he fails to resume within eight weeks.

The protest which is themed #ResumeOrResign by the group has been taking place at the Unity Fountain in Abuja since the beginning of the week.

Led by popular entertainer, Charly Boy, the group also has some notable Nollywood actors and members of the Bring Back Our Girls group joining the protest.

The atmosphere is calm today with the presence of the Police officers.

Read Also:
 Group Protests Against Call For Buhari’s Resignation

Meanwhile, another group, which goes by the name Coalition For Good Governance and Change Initiative is holding a counter protest in the Federal Capital Territory.

The group was seen with several banners some of which read, “our President is recuperating, Nigeria is moving forward’, the system is working, no cause for alarm”.

Pro-Buhari protesters

The President has been in the United Kingdom for over 90 days where he has been undergoing medical treatment.

Governors and several top government officials have paid him visits in London, confirming that he is recuperating fast and would return as soon as his doctors give the go ahead.

Concerned Nigerians Protest: Charly Boy Was Being Overdramatic – Police

The Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police, Mr Jimoh Moshood has accused the leader of a group of protesters under the aegis of Concerned Nigerians, Charly Boy, of being overly dramatic.

The Police PRO said this on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily while defending that the Police only resorted to using tear gas and water cannons to disperse protesters in order to prevent a breakdown of law and order.

The protesters had on Monday taken to the streets of Abuja calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to either resume work or resign.

On Tuesday, however, the Police alleged that hoodlums had infiltrated the protest which would have led to a total breakdown of law and order if not for their prompt intervention.

Although the group, numbering less than 10, in what appeared to be a peaceful protest were seen sitting at the Unity Fountain, the Police claimed that hoodlums and miscreants took over the process, hence the need for them (the Police) to take necessary action.

The leader of the group, Charles Oputa, popularly known as Charly Boy, had collapsed twice during the protest as a result of the teargas.

Read Also: Concerned Nigerians Ask Buhari To Resume Or Resign

Meanwhile, Mr Moshood stated that the account of the incident as narrated by Charley Boy was wrong as the Police did not initially prevent the group from embarking on the protest, but rather showed their support on the first day.

“His first account alleging some Police men to have told them that they shouldn’t come out to protest in the first instance is not correct. No Police officer would do that. Anything that has to do with politics or people protesting lies in the rim of the responsibility of the people as provided for in the Constitution.

“But like I said, we noticed the mix up in them of miscreants and hoodlums and that is why the police have to intervene to ensure that the protest doesn’t go beyond that. Like I have explained situations of riot to you, we don’t want this protest to dovetail and end up in riot and that is why we quickly intervened. So his account is not correct at all.

“When the Camera comes in must have been when Police intervention had been done and they see smoke of tear gas. The smoke of tear gas can go up for quite some minutes without subsiding until after the normal time that the tear gas ought to subside.

“So any camera man can pick a picture of that and you can see over dramatisation by the leader of the protesters who was sitting on the chair because the camera was coming to his side he decided to fall down,” Moshood said.

The group, however, continues with the protest as it spills into the fourth day.

Youths Protest At National Assembly

National Assembly Mourns Flood VictimsSome youths have stormed the National Assembly in a protest, shutting down the main entrance after security officials allegedly denied them access.

Reports say the protesters are members of the ‘I support #NottooYoungtoRun’ movement who seek a constitutional backing for young Nigerians to be able to vie for elective positions.

The protesters who had gathered in their hundreds at the Unity Fountain, Abuja on Tuesday, before proceeding to the National Assembly, said they only had the intention of speaking with the lawmakers.

However, after being refused from gaining entrance, they shut down the main gate and blocked the roads, refusing vehicles from entering or leaving the premises.

Judge Vacates Order, Remands Former OAU VC In EFCC Custody

Woman Charged With Murder Of Three Year OldA High Court in Ede, Osun State has reversed its order to remand a former Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife, Professor Anthony Elujoba, who is standing trial for alleged financial misappropriation, at the Ilesha Prison.

Professor Elujoba and the bursar of the school, Mrs Ronke Akeredolu are now to be further remanded in the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) custody, where they have been since last Wednesday.

The presiding judge, Justice David Oladimeji also ordered that the ruling on the bail application earlier scheduled to hold next Wednesday July, 19, be brought forward to Friday, July 14.

The reversal of the orders came after several hours of agitation by students and staff of the institution, who had besieged the court premises demanding immediate release of Professor Elujoba.

Read Also: Ex-OAU VC’s Arraignment: Wife Breaks Down In Tears

The students together with the staff had done everything possible to prevent the prison and EFCC officials from taking the accused persons to the Ilesha Prison, (from deflating the tires of their vehicles, to locking the judge, lawyers and every other person within the court premises inside).

The agitators who had defiled heavy presence of security operatives in the court grounded every activity in the area, leaving commuters plying the road stranded for the hours while the agitation lasted.

Ex-OAU VC’s Arraignment: Wife Breaks Down In Tears

The arraignment of the former Vice Chancellor of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Professor Anthony Elujoba, has brought tears to the eyes of some supporters who feel Tuesday’s ruling was unjust.

The wife of the former VC was seen in tears following the court’s decision to remand him in prison pending the ruling on the application for bail of himself and the bursar, Mrs Ronke Akeredolu on July 19, 2017.

