Stakeholders call for environmental justice in Ogoni

Stakeholders in Abuja on Friday called on the Federal Government to fast track environmental justice in Ogoniland to alleviate the plight of the people of the area.

Mr Michael David the Executive Secretary of Global Initiative for Food Security and Ecosystem Preservation (GIFSEP) made the call at a photo exhibition on Ogoniland, a programme tagged: “Power Up for Climate Solutions.”

David who is also a co-convener of the “Power Up” project decried the environmental degradation as a result of oil spills and extraction in the Niger Delta.

“We need to call on the attention of world leaders on the most polluted places of the world, the people of Ogoni are Nigerians and their children will inherit a land that is highly polluted and this calls for alarm.

“There is urgent need for serious action. Despite the intervention by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) the issues of pollution in Ogoniland is still there.

“And so we are saying  that as we head to COP28, we need to begin the phase out of fossil fuels, it is not doing us any good. We know the country depends so much on fossil fuels for our revenue,” the co-convener said.

He said the the dependence on fossil fuels is to the detriment of Nigeria’s environment and urged the Federal Government to look for clean alternatives.

“International standards must be maintained in the exploration of crude oil in Nigeria so that this environmental degradation and constant oil spills
and all the issues surrounding fossil fuels in Nigeria must be taken care of.

“Power up Day of Action is a day set aside to look into issues of climate change as we head to COP28 in Dubai, UAE,” David said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme “Power Up” which is a global event slated for Nov. 3 to Nov. 5 with the theme “Power up Ogoni” showcased various categories of oil spills in the Niger Delta in a photo exhibition.

Earlier, Mrs Stella Amanie, Executive Director, Society for Women and Youth Affairs Ogoni decried the level of environmental injustice in Ogoni and called on the government for immediate intervention.

“We demand for an immediate and comprehensive health audit of the entire people of Ogoni as well as the speedy clean up and the restoration of the Ogoni environment.

“Over decades, crude oil and gas extracted from our region accounts for an overwhelming per centage of Nigeria’s revenues,” Amanie said.

Akintunde Akinmolayan, Project Coordinator, Global Power Day of Action Nigeria said that the 2023 Global Power Day of Action focused on Ogoniland where there has been decades of environmental degradation due to oil exploration with low response to tackle it.

“All over the world fossil fuels has only been of benefit to the few. Ogoniland is one of the worst oil polluted regions in the world and the constant pollution are on the rise as the years goes by,” Akinmolayan said.

Terrence Jeiyor, Co-project Coordinator Global Power Day of Action said that climate challenges are ravaging the world.

“There is the need for our government to put an end to the use of fossil fuels and redirect people to using solar energy to power millions of homes all over the world,” Jeiyor said.

Tokoni Ngeribika, an indigene of Okrika Local Government Area which is a neighboring town to Ogoniland frowned at the activities of oil exploration in the area.

“Okirika community is the community which is the host for the oil companies where the products are being off loaded.

“Our greatest occupation in the area is fishing but has now been distorted by oil pollution,” Ngeribika lamented. (NAN)

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