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Community seeks Soludo’s help over harassment by security operatives



The community leaders in Nteje, Oyi Local Government Area of Anambra State, have called on Governor Chukwuma Soludo to save them from the incessant harassment and intimidation of indigenes allegedly by security operatives in the town.

They made the call on Friday in Awka at a news conference following the invasion of Nteje by suspected security operatives on Thursday.

The spokesman for the community, Mr. Martins Okechukwu, said seven persons, including the acting President-General of Nteje, Chief Benneth Chinweze, were seriously injured by the security operatives.

Okechukwu said, “Apart from our president-general, who is now lying critically ill in the hospital, one Oluebube Anukwu, who was among the seven persons that sustained gun shots is now dead, while five others are receiving treatments in different hospitals.

“Before now, Nteje has been a peaceful community, but in the past 10 years now, all that we are facing are incessant attacks and arrest of our people, who in some cases, are taken to Abuja where they suffer grievously.”

Okechukwu who blamed the ugly development on some natives mentioned one Chief Mike Nwakalor as the person fanning the crisis due to his interest in land grabbing activities.

He said that the Nteje community today has about four army checkpoints which some privileged individuals take undue advantage to harass the residents.

The acting President General of Nteje, Chief Benneth Chinweze, who spoke from his hospital bed in Awka, when our correspondent visited the hospital, said he had a harrowing experience in the hands of the security men on June 16.

“I was driving when, suddenly, some persons who all covered their faces double-crossed my vehicle and ordered me out.

“They forced me into their Hilux truck, tie my legs and hands and blindfolded me before they began to give me treatments like a common criminal.

“This incident took place on Thursday, June 16, but it was on Friday, June 17, that I regained consciousness in a hospital.

“As you can see, I cannot raise my two hands up or use them to eat and bath, I am just helpless here as you can see,” he said.
Chinweze who doubles as the regent of Nteje Community, added that he suspected that it was Chief Mike Nwakalor that was behind his ordeal.

”Before I lost consciousness, the people beating me kept saying, you always insult Chief Mike Nwakalor and if you don’t respect yourself, we will teach you bitter lesson,” he added.

When contacted, Chief Mike Nwakalor said he was not involved in the problem which occurred in Nteje on June 16 and do not have any hand in land grabbing activities in Nteje.

“As a community leader, I heard what happened and upon investigation I was told that Chief Chinweze wrote a petition and when security operatives came for him, he tried to evade arrest.

“I further gathered that those who were wounded by gun shots blocked security operatives and in the exchange of gun fire some of them got injured,” he said.

Nwakalor, however, explained that he was also not involved in any land dispute with any person in Nteje, saying, ”I have 200 plots of land between Nteje Park and Umunya and the property is not in dispute because I have my certificate of occupancy.”

Reacting, the state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, said that the command was not aware of the matter which occurred in Nteje on June 16.

He rather urged people of Nteje who were affected in the matter to come up with information that could help police in nipping the matter in the bud.


Governor’s wife advises Jerusalem pilgrims on conduct




The returnees who participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Jerusalem and Jordan have held a thanksgiving service to appreciate God for the successful journey.

According to a statement issued by the state government, the service, held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, was graced by the wife of the Lagos State Governor, Dr Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu.

Represented by the wife of a former Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Mrs Mayowa Ikuforiji, Sanwo-Olu advised the returnees to be true ambassadors of Christ and allow their encounters during the pilgrimage to strengthen their relationship with God and the people around them.

The governor’s wife said, “You cannot afford to go back to your old ways and lifestyles. As you have been described as the light and salt of the world in the Holy Book, it means that you have a lot of tasks ahead of you.”

Sanwo-Olu then thanked God on behalf of the pilgrims for the successful completion of the exercise and the journey mercies experienced.

She said, “We bless the Lord that there was no report of any negative eventuality. It is fitting at this point to state that we are indeed peculiar people with a deep sense of appreciation and we show this trait in praises and thanksgiving to God who specifically called us out of darkness into His marvellous light.”

In her remarks, the Secretary, Lagos State Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board, Mrs Yetunde Gbafe, said the thanksgiving service was in line with God’s injunction as recorded in Psalm 100 where believers were enjoined to come into His presence with praise and thanksgiving.