Read Also: OAU Students Protest In Court Over VC’s Arraignment

OAU VC being rough-handled

Some students and staff who disagreed with the ruling began a protest and were seen dragging Mr Elujoba with the Police.

OAU Students Protest In Court Over VC’s Arraignment

Anthony Elujoba, OAU VC, ProtestSome students of the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU) are currently protesting at the High Court of Justice Ede, Osun State over the arraignment of the Vice Chancellor, Professor Anthony Elujoba.

The protest commenced after the Judge, David Oladimeji asked that Elujoba be remanded in Ilesha prison pending the ruling of the application for bail of himself and the bursar Mrs Ronke Akeredolu on July 19, 2017.

Elujoba and the bursar are facing 7 counts over alleged misappropriation of funds and abuse of office.

The EFCC opposed the application for bail for both defendants, a decision which got the students and workers angry.

They argued that they would not leave the court unless Professor Elujoba is released on bail.

Read Also: Lecturers Protest Arraignment Of Former OAU VC

On Monday, lecturers at the institution also protested over the VC’s arraignment, saying he was innocent of all the charges levelled against him.

UNIOSUN Protest: Police Say Calm Is Restored

The Commissioner of Police in Osun State, Fimihan Adeoye says the students unrest has been brought under control.

This is coming hours after thousands of UNIOSUN students took to the streets of Osogbo on Wednesday morning dressed in black, to express their grief over the killing of their fellow student.

Read Also: Chaos In Osogbo As UNIOSUN Students Take Over Streets

CP Adeoye who was on patrol with other officers to help calm the students told newsmen that the command will engage in a dialogue with the students to train them on security tips to avoid a recurrence.

The Police had on Tuesday paraded a 19-year-old boy and two others, suspected to be responsible for the gruesome death of Timilehin Shonibare, the 400 Level Microbiology student who went missing 10 days ago.

His decomposed corpse was eventually discovered in a bush at the Oke Baale area of the state.

The CP further explained that investigation is ongoing to apprehend all those involved in the killing of the student.

Fuel Scarcity: Drivers Protest In Ekiti, Give Oil Marketers Ultimatum

Transport unions in Ekiti State on Wednesday protested in the state capital, Ado-Ekiti, accusing oil dealers of being sponsored by the opposition.

The unions gave the oil dealers 24 hours to return to call off the strike or face the
wrath of the Ekiti populace, which they said had been badly affected by the halt of fuel supply to the state.

The protest comes one day after angry youths damaged filling stations in protest against the lingering strike declared by oil marketers in the state.

Fuel marketers in the state had since Monday last week stopped selling fuel to motorists in compliance with the directives of the leadership of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG)and Petrol Tanker Drivers (PTD), which ordered their members in Ekiti to stop bringing the product to the state.

The marketers had embarked on the indefinite strike over what they described as open victimszation of members by Governor Ayodele Fayose.

However, the drivers and artisans, who marched from Fajuyi area via Ojumose to Old garage, claimed that they were the worst hit by the strike.

They were led by the Chairmen of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Mr Clement Adekola, and his counterpart in Lorry and Pick-up Transport Association of Nigeria, Com Adekunle

Adekola said, “We are for peace in Ekiti and the only way to sustain peace is for all of us to work with the government of the day. Let the oil marketers dialogue with government and if they can’t do it alone,
they should contact other unions for speedy arbitration.

“The drivers and artisans are badly affected. Even most worrisome was the way the police had been maltreating our members who used to buy fuel from Ondo, Osun and Kogi States. They stopped them at checkpoints and dehumanised them, this must not continue.”

He said the transport unions would continue to protest until the marketers suspend their strike.

“We suspect that they have been bought over by opposition to destabilise Fayose’s government. We believe that their resolve not to sell fuel during General Adeyinka Adebayo’s burial was purely political,” Adekola said.

“They are not politicians and if they are interested in contesting the election, let them wait till 2018 when the governor’s tenure will elapse.”

Atowoju, who also accused the marketers of being spurred on by the opposition, said the issue in contention was flimsy.

He said, “All over the world, there are rules and regulations guiding where fuel stations are located. The last fire incident at Strive Energy Petrol station in Ijigbo in Ado Ekiti destroyed multi-million properties and no compensations were given to the victims. Must this continue?

“There are problems of economic recession, unemployment and general disillusionment in Nigeria and our oil marketers should not aggravate our sufferings here in Ekiti.”

NPDC Protest: Court Denies BSM Leader Bail

Court Jails Two Men For Selling IDP Food In BornoA Federal High Court in Benin City has denied bail to the leader of the Benin Solidarity Movement, Mr Curtis Ugboh.

Mr Ugboh was arrested over alleged inciting comments made during a protest at the Benin office of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company.

The court, however, gave the state’s counsel one week to formally arraign the suspect.

Counsel to Mr Ugboh, however, said they would appeal the ruling, saying, “It’s a sad day for activists in Edo State.”

He also questioned the allegations against his client and wondered how a “mere protest” could lead to an invasion.

“Well, the judge has ruled that he will not grant bail. On our own part, we are discussing; we may appeal against that ruling because we are of the opinion that the trial judge is wrong, so we are going to appeal against that judgment,” the defence counsel said.

“Another good news is that the trial judge has given them a week to properly arraign him in court where we can ventilate our argument and defence.”