Wednesday, 5 July 2017

TASK BEFORE NPDC IN OGONI


THE TASK BEFORE NPDC IN OGONI


The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has blood on its hands. SPDC has spilled blood all over Ogoniland through its activities and actions. The company has also caused massive environmental destruction in the Ogniland where over 60 million gallons of oil is said to have been spilled onto farmlands and community water supplies. The destroyed land and water formerly provided sustenance for the indigenous people of Ogoni.

SPDC crimes in Ogoniland also include its roles in providing financial assistance, logistics support, guns and moral support to the Nigerian military dictatorship for the execution of the Ogoni 9 environmental activists including Ken Saro-Wiwa when they demanded that SPDC cleanup spilled oil in Ogoniland and share the profits more equitable with oil bearing communities.

This campaign of terror embarked upon by Shell which led to the murder of nearly 2,000 Ogoni people with some tortured to death is well known among the Ogonis and will remain indelible in the minds of the Ogonis for several generations to come.

For decades, the people of Ogoni have complained about the usurpation of their land and resources, the destruction of their culture, and the eventual decimation of the people. It is on record that since 1958, $30 billion worth of oil has been taken from beneath the land of the Ogoni, yet essentially zero benefits have accrued to the Ogoni people themselves, reported World Council of Churches. When the group sent observers to Ogoniland in 1995, they found no piped water supplies, no good roads, no electricity, and no proper health care facilities.

Shell, a Dutch Company is the 10th largest corporation in the world and the first in profitability. The company has 96 oil production wells in Ogoniland, 5 flow stations and numerous gas flares which have operated continuously since 1958. By the end of 1992, Ogoni oil production was some 28,000 barrels per day, about 3% of SPDC’s total oil production. Shell also maintains many high-pressure oil pipelines that crisscross Ogoniland, carrying oil from other parts of Nigeria to the shipping terminal at Bonny.

As a result of growing pressure for reform in Ogoniland in 1993, SPDC ceased oil production in the area, but retained its network of pipelines carrying oil produced elsewhere in Nigeria. Although the World Council of Churches finds evidence that SPDC has not ceased oil production in Ogoniland, the company insists its production wells are idle.

Whether SPDC oil wells in Ogoniland are producing oil or not, between 1976 and 1980, Shell operations caused 784 separate oil spills in Nigeria. From 1982 to 1992 additional spills were recorded. Since SPDC “ceased oil production” in Ogoniland in 1993, Shell admits further 24 oil spills have occurred in the area.

Apart from the World Council of Churches’ findings which linked SPDC to continued oil drilling in Ogoniland, in one of the documents I stumbled on in my study during the course of gathering facts for this article captioned, “COMMUNIQUÉ ISSUED AT THE MOSOP GLOBAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE IN ACCRA, GHANA, MARCH 28 – 30, 2002 and singed by Meshach Karanwi, General Secretary – MOSOP International, accused Shell of adopting “nascent lateral oil drilling techniques to drill oil from Ogoniland from remote locations”. The same document stated in Article 10 “That MOSOP reasserts its stand on Shell as persona non-grata in Ogoni”.

The Ogoni people see SPDC and the Federal Government of Nigeria as partners in crime against oil bearing communities and the people of Ogoni. Their conspiracy to destroy Ogoni communities and kill the people has not abated, only opportunities are yet to present themselves.

It is true that the spirit of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other Ogoni leaders and that of other Ogoni martyrs will continually hunt NPDC or any other company that comes to Ogoniland for oil production through SPDC and the Federal Government of Nigeria. Besides, it is impossible for NPDC to severe relationship with SPDC and the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The fears of the people concerning NPDC are numerous.

1.      If SPDC, a Dutch company that operates in 100 countries has 40% of its oil spills in Nigeria, what will happen when NPDC, a company owned and managed by the Federal Government of Nigeria with its poor managerial cultures and oppressive tendencies fully become operational in Ogoniland?

