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Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Essays

By Rotimi Ojomoyela

ADO-Ekiti-No fewer than  206 students of secondary schools, undergraduates in tertiary institutions and students of the Nigerian Law School went home with cheques for their scholarship from legal icon, Chief Wole Olanipekun (SAN).

The beneficiaries who were joined by their parents and well wishers expressed their appreciation to the former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) for rescuing them and keeping their hopes alive.

The Wole Olanipekun Scholarship Scheme (WOSS) which was started in 1996 by the legal giant to assist brilliant but indigent students marked 20 years with the 2016 edition with guests and parents of beneficiaries pouring encomiums on the sponsor.

Political amibition

The event took place recently at Olanipekun’s country home in Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti State.“The Scholarship scheme was set up by the legal Icon to assist students of Ikere origin but later extended to students from other local government areas of Ekiti State and other states of the federation.

This year’s award ceremony was chaired by the Vice Chancellor of the University of Ibadan, Prof. Idowu Olayinka while the guest lecturer was Prof. Toyin Bamisaye of Ekiti State University.

Olanipekun explained that he never nursed any political amibition but rather wanted to be useful for humanity in rendering the assistance: I don’t have any political ambition for doing this. I never wished for such. For the past 10 years, people have been asking questions, why is he doing this? Some people thought may be I wanted to be  the state governor. But I don’t have such ambition. My profession is law and that is what I love doing so much.

Commenting on the incessant strike action by the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) the renowned legal icon, Wole Olanipekun, (SAN) and former Pro-chancellor of the Premier University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Oyo State, said that  incessant strike action by the university teachers may eventually kill education in the Country.

He called on ASUU and the federal government to always seek for amicable way of settling their differences rather than  embarking on strike action, adding that industrial action in the education sector iscrippling the sector and enriching mushroom schools in neighbouring countries.

According to Olanipekun,  ” We must not kill education, Education leads to revival, it leads to revolution, emancipation and it also leads to freedom. Without education, there would be darkness. Because education brings light.

Already education is dying in Nigeria. I want to plead with both ASUU and the government, please come together, reason together and urgently resolve your differences for the sake of our children. And these children are the reason for our existence, the hub of our life, the anchor of our nation.

A nation without a future is no nation and what do we mean by future, it is the education for these young people.

1. Introduction

Large quantities of sewage, dredged spoils, stormwater, spilled oil, municipal and industrial wastes are discharged into the coastal water bodies through their estuaries with little or no measure of treatment, especially in the developing countries [1,2]. Such discharges are mainly from the coastal urban areas and although at low concentrations may not pose any immediate threat, but could trigger a great challenge over a long period of time [3].

Petroleum hydrocarbons (PHCs) are one of the notable organic contaminants found in the organic wastes [4,5]. They have been largely utilized as tools for detecting the sources of petroleum residues in the marine environments [6,7,8]. Oil spills from land-based sources (refineries, storage facilities, municipal and industrial wastes, river runoff etc.) and transportation activities (tanker oil transportation and shipping) are reportedly more damaging in cold regions than in the warmer climates [9] and its impacts on aquaculture could be very severe because oil has a tendency to bio-accumulate in the tissues of fish, molluscs, mussels and other mammals [10].

PHCs are usually carried into the sea in the form of solutions, either as stormwaters, urban runoffs, domestic wastes or industrial effluents, but only a small portion of the load eventually remains in solution. Instead, they are scavenged from the water column to the bottom sediments through flocculation, sedimentation and coagulation, giving rise to concentrations in the sediment many orders of magnitude higher than in the water column [11,12]. Sediment therefore remains the potential sink for petroleum hydrocarbons and other organic pollutants, and its contamination could represent a very great health hazard for many aquatic organisms that reside in such an ecosystems [13,14]. The most important components of the petroleum hydrocarbons in the aquatic environments are the normal alkanes, combusted hydrocarbons and degraded crude oils [15].

Various physical and chemical properties that influence the survival of aquatic organisms in water and sediment include but not limited to the following; temperature, pH, conductivity, dissolved oxygen, salinity, turbidity, chlorophyll, total suspended solids, total dissolved solids, sediment moisture, organic carbon and matter [16,17]. These qualities are highly instrumental to the assessment of the level of damage done to the waterways and their deviation from natural levels can result in ecosystem deterioration [18]. Inflow of municipal effluents, stormwaters and industrial discharges into the rivers, lakes, estuary, bay and oceans as a result of global increase in urbanization and industrialization are channels for serious environmental pollution with relatively high consequences on human health, aquatic ecosystem balance, as well as social and economic development [19,20].

They are the appropriate indicators for the suitability of the water for its various applications and are capable of affecting the biological characteristics of the environmental media [6,21,22,23,24]. The physicochemical characteristics of each organic pollutant in water and sediment will depend on the level and sources of contamination in the environment [25,26]. Therefore, monitoring them in water resources is highly paramount for the protection of human and aquatic lives [23,27].

