President Muhammadu Buhari, recently flagged-off the long awaited clean-up of Ogoni Land, devastated by the activities of oil companies. The project which is strongly supported by the United Nations Environmental Development Programme (UNEDP), was designed to give Ogoni Land a face lift and better the life of the people.
With the recent inauguration of the clean-up of Ogoniland, stakeholders believe that the absence of a framework for the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme recommendations could mean another long wait for Ogoniland restoration, writes CHUKWUDI AKASIKE
President Muhammadu Buhari recently flagged-off a multi-billion naira clean-up and restoration programme of Ogoni land at Bodo in Gokana local government area of Rivers State. Represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, he said financial and legislative frameworks had been put in place to start implementing the recommendations of a United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report, commissioned by the federal government in 2006. The president said the programme would have sustainable development components that will benefit the people of the area. He added that the methodology for the clean-up and remediation will ensure job creation for youths.
Christian women in Yeghe community of Ogoniland have embarked on huger strike to protest the continual military raid and harassment on the community. Numbering over 2000, the women have gathered at the community center, refusing food and embarking on a spiritual exercise to invoke the intervention of God in their predicament.
Ogoni fisher men who reside at B-Dere Community waterfront in Khana Local government area of Rivers State yesterday said the only thing oil exploration in the area left them with was suffering, death, hunger and unforgettable pain.
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) wishes to express its displeasure at the recent attacks and wanton destruction of lives and properties in Kporghor, Tai local government Area by the neighboring Wakama community in Ogu-Bolo local government area.
Lawyer, environmentalist and social activist, Ledum Mitee was the pioneer vice-president of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, and until recently, the president of the body. Mr. Mitee who has also chaired several civil society groups was also until recently, Chairman, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI.
Ten days after President Muhammad Buhari flagged off the cleanup of Ogoniland, the Federal Government is yet to put in place the requisite structures to commence the actual implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme report on Ogoniland.
The Ogoni people of Rivers State have praised the begining of the clean-up of their land and restoration of their means of livelihoods. The Bodo communities in the state are, however, seeking the conclusion of the case they filed in London against Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) for destroying their land.