 

2.      It is on record that Shell only provided the needed finance, logistics, guns and moral support yet nearly 2,000 Ogonis and their leaders were murdered. What will be the fate of the entire Ogonis when NPDC, an Hausa/Fulani owned company fully becomes operational in Ogoniland?

 

3.      There is wide spread fears among the Ogonis that the so-called NPDC is SPDC in disguise. They are watching perhaps to unveil the actual group behind the new masquerade in town.

 

4.      In the ongoing consultation and sensitization by NPDC the Ogonis are already seeing SPDC dance steps and are watching carefully. The words of Dr. Owens Wiwa, Ken Saro-Wiwa’s brother now forms topic of discussion across Ogoniland. Hear him, “Our people are dying in the hands of our government and Shell”. Will NPDC not mobilize Nigeria soldiers to kill the remaining Ogoni people when they eventually dare to ask for their rights to share in oil profits?

 

NPDC activities in Ogoniland are already pitching communities against each other. Groups are already at loggerheads with each other. Interests are now colliding daily. In Eleme, war is breeding between SPDC GMOU Cluster Development Board based in Ebubu and “Council of Traditional Rulers of Oil Bearing Communities”, a private company (Trustee?) based in Ogale on who is the rightful representative. The community leaders on the other hand are also agitating for recognition and direct participation in the oil money. Towards this end, groups are already petitioning NPDC Management disclaiming and dissociating from other groups and their activities.  The story is the same in Korokoro, Bunu-Botem, Yorla, K-Dere and other Ogoni communities. Only God will save Ogoniland from the hands of the Nigerian government and Shell Oil.

 

5.       For the Ogonis, Shell and its activities have brought poverty, environmental devastation, and widespread severe human rights abuses. The Nigeria government who is primarily responsible for environmental tragedy in Ogoniland cannot be a good business partner when it comes to oil production in Ogoniland. The Ogonis are convinced that irrespective of the damning UNEP Ogoniland report that it would take 30 years to cleanup Ogoniland, the federal government is only concern with commencing oil production in Ogoniland. And is bent on forcing the Ogonis to allow for oil production or be hanged to death. This fear is further reinforced by the fact that the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company is a subsidiary of Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the most senior partner in the petroleum industry in Nigeria and it is owned 100% by the federal government of Nigeria.

 

6.      Ogonis fear that their interests will not be guaranteed and protected. NPDC have concluded negotiation with SPDC to take over its facilities in Ogoniland without resorting to the Ogonis the rightful owners of the oil. The question here is, without oil can NPDC buy SPDC facilities in Ogoniland? NO. And if the answer is no, why was the Ogonis not involved in the negotiation from the beginning bearing in mind that oil drilling has caused devastating impacts on Ogoni environment? That the effects of oil spills, gas flaring and deforestation have stripped Ogoniland of its environmental resources, destroying the subsistence farming and fishing based economy of the Ogonis is enough to allow the Ogonis to negotiate who to do oil business with in its own terms. The Ogonis, as usual, will resist any attempt by the government to impose any firm of condition or force any marriage of inconvenience on the Ogonis. To the Ogonis, any company seeking to carry out oil production in Ogoniland must directly negotiate with the Ogonis and such company must comply fully with environmental best international practices, including UNEP and UNCTAD basic standards.

 

Again, the way and manner the Ogoni 9 were framed up, convicted and executed by hanging on November10, 1995 and the treatment melted out to the family members of Ken-Saro Wiwa, John Kpuinen, Dr. Barinem Kiobel, Saturday Doobee, Daniel Gbokoo and Felix Nuate is enough to make the Ogonis yet unborn wary of the federal government of Nigeria and her oil companies.

 

7.      The fears of the Ogoni people is also compounded by the activities of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Program (HYPREP), a federal government body responsible for the implementation of the UNEP report for the cleanup of  Ogoniland which has been moribund due to government insincerity towards the Ogoni cleanup. The sudden reawakening of HYPREP and the way it is going about its “sensitization” is both suspicious and worrisome.

