Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has called on the United Nations to prevail on the Federal Government to implement the cleanup of Ogoni land, which was flagged off last year.
He made the call on Thursday when he received the U.N. Resident/ Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, at the Government House in Port Harcourt, the state capital.
The governor, who regretted that nothing had been done so far on the Ogoni cleanup, said large-scale environmental pollution in different parts of the state has led to environmental degradation, which negatively affects the sources of livelihood of the people.
He noted that the cleanup of Ogoni land should not be politicised, as it dwells directly on the development of the area.
This Cleanup Is Very Serious
“Yesterday in the Senate, somebody said that the Federal Government has not done anything as far as Ogoni cleanup is concerned; when we were saying it, they said we were playing politics. But now, it has dawned on them that nothing is being done. So, we urge you to intervene.
“Part of the problem we are having today is because of the lack of attention by the Federal Government when it has to do with Rivers State; we will provide you with a helicopter to see what we are talking about. Don’t only read it on papers, you will really pity us,” he said.
“The Federal Government has taken our oil and our environment has been degraded, nothing seems to be done. We urge you on your own part as the United Nations to impress on the Federal Government that this cleanup is very serious, let it not be a political issue. We should not play politics with the lives of the people,” he added.
Governor Wike also called on the United Nations to partner with the Rivers State government in the area of commercial agriculture.
He said because of the volatile nature of oil prices, investments in commercial agriculture would help create jobs for unemployed youths.
The governor appeal to the UN to provide a link for investors in commercial agriculture to come to the state, adding that his administration would provide incentives such as access to land and certificate of occupancy.
While soliciting for partnership in the area of environmental sanitation, he noted that his administration takes seriously, the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Wike informed the UN official that his administration also has improved security through the diligent implementation of the state amnesty programme.
He said the Rivers State government is working with relevant agencies to improve human rights and decongest the prisons.
In his response, Mr Kallon commended the governor for his effort towards infrastructural development in the state which he said has improved the living condition of the people.
“The United Nations will continue to mobilise support for the development of Rivers State,” he said, adding that “the UN will partner with the State Government in the area of agriculture as a tool of employment generation and empowerment”.
“Partnership will be developed with the Rivers State Government in the areas of Sustainable Development Goals, improvement of security, environmental sanitation, promotion of human rights and prisons decongestion,” Kallon said.