Tuesday, October 4, 2011

How Shell funded militants

    As a prospective Chemical engineer who has the passion of protecting our environment and lives from being lost, i was undergoing a research on the effect of gas flaring on the environment which you'll soon hear of, until i found out that almost everybody where discussing about the above subject and i decided to verify. It is said that he that looks through the mouth is the one that hears what is being said. Reading this report will tell you whether it is true or false. As such, i'd like you to go through this write-up and verify by yourself.

     Shell petroleum, being the first to explore oil from Oloibiri in 1954 and being the number 1 oil flaring company in Nigeria has been accused of fuelling human rights abuses in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria by paying money and awarding contracts to armed militants men, according to a new report published on Monday in London by a coalition of local and international non-governmental organisations, led by a London based NGO, the Platform. Entitled “Counting the Cost,” the report implicated Shell in cases of serious violence in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta region from 2000 to 2010, detailing how Shell’s routine payments to armed militants conflicts and led to the destruction of Rumuekpe town.
Shell was also accused of collaborating with the state in the execution in 1995 of writer, Ken Saro-Wiwa and other leaders of the Ogoni tribe.
Shell was said to have paid $15.5 million to the eight families in settlement, and key documents implicating it never saw the light of day during the trial.
Shell has, however, disputed the report, defending its human rights record and questioning the accuracy of the evidence, even while it has pledged to study the recommendations, according to its London office.

       The coalition backing the report includes Centre for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD), Friends of the Earth Netherlands/Milieudefensie, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Social Action, Spinwatch and Stakeholder Democracy Network.
According to Platform’s report, Shell continues to rely on Nigerian government forces, which have perpetrated systematic human rights abuses against local residents, including unlawful killings, torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

       Key findings of the report include testimonies of contracts that implicated Shell in regularly assisting armed militants with lucrative payments, such as an alleged transfer of over $159,000 to a group credibly linked to militant violence in late 2010.

        Shell was also alleged to have, from 2006 onwards, paid thousands of dollars every month to armed militants in the town of Rumuekpe, in the full knowledge that the money was used to sustain three years of conflict.

       A gang member, Chukwu Azikwe, told Platform that “we were given money and that is the money we were using to buy ammunition, to buy this bullet, and every other thing to eat and to sustain the war,” adding that his gang and its leader, S. K. Agala, had vandalised Shell pipelines.
“They will pay ransom. Some of them in the management will bring out money, dole out money into this place, in cash,” he said.
Platform alleged that in Rumuekpe, ”the main artery of Shell’s eastern operations in Rivers State,” Shell distributed “community development” funds and contracts via Friday Edu, a youth leader and Shell community liaison officer.
By 2005, Mr Edu’s monopoly over the resources of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) was reported to have sparked a leadership tussle with Agala’s group, with the latter reportedly forced out of the community and a number of people killed.
The allegations, according to Platform, were largely substantiated by a Shell official, adding that a manager with Shell confirmed that in 2006, one of the most violent years, Shell awarded six types of contract in Rumuekpe.
Rumuekpe is just one of several case studies examined by the report, which alleged that in 2009 and 2010, security personnel guarding Shell facilities were responsible for extra-judicial killings and torture in Ogoniland.
Meanwhile, a Nigerian environmental activist, Sunny Ofehe, standing trial in The Netherlands for alleged plot to bomb pipelines in the Niger Delta, has cried out, saying “I am not a terrorist or suicide bomber.”
In an e-mail made available to the Nigerian Tribune, Ofehe, who is also the founder of Hope for Niger Delta Campaign, said his travail was traceable to the parliamentary testimonies he gave at the Dutch parliament about degradation of Niger Delta environment by Shell Oil and other oil majors.
“I have been campaigning against environmental devastation of our people’s environment for many years and testified at the Dutch Parliament against Shell in a parliamentary hearing, where Shell was summoned to defend its practice in the region,” he said.
He said less than a month after the hearing, “a team of about 30 policemen came to my house and arrested me on trumped-up charges and I was detained for 14 days before being released, but remained a suspect, adding that “when they could not establish a case against me, they came up with a new charge of conspiracy to commit terror act by blowing oil pipelines belonging to Shell in the Niger Delta.
“I became the first person to be charged under this law since it came into effect in 2004. I appeared in court for the first time on September 5 and we now have a new hearing date of December 5, 2011.”

After going through that, is it true to say that they are guilty?

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Do not despair (Independent Day's Message)

‘’It is my pleasure to start by saying that situations don’t make a man, but they reveal him to his capabilities.’’
‘’Just like the wind shaves mountains, so situations come to bring out the best of you!’’
It was yesterday that we unleashed a very big secret that has been leveling people as mediocre, how to know your talents. Today, a good Governor is here to tell us more…

             Governor Owelle Rochas Okorocha of Imo State has appealed to Nigerians not to despair but to see the current challenges facing the nation as necessary steps which great nations today have gone through in the past.

             Gov. Okorocha, who made the appeal in his independence day broadcast, yesterday, also urged the citizens to use the day as a day of prayer for the unity, success and progress of Nigeria.
As we struggle to build a nation of our collective hopes and aspirations, we must see our challenges as necessary stages, which great nations today have gone through in the past”, the governor said.  He recalled that when the nation’s founding fathers succeeded in their struggle to give the people a sense of belonging by breaking the chains of over 120 years of colonial domination, they did in the believe that Nigeria will one day be great Nation.