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Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up oil spills – Report




Nigeria needs $12bn to clean up decades-old oil spills in southern Bayelsa State over a 12-year period, a new report revealed on Tuesday, as it singled out two international oil companies, Shell and Eni, for being responsible for most of the pollution.

Oil majors in Nigeria have long faced legal challenges over Niger Delta spills, which they mostly blame on sabotage and vandalism of pipelines and illegal refining.

The Bayelsa State Oil and Environmental Commission said in a report that it started an investigation in 2019 on the impact of spills and looked at evidence from forensic scientists, blood samples from people in affected areas and company data, according to Reuters.

The investigation discovered, among other findings, that toxic pollutants from spills and gas flaring were many times higher than the safe limits in samples of soil, water, air, and in the blood of local residents, the commission said.

“The report finds failures of strategy, prevention, response and remediation by oil companies,” it said.

Reuters stated that a spokesperson for Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited said the oil firm was not privy to the final report and could not comment.

An Eni spokesperson said the oil spills were due to theft to feed illegal refineries as well as illegal exports and sabotage but the company undertook to remedy all spills.

Most of the gas produced from Eni’s Nigerian unit was converted into LNG and fed local power plants, the spokesperson said, adding that “Eni conducts its activities according to the sector’s international environmental best practices, without any distinction on a country basis.”

Toxins that cause burns, lung problems and risk of cancer were widespread while oil company-led clean-ups were often poorly executed and could further contaminate soil and groundwater, the commission’s report said.

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Experts advise marketers to leverage technology




Experts have advised marketing professionals to take advantage of technology to revamp marketing tactics.

The marketers were admonished at the National Institute of Marketing of Nigeria Ikeja Chapter 3rd Annual Public Lecture held recently in Lagos.

Speakers at the event said due to the highly competitive marketing arena, marketers must be willing to adjust their approaches in response to shifting market trends and economic circumstances, to remain competitive and achieve success.

The Ikeja Chapter Chairman of NIMN and Chief Executive Officer of Procon Group, Adebayo Oke, noted that the conference was basically to review the position of things in the institute in the face of the country’s dynamic economy.

He said, “We all know that in terms of political economy, we are going to be having a change very soon. Where we are coming from, there are issues that have affected consumerism in terms of the power of a consumer, choices and whether it will get tougher or better that is why we are here. To also share knowledge among the top practitioners to floor it down.”

According to him, a lot of quacks are in the market and most companies believe marketing is anybody’s function.

“And going forward, we are going to be regulating the practice of marketing across all industries and in partnership with the international brands in the areas of marketing, including the Chartered Institute of Marketing UK, amongst others,” he stated.

He disclosed that the institute would be partnering with most companies to ensure that only certified marketer would be allowed to practice marketing, to enable the institute get rid of all the quacks.

The President and Chairman of Council for NIMN, Idorenyen Enang, in his keynote address, highlighted the significance of marketers harnessing the potential of technology while ensuring that they adhere to ethical principles of the profession.

He said, “The benefits of technology in streamlining operations are widely appreciated. However, concerns about job displacement due to AI have arisen. Marketers must strive for a harmonious implementation of these technologies, striking a balance that mitigates such disadvantages.”

He added that while automation greatly enhances efficiency, there is a potential loss of intellectual capacity as the current generation prioritises speed, brevity, and simplicity.

Also, the Head Sub-Saharan Africa Digital Media & Insights of FrieslandCampina WAMCO Plc, Ifeoluwa Obafemi, said, “In the phase of technological advancement and changes in consumer behaviour, as marketing professionals, we should set our organisation in a future forward mode. For businesses to maintain a competitive edge in the present-day business environment, undergoing a marketing transformation is a necessary process.”

On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Axiom Intel Limited, Kolawole Oyeyemi, said, “Marketers should attract and retain their customers. Nowadays, customers are now more informed and know your business more than you do because they now compare your services to global best practices.

“There is a revolution in technology which has assisted in creating tools and devices and building platforms to allow customers to interact with companies across the world.”

According to him, it is a volatile environment and things one does not think will connect one’s business may connect from a very long distance.

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