Army: We’ve addressed the complaints of soldiers begging Buhari for food, water.

The Nigerian army says the complaints raised by soldiers who released a video to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari to their plight, have been resolved.

In the video, which was uploaded on Youtube on Tuesday, angry soldiers were seen lamenting that they had been abandoned at a location without food and water for three days.

One of the officers even said 70 of his colleagues fainted as a result of the situation.

But in a swift response, Sani Usman, army spokesman, said the issues raised had been addressed.

He said the video was shot when troops captured Alagarno forest in Borno state some six months ago, blaming some “mischievous elements” for the recent circulation.

“The attention of Nigerian army has been drawn to a video clip circulating on social media of soldiers alleging lack of food and water,” he said in a statement.

“We wish to state that the video clip was shot more than six months ago by some mischievous and disgruntled elements when 29 task force brigade captured Alagarno Forest and environs in Borno state.

“It is disheartening that some mischievous elements have decided to circulate it now, creating the false impression that it is a recent occurrence.

“We wish to state further that the matter was conclusively investigated at the time, several months ago. The board of inquiry actually showed that, as at the time of the incident, the unit’s water tanker still contained water, but a soldier mischievously concealed it. That soldier was charged and punished accordingly.

“In addition to the unit’s water tanker, a borehole was subsequently drilled at the location and it is still serving both the military and adjoining communities.

“We wish to restate with utmost concern the continued commitment of the Nigerian Army to the total welfare of all its personnel.”

Polluted water in hand, Nigerian king takes Shell to court in London.

King Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi holds up a plastic bottle containing contaminated water from his community in Nigeria, proof of oil pollution that he blames on Royal Dutch Shell — and on which he hopes a London court will deliver justice.

“My people are drinking this water,” said the tribal king of the Ogale community in the oil-rich Niger Delta.

Okpabi has flown to London for a High Court hearing on Tuesday in which lawyers for more than 40,000 Nigerians are demanding action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated their communities for decades.

“There are strange diseases in my community — skin diseases, people are dying sudden deaths, some people are impotent, low sperm count,” he told AFP. “I can afford to buy water. But can I afford to buy for everybody? No.”

The Anglo-Dutch oil giant argues that the case should be heard in Nigeria, pointing out that it involves its Nigerian subsidiary SPDC, which runs a joint venture with the government, and Nigerian plaintiffs.

But Okpabi, wearing a traditional robe with a red necklace and black top hat, said the English justice system was his only hope to end the blight on his people’s lives.

“Shell is Nigeria and Nigeria is Shell. You can never, never defeat Shell in a Nigerian court. The truth is that the Nigerian legal system is corrupt,” he said.

He wants the High Court to compel Shell to implement a 2011 landmark report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), which warned of dangerously high levels of hydrocarbons in the water, bitumen-coated mangroves and poor air quality.

It should order the company to “go and clean-up Ogale, go and provide water for them; go and do medical history for them, and where medical attention is needed provide for them,” he said.

The king said no money would be enough to address the damage, which UNEP warned could take 25 to 30 years to resolve, but wants compensation, adding: “We are dying.”

– Sabotage –

Shell will challenge the jurisdiction of the English courts in the case during three days of hearings this week, while it also disputes the claims made by lawyers Leigh Day, who represent Ogale and the smaller Bille community.

“Both Bille and Ogale are areas heavily impacted by crude oil theft, pipeline sabotage and illegal refining which remain the main sources of pollution across the Niger Delta,” a company spokeswoman said.

She noted SPDC has not produced any oil or gas in Ogoniland, the region surrounding Ogale, since 1993.

But Okpabi and his lawyers say the company’s ageing, leaky pipelines still run through the region and it must take responsibility.

SPDC says it has delivered water and healthcare to the community and is supporting the implementation of the UNEP process by the government, which in June launched a $1 billion (£800 million, 940 million euros) oil pollution clean-up programme in the Niger Delta.

Okpabi said he believed President Muhammadu Buhari is “sincere” in wanting to address the issue, but warned: “If we wait for the system to roll on its own, I hate to say this, but it may be too late for the people of Ogale.”

