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Nigeria’s Constitution Beyond Repairs, Needs Total Replacement – Olanipekun



Nigerian Constitution

Foremost Nigerian Lawyer and former President of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Wole Olanipekun say the Nigerian needs outright replacement and not an amendment.

Olanipekun who differed in opinion to those calling for an amendment of the constitution insists on a complete replacement of the document.

The legal luminary said over the weekend at a scholarship award ceremony in Ikere Ekiti in Ekiti State.

“The constitution needs a total overhaul, a redrafting, a re-crafting, and a total replacement, starting from the preamble to the definition schedule,” Olanipekun said.

The Senior Advocate of speaking concerning the recent #EndSARS protests said, ”the truth must be told that the #ENDSARS agitation was merely a microcosm, a potpourri of the sort, of larger issues plaguing the society,” Olanipekun added.

”Are we ready to drastically restructure this country starting from the architectural layout of government and governance as wantonly displayed in the constitution foisted on us by the outgoing military without any input by Nigerians?

“Are we prepared to have a rethink on whether we can cope or continue to sustain this luxurious and pretentious presidential system of government which dehydrates our economy and eclipses our revenue?” Olanipekun asked rhetorically.

He said he expects Nigeria to come up with a practical and pragmatic constitution between now and 2023.


Ogoni Cleanup: President Buhari Approves N6 Billion Potable Water Project for Ogoni Communities



Yesterday, at the Federal Executive Council meeting, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sum of N6,048,318,974.74 for the provision of potable water supply in Ogoniland. Six companies will by this approval begin the process of rehabilitating existing water facilities in the four LGAs of Ogoniland to provide water for the communities in the coming months.

Speaking to newsmen after the approval, Minister of Environment, Dr. Muhammad Mahmoud Abubakar, said “This is a project that previous governments have tried to do, but it just turned out to be just talk. But President Buhari started in 2016 and currently, there will be six water projects that will be provided in these four local governments of Ogoniland and this has just been approved and work will start immediately.”

The journey to provide potable water to the hydrocarbon impacted communities of Ogoniland started in 2017 and was one of the top priorities of the Dr Marvin Dekil led administration as Project Coordinator. It includes a long and tedious process of assessment of all drinking water sources in Ogoni, assessment of the integrity of existing water facilities, assessment of the reticulation network in various communities, countless meetings leading to the signing of MoUs with relevant stakeholders for sustainability purposes, and then a rigorious procurement process that involves technical and financial bidding opening ceremonies that was concluded in August 2020. By September 2020, after the evaluation of the bids and inspection of the company facilities, HYPREP forwarded the bids to the Ministerial Tenders Board for onward transmission to the Federal Executive Council who then yesterday approved the awards of the contracts.

About 30 Ogoni communities will be provided potable water in the first phase of the water scheme. More communities will then follow in the subsequent phases of the water scheme which is not going to take long again to do having done most of the work in the preparation for this first phase.

The UNEP Report identified in one Community, Nsisioken in Ogale, that Benzene level was 900 times above WHO Standards and recommended clean water for the impacted communities. HYPREP decided to extend the water beyond the hydrocarbon impacted communities to other Ogoni communities not affected by the oil pollution. Countering and cleaning up the pollution and catalysing a sustainable recovery of Ogoniland could take up to 30 years as stated by the UNEP Report. HYPREP has just concluded its second full year of operations having started actual remediation works in January 2019.

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Rivers State Government and Julius Berger Plc have signed contract for the construction of two more flyover bridges in Port Harcourt City.

The flyover bridges will be constructed at the intersection of Olu-Obasanjo Road and Port Harcourt -Aba Expressway and intersection of Olu-Obasanjo and Ikwerre Road up to the Azikiwe Street in Port Harcourt.

The two additional flyover bridges which are the seventh and eighth
to be awarded to Julius Berger by the Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike’s administration, is expected to be completed within the next twelve months.

Governor Wike described the signing of the contract as another memorable day in the history of his administration.

“The previous government had said that we will not get money to pay salaries, not to talk about doing projects. To the glory of God, we are paying salaries and pensioners and we are also doing projects. God is ultimate not man. So when people take the power of God, assumed themselves to be God, then you see God will come and do a different thing.”

Governor Wike assured the people of the State that his administration will not play politics with any infrastructure that will transform the State into an investment hub.

He said his government will also not relent in delivering quality infrastructural projects that will stand the test of time to Rivers people.

The governor observed that people often complain that Julius Berger contracts are very expensive, whereas in actuality, they are not. According to him, the reason why the state government awarded eight flyovers to Julius Berger is because of the company’s reliability and proven competence.

Governor Wike appealed to motorists and commuters to bear the inconveniences caused by on-going construction across the State, particularly in Port Harcourt with equanimity.

“There will be lot of hiccups here and there in terms of people moving about, but this is sacrifice they must make to get these infrastructure on ground. If it has been done before, we will not have been doing it now. Since they didn’t do it, now that we are doing it, you have to make sacrifice. So nobody should say there are lots of traffic. It is better to have traffic now and at the end of the day, you have good roads, than not having traffic and then you don’t have good roads.”

The governor disclosed that the State government will mobilise Julius Berger with 70 percent of the project sum to enable the company deliver the two additional flyover bridges within the next twelve months.

The managing director of Julius Berger, Dr Lars Ritcher, assured Governor Wike that the two additional flyover bridges will be completed alongside three other on-going ones within the next twelve months.

Rivers State Attorney General and Commissioner of Justice, Prof Zaccheus Adangor; the Commissioner of Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi and the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works, Dr Walter Ndu signed the contract on behalf of the Rivers State Government, while the Managing director of Julius Berger, Dr Lars Ritcher and Jurgen Fischer (regional manager) signed for Julius Berger.

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