PRESIDENT
MUHAMMADU
Buhari is
set to launch the cleanup of
Ogoniland in the coming weeks,
says the Minister of Environment,
Amina Mohammed.
The minister announced this
when she paid a courtesy visit to
Gov. Nyesom Wike of Rivers.
“It is hoped that we will have
this launch in the coming weeks
and the president himself will
launch the cleanup.
“It is really to us a turning point
in the history of the struggle.
Ogoniland is the first place where
actions need to be – cleanup.
“There is a wide challenge
of pollution in the Niger Delta.
We are here to begin activities
toward the launch of the cleanup
with stakeholders’ dialogue.
“We are beginning in Rivers
because this is the home of
the struggle but we know it is
wider,’’ she said.
The minister said that the
cleanup of the Ogoniland would
span between 25 and 30 years.
However, Wike advised the
federal government that to
achieve success, the cleanup
must not be politicised as there
were diverse interests.
The governor urged the federal
government to be careful not to
bring politics into the cleanup in
order to achieve success.
“It doesn’t matter the political
party that anybody belongs to,
environmental issue does not
affect a political party; it affects
the entire state and the entire
Niger Delta as a whole.
“Communities do not know
about political parties, what
communities know is about how
to survive.
“And so, I will advice that
we approach it in such way
that it does not look political,
particularly in Ogoniland, it is a
very complex place; you have to
be extremely careful.
“Because if you are not careful
you may not achieve what you
want you intend to achieve,’’ the
governor warned.
According to him, there are
political undertones to most of
these things that are happening
hence it was very difficult for the
former government to do what
they are supposed to do.
He advised that all stakeholders
must be brought on board for the
exercise to succeed.
Wike assured the minister that
the state government would
give all the necessary support to
ensure the success of the cleanup,
adding no government would
be happy to see Ogoniland in its
present state.
He said he was interested in
whatever affects Rivers and the
entire Niger Delta that had to
do environmental pollution and
other issues.
Wike said the environmental
degradation in the entire Niger
Delta and more in particular
in Ogoni area has been a major
concern to all.
According to him, it partly has
to do with oil exploration that has
left so many communities not to
have potable water.
So many communities who
are farmers can no longer go to
farm; communities who dwell on
fishing can no longer fish because
of oil pollution.
“We have problem with the
multinational who would not
immediately try to clean up when
pollution happens.
“Unfortunately, there is this
divide and rule tactics that most
multinational would always
want to adopt and unfortunately
too, our communities fall into
such trap,’’ he said.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)
recalls that President Buhari in
August 2015 approved several
actions to fast-track the long
delayed implementation of the
United Nations Environmental
Programme report on the
environmental restoration of
Ogoniland.
He also approved the
composition of the Hydrocarbon
Pollution Restoration Project
(HYPREP) Board to reflect a
new governance framework,
comprising a Governing Council,
a Board of Trustees and Project
Management.
NAN

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