03 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, has decried what it described as genocide against the people of Ogoniland over failure of relevant authorities to provide potable water for the people.
President of MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, at an event berated the federal government for the delay in commencing the clean up of Ogoniland and also in providing potable water.
Pyagbara explained that the provision of potable water for the people of Ogoni was part of the recommendations by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, since the source of drinking water in the oil-impacted communities was contaