AS A WAY of matching promise with action on implementation of United Nations Environment Progremme, UNEP, report, President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the composition of the Governing Council and Board of Trustees, key elements of the governance structure required for the cleanup of Ogoniland. A press statement signed by the permanent secretary, Federal Ministry of Environment, Dr. Bukar Hassan, and made available to Nigerian Pilot in Abuja at the weekend, quoted the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, as saying that President Buhari had approve the inauguration of a 13-person Governing Council and a 10-person Board of Trustees, BOT. Mohammed said the governance structure ensured inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and sustainability of the clean up exercise. She quoted the president as saying, “The choice is for you to keep your environment clean and nurture the Niger Delta back to its lost glory. The beginning of this clean-up exercise is clear evidence that Ken Saro Wiwa and other sons of Ogoniland who fought hard for environmental justice did not fight in vain. “Let this mark the beginning of the restoration not just of the environment of Ogoniland, but of peace and prosperity to the great land and people of Ogoniland.” Meanwhile, the minister has urged the people to exercise more patience to enable the government to lay a solid foundation for the work. Mohammed said, “Nigerians have a right to voice their concerns. We have responsibility to deliver. The launch was the first step in a 30-year journey. We continue to make strides towards implementation. “We ask for patience as we lay solid foundations for the cleanup. The context is complex and stakeholders are diverse. All must be taken along. His Excellency, President Buhari remains steadfast in his conviction to see Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta cleaned up. “My team at Federal Ministry of Environment is actively working collaboratively with Ministries of Petroleum Resources, Niger Delta, NDDC and key stakeholders to see that the promise of His Excellency is kept and we stay clean after the clean up.” The minister also reiterated the need to see the cleanup as a collective responsibility and urged all the Niger Delta communities, especially the Ogonis, to support the remediation and restoration efforts of the government.
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