The Environmental Rights Action/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/ FoEN has urged President Muhammadu Buhari not to follow the path of the administration of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan by implementing the recommendations of the United Nation Environmental Programme, UNEP report on Ogniland presented to the Federal Government in 2011.
ERA/FoEN Executive Director, Godwin Uyi Ojo who spoke in Abuja at a stakeholders workshop to commemorate the forth year anniversary of the release of the report said the most disturbing part of the report is the extensive oil pollution in Ogoniland which is yet to be cleaned.
He called on President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently look into the issue so that he can fulfil part of his electioneering campaign to the people of Ogoniland.
Ojo said, “While past Government failed to implement the UNEP report recommendations, President Mohammadu Buhari during his electioneering campaigns visited ogoni and promised that one of his priorities when he assume office will be the full implementation of the UNEP report”
“Today makes it four years since this ground breaking report which many claim merely confirms the generally held view that the discovery and exploitation of oil and gas in any local community is akin to the passing of a death sentence on such a community”
“To ensure the immediate commencement of clean-up and restoration of the ecosystem and livelihoods of the ogonis and the entire Niger Delta as a whole, we urge that strategies, roadmaps and processes be put in place by Government and the oil companies to address this”
“While we acknowledge the ongoing consultative meetings, we urge that they should be broadbased with all stakeholders participation”he said
Ojo called on the Federal Government and the relevant agencies to initiate a holistic approach involving broad based stakeholders including communities and civil societies organizations participation in the design, implementation and monitoring of the ogoni clean up and restoration.
A Women leader from Bayelsa state, Warder Ayibakuro who also spoke at the workshop said some areas in the state are suffering due to the effect of oil-spillage on the area.
She said there is need for urgent action to be taken so as to save such areas from imminent disaster.