The President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Fegalo Nsuke, has called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to address the reckless mismanagement of the Ogoni cleanup funds. MOSOP urged the president’s rescue for the cleanup program by probing the mismanagement of over $800million allocated to the cleanup agency in seven years.
Nsuke also called for the dissolution of all governing structures of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) pending the conclusion of investigations into the finances of the agency.
Speaking in Ban Ogoi, Tai local government area of Rivers State yesterday, the MOSOP leader, Fegalo Nsuke, said HYPREP has been milked to death and President Tinubu should not allow himself to be stained HYPREP. loot.
“MOSOP wants to state that in the past 7 years, HYPREP has been severely decimated by looters. We emphatically state that over $200Million cannot be accounted for in HYPREP. The organisation has been looted to death and it will only be immoral for the government to be silent over such monumental fraud”
“MOSOP expects President Bola Tinubu to dissolve all governing structures of HYPREP, halt funding for the organisation and order a probe into its finances while a re-organisation is pending” , he said.
He noted that President Buhari had initiated an inconclusive probe into the activities of HYPREP and urged President Tinubu to revisit the issue noting that continual funding for HYPREP without accountability encouraged the reckless mismanagement of the agency.
Nsuke raised questions about some NGN180 Billion approved for the agency in just three weeks to the expiration of the tenure of the last administration and held that such approvals raised some red flags.
“In three weeks to the expiration of President Buhari’s tenure, over NGN180 Billion was approved for HYPREP. The timing of the approvals raised some red flags and reinforces our suspicion that such requests from the environment ministry and subsequent approvals could not have been made in good faith”.
“The only way we the Ogoni people can begin to have some confidence in the cleanup process is that it has to be conducted transparently. People cannot spend over $800 million and the Ogoni people will not get water nor are people compensated for livelihood losses” he said.
The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, was established in 2016 to implement the UNEP recommendations on the Ogoni environment.
The UNEP recommendations amongst others highlighted massive pollution affecting the lands, waters and the health of the people. In 2017, the Governing Council of HYREP approved an integrated water project for the Ogoni region. This is yet to take off despite being described as an emergency in the UNEP report.
There has also been no compensation for people whose sources of livelihood have been destroyed by decades of oil pollution, not to talk of the thousands of people sent to early graves due to pollution related diseases including cancers, poisoning, and other complications.
A recent analysis in a government hospital has revealed that 80 percent of people with growths in the mouth which can degenerate into cancers are coming from the Ogoni region.
The government agency responsible for the cleanup has received over $800 Billion between 2016 to date. It’s operations have been lacking in transparency and it has failed to account for its expenditure during the period.