 

8.      The Ogoni people still hold the Federal Government of Nigeria and SPDC responsible for the militarization and criminalization of Ogoniland. The World Council of Churches report corroborated this perception. According to the World Council of Churches, “There are more guns and ammunition in the public domain and hunger is pushing more people into crime. It is not surprising that there is no security of persons and property. The crime rate has skyrocketed”. Perhaps, the Federal Government of Nigeria has forgotten the last words of Ken Saro-Wiwa, “Lord take my soul, but the struggle continues”. Some ethnic nationalities in Nigeria can mortgage their conscience or betray their leader for the sake of fear or for fame, cheap popularity, money, but not the Ogoni people.

 

And true to the nature of the Nigerian government and its agencies, HYPREP came into Ogoniland with a fixed mindset and preconceived project for the Ogonis not seeking the people’s input or bothering about their needs. Analysis of the discussions between the visiting HYPREP officials and natives in all the Ogoni communities revealed masters and servants’ relationship and not partners in business. It is “Take water or leave it”. “Only contractors with high technology will be allowed into Ogoni to demonstrate and test their new technology before engagement”. “Only youths with at least a Master Degree in Environmental Management will be trained and engaged for the cleanup”. These were some of the HYPREP edicts to the oil bearing communities.

That is, in the characteristics of all federal government agencies the promises are so vague that leaves more to be desired. HYPREP Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, said that HYPREP will provide clean drinking water to impacted communities; update baseline data of UNEP report; conduct health impact assessment study; demonstrate remediation technology; construct an Integrated Containment Soil Management Centre and Centre of Excellence all in New Bori City and training. The Ogoni people have heard all these over and over again.

The Ogoni people are aware that the UNEP Report upon which the cleanup is hinged recommends some emergency measures to be taken to intervene in the lives of the Ogoni people before the cleanup. The provision of potable water is welcomed, since their sources of water are contaminated by oil spill, but shouldn’t be the only intervention programme. Apart from water sources the economy mainstay of the people has been destroyed and their sources of livelihood ruined by oil production activities.

The deprivation clauses in HYPREP arrangements are also worrisome. The training, perhaps, is conceived for only those with “Master Degree in Environmental Management”, while the empowerment programme is expected to be preserve for the “poor of poor widows”. Education, health, roads, electricity and other infrastructures which are equally on the people’s priority list and which has continue to keep the people at disadvantage position and hold them down beyond poverty level are to wait.

Between HYPREP and NPDC who is now forerunner to who? That is, is HYPREP forerunner to NPDC or vice versa? Can the Federal Government of Nigeria answer this question since both bodies are government agencies on an errand of maneuvering for the federal government to commence oil production in Ogoniland with its soldiers on standby to invade Ogoniland in case of any resistance?

The timing for the NPDC consultation and HYPREP sensitization in Ogoniland speaks volume and leaves the people wondering the rationale behind the rush.

The Ogoni people as oil producing area expect greater stake in the control and management of oil business in its territory. They anticipate equity in the allocation of revenue so that oil revenue can be used for the development of their environment.

They also believe that they own the resources above, beneath, and within their territory and therefore reason that all laws that impinge on their independence and natural rights to property or resources that is found in their territory, such as the Petroleum Act, Mineral Acts, Oil Pipelines Act, the Land Use Act and other laws instituted by the Federal Government of Nigeria be abrogated. While Section 315 (5) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which entrenches the Land Use Act and Section 215 (1) of the same Constitution which gives Federal High Court exclusive jurisdiction to determine cases involving mines and minerals, including oil fields, oil mining, geological surveys and natural gas be expunged from the Constitution.  

The tasks before the NPDC in Ogoniland therefore are enormous. Can NPDC convince the Ogonis that it can deliver on its own expectations? What are these expectations? How will it go about them? The Ogonis will want to know.

To do this the company must come closer to the people, sit with the people and discuss with the people publicly and not the present arrangements of talking to selected few (who are bent on hijacking or cornering the people’s benefits) in hotels and in their private houses.