Attacks on Nigerian pipelines have increased this year, cutting output and helping tip the country into recession, but Okpabi insists “there is no vandalising” in Ogale.

The king condemned the saboteurs, warning that “you cannot bomb your house to get attention”.

However, he added: “I’m also appealing to Shell and the Nigerian government to listen to those communities that are non-violent and do something.”

In January 2015, Shell agreed to pay more than $80 million to the Nigerian fishing community of Bodo for two oil spills in 2008, following a case brought by Leigh Day in London.

In December, a Dutch court permitted four Nigerian farmers and fishermen to sue the company for environmental pollution, potentially opening the door to other cases to be brought in the Netherlands.

Lagos State Government is not privatising water corporation – Adejare

The Lagos State Government has said it is not planning to privatise its Water Corporation, contrary to speculation that it is partnering with a financial institution to sell the corporation.

The Commissioner for the Environment, Dr. Babatunde Adejare, disclosed this at the October 2016 Monthly Press Briefing of the Ministry of the Environment, organized to provide adequate information on the state of the environment.

Adejare stated that rather than privatizing, the state government would be partnering with the private sector to build water works under a Public Private Partnership arrangement in which the private sector partner would build and charge reasonable amount.

He said that this move became necessary as the cost of building single water works had skyrocketed due to the exchange rate volatility, whereas government has limited resources with competing needs across sectors.

“We cannot afford to stick to the status-quo as we are battling with vector-borne diseases and we need to sort out the issue of appropriate pricing. Currently Water Corporation charges 5k per liter against N100 per liter charged by the local water vendor”, he said.

While re-stating the policy of Lagos State Government on cleaner and sustainable environment, the Commissioner said government was committed to the removal of all environmental infractions and would not relent in bringing about a sustainable environment as well as a livable state to enhance aesthetically beautiful state.

According to him, “…our government has pursued with vigour, its policy on cleaner and sustainable environment through dogged application of its all-year round de-flooding Programme, unwavering commitment to the removal of all environmental infractions and nuisances across the state and steady pursuit of aesthetically appealing state.”

Adejare said that Lagos State Government was committed to achieving well-organised markets where sellers, goods and services will be sectorised.

According to him, “this will eliminate the belief and tendency that it is when goods are sold on the streets and on setbacks that selling can be achieved”

The Commissioner reaffirmed the policy of zero tolerance on street trading and hawking in the state, warning violators of the state’s environmental laws to desist or incur the wrath of the law.

He stated that no one was permitted to convert the roads, medians, set-backs and walkways into markets, warning that the activities of street traders and hawkers were degrading the environment.

Adejare maintained that water supply in the state was being given a new lease of life as most of the water works such as Ishasi, Adiyan and Iju Waterworks now produce and supply uninterrupted water to Lagosians upon the repairs of equipment and restoration of Power supply, saying government is finding a lasting solution to billing problems as well.

Adejare restated the commitment of government to greening the environment. He said over 800 trees including 700 coconuts have been planted along Lekki Epe Express way and another 100 trees at Orile Agege LCDA.

According to him, “the importance of trees in our environment cannot be overemphasized. As such we have continued to manage trees planted in the state by pruning 56 Trees and felling 7 trees to improve the aesthetics of the Environment.”

The Commissioner pointed out that waste management would take a new dimension in the state as from 2017.

“We are reforming waste management; we are no longer going to do it the way we are used to. By the time we do this, environmental infractions would have reduced.”

The Environment Commissioner said that government is poised to control and eradicate diseases such as Lasa fever and malaria through the flagging off of vector control programme.

“To control vector-borne diseases such as Lasa fever and malaria, we have flagged off the vector control programme through which we will be delivering effective “deratization” of markets and adjoining streets in the State with the use of time tested technology,” the Commissioner said.

He further said that government would take the advantage of the many benefits of vector control, including less illness, better sleep, safety of home, buildings and markets and ultimately peace of mind.

Adejare disclosed that the Lagos State Government through the Ministry of the Environment did not fail its duties of monitoring the environment for compliance to environmental standards.

