The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has confirmed Shell’s backing for the recruitment of 500 youths on the grounds of security surveillance of clean-up sites and other facilities in Ogoni. This was coming weeks after the Council of Ogoni Professionals and the National Union of Ogoni Students, USA revealed the training of 500 youths and former militants at the Police Training School, Nonwa accusing the Shell Petroleum Development Company of seeking yo raise armed youths to foster its plans to reenter Ogoni oilfields.
COP and NUOS USA had accuessed Shell of seeking to raise some 500 youths to cause intra and inter community crises to kill any resistance against its secret plans to return to oil drilling in the Ogoni area.
The recruitment was announced by HYPREP project coordinator, Nenibarini Zabbey, on Monday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State while speaking at a one-day regional strategy meeting on the ongoing Ogoni clean-up, organized by a civil society organization, Peoples Advancement Centre (PAC).
Zabbey said: “What we have been doing in the past weeks is to organise think-tanks with our technical support partners, UNEP and Shell, ensuring that we have in place, drawings that fill for purpose, we have in place power project that is fill for purpose.
“So, we have engaged a lot of think-tanks to strengthen that purpose. All of them will happen concurrently with the remediation work in the dryland area and shoreline clean up in the wetland area.
“So, if you put all these together with the recruitment and deployment of 500 youths that will serve as civil surveillance officials because, now, we are migrstini from kinetic approach to security to non-knetic approach.
“We want the local people; we want people to own ever facet of the Ogoni clean-up. So, we have recruited 500 youths and deployed them as civil security, supporting the clean up sites and supporting our facilities.
“So, if you sum up all the workers that will work at different sites and all the activities that will take place concurrently, you will agree with me that Ogoni is going to be beehive of activities.”
In his speech, convener PAC, Celestine Akpobari, wondered why HYPRED had not conduct study on the environment of other states in the Niger Delta region.
Akpobari said: “We have gathered here today brainstorm to see what to get out of a bad situation. Our environment has been written off. What do we do?
“How come that uptill now, HYPREP is even yet to consider where to conduct study in another state? By now, that should be on the table.”