Gov Wike Says Ogoni Clean Up Is Deceptive, Politically Motivated

 

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike says the federal government has been playing politics with the Ogoni environment remediation programme recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

He noted that Ogoni having played a pivotal role in the economic development of Rivers State and the country deserves more than what is currently being offered to the area.

Governor Wike stated this during the commissioning of the 16.06 kilometers dual carriage Sakpenwa-Bori Highway by the Governor of Enugu State Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Lawrence Ugwuanyi in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State on Tuesday.

The governor urged Ogoni people to stop believing those who use Ogoni clean-up exercise at the turn of an election year to deceive them and wondered why clean-up never happens when elections are over.

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“I am not like the Federal Government. They promised you they will do the Ogoni clean-up. Has it been cleaned? I promised you road, have I done it? So you can see the difference between our party and their own party. The difference is clear.

“When the election comes in 2023, they will start another cleanup. You people don’t even ask questions. Why is it a year to the election that Ogoni clean up will always commence? Now that there is no election are they doing the clean up now? Watch from next year they will start to clean up.”

Governor Wike said it has remained undisputed that only the governors of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are delivering development projects to their people.

The governor challenged those who feel uncomfortable with his public declarations to also showcase their projects and invite persons of repute to commission them as he has done since December.

He stated that because of the existing mutual trust between his leadership team and the people, sufficient progress has been achieved in Ogoni land and in the entire state in terms of project delivery.

Governor Wike announced the commencement of phase two of the newly commissioned road, which will now be from Bori to Kono and it will be awarded to the same construction firm, CCECC.

“Let me tell you, I will dualise from here, Bori to Kono. It will be handled by the same contractor to maintain the same standard.

“So, when I finish and go, I will tell Ogoni people that it was in my tenure that you got road; dualised road, from Saakpenwa to Kono with street lights.

“This is what we call development. You can leave Port Harcourt and come back home any day, any time. This is what makes a city.

“When I say Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Governors are doing well, people are angry. If they are doing well, let them call us. Is it hidden?

“PDP Governors, we are challenging others, tell us what you’re doing. It is not to take money to go and buy one governor. That’s not it. We are talking about governors that are interested in the development of their people. We are commissioning projects.”

Governor Wike said he promised and within the specified period, he had delivered to them what he promised to demonstrate that his party is different from the other that is associated with failed promises.

The governor has meanwhile directed the chairman of Khana Local government area to ensure that the installed street lights are switched on every night to improve the security situation in the area.

Governor of Enugu State. Dr. Ifeanyichukwu Lawrence Ugwuanyi acknowledged that many projects have been inaugurated by Governor Wike, including the Saakpenwa -Bori road which was a campaign promise that has been fulfilled.

“Today’s event is significant as it epitomises the desirable fellowship among colleague governors while providing opportunity for experience sharing and other discourses on service delivery.

“I congratulate your Excellency, Governor Wike on the accomplishment of this infrastructural milestone among many others which will undoubtedly make life more meaningful for the people of Ogoni land.

“I understand that this strategic road project was a campaign promise that has been truthfully fulfilled. Expectedly, it gladdens the hearts of Ogoni people and reinforces their faith in our constitutional democracy.

“I enjoin the good people of Ogoni land and entire Rivers State to continue to support Governor Wike with their prayers and wise counsel as he takes Rivers State to the next level.”

In their goodwill message, former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee said several governors used the road as point of political campaigns, but all failed to fulfill such promises.

He said if the money wasted on the abandoned monorail by the immediate past administration was properly channelled, more flyovers and roads would have been achieved in the State.

Similarly, the president of Kagote, Hon Emma Deeyaah said governor Wike has wiped sway their tears and solved the nightmare situation that the road caused the people.

President of Gbokabari, Senator Ben Birabi noted that such quality of roads are hardly delivered in Ogoni land and said Governor Wike has re-energised the spirit of freedom in the state and has performed above expectations despite the lean financial resources.

Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Mr. Elloka Tasie-Amadi, said again, the Wike administration has demonstrated commitment in delivering long-term service projects that will enhance the socio-economic life of the people.

“This project is a 16.06 km DUAL carriage highway, with a 2m wide concrete median, an overall road width of 22.3m, drainage network of 12.02 Km, 480 double arm streetlight poles complete with transformers and generators to power the streetlights.

“It used to be a deplorable 7.3m wide road but what we have today is 3 times wider than it was then. If we were to stretch this road into a single carriageway it would stretch from here all the way to Kono a distance of about 36 km from Sapkenwa. This is excluding the added mileage we would achieve by converting the concrete median and street lighting to asphalt pavement.”

FG Raises $177million For Ogoni Clean Up

 

The Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril, on Monday disclosed some of the plans by the Federal Government for the Ogoni Land Clean Up revealing that the sum of $177million has been raised so far.

Jibril at a meeting with the Deputy High Commissioner of the British Embassy in Abuja noted that while $177million has been raised for the cleanup, about $23million is expected from refineries before the end of October.

“The board of trustees have opened an account and that account has been credited with the sum of $177million.

“This is what is supposed to be given by the oil majors and to pay for the cleaning and restoration of this degraded areas.

“An initial bill of $1billion was to be used over a period of five years. So, with the $177million for this year 2018, the balance of $23million is expected to come from the refineries.

“We have written to inform the President, he has given directives that the Petroleum Ministry should handle that issue. So, I believe before the end of the month, we should raise the remittance of the balance of $23million that is supposed to make it $200million for this year.”

The Deputy British High Commissioner, Ms Laure Beaufils, in response assured of the British Governments commitment in addressing climate-related changes in Nigeria.

FG Launches Ogoni Clean-Up Exercise

Ogoni-land-clean-up-launchThe federal government has formerly launched the clean-up of oil spills in Ogoni land, Rivers State, Nigeria, as recommended in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the event, performed the launch on Thursday, June 2.

Just before delivering the President’s message to the people, Professor Osinbajo described the occasion as an historic one, not just in the lives of Ogoni people but also for the entire Niger Delta.

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He said that the clean-up of Ogoni land was not just a restoration of the environment but would be a restoration of families, the people’s wealth, health and everything that is good about the land.

He prayed that this would mark the beginning of real change in the land and in the future of the Ogonis.

“It is the day of victory”, he said, believing that it would be the beginning of many more good things.

Prominent Ogoni leaders also extolled the federal government for embarking on the programme which is scheduled to last for 30 years.

The Minister for the Environment, Ms Amina Mohammed, has reiterated the need for the people to support the exercise.

She said that the President having kept his promise to the Niger Delta people, cleaning up Ogoni land is now a collective responsibility of the government and the people.

The Federal Government had said that it is committed to restoring the ecosystem to what it used to be and as such restore the peoples’ source of livelihood.

Government says that it is not just committed to implementing the UNEP report but is going beyond that by taking steps to improve security, good governance and economy of the Niger Delta region.

 

President Buhari Cancels Trip To Ogoni Land

Ogoni land, President BuhariPresident Muhammadu Buhari’s scheduled one-day visit to Ogoni land, Rivers State, Nigeria for the flag-off of the Ogoni land clean up has been cancelled.

The President will now be represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the event.

No reason has been given for the cancellation.

The oil-producing Niger Delta has been hit by a wave of militant attacks in recent weeks.

President Muhammadu Buhari had been expected to launch the activities for the clean-up of the oil impacted Ogoni land on Thursday, June 2, 2016.

Ogoni land

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), at the request of the federal government, had conducted an independent assessment of the affected communities and made recommendations for remediation.

The UNEP report was accepted by many residents of the Ogoni community and government decided to use the report as a starting point in the clean-up process.

According to the UNEP report, there are over 200 oil-impacted locations across Ogoni land and the full environmental restoration of the community will take between 25 and 30 years.