“The Lagos State Waste Management Office monitored compliance to wastewater regulations and guidelines in 11,508 tenements and 857 private facilities across the State. 3,549 tenements were found to be satisfactory while 4,511 tenements complied with the abatement notices served. Also, a total of 255 private wastewater treatment facilities are currently undergoing the recertification exercise for 2016.

The commissioner appealed to Lagosians to dispose waste properly and maintain a good sanitary attitude as the yuletide approached. According to him, “… the ember months are here again and as the yuletide approaches, I urge you all to dispose waste properly, cultivate and maintain good sanitary attitude and do not contribute to the degrading of the environment as this is the only way you can avoid being object of environmental law enforcement.”

Lagos government shuts water packaging factories.

The Lagos State Water Regulatory Commission (LSWRC) has sealed off facilities of some water service providers in the state for alleged non-compliance with the state’s water sector law.

The LSWRC stated on Sunday that the action was as a result of the determination of the government to ensure the safety of lives of the residents.

The commission said it had sealed off the premises of Evan Water in Igando; Motkleen Premium Table Water in Obadore, and Pep Water in Okokomaiko.

The Executive Secretary, LSWRC, Kabiru Ahmed, said the government wanted to prevent the spread of water borne diseases in the state, hence the decision to regulate the water sector.

He said, “The government will leave no stone unturned to ensure that all stakeholders in the water sector comply with the guidelines and regulations for water abstraction/consumption. We are determined to ensure that Lagosians have access to potable water.

“The government is aware of the pollution of the state’s surface and groundwater sources, uncontrolled abstraction and consumption of groundwater resources through the activities of unqualified personnel in the water sector. As a government, we will not fold our arms and allow the situation to deteriorate further.”

Ahmed urged all stakeholders in the water sector to work with the government to ensure that the sector was regulated to meet the water needs of Lagosians.

NASA Discovers Evidence Of Water On Mars

Curious lines running down slopes on the Martian surface may be streaks of super-salty brine, said the latest findings on Monday in the scientific quest for extra-terrestrial liquid water, a prerequisite for life.

A team from the United States and France said it found evidence in the lines of ‘hydrated’ salt minerals, which require water for their creation.

These results ‘strongly support the hypothesis’ of liquid water on Mars on Monday, concluded a research paper published in the journal, Nature Geoscience.

Astrophysicists have long hypothesized that the seasonal streaks, dubbed ‘recurring slope lineae’ (RSL), may be formed by brine flows on the Red Planet.

Read More: tribuneonlineng

Flood: NEMA Alerts Communities As Cameroon Releases Water From Lagdo Dam

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has alerted state governments and communities along River Benue of possible flood following information from Cameroonian authorities on plans to release excess water from Lagdo Dam.

In a release yesterday, Director General of NEMA, Alhaji Muhammad Sani Sidi, said the Cameroonian authorities in Garuoa have indicated that between now and November 2015, there would be routine release of water from the Lagdo Dam due to excessive amount of water presently contained in the facility.

Sidi said the authorities have also warned “all those living around the dam and along River Benue in Garoua up to Nigeria side to be at alert and be ready for evacuation in case of possible flooding.”

He called on the frontline state governors, state Emergency Management Agencies, first responders and relevant authorities to alert the communities at risk, prepare safe locations for possible evacuation and adequate preparedness. The DG NEMA said the agency has dispatched the alert to the affected state governors and is following up with appropriate advocacy.

Read More: sunnewsonline

Imo State University Student Dies During Graduation “Water Ritual”

We got this tragic report from a facebook user and this is how the story was narrated…

“Tragedy struck yesterday as a fresh graduate of the Imo State University took his last breathe as students poured him water in jubilation of final year completion. What seem to be jubilation turned into a gathering of sorrow when the victim was running away from a number of students who pursued after him to pour dirty water on him. In that quest to dodge the water being poured on him, he fell into a soakaway pit and got drowned. The dirty water from the pit however is partially passing a light current as the pit is dug beside their transformer where earth-wire is buried. Pouring of water has been banned in schools but some students would not obey this. Many students in this light unaccepted celebration of final papers have been injured, poured acid and some other dangerous liquids while some other persons have gone to the great beyond via this. I think every final year student should learn from this as well as those who dedicate them to pouring water on university finalists. Please don’t scroll down or feel too big without Typing R.I.P FOR THIS BROTHER”

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD: How Governmental Failures Add Up To Disasters By @Lanre_Olagunju

When government decides to remain hopelessly insensitive to its duties, it results into unpopular but severe implications like citizens trying to find individual solutions to public problems. Nigerians do not expect much from the political class anymore and it shows in the unending quest to personally provide basic things that should have been provided by the government. In several ways, this has telling adverse effect not just on the economy but the environment as well.


