Ogoni Cleanup: Eze Praises Buhari, Fingers Wike

The determination of the Buhari-led APC federal government in ensuring the success of the implementation of the UN Environment report on Ogoni has continued to attract resounding applause and commendations from analysts and critical stakeholders in the fields of politics and the environment.

The $1billion (USD) implementation which is hinged on a 2011 detailed report from the environmental assessment of sites polluted by oil exploration activities in Ogoni land since the discovery of oil in the 1950s, conducted and released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) was launched in June 2016 by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on behalf of President Mohammadu Buhari, after several years of neglect by the previous administration steered by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and allies.

Reacting to the success so far recorded by the federal government on the remediation exercise especially, the approval and subsequent release of N6 billion for provision of portable Water in the four local government areas of Ogoni viz- Eleme, Tai, Khana and Gokana, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze said President Buhari has shown an appreciable degree of compassion towards the plight of the Ogonis, given the coarse environmental standard to which they have been forced to adapt over the years owing to the poorly regulated model of oil exploration by multinational companies operating on their soil.

Recall that the Federal Executive Council (FEC), a few days back, approved the sum of N6 billion for provision of potable water in Gokana, Khana, Eleme and Tai, being the four Ogoni council areas of Rivers State, affected by the pollution, as captured in the UNEP report.

In a statement made available to media houses in Port Harcourt, Chief Eze said portable water is part of the essential necessaries for human existence and survival and the provision of same for the good people of Ogoni is important given the extensive contamination done to their environmental including rivers and tributaries with pollution penetrating deeper into the soil and destroying aqua life and other sources of livelihoods.

Commending former Rivers Governor and Nigeria’s Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, CON., who prior to the 2015 elections, extracted the promise from President Mohammadu Buhari to implement the UNEP Report abandoned by the then PDP led Federal Government, Chief Eze admonished Ogonis and the entire good people of Rivers State to continue to support the All Progressives Congress, assuring that many more dividends have been proposed and awaiting implementation.

Eze counseled Gov. Nyesom Wike to be magnanimous to Rivers people whose mandate he holds in trust, by building industries, providing jobs and spreading development evenly across all parts of the state, stressing that his narrow-minded and parochial approach to governance does not make a good sense of public service.

With the Ogoni remediation project, adjudged to be the most wide-ranging and long-term oil clean-up exercise to be undertaken in the world, experts are of the view that restoration of the damaged ecosystems may span over a period of 25 years or little more.

The party Chief called on the good people of Ogoni to be patient and continue to give necessary supports to companies engaged in the remediation work, assuring that President Buhari and Minister Amaechi, through the Ministry of Environment and other supervising agencies, will ensure an effective implementation of the UNEP Report on Ogoni to restore their environment and give them better life.

 

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