…Demands halt to further funding pending investigation of corruption allegations against HYPREP
MOVEMENT for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has kicked against the presidential directive transferring supervision of oil ravaged Ogoni Cleanup to the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, in a reaction on Thursday, said the decision was inconsequential, insensitive and diversionary to addressing critical corruption allegations hanging on the cleanup exercise.
In the reaction signed by Alex Akori, Secretary General, Nsuke held that, “In the thinking of MOSOP, the directive only reflects internal skirmishes of government departments to outsmart each other and unlikely to address the corruption that has marred the Ogoni cleanup exercise.
“It is MOSOP’s opinion that President Mohammadu Buhari could have been wrongly advised on this decision. The cleanup, originally under supervision of the petroleum ministry was moved to the environment ministry under Mr. President and now has been moved to the Niger Delta ministry which makes no difference if gaps that have given rise to the alleged looting are not addressed.
“Supervising ministries do not make any difference but the outcome of the exercise is what matters. The entire cleanup exercise at the moment is seen as highly corrupt and lacking in credibility and transparency.”
On what is paramount to make sense of the cleanup, Nsuke opined, “The right steps to take at this time would have been to halt further funding of the cleanup programme and investigate allegations we have made.
“It is unfortunate that the government appears to be evading critical questions of corruption in the Ogoni cleanup which are monumental. We have raised issues of corruption in Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) and the government cannot evade these allegations.
“We also insist that HYPREP cannot account for at least $200million (Two Hundred Million Dollars) and this is not the kind of figure a government that claims to be fighting corruption can overlook.
“So, the right thing to do is to halt all funding for the cleanup exercise and look into our allegations rather than switching supervisory ministries. We believe Mr President has been ill advised in this circumstance, on this issue.”