 

The Ogoni people are well-educated, including in things of oil and are very much aware of SPDC and Nigeria Government divide and rule tactics and are ready to play along with NPDC. But, will NOT allow the NPDC to embark on oil production activities in Ogoniland when the time comes, except the company approach them openly, genuinely agree business terms with the Ogonis, and enter into a well-defined and valid memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Ogonis where their interests will be defined, guaranteed and protected based on international standards. To marshal the people’s trust, gain their support and cooperation NPDC must express real sincerity of purpose in Ogoniland. 

Conclusion


1.      The Federal Government of Nigeria must as a matter of importance involve the Ogoni people in its resolve to providing necessary infrastructures and conducive environment for oil production activities in Ogoniland.

2.      The Federal Government of Nigeria must put a structure in place to provide for the licensing of Oil Bearing Communities to participate in the business of oil production.

 

3.      The government must demonstrate beyond all reasonable doubt its commitment to cleanup all oil spills in Ogoniland and allow independent international body of experts to periodically assess cleanup activities.

 

4.      The federal government must cease its attempts to disguisedly force the Ogonis to sign statements which invite Shell or any other company to come to Ogoniland for oil production activities.

 

References


1.      Hutchful E. (1985) “Oil Companies and Environmental Pollution in Nigeria”, London, Longman Press

2.      Saro-Wiwa, Ken (1994) As quoted from Rowell, Andrew (1994), Shell-shocked, the environmental and social costs of living with Shell in Nigeria, Amsterdam: Greenpeace International.

3.      SPDC (1995) Nigeria brief: The Environment.

4.      The London Observer, January, 28, 1996, “Shell Admits Importing Guns for Nigeria Police”.

5.      Claude Ake (ed) Political Economy of Nigeria, London, Longman Press.

6.      World Council of Churches (1996), Ogoni The Struggle Continues, Geneva, Switzerland.

7.      “Communiqué Issued At The MOSOP Global Leadership Conference In Accra, Ghana, March 28 – 30, 2002.



Site of Recent Oil Spill in Egbalor Ebubu Eleme

SPDC Staff in White Top Making Call at Site of Recent Oil Spill in Egbalor Ebubu

Dr. Marvin Dekil, HYPREP Coordinator Addressing Ebubu People

Monday, 29 May 2017

IMPACTS OF CULTISM IN ELEME


Impacts of Cultism in Eleme


Chief Osaro Ollorwi

Introduction


What are the marked effects or influences of cultism on Eleme and Eleme people? Are there any physical and nonphysical consequences of cultism in Eleme? How are Eleme people and residents coping with cult activities in the area? This article will attempt to examine the results, repercussions, or aftermath of cult activities in Eleme.


The ongoing cult activities have strong effects on every aspects of life of the average Eleme indigene and resident. These include impacts on Economic life; Education life; Religious life; Social life; Death, Burial and Other Ceremonies; Political life; Psychology of the people; and Development in Eleme.

Economic Life


The economic life of Eleme has been driven to a halt. Almost all businesses have been grounded as criminals waylay businesses on daily basis at gunpoint in broad daylight. Businessmen and their family members are made object of regular kidnap for ransom, armed robbery, rape and other violent crimes .  These situations have forced many businesses to close shop or relocate.


Another worrisome aspect of this development is that the few people who choose to remain in Eleme have to spend more money by traveling to neighbouring communities to shop for their daily needs.


National and multinational companies in Eleme now spend more resources on security, compare to other cost units, to keep their operation going. With increasing cost of security and associated risks, many companies are now retrenching. Intels Services have sacked over 1,000 staffers. Daewoo Nigeria Limited has sent packing over 200 employees. Eleme-INDORAMA Petrochemicals Company Limited is not left out.


This situation is already having negative impacts on the already congested labour market in the area. It is also contributing to the already existing army of unemployed youths which are ready source of supply of personnel for cult groups.


Many other companies that have acquired landed properties and indicated interest to come to Eleme for their operations are now skeptical of coming down due to rising insecurity perpetrated by organized cult groups. 

