As the re-run elections scheduled by the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) to hold December 10 in Rivers State fast approaches, Traditional Ruler in Ogoni, Rivers State, Mene Suanu Baridam, has urged the major Political Parties in the re-run to desist from actions capable of unleashing violence in Ogoni land.
Unless the Federal Government provides adequate funds, it might be difficult to implement the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)â€™s report on Ogoniland beyond the first quarter of 2017.
The wave of attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta will stop only if the Federal Government commits itself to a genuine dialogue.
The chairman of the default Technical Committee on the Niger Delta, Ledum Mitee, said in Port Harcourt, that irrespective of the recent stakeholder meeting between the presidency and Niger Delta leaders, the attitude of the Federal Government had not shown it was committed to dialogue.
According to Mitee, while government strategy to end the crisis in the Niger Delta is not clear, it is obvious that Niger Delta leaders still need to do some work to get a firm commitment from the government that dialogue is the preferred option.
He said everybody in the country would want a resolution of the problem through dialogue and not military confrontation.
â€śFor me, there is no alternative to dialogue. I donâ€™t see any alternative to dialogue. The point I keep on making is that we will not be tired of dialogue. But it is not just dialogue. What we have asked for this time is not just dialogue but a conversation that is backed with some credible action on the ground. If you agreed on something, then you go and do it and that will instil confidence in the process and in the people at the grassroots,â€ť he said.
Mitee, who is a former president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) explained that the government should ensure that the Niger Delta technical committee report was updated to accommodate existing circumstances so as to provide a clear basis for sustainable peace in the Niger Delta.
To this end, he argued that if government was sincere it could implement some of the key demands of the Niger Delta leaders within the next three to six months to boost confidence that government was indeed committed to the resolution of the Niger Delta conflict.
On the current amnesty programme, Mitee called for its review to include an exit strategy that could transit recipients from being mere receivers of stipends to persons who duly employed.
According to him, the government of the late President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua and that of President Goodluck Jonathan, in a bid to normalise crude oil production, failed to fully implement the recommendations of the technical committee on how the amnesty programme should be implemented.
Mitee said government should to tackle the Ogoni clean-up and environmental remediation of the Niger Delta areas with seriousness to boost the confidence of the people of the region.
He also suggested that the issue of the maritime university at Okerenkoko and maritime academy at Oron should be addressed as well.
Mitee lamented that government had allowed the Niger Delta crisis to fester for too long. He observed that the emergence of another militant group under the aegis of Niger Delta Avengers years after the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) ceased attacks on oil installations ought to give everyone concern so much so that the Niger Delta question should be urgently addressed.
The House of Representatives Committee on Environment on Wednesday queried the capacity of the Federal Ministry of Environment to carryout the Ogoni-land clean up.
Yesterday at All Saints Church in Fulham, London, we attended a celebration of the life of journalist, government special advisor, and digital tech innovator Ken Saro-Wiwa jr. His life was suddenly cut short at the age of 47. We are sorrowed by this profound loss to the Saro-Wiwa family, and of a talented man invested in the future of Nigeria.
The Federal Government, yesterday, gave reasons for the delay in the commencement of Ogoni clean-up exercise, saying it was to build a solid foundation for the project. It will be recalled that in June, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, launched the â€śClean-Up of Ogonilandâ€ť at Bodo, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
More than 40,000 Nigerians demand action from Shell to clean up oil spills that have devastated communities for decades. Emere Godwin Bebe Okpabi, leader of Nigeria's Ogale people, unpacked four bottles of water from his homeland and lined them up on a table to show why his subjects are suing Royal Dutch Shell in a London court.
A group known as the Ogoni Women Peace Works Initiative has called on the federal government to investigate the allegation of water poisoning in Yeghe, Ogoniland by Nigerian soldiers who have conducted raids on the community since February 2016.
Ogoni women have come out to say they will be willing to testify against the Nigerian Army over allegations of rape when called upon to do so. Spokewoman for the women Mrs Comfort Daadan said this yesterday in an interview with newsmen. Mrs Daadan siad during the military raids on Yeghe, no fewer than 26 women were raped by Nigerian soldiers.