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Akwa Ibom Communities Accuse State Government of Breaching Compensation Agreement for Land Acquisition

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Residents of Anua Offot, Use Offot, and Ifa Ikot Okpon communities in Uyo Local Government Area have raised concerns over the Akwa Ibom State Government’s failure to fully compensate them for land acquisitions.

The communities allege that the government has paid only a fraction of the agreed compensation, following the forceful eviction of residents and demolition of properties.

During a press briefing held over the weekend, the Concerned Land Owners, representing the aggrieved communities, claimed that the state government had only disbursed N13.1 million of the N100 million compensation agreed upon. Mr. Power Anthony, president of the group, voiced the communities’ frustrations and called for the government to fulfill its promise.

“The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Pst Umo Eno, on Thursday, 21st March 2024, invaded Anyam Farmland, along the New Ring Road 3, off Oron Road, Uyo, with his entourage and performed a groundbreaking on a land for which compensation has not been paid,” Anthony stated. He further highlighted that the current governor, as the then Honourable Commissioner for Lands and Water Resources, had negotiated the compensation terms with the landowners.

“Pastor Umo Eno, now the Governor, pleaded with us to accept only Fifteen Million Naira (N15,000,000.00) against the agreed One Hundred Million Naira (N100,000,000.00), promising numerous appointments to landowners upon his election. However, only Thirteen Million, One Hundred and Thirty-Five Thousand Naira (N13,135,000.00) was eventually paid,” Anthony added.

The landowners have made several attempts to reach out to Governor Eno, especially during his campaign period, but claim their concerns were overlooked. The aftermath of the government’s actions has left visible scars on the communities, with demolished buildings and disillusioned residents.

Gabriel Anderson, a native of Use Offot community, shared his distress with journalists: “Government never negotiated with us on the new section. This is impunity. Please, help us get justice on this.”

When approached for a comment, the Commissioner for Lands and Housing, Captain Iniobong Ekong (Rtd), denied any knowledge of the situation, suggesting the publication of the report as a means to bring any issues to light.

“I am not aware of it. When you publish it, we would see it. If publishing the report would solve whatever problem they claim to have, please go ahead and publish it,” Captain Ekong remarked.

The situation in Uyo highlights ongoing tensions between the state government and its citizens over land rights and compensation, underscoring the need for transparent and fair negotiations to ensure both development and the welfare of the affected communities.

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ALHAJI MUJAHID ABUBAKAR DOKUBO-ASARI HOSTS UNIVERSITY OF GRONINGEN VISITING TEAM IN OBUAMA,RIVERS STATE

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Alhaji Mujahid Abubakar Dokubo-Asari on July 4th, 2024, welcomed a visiting research team from the esteemed University of Groningen, located in the Netherlands, to his residence in Obuama, Rivers State.

The University of Groningen, with a rich history spanning over four centuries, prides itself on excellence and has been associated with notable figures like Nobel Prize laureates Ben Feringa and Frits Zernike.

The university is renowned for its groundbreaking research that addresses contemporary social issues, bridging the gap between various fields of study and connecting science with society. Their current research areas include Energy, Healthy Ageing, and Sustainable Society, with recent studies focusing on topics such as environmental sustainability, conscious living, and the impact of climate change on wildlife.

Led by Dr. Dumebi Obute, the visiting team from the University of Groningen is conducting a comparative study on resource extraction, its environmental implications, and the adaptive strategies of indigenous communities affected by extensive resource exploitation. Their journey has taken them to various parts of Africa, including South Africa, Zambia, and Nigeria, to investigate large-scale extraction industries like mining and crude oil production.

Recognizing Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari’s prominent role in advocating for resource control and environmental preservation in the Niger Delta region, the research team sought his expertise and insights. Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo Asari, known for his global advocacy on these interconnected issues, was seen as a valuable source of historical knowledge and practical experiences in handling resource-related challenges.

The collaboration between Alhaji Mujahid Abubakar Dokubo-Asari and the University of Groningen holds the potential to inform global resource policies, promoting the well-being of indigenous communities impacted by resource extraction activities. By integrating historical context and local perspectives, this research aims to contribute to more sustainable and equitable resource management practices worldwide.