Education Life


The Rivers State University of Science and Technology Onne Campus has been relocated to Port Harcourt. Several private primary and secondary schools have followed the trend.


As parents relocate, they also carry their children and wards along and the population of Schools in Eleme continues to nose-dive.


It is equally disappointing to note that insecurity made JAMB to cancel its entire centers in Eleme during the recent 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in the country. Parents have to spend huge amount of money to transport their children and wards to write JAMB in other towns. Some of these candidates arrived late and have to write their examinations under stress, limited time and tight condition. The outcome was poor performance or outright failure as revealed by the results released by JAMB.

Religious Life


The impacts of cult activities on religion in Eleme are more worrisome. Our young men and women now see nothing wrong in patronizing native doctors, medicine men, shrines and secret societies. These people who have charms given to them tie around their waists or have them cut into their chest and back also take front seats in the churches and lead processions in their various places of worship.


The ongoing cult activities in Eleme have lured many people to abandon God for worship of Satan in search for protection from gunshots and knife cut. As pastors testify, the number of worshippers who attend church services in Eleme today is daily on the decrease and the commitment of those who managed to attend is also doubtful. Eleme is visibly being drifted back into the prehistory era by cultism.  This is not only disturbing but equally disheartening.   

Social Life


The social life in Eleme has collapsed. Night activities are now things of the past. Hoteliers in Eleme are already counting their losses. Many operators of Night Clubs and Recreational Centers have been forced out of business by the activities of cultists. People now prefer to stay at home after work than go out for leisure and meet death.


While married women are happy because their husbands now spend more time at home, the unmarried ones, especially sex workers are complaining of poor patronage, loneliness and abandonment. 


HRH Chief I. O. Agbara observed that hospitality business in Eleme is passing through hard times. In his words, “Night life in Eleme has deteriorated; people rarely go out for relaxation and leisure for fear of being attacked by hoodlums. Nothing is happening in hotels nowadays. Business has gone down. The night club section is no longer functioning. Our rooms that before now usually record fully booked capacity is today empty. The hospitality industry is suffering more than any other in Eleme. Few customers that managed to come to the hotel normally leave as early as 7pm, and this affects sale and return on investment. Cultism is killing the hospitality industry in Eleme.”  


Ms. Nneka (not real name), a sex worker in one of the hotels have this to say, “We are feeling the pains of cultism more than any other group of people in Eleme. Customers are no longer forthcoming. When they show face, they hurriedly take one or two bottles of beer and rush back home immediately and we are left alone stranded. When we call, they neither answer our calls nor return them. Our business is at its lowest ebb now in Eleme. We are already finding it difficult to pay our house rent. Except something is done and urgently too many of us will soon be thrown out of business.” 


Also speaking, an expert in the hospitality industry Chief A. A. Yanwi said, “Hotels rely on rooms to finance salary bills and operating costs. Where rooms are not subscribed or grossly undersubscribed as in the case in Eleme now, hotels find it very difficult to breakeven. Every hotel needs to operate optimally to be in business. Unfortunately, cultism, violence and other crimes have made the situation in Eleme unwise and very dangerous for people to lodge in hotels. And if people don’t lodge in hotel rooms, foods will not be sold, drinks will not be bought; there will be no service charge because no service is provided. Worse still the hotel is expected to maintain its staff, pay salary, settle electric bills, run generators, service vehicles and pay relevant local authority revenue bills and other charges.  


This scenario was vividly captured by Chief Engr. Paul Obele, the former Managing Director of Warri Petrochemical and Refining Company Limited when he delivered a lecture titled, “Roadmap to Achieving the Eleme of Our Dreams” at the Eleme People’s Congress at Rivers State Golden Jubilee. He said, “Night life in Eleme is dead. People no longer go out after the day’s work for relaxation and leisure due to the activities of cultists”. He recollected when he used to walk alone from Ogale to Alesa by 2am without fear of molestation or attack of any kind. “These are good old days when cultism was unknown to Eleme. But, today, as early as 7pm you are not safe on the streets in Eleme. It is pathetic!” To him, cultism is not only destroying businesses in Eleme but also damaging the people’s once cherished culture.


