Ogoni: Wike welcome FG clean-up initiative

*Amina Mohammed, Nigeria's Minister of Environment, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

*Amina Mohammed, Nigeria’s Minister of Environment, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Kunle Kalejaye

03 June 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike and the people of the state have welcomed Federal Government clean-up initiative of Ogoni land and other oil-impacted communities in Niger Delta.

Governor Wike in his address when President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo paid a visit to Bodo City in the state to formally launch the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP Report to clean-up Ogoni land, commended Mr. President for his bold initiative.

“We welcome this initiative wholeheartedly as shown by our enthusiastic presence, believing that the recommendations of UNEP will be systematically executed.

“This is because, we believe that only environmental justice would restore sustainable peace, stability and socio-economic progress in the Niger Delta.

“We, therefore, commend Mr. President’s determination to close this ugly chapter in our country’s history. Although this has taken long in coming; it is never too late when it comes to the environment,” Wike said.

For the people of Rivers State and the direct victim of environmental abuse, Wike said the clean-up initiative is a watershed in their collective struggle for environmental justice from the Nigeria nation and the world community.

He noted that the UNEP Report is significant because it presents the best available and factually detailed documentation of the scale of the existing and continuing damage to the entire Ogoni environment and by extension, the Niger Delta.

Wike added that the most significant of the report is that it present a clear roadmap on the priorities for action by government, stakeholders and the international community in terms of clean-up, remediation and restoration of the damage that has accumulated over the years.

The Rivers State governor said his state is ever willing to provide the platform for a smooth achievement of the long-awaited intervention.

Prior to the clean-up initiative, He explained that the entire Niger Delta has been subjected to the forms of environmental degradation for decades despite continued protest by the people.

Wike noted that as the UNEP Report starkly reveals, the degree of environmental damage in‎ the Niger Delta has been so deep and expansive that it would take several decades to carry out full remediation of the impacted site.

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