Even though South Africa remains one the largest economies in the continent, not many studies have documented the concentrations of TPH in its environmental resources. A study conducted on the levels of TPH in mussels around the Cape Peninsula in South Africa by fluorescence spectroscopy gave concentrations in the range of 10–100 mg/kg dry weight, which were majorly from harbours, although industrial effluents and sewage were recognized as other possible sources of TPH in the area [28]. In another study by Okonkwo et al. [29], TPH and trace metals in street dusts from the Tshwane Metropolitan Area, South Africa were evaluated. The petroleum hydrocarbons levels which were determined gravimetrically varied from 562 to 2340 mg/kg and 404 to 852 mg/kg in the dust samples collected from petrol service stations and heavy traffic roads, in that order. Recently, the status of TPH in the surface water and sediment of the Buffalo River Estuary in East London, South Africa was evaluated using gas chromatography with flame ionization detection. The findings revealed TPH levels in the range of 8–477 μg/L in the water matrix, and 13–1100 mg/kg in the sediments, indicating a great influence of industrialization and urbanization on the area [30].

Algoa Bay is one of the most important bays in Africa, located in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa. It is a marine biodiversity hotspot and also a tourism and recreational terminus that contributes immensely to the socio-economic development of the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolis [31]. The mouth is about 70 km wide [32] and the bay accommodates two large industrial ports (Port of Port Elizabeth and Port of Ngqura), two groups of islands (Cross Island in the southwest and the Bird Island in the northeast), the largest number of the endangered African penguins and supports a small fishing industry. It is an occasional nursery area for some marine invertebrates, southern right whales, great white sharks and other important fishes. No less than eight of the 15 seabird species that reside in South Africa have been identified to be breeding either on its islands or on the nearby shore [31,33,34].

Of the four rivers that flow into the bay, the two most significant in terms of anthropogenic contributions are the Sundays and Swartkops rivers, while the inputs from the Coega and Papenkuil rivers are relatively small [35,36]. From a pollution perspective, Algoa Bay is considered the ultimate sink for the industrial and domestic effluents as well as possible agricultural pollutants coming from the whole Port Elizabeth-Uitenhage-Despatch through Sundays River and to a lesser extent the Swartkops River. The pollutant contribution, especially oil from ship traffic, places additional environmental pressure on this area [33,36], although, major marine pollution threats are restricted to the area between the Cape Recife sewage outfall and the Fishwater Flats sewage outfall, as well as Port Elizabeth Harbour and the Papenkuils River [31,37].

Seabirds, and specifically penguins, are vulnerable to oil pollution. Oiled birds are mostly observed on the islands in Algoa Bay and in other marine areas in the country. They were severely affected by the two major oil spills that occurred in the recent past. The 1994 ‘Apollo Sea’ oil spill in which about 2400 tons of oil was released, affected no less than 10,000 African Penguins. Another major experience was that of the ‘MV Treasure’ oil spill 2000, in which about 20,000 African Penguins were contaminated by the release of about 1300 tons of oil [33].

Previous pollution studies in the study sites included the assessment of heavy metals, bacteriological features, organochlorine and polychlorinated biphenyls levels in the Swartkops estuary [37]. Snapshot survey of the surface water was carried out by Klages and Bornman [32,33] to determine the status of oil and grease, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPHs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the water column. The research findings revealed that oil and grease, as well as PAHs levels were higher in the vicinity of St. Croix Island [38], albeit it was variable over time [32] but no such measurements were conducted in the sediment till date [33].

The aims of this study are therefore to investigate the pollution status of Algoa Bay by determining the physicochemical properties of the water, concentrations of the aliphatic and total petroleum hydrocarbons in both the water and sediment of Algoa Bay and also to identify the possible sources of contaminants using various ratios and indexes on the n-alkanes.

2. Materials and Methods

2.1. Study Area

Algoa Bay (latitude: 33°47′34.79″ S and longitude: 25°46′6.59″ E) is located adjacent the large industrial city of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape Province, South Africa, about 425 miles East of the Cape of Good Hope, at the meeting point of two crucial oceanic systems (the Agulhas and the Benguela currents) [39]. The depth in all the sampling locations was fairly constant, with an average of 30 m. The bay receives many domestic, urban, agricultural and industrial discharges through its influent rivers [33]. Five sampling stations were selected and coded as A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5 for convenience as shown in Table 1 below. Figure 1 also shows the map of Algoa Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa.

2.2. Chemicals and Sample Collection

Standard mixtures of n-alkanes (C8–C40; 500 μg/mL each) and 1-chlorooctadecane (250 mg) were sourced from AccuStandard (New Haven, CT, USA). Analytical grade reagents (>98% purity), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) grade solvents, anhydrous sodium sulphate and silica gel (70/230 Mesh ASTM) used for this work were purchased from Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany). Glassware was soaked in nitric acid (10%) before washing with liquid soap, then rinsed subsequently with double distilled water and acetone in succession, drained and dried overnight in an air-circulated oven at 105 °C. All the sampling bottles and vials used in this research work were covered with PTFE lined lids.