The CTC Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area Chief Hon. Obarilomate Ollor was not left out as he added his voice to the condemnation of the negative impacts of cultism in Eleme stressing that cultism is dismantling the very pillars of Eleme society and advised parents to warn their children and wards as government is out to deal with the situation squarely.

Death, Burial and Other Ceremonies


Other worrisome aspects of these negative impacts of cult activity in Eleme are its influences on death, burial ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, naming ceremonies, birthday parties and so on. Cult-related dead in Eleme are buried within minutes or hours thereafter without any fanfare to evade law enforcement query.


Burial of non-cult related dead in Eleme today attracts extra costs as security agents have to be informed and engaged to provide security and maintain law and order during burial.


Marriage ceremonies are not left out. Marriage ceremonies require the presence of armed soldiers, police and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps officers for people to attend thus adding extra cost to the overall expenses; a burden on both the groom and bridegroom.  


Naming ceremonies, birthday parties and other ceremonies also attract expensive security bills except done at the family level and/or in an exclusive area.


Increased Stress Related Sickness and Death

There is no doubt that the number of stress-related sicknesses and deaths in Eleme are on the rise. Stress occurs when the human body experiences a lack of equilibrium that is perceived as threatening by that individual. There is widespread fear in Eleme. Fear of the known and unknown. Fear of being robbed, fear of being raped, fear of being kidnapped, fear of being assaulted, fear of being murdered or killed, fear of being victimized. Fear! Fear all over the place. Parents of cultists have loss control over their children and wards. Their fates are unpredictable; a very serious threat to their ego; the situation remains ambiguous with increasing anticipation of negative consequences. The entire environment is perceived by the parents as threatening. And these have given rise to such illnesses like tension-related headaches and backaches, weakened immune system, missed period, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, erectile dysfunction, low sex drive, increased depression, heartburn, fertility problem, heart attack. No week passes with Eleme recording one or more stress-related death; apart from deaths caused by inhalation of toxic and other deadly chemicals wickedly emitted by companies around Eleme.

The activities of cultists in Eleme are stressful not only to the parents of these cultists and their relations but also to every indigene and resident. Over 30% of women in their early 40s in Eleme are already suffering from missed period. Many parents have also died of heart attack and other stress-related illnesses.
 

Political Life


The political life of Eleme can be described as nonexistence. Democracy was murdered in Eleme on arrival. Politicians of Eleme extraction have succeeded in truncating the political life of Eleme. They have divided Eleme youths into groups of cultists for their selfish political gains. They armed these young men and women and use them to:

a.      Assassinate political opponents and their strong supporters.

b.      Kidnap political rivals, their close associates or members of their immediate families.

c.      Disenfranchise the electorate by intimidating and terrorizing them with guns, knives and axes.

d.      Snatch ballot boxes.

e.      Snatch result sheets and other sensitive electoral materials.

f.       Adopt electoral officials and force them at gunpoint to allocate votes to candidates and announce concocted results.


The result of this is continues mismanagement, directionless, corruption and waste of Council resources. The impact of cultism on the political life of Eleme can be described as total disaster.            

Psychological Life


Psychologically, the average Eleme man or woman lives in fear of being murdered, kidnapped, robbed, assaulted, etc. These conditions have forced many indigenes and residents alike to relocate to Elelenwo, Port Harcourt, Ogoni, Okrika, Oyigbo and other neighbouring communities. Others seek the help of armed soldiers, NSCDC officers and policemen to move around Eleme. Both ways money is leaving Eleme, development is also truncated.


The atmosphere into which one enters as you approach Eleme from outside is that of darkness and panic even in broad daylight. The ether of Eleme has been saturated with blood and cry of innocent people cut down in their prime.

In the spiritual realm, it is like Eleme is being driven by the demand for more bloodbath, crime and violence. Worse still, those who are supposed to harness resources and pull their efforts together to address the ugly situation have fled from Eleme leaving the area porous and more vulnerable.  