Buhari Committed To Cleaning Ogoni Land – Environment Minister

Amina-Mohammed-Minister-of-environmentThe Federal Ministry of Environment has assured the people of Ogoni that President Buhari remains committed to the clean-up of the oil-rich Ogoniland as recommended in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

The Minister of Environment, Ms Amina Mohammed, said this after inspecting a clean-up demonstration site in Bodo, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, in the company of the acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Mrs Ibim Semenitari.

The Minister confirmed that the President would be in Ogoni on Thursday, June 2 to flag off the Ogoni clean-up programme as a demonstration of his commitment to the clean-up exercise.

She said that it was regrettable that President Buhari who had commissioned a flourishing fish pond in 1984 in Ogoniland would return to the community to see a fish pond that has been destroyed by oil pollution.

Sadly, she said that it was not just the fish pond that was destroyed but that the livelihood and wealth of a people were equally ruined.

Ogoni land

She assured the Ogoni people that the President was coming to restore hope to them. She promised also that the Federal Government would restore the ecosystem to what it used to be and bring back the source of livelihood for the people.

She noted that her ministry is not just committed to implementing the UNEP report but would go beyond that to also look at the overall effort to revive the Niger Delta region.

The NDDC boss, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, expressed delight that the President was coming to Ogoni to demonstrate the importance he attached to the welfare of the people of the Niger Delta and Ogoni in particular.NDDC

She announced that development is a big issue for the NDDC and that the cleaning up of the Niger Delta environment is of utmost importance to the commission.

Mrs Semenitari noted that Ogoni people are united behind the efforts of the Federal Government to clean up their environment.

She stressed that the unity of the people would help in ensuring the sustainability of the project, emphasizing that the support of stakeholders was also critical for the success of the restoration programme.

One of the community leaders in Bodo, Mene Michael Porobunu, said that he was hopeful and excited that at last the polluted environment in Ogoni land would be cleaned up.


He lamented that the Ogoni people had to live with the pollution, which he described as “the greatest man-made disaster in this part of the world”.

The UNEP report which was released in 2011, advised the Nigerian authorities and multinational oil companies operating in Ogoniland to clean-up the pollution caused by decades of oil exploration activities in the area.

It stated that the environmental clean-up and restoration of Ogoni land could take between 25 and 30 years to achieve.

Embrace Dialogue, Environment Minister Urges Niger Delta Avengers

Niger Delta Avengers, DialogueThe Minister of Environment Aisha Mohammed has urged the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups in the region to stop blowing up oil installations and embrace the path of dialogue with the federal government.

According to the Minister, the act of blowing up oil installations is not only criminal but its impact on the environment cannot be quantified.

“Today, over 60% of the pollution in the Niger Delta are third party breaks. It is criminal.

“This is not being done by people coming from the outside, this is being done by people doing this to themselves.

“This is not a short term wound, this is a very deep wound because when you open up oil to your environment, it takes decades to get that back.

“So its not just a question of what you do to the economy in the short term. If the economy fixes itself with the diversification, what have you done to your land? Young people need to understand.

“Please come to the table and dialogue, because the alternative that you have chosen is a wrong path for you, your future and your environment,” she said.

The Minister added that the current administration values the rule of law and would not condone criminality as it remained unacceptable for the militants to “go around risking other people’s lives”.

 

Ogoni Clean-Up Will Lead To More Niger Delta Clean-Ups – Environment Minister

Ogoni Clean-up, Niger DeltaThe Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, says the clean-up of Ogoni land is just the beginning of many clean-ups that the government will embark on in the Niger Delta region.

President Buhari will on Thursday, June 2, fulfil his campaign promise by launching the Ogoni clean-up project and Mrs Mohammed stated that how to keep the Niger Delta clean from further pollution after the clean-up is most important to the administration.

“Technologies are available, whether we are going to deal with the soil or the air and the gas flaring or we are going to be dealing with the water which is so contaminated.

“I think there is a broad knowledge of what is going to happen.” the Minister said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday.

