Rainbow Watch and Development Centre, a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting sustainable development and ensuring the well-being of communities, strongly condemns the recent call for the sack of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) Management Team by certain Ogoni youth groups.
A statement by Michael Lenee Gbarale, the executive director of the group said the demand for the removal of the HYPREP management team is driven by individuals seeking attention and relevance, rather than genuine concerns for the development and progress of the Ogoni community.
It is obvious that these self-aclaimed youth leaders are manipulated by certain contractors with vested interests in securing contracts from HYPREP, and their own greed and insatiable quest to secure more juicy contracts, even when they have been awarded some contracts.
The constant protests orchestrated by these youths and their sponsors have exposed their selfish motive and mischievous business-driven agenda.
These self-styled youths have taken undue advantage of the vulnerability and good disposition of innocent Ogoni youths, using them as pawns in their pursuit of personal gain, jeopardizing the progress made by HYPREP in the remediation of Ogoniland.
Rainbow Watch and Development Centre strongly believes that the HYPREP management team, under the leadership of Prof. Nenibarini Zabbey has demonstrated commendable efforts to fulfilling its mandate. Their tireless diligence in implementing the UNEP report recommendations has resulted in positive and significant milestones already achieved in the Ogoni cleanup process.
Michael Lenee Gbarale, the Executive Director of the organisation, speaking on the recent protest to HYPREP, described it as unfortunate, explaining that the protest was organized by known characters with penchants for stage managing protests to drive home their self-seeking demands.
Gbarale wondered why someone who has been a contractor to HYPREP on several occasions but once his demand is not met by the Management, will turn around to mobilize youths and his cronies to accuse the Management of corruption. How? Who is then corrupt? He asked.
He further called on contractors who use youth bodies to orchestrate their plans to enrich themselves to desist, while those are are busy day and night working for the interest of Ogoni people should not relent. “I leave the protesters to their conscience”, he concluded.
The organization also urges Ogoni youths to be vigilant and cautious of these contractors who seek to undermine the progress made by HYPREP, imploring them to prioritize the overall well-being and sustainable development of Ogoniland over the false promises and personal gains dangled before them.
It assures that Rainbow Watch and Development Centre remains committed to supporting HYPREP in its ongoing initiatives, while calling on all stakeholders, including the government, civil society organizations, and the international community, to rally behind the HYPREP management team and provide the necessary support to ensure the successful completion of the Ogoni cleanup project.
“Let us work together to build a prosperous and sustainable future for the Ogoni people”.