Osinbajo Calls On Niger Delta Youths To Shun Violence

osinbanjoThe acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, has appealed to residents of the Niger Delta, particularly youths in the region to shun violence and embrace peace.

Mr Osinbajo made this known on Tuesday, during the special engagement on Niger Delta Matters, where stakeholders in River State converged to press home several issues militating against the development of the region.

He called on the youths to give a prevailing room for sustainable development of the region.

According to him, “Peace is the most important quality we need, for the first time we are at the center of government, this is not the time to make war, this is the time to make peace, so that we can derive all the benefits the government has for us all.

“We should maintain peace, the “Buhari government” is committed to changing the narrative in the Niger Delta.

“Our party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) is going to achieve everything that we have said we will achieve, by the grace of God and you will be extremely proud of this great party

“Don’t worry, today is opposition, tomorrow is victory” He added.

Ogoni Project

The acting President on the issues of the Ogoni clean-up project,disclosed a coordinator has been appointed, while the Shell Petroleum Development Cooperation (SPDC) has been compelled to give 1billion Dollars, meant for the cleanup project and the take off grant has also been provided.

He further revealed that a committee  with focus on the projects to be achieved in the community such as, provision of clean water in the region, health impact assessment study, construction of soil management centre, training, amongst other things, has been constituted.

He appealed to stakeholders in the region that the current administration is genuinely committed to addressing the concerns that have been raised over time.

 

 

 

 

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 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.”

FG Inaugurates 13-Man Committee To Clean Up Ogoni Land

OgoniThe Federal Government has inaugurated a 13-man consultative committee to clean up and restore the hydro-carborn polluted areas of Ogoni land in Rivers State.

The Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Allison-Madueke, who inaugurated the committee in Abuja, said that the committee would develop a road-map for the restoration of the polluted areas of the Ogoni people.

The newly formed committee was set up as a result of failure of previous government’s efforts to clean up and restore the polluted lands in the area.

Agitations to restore oil polluted areas of the Ogoni land took a new momentum in 2006 when the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, published its reports on the extent of damage done to the region.

Six years after that report, the Federal Government set up the Hydro-Carbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) with a view to cleaning up all oil polluted lands in the Niger-Delta region, including that of the Ogoni people.

However, since its establishment in 2012, much result has not been felt in the region, hence this new committee.

Representatives of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, believe that the new committee would produce results especially since it has the people’s representation.

The MOSOP President, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, as well as the Ogoni Youth Leader, Marvin Yobana, were present at the inauguration.

It is hoped that the committee would produced the desired results for which purpose it was set up and minimise protests against environmental degradation in the region.