Al Gore expected in Bayelsa for environment summit

*Govt. blasts oil companies

George Onah

21 September, 2011, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt- Former Vice President of United States of America Mr. Al Gore is expected along with other international guests in Bayelsa State for the maiden summit on environment organized by the state ministry of environment

In an interview in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment, Chief Robert Enogha disclosed that Al Gore would be expected to deliver a lead lecture at the summit where stakeholders would meet to find a lasting solution to the environmental challenges of the state.

Enogha who said the oil companies in the state were insensitive to the sufferings of the people as a result of their activities explained that steps would be taken to seek reparation from the oil companies for their decades of abuses on the state’s environment.

He said the summit would provide a platform for the stakeholders, including the natives who have been subjected to environmental abuses to tell the world how they have been made orphans and how they have suffered all kinds of ailments by the oil companies.

He reasoned that the state was not in the mood to go to war with the oil firms, in spite of their wicked and disrespectful behavior, pointing out that every legal step would be taken to call them to order.

“Today, the country is enjoying the oil boom and our revenue has increased such that the country now celebrates and shares the dividend of the peace moves that Bayelsa State started. We are doing all we can to make sure that we do not confront the oil companies.

We have the courts and we shall use the courts to address these issues with the firm belief that we shall get justice. We shall use the law to compel the oil companies to behave. We are not waiting for such a time that we will be able to wash our dirty linens in the courts. But see, wherever they want us to go, we will follow them”.

If they want the courts in Nigeria or abroad to handle our case against them, we will follow them. What we are going to be talking about is reparation for the social abuses on Bayesians, the number of fatherless children, the destruction of our land and waters.

That is what we shall; be talking about and we shall explore every legitimate means to get proper and adequate reparation from all of them. They have made a number of people orphans; people have become hungry because of their activities.

It has been ages of undue torture from the oil companies. I did not expect them to sit and wait to be propelled before they would wake up and think of remedial steps to take.

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