Duplicate samples were collected from five stations on the bay. The sampling period was between February and June, 2016 covering three seasons (summer, autumn and winter), although no sample was collected in April on account of unfavourable weather conditions. Water samples (500 mL each) were collected both from the surface (100 mm below) and bottom levels (approximately 25 m depth) using a SeaBird 19plusV2 CTD SBE 55 Carousel (Sea-Bird Scientific, Bellevue, WA, USA) equipped with six 4L Niskin bottles into the pre-cleaned amber bottles whereas sediment samples (1 kg each) were collected from the bay using stainless steel cone dredge into wide-mouth bottles. Acidification of the water samples to pH < 2 was achieved using 6 M hydrochloric acid and they were immediately transported on ice at temperature below 4 °C to the laboratory for chemical analysis [45,46].

2.3. Physicochemical Analyses of the Samples

A SeaBird 19plusV2 CTD multi-parameter probe was used for the in situ measurement of pH, temperature, electrical conductivity, dissolved oxygen, salinity and chlorophyll of the water samples on site. Physicochemical properties of the sediment samples including moisture, organic carbon (OC) and organic matter (OM) contents were determined by a gravimetric method [47].

2.4. Extraction of Petroleum Hydrocarbon from Water and Sediment Samples

Water samples (500 mL) were extracted three times using separatory funnel with 20 mL portions of n-hexane after 1 mL of 10 μg/mL surrogate standard (1-chlorooctadecane) was spiked into each sample. The extracts were combined, dried with anhydrous sodium sulphate and concentrated using a rotary evaporator at 35 °C under reduced pressure to about 2 mL [48,49]. Sediment samples were air-dried for about 5 days and powdered before extraction. Sufficient quantity of anhydrous sodium sulphate (Na2SO4) was mixed with 10 g of the dried sample for further removal of moisture, spiked with 1 mL of 10 μg/mL surrogate standard and extracted with 200 mL dichloromethane in a Soxhlet extractor for 24 h. The extract was run through a glass funnel containing anhydrous sodium sulphate, concentrated in a rotary evaporator and solvent exchanged to n-hexane, ready for cleanup [50].

2.5. Silica Gel Cleanup and Separation

Both the water and sediment extracts were cleaned up in a chromatographic column (10 mm i.d. × 30 cm) packed with the slurry prepared from 10 g activated silica gel and 2 cm anhydrous Na2SO4 layer on top. The sample was eluted using 20 mL of n-pentane, concentrated and solvent exchanged to n-hexane. A blank sample was processed the same way for quality assurance [51].

2.6. Gas Chromatography Analysis and Quantitation

The concentrates were analytically determined by gas chromatography (Agilent 7820A GC, Agilent, Santa Clara, CA, USA) coupled with flame ionization detection, using a HP-5 fused silica capillary column (30 m × 0.32 mm i.d. × 0.25 μm film thickness), injecting 1 μL sample in splitless mode at 300 °C. The carrier gas was helium at flow rate of 1.75 mL/min, average velocity of 29.47 cm/s and the detector temperature was 300 °C. The column temperature was set at 40 °C for 1 min and then increased to 320 °C at 7 °C/min [52,53,54].

Working standards solutions for both the alkanes and the surrogate (1-chlorooctadecane) were prepared from the stock solutions and kept in amber bottles at <4 °C. The calibration standards in the range of 0.05–20 μg/mL were prepared with n-hexane and were used for the calibration of the instrument. The Agilent Chemstation chromatography software was used to generate average response factor for each analyte from the calibration curves plotted which were linear with correlation coefficients ranging from 0.9846 to 0.9919. The approximate linearity obtained for all the analytes were within the acceptable range of R2 ≥ 0.990 [25]. As shown in the Table 2, the response factor of nC15 was used for the quantification of the unresolved peaks according to the method of Luan and Szelewski [55]. Integration of TPH using the software was achieved with baseline-holding and peak-sum slicing. TPH was thereafter estimated as the total concentration of the n-alkanes eluting from nC9 to nC36 with addition of the UCM [25,55].

2.7. Quality Control

All reagents and solvents used were analytical and HPLC grades, correspondingly. Samples were routinely analyzed in duplicates with blanks and spiked samples but no interference was found in all the blanks determined. Limit of detection (LOD) for n-alkanes was estimated using eight replicate injections of a middle level calibration standard [56,57]. The LOD was calculated by multiplying the “t” value at 99% confidence level with the instrument response and the values obtained were in the range of 0.06–0.13 μg/L. The precision of the instrument which was estimated as the relative standard deviation (RSD) were generally less than the maximum limit of 25% [58,59], varying from 3.61 to 8.32% for the n-alkanes. The efficiency of the method was assessed from the recoveries of the spiked samples at concentration level of 20 μg/L and results were largely between 76% and 137%, with an average of 88% and 87% for the water and sediment samples, respectively. Likewise, the recovery of 1-chlorooctadecane added to all the water and sediment samples were between 44% and 96%, which were within the acceptable range of 40–140% for hydrocarbons [58].

2.8. Data Analysis

Statistical analysis of all the results was carried out with IBM SPSS version 20 (IBM, Armonk, NY, USA). One way ANOVA was computed for multiple groups and standard errors for individual group of data. Relationship between groups was compared with correlation and the significance was defined as p < 0.05 [8].

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