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Flood Submerges Three Communities in Uyo

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Three communities in Uyo, the capital of Akwa Ibom State, have been submerged following days of heavy rain. The affected areas include Nung Obio Enang along Stadium Road, Urua Ekpa axis, and Afaha Oku in Uyo metropolis.

Reports indicate that the flood has displaced residents of Nung Obio Enang, with many buildings in the community submerged and residents seeking shelter in nearby facilities. Our correspondent observed that more than 32 houses were affected, with residents seen salvaging their belongings.

Etop Effiong, one of the affected residents, stated that flooding has been a perennial issue in the area for several years, exacerbated by the construction of Stadium Road during the administration of former governor Godswill Akpabio. Effiong explained that the road was built without adequate drainage, causing severe flooding during heavy rains.

“During heavy rains and throughout the rainy season, we have to leave our houses and stay with neighbors for one or two weeks until the flood water subsides. This has been our predicament for many years. This house can collapse anytime,” Effiong lamented.

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Second Woman Assumes Presidency of Rotary International

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One-year term will prioritize adapting to changing times and advancing peace

 

EVANSTON, Ill., 25 June, 2024 — Stephanie Urchick, member of the Rotary Club of McMurray, PA, will become the second woman to take office as president of Rotary International on 1 July 2024.

During her one-year term, Urchick will lead the 119-year-old membership service organization in adapting for future success as Rotary’s 1.4 million members around the world develop and implement sustainable, community-driven projects that fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, save mothers and children, grow local economies, and protect the environment. More than US$5.5 billion has been awarded through The Rotary Foundation—Rotary’s charitable arm that helps clubs work together to perform meaningful, impactful service—to support these initiatives over the last 100 years.

In order to ensure that Rotary membership is a compelling option for those who have a heart for service and fellowship, Urchick is urging clubs to assess their strengths and areas for improvement while also encouraging them to embrace different meeting formats and membership styles as they work to mirror the communities in which they exist in terms of gender, age, culture, socioeconomic status, and more.

“Embracing different viewpoints and creating peaceful, welcoming, and inclusive societies is at the heart of Rotary’s work,” said Urchick. “As president, I will work with clubs to prioritize advancing peace by helping to create the conditions for stable and resilient societies in which people can thrive.”

As one of the world’s largest membership service organizations, Rotary has made peacebuilding the cornerstone of its global mission.   From carrying out service projects to supporting future leaders through youth programs and scholarships, Rotary is taking action to address the underlying causes of conflict, including poverty, discrimination, ethnic tension, lack of access to education, and unequal distribution of resources.

Through academic training, practice and global networking, Rotary is helping professionals become effective catalysts for peace. Rotary partners with leading universities around the world to host Rotary Peace Centers that empower, educate, and increase the capacity of peacebuilders. Each year, Rotary awards 50 fully funded fellowships for master’s degrees and up to 80 fully funded fellowships for certificate studies to dedicated peace and development leaders from communities around the world.

Since 2002, the peace centers program has prepared more than 1,800 peace fellows working in more than 140 countries to create a more peaceful world.

To build on this momentum, Urchick will host a peace conference at the launch of Rotary’s newest Peace Center in partnership with Bahçeşehir University, in Istanbul, Turkey in February 2025.

As president, Urchick will also oversee Rotary’s top goal of eradicating polio. Alongside its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners, Rotary has achieved a 99.9% reduction in polio cases, and contributed more than US$2.7 billion and countless volunteer hours to protect 3 billion children from this paralyzing disease.

About Stephanie Urchick 

Urchick holds a doctorate in leadership studies from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A Rotary member since 1991, Stephanie has served Rotary in many roles and capacities. Her service includes building a primary school in Vietnam; installing water filters in the Dominican Republic; mentoring new Rotary members in Ukraine; coordinating a Rotary Foundation grant project in Poland; and leading efforts to formulate and adopt Rotary’s Action Plan, a strategic road map that will help bring even more people together to create lasting and positive change in an evolving world.

About Rotary

Rotary unites a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges and creating lasting change. Rotary connects 1.4 million people of action from more than 46,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. For more information, visit Rotary.org.

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