Ogoni Clean-up to Begin In the Coming Weeks

By Ikenga Chronicles March 7, 2016

Ogoni Clean-up to Begin In the Coming Weeks

PORT HARCOURT, NIGERIA:

The much anticipated and needed clean up of Ogoniland is to commence in the coming weeks, according to the Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed. The minister stated this during a courtesy visit to the Rivers State Governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike on the 6th of March, 2016.  Amina Mohammed who accepted that the clean up of the Niger Delta is necessary, stated that it was necessary to start from Ogoni and Rivers State as the state is the “home of the struggle”. She affirmed that it is hoped that President Buhari himself will flag off the clean up, which is expected to last for 25-30 years;

“It is hoped that we will have this launch in the coming weeks and the president himself will launch the cleanup. It is really to us a turning point in the history of the struggle. Ogoniland is the first place where actions (cleanup)need to be.There is a wide challenge of pollution in the Niger Delta. We are here to begin activities toward the launch of the cleanup with stakeholders’ dialogue.We are beginning in Rivers because this is the home of the struggle but we know it is wider”

In his response, Governor Wike pleaded with the federal government not to politicize the clean up. He pointed out that people in the communities who have been affected by the monstrosity of the spillages are more concerned about their health and economy, and not about political parties. According to him, “Communities do not know about political parties, what communities know is about how to survive.”

Ogoni

(This river in Bomu, Ogoni, once the home of fishes. The receding water-lines tell the story of the effects of Oil spillage in Ogoniland)

 

The governor also advised that cleaning up Ogoni is a complex exercise, thus a great deal of care has to be taken;

“…I will advice that we approach it in such a way that it does not look political, particularly in Ogoniland; it is a very complex place and you have to be extremely careful. Because if you are not careful, you may not achieve what you want you intend to achieve”

Governor Wike re-iterated his support for all environmental exercises that will help Rivers State and the Niger Delta.

 

Bomu

(Community Secondary School,Bomu, in Ogoni. Physical evidence of abandonment)

Despite being one of the major sources of Nigeria’s wealth, Ogoniland has witnessed unprecedented abandonment and poverty, which has been exacerbated by the huge environmental degradation in the land. The clean up, which has since been recommended by the United Nations Environmental Programme report(popularly known as the UNEP Report) is a necessary step towards the restoration of a place that is arguably the “abandoned goose that laid the golden egg”.

 

Credit: NAN

Photo Credit: Nnaemeka Oruh

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