“Despite the challenges of our diverse culture and tradition, our founding fathers saw great strength in our diversity. As their words aptly expressed in our first national anthem, though tribe and tongue may differ in brotherhood we stand”, Okorocha said.
Noting that Imo has a great role to play in building the nation, the governor added that Nigerian awaits the utilization of the abundant intellectual properties in the state.

As we celebrate the birthday of our dear Nation, we should know that we are united by our struggles not by our muscles. Boko Haram should recognize the efforts made by our founding father to keep, nurture and protect it, not to destroy.

It is a very big secret that you’ll always become that which you think about most of the time. If you think about success, you’ll become that. If you think of problems, you’ll have them. But, my prayer is that Nigerians should think of success so that we can together achieve success. Let us start by knowing our talents today!
                                                                                                                           Money Is Grace
                                                                                                                            Ubong Edem
                                                                                                                      The Young Investor

Saturday, October 1, 2011

How To Know Your Talents

‘’MONEY IS GRACE’’ -  Ubong Edem

We’ve already known that when a seed of hope is planted in the womb of purpose, a destiny child is born.

             The question of how to know one’s talent has been in existence and has raised so many interests as many people under-utilized their talents simply because they were not in the field where they are naturally talented. The were always under force in doing things, they never got to do what they enjoyed doing, as such, they couldn’t perform more.
When you are in the field that you have natural strength, you’ll find the grace to get in front. As a front-runner, you’ll get noticed by all, your voice becomes heard and you become an authority to others.

If nobody has ever asked you this question, let me ask you today...   ‘’what is your talent or what are you talented at?’’
           The question above is what all the top people have answered over-and-over again, you must answer that to yourself, if you want to be highly respected, trusted by others and above all, become an authority. Let me tell you today, your talent should have to do with what you love doing, when doing such a thing, your earlier thoughts are forgotten. You simply forget about yourself.  This is where you fine the passion of doing. It is not like anything else, it is what you do to correct all wrongs to right.
         Actually, some people claim not to know these things in their lives. If you are such a person, let me take to a mirror, where you see who you really are.

        Firstly, if you can’t figure out your talent, permit me to drive your mind back to the past lane (your childhood).
 Answer the following questions;
                             What did you dream of doing?
Who or what type of person did you dream of being or being like?
The good news is that those dreams did not die, but, may have been buried under the ground, thereby making no sense, creating no result, generating nothing, benefiting nobody. Today, I want you to go back to where you buried your dream and fetch it out. Do you remember the parable of the talents giver in the ‘’HOLY BIBLE’’? If you do, remember that the person that one(1) talent was given was even collected and given to the one that had five(5) before, who traded to gain another 5, thereby, having eleven(11) simply because he buried it in the ground, later telling the master that the master wants to reap from where he didn’t sow. Count yourself lucky today as a person who has the privilege of reading this message. Perhaps, many talents have been taken away because the bearers decided not to make use of the talent. Today, I want you to go back to where you buried your talent and resurrect it. This is the reason why people keep calling me the ‘’Young Investor’’, because I’m one of the people who study things down to the root so as to know more how to utilize my talents to the fullest.

          Secondly, if you can’t still figure out where your natural strengths (talents) are, then the next thing that I should tell you to do is to ask your true friends and family members. These people have been around you enough to be able to capture what you are really capable of doing. They should know what you are good at. One of the problems a lot of people have in identifying their talents is that they come naturally to them, and as such, they don’t see them as talents. They don’t know that those things that they find easy doing are giving other people sleepless nights, you may not have noticed, but your true friend and family members will be there to tell you those things. It is just like every time I walk with my Mom, people always stand back and be starring at her as if as someone who is alienated to earth or a celebrity, but, I noticed that all those things happened as a result of her beauty. But, to my surprise, even when some of those people tell her face-to-face, these words, ‘’you are beautiful’’, she will always turn around and ask me, ‘’am I beautiful?’’, then I always laugh. This is the same thing that happens to me, every time I log into my facebook account, I receive messages from people all over the world, calling me ‘’Young Investor, handsome guy, fine boy, etc’’, but I don’t just believe that. But, I’ll believe that if after you might have read this message, I get a respond from you. The thing is as I always say ‘’Money is Grace’’- Ubong Edem (Young Investor). You may not have cherished what you have until your friends commend you for them. Until your friends openly tell you that they’ve been trying to do that same thing that you find very easy and natural in doing without them being able to do. But, I want you to know the kind of friends that you have because some friends do not motivate, they demotivate. They only see the negative side of you, not your capabilities. Wrong friends only see impossibilities in you. This write-up is not intended to showing you how to know your friends, but, how important your friends and family members are, in making you get to your right talent grounds. If you have ever been misguided by wrong friends, I want you to get back to where he/she made you to bury you talent today and resurrect it.

          Sincerely, I want you to go back today and model your life after your great dreams, start building both horizontal and vertical relationship with great people, start to ask your good friends some important questions like, what do you think I can do successfully, let your parents tell say great things about you. Perhaps, mothers should know what their children will become in life, right from time because they are the first to hear you scream and they watched you playing with metal, showing that you’ll be an Engineer, they saw some people flying papers, meaning that the child may be a pilot, some children use to sing, indicating that the child will be good music area (musician), etc. You must start looking for these things if you want the sky, not only to be your limits, but your starting point. 

          I want to believe that the topic has been of help. I will see you at the top as it is the only place that is best for you!

Money is Grace!
Ubong Edem
The Young Investor