On the other hand, the prevailing insecurity in Eleme has helped the people to abandon luxurious life for simple living. Wealth is no longer indiscriminately displayed. So many car owners now prefer using public vehicles and mtorcycles popularly known as “Okada” to move about; and expensive dressings are now giving way to simple wears. Flamboyant life is gradually becoming history in Eleme.

Development


One area that the impact of cultism has been felt greatly in Eleme is on development. Security propels development while insecurity retards it. As the former Permanent Secretary, F. N. Oguru rightly said, “Cultism has taken Ebubu over ten years back”. In other words, cult activities have taken Eleme ten years back. There cannot be development in an environment of insecurity and violence.


Cultism is decimating the population of Eleme and this has negatively affected Schools intake, tenants’ population, and small businesses. Many houses which hitherto provide sources of regular income to landlords/landladies are now vacant as residents’ pullout by the day. Those who still have one or two tenants in their houses do not have the will to demand for house-rents as tenants’ income continue to dwindle.


All public and private ongoing projects in the area have been halted due to cult activities. Movement of people is also restricted between the hours of 7pm and 6am without official curfew. It is worse in places like Ebubu, Eteo, and Alode where as early as 7pm no vehicle will agree to go in for fear of being victimized.           


The worse is that Eleme is gradually becoming synonymous with senseless killing, kidnapping, armed robbery, rape, extortion, gun running, cultism, etc. The Eleme society is worst for it due to dwindling revenue, rising crime wave and fear of crime. This should border every well-meaning Eleme son and daughter irrespective of where you stay or reside.  It is no gainsaying that indigenes and residents of Eleme are living in perpetual fear and many are being imprisoned in their own home or sent on exile by the ongoing cult activities in the area.

Conclusion


There must be concerted efforts and proper will on the part of indigenes and residents of Eleme to reverse the trend and put Eleme on the course of progress and development. This can only be achieved through value reorientation, equal rights and justice.    

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

APPEAL FOR SPONSORSHIP OF ELEME LANGUAGE BOOKS

Eleme language is the Language spoken by Eleme people who inhabit Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State of Nigeria.

 

Eleme Language has been described as “Endangered Language”. The Eleme Language is drifting towards extinction. The Language is spoken by less than 30% of Eleme people. Eleme language is not taught in Schools; the language cannot boast of a written form daily i.e. in the form of newspapers and magazines; the general means of mass communication e.g. radio and television despise using the language and worse still, the younger generations have a hyper-hatred for the speaking of the language.

 

But today, the tide is turning for the better. Interest in the language is growing. This change is courtesy efforts of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Rivers State Government and the Eleme Local Government Council to resuscitate the teaching and learning of indigenous languages in Schools.

 

The National Policy on Education (as amended) states that, “Government will see to it that the medium of instruction in the primary school is initially the mother tongue or the language of the immediate community….” On its part, the Rivers State Government in 2003 enacted the Rivers State Education (Teaching of Indigenous Languages) Law 2003, which provides that, “The teaching of indigenous languages is compulsory in all pre-primary, primary, and junior secondary schools in Rivers State”.

 

Speaking at a meeting of stakeholders in Education in Eleme Local Government Area comprising all heads of public and private schools, National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) Eleme Unit, Eleme Local Government, and Ͻɂeɂla Ͻbͻ Eleme (Eleme General Assembly), at Ogale on Wednesday 15th February, 2017, the Caretaker Committee Chairman of Eleme Local Government, Chief Hon. Oharilomate Ollor (JP) said, “The Eleme Language is gradually going into extinction and this has become a burdn to me because if nothing is done about it, I am afraid that the Eleme Language which is our number one identity will be relegated into history”. Continuing, he charged all the heads of public and private schools in Eleme … to go back to your various schools and ensure that Eleme Language is added to the list of the subjects in your school’s curriculum. Eleme Language should be regarded as a compulsory subject for all classes in all schools in Eleme Local Government Area”.  