One of the most basic psychological needs of man is the need to quench thirst, without the availability of a basic need like water, striving to live becomes difficult. When you consider that in the 21st century, people still struggle for a necessity such as water, and that people actually still drink from the same river they defecate, wash and bath, it becomes absolutely impossible to consider if such people can ever strive for self-actualization.

Sadly, in a country of over 150 million people like Nigeria, only a meager 30% have access to portable water. Is it that government is not aware of the absence of portable water which remains a major pre-requisite for improved health care and sanitation? Moreover easy access to portable water practically helps in combating water borne diseases like cholera.

In the fashion of looking out for alternative means to provide basic amenities, a large percentage of property owners in Nigeria depend on underground water i.e. borehole, which they dig privately, as any attempt to ignore it is to deny occupants access to portable water.

As an hydrologist, I know that uncontrolled drilling of boreholes poses long term environmental threat like man-made earthquake and other environmental damages. It’s quite vital to consider that in places like Lagos and Abuja, people build on less than half a plot. And each individual wants to have a borehole in his residence. This results into excessive pumping of groundwater. And when large quantity of water is pumped out of the ground at a rate higher than it’s recharged, the ground, over time becomes hollow. After a while, the ground will compress and this might lead to collapse of building on such land, leading to loss of lives and property.

Going by the occurrence in countries with similar issues, it has been proven that when groundwater in any community is extensively and excessively withdrawn, after a long period of time, it results into lowering of the land surface, which is called subsidence. It was discovered that the earth lowered by 4.7 meters in Japan which badly affected many structures. As a result of this, Water Law was established to reduce the withdrawal of groundwater. Uncontrolled groundwater extraction via boreholes was responsible for recording similar occurrence in Su-Xi-Chang in China and also in Jakarta, Indonesia in 1994. In terms of contamination, a couple of people in northern Nigeria have lost their lives to drinking borehole water contaminated with Zinc poisoning.

Fortunately, this is a sector that can be revived if government surrenders it over to knowledgeable private investors.


To avert being in the dark due to the constant lack of electricity, individuals purchase generators, as there is hardly a household without at least one I beta pass my neighbour generator– a small sized generator commonly used to power low power-demanding gadgets . To remain relevant in business, big industries and corporations use mega generators to run business activities. And when many couldn’t break even, they had to move production to neighbouring countries with better power supply. But that aside, we can’t neglect the fact that the fumes from this alternative now turned regular source of power is actually toxic. The toxic waste from generators are contaminating the environment and in the wider sense, it’s reducing life expectancy by increasing chances for diseases like cancer amongst other deadly ailments.


When the judiciary fails or slows down justice, as a nation we’ve mastered to take the laws into our hands by lynching alleged criminals, just like the incident of #Aluu4 that shook Nigeria in October 2012. A case where four innocent undergraduates where gruesomely lynched and burnt alive for a crime they actually never committed.


Rather than ask for better roads with nice road networks or even demand that alternative means of transport like the modern train system be put in place, tired and frustrated citizens would rather buy Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) that can whether the bad roads with deep potholes wide enough to cook for an entire community. And you begin to wonder if increasing the number of SUVs on our bad roads would temper the economic gawkiness that lack of good transport system constitutes.

Without talking about security, one can actually go on and on.  And sometimes you can’t but be tempted to ask that won’t the country be better off without the government which is only famously known for corruption, mismanagement and failing successfully at disbursing its basic responsibilities.

Nations only thrive when the government and citizens do that which is required for economic progress and development.

I am @Lanre_Olagunju

#INSIGHTWITHLARIGOLD runs on every Saturday.