Ogoni Monarchs Decry Poor State of Environment

PARAMOUNT ruler of Bua-Bangha Clan, Khana Local Government Area, Rivers State, HRH Baridam Suanu, Luumene Ogoni, has complained that the people of Ogoni ethnic nationality were still drinking contaminated water, two years after the flag off of the clean-up process in the area by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP.

HRH Suanu, who spoke while handing over hectares of land donated by Bua –Bangha and Bua-Kenwigbara clans both in Khana Local Government, Ogale community, Eleme Local Government Area and Korokoro, Tai Local Government to HYPREP for implementation of the emergency phase of the project- restoration of livelihood.

Suanu said: “The people of Bua-Bangha will cooperate with you to ensure you have the best environment. The land is vast and we expect you take as much as you need in order to bring development to us.

“I beg that the project should not be politicised. If what should be given to a people is not given, it becomes bad. “The ground-breaking was towards election. And your coming here today is still close to election, I hope it will not be abandoned after the election. We need sincerity from government in this project.”

Also speaking, HRH, Barile Debom, Mene Bua-Kenwigbara, lamented: “There are reports of deaths everyday because of the pollution. Many Ogoni people have been killed in the process of trying to bring justice to the Ogoni, but they have not been recognised in any way. If not that we are patient, we would have been plunged into crisis.

” Debom, who was represented by King Melford Eguru, Gbala II, Gbenemene Bean-Khana Kingdom, said: “Now that God has touched you to come, we appreciate it. We will give you every support so far as you will follow due process in the project.

“Life is all we are talking about. The project you are carrying out falls in line with the report of UNEP. The Federal Government has given you responsibility and it is expected you carry it out effectively.

owever, Director of Communication, HYPREP, Isa Wasa, who represented the Head, Project Coordination, Dr. Marvin Dekil, noted that land which it has revived would be used to build facilities in order to commence process of restoration of livelihood in the area.

Wasa thanked the communities of Ogoni for the gesture, promising that HYPREP would not fail in its mandate of cleaning Ogoni, even as he insisted that the Federal Government was committed and sincere in delivering the project.

“In the course of the pollution, livelihood was affected and people could not go to farm again. Today, we are commencing with restoration of livelihood. We will use the land to start training women on fish farming, feed-making and cropping. The Federal Government is committed and sincere to implement the cleaning up of Ogoni land,” the monarch added.

Credit: Vanguard