 

For five years, the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) in collaboration with the Rivers Readers Project and the Eleme Language Center worked assiduously for the standardization, development and approval of Eleme Language Orthography. In 2011, the Eleme Language Orthography made the list of Orthographies of Nigerian Languages and Eleme Language was categorized and recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria as one of the approved Nigerian Languages with well-developed Curricula. This is published in the ORTTHOGRAPHIES OF NIGERIAN LANGUAGES MANUAL X.

 

As Professor Emeritus Ayo Bamgbose (1993) observed, “When all is said and done, the fate of the endangered language may well lie in the hands of the owners of the language themselves and in their will to make it survive”. Samuel Johnson said, “I am always sorry when any language is lost, because languages are the pedigree of nations”. Help us prevent Eleme Language from extinction!

 

Having passed through the orthography deployment level and curriculum development, we are now at the levels of writing of Eleme Language Books, Training Eleme Language Teachers, and Deployment of Eleme Language teachers to use the materials to teach in the schools.

 

Number of Books for Sponsorship


There are five (5) books ready for publishing and for which we are seeking sponsorship, namely:

1.      Ekã Eleme   – 106 Pages, with full colour pictures, beautiful page layouts and adequate relevant examples to make teaching and learning of Basic Eleme Language exciting and enjoyable. 

 

2.      Nsã Ͻdama Ԑbui A, B, GB, D – 42 Pages, with full colour pictures, beautiful page layouts and adequate relevant examples to make teaching and learning of Basic Eleme Language exciting and enjoyable. 

 

3.      Nsã Ͻdama Ԑlabi Abee Ogũrũ Enu – 47 Page, with full colour pictures, beautiful page layouts and adequate relevant examples to make teaching and learning of Basic Eleme Language exciting and enjoyable. 

4.      Goda Basic Workbook for Beginners (Featuring Ekã Eleme – Eleme Languag) Second Edition. – 60 Pages, with full colour pictures, beautiful page layouts and adequate relevant examples to make teaching and learning of Basic Eleme Language exciting and enjoyable.

5.   Nsã Eloi Rã - 50 Pages, with full colour pictures, beautiful page layouts and adequate relevant examples to make teaching and learning of Basic Eleme Language exciting and enjoyable. 

 

The sponsorship of one, two, three or four of these Eleme Language Books can be seen as a corporate social responsibility investment that will boost the image of your company and attract you to the Eleme people for maximum mutual benefits.

 

Rescuing one language from extinction, generally, is service to God and humanity with lots of benefits attached thereto.

Benefits of Sponsorship to Eleme


We are requesting for sponsorship of four Eleme Language Books written by Osaro Ollorwi and edited by The Eleme Language Center.

 

By sponsoring the publishing of one or all of these books you will be helping to:

1.      Ensure that Eleme Language is taught in Schools.

2.      Resuscitate Eleme Language.

3.      Prevent Eleme Language from decay and extinction.

4.      Promote the teaching and learning of Eleme Language.

5.      Preserve the culture and tradition of Eleme people because language is the means through which culture is communicated and transmitted.

6.      Provide the platform for producing outstanding scholars of Eleme Language.

7.      Create love for Eleme Language among Eleme audience by making books in the language available.

8.      Assist us to meet the Federal Government deadline for inclusion of Eleme Language among the Nigerian Languages now written in NECO, along with Urhobo, Efik, Ibo, Hausa, Yoruba, etc. by sponsoring the publication of these basic books.

Benefits to Your Company


We welcome any donations from large corporations to small businesses; and from families to individuals. 

By sponsoring the publishing of one or more of these Books, we assure you that:

1.       You or Your Company will be acknowledged as sponsor.

2.       Your logo will be included in book launch/presentation programme.

3.       You will be included in one full page colour advert in Inside Eleme Newspaper.

4.       Free, one-page, black and white, advert in the book launch/presentation programme.

5.       Corporate logo and thank you message on presentation banners.

 

  

For Enquiries/Sponsorship Contact:

Osaro Ollorwi

Eleme Research Foundation – 08036694027       E-mail: ollorwiosaro@gmail.com