Reacting to questions about the possibility of totally restoring the polluted areas in less time than the stipulated 25 years, the Minister noted that fixing the pollution cannot not be achieved in few years considering how long the damaging activities have been going on in the region.

“You’re not going to fix it in few years, no matter what technology you have. You have massive areas of land. Remember I said Ogoni is going to be our starting point, the rest of the Niger Delta is also polluted in heavy ways, perhaps even more so than Ogoni land.

“Even though there have been no production in the last 20 years there are still illegal activities that again refill the pollution.”

She gave the assurance that the Ministry would be deploying all available technologies and wealth of expertise from across the world and also from scientists in Nigeria universities towards achieving the targets.

New Belief

Mrs Amina Mohammed also gave the assurance that the people of Ogoni will be an integral part of what the government hopes to achieve in their community.

She admitted that there has been “a lot of trust deficit between government and the communities” and also between the people and their leaders but the Ministry has been speaking to traditional rulers, women, youths and other stakeholders to make them understand the mission.

She stated that having visited Ogoni land several times since becoming a minister, they have been able to build a strong belief in President Buhari from the community dwellers.

“The integrity of our president is what people believe in that there is hope and something can happen,” she said, adding that there had been some scepticism but recent happenings have swayed them.

She mentioned the provision of clean water as one of the emergency response measures being put in place after the launch of the clean-up.

“The past administration put a lot of sign posts to say ‘don’t go here don’t go there because they are contaminated’ but I can tell you everybody is there because there is no alternative.

“So what is incumbent upon us is to say ‘don’t stop someone before you have that alternative’ and really the alternatives are possible, we have to treat this with urgency but we have to plan well,” she explained.

The Minister of Environment also urged the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups in the region to stop blowing up oil installations and embrace the path of dialogue with the federal government.

According to the Minister, the act of blowing up oil installations is not only criminal but its impact on the environment cannot be quantified.

FG Commences Clean Up Of Ogoni Land

Ogoni landThe federal government has warned that any security threat to the clean-up process for the oil impacted communities in Ogoni land in Rivers State will be resisted.

Speaking at a sensitization meeting in Port Harcourt, the Minister of Environment, Ms Amina Mohammed, charged the people of Ogoni land to ensure security for the exercise.

As the federal government and the Rivers State government work together for the execution of the clean-up exercise recommended in a UNEP report, the meeting was convened to ‎ensure the interests of all those affected are represented in the clean- up process.

The Minister explained that part of the clean-up would include a post clean-up programme that would restore better livelihood for the people.

The United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP), at the request of the federal government, had conducted an independent assessment of the affected communities and made recommendations for remediation.

The UNEP report was accepted by many residents of the Ogoni community and government decided to use the report as a starting point in the clean-up process.

According to the UNEP report, there are over 200 oil-impacted locations across Ogoni land and the full environmental restoration of the community will take between 25 and 30 years.

The government is asking the people to be patient while the exercise lasts.

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to launch the activities for the clean-up process by June 2, 2016.

FG Restates Commitment To Total Clean-up Of Ogoni Land

OgoniThe federal government has reaffirmed its commitment to resolving cases of environmental degradation in Niger Delta.

The government plans to implement a strategy that involves empowering the people while protecting the environment.

Addressing a stakeholders meeting in Bori area in Rivers State on the United Nations’ Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on the clean-up of Ogoni land, the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, said that implementing the UN report remains a top priority of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

The President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, had tabled the problems of the people at the meeting with the Minister.

Having met with the people of Ogoni, the Minister proceeded to Yenogoa with the same message of a total clean-up of the area. There, the Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, lamented over the plights of the people suffering the effects of oil pollution.

Mrs Mohammed said that the Ministry was working on a mechanism that would help it address the problem of pollution in the Niger Delta overall.

The Minister had said at an earlier meeting with the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, “This is a protracted issue; an issue that we are now concerned that the pollution is beyond the oil companies. It is one we have to try to understand.

“What are the alternatives for young people and those that are in the community who have been part of these third party breaks?

“We have to put in place something that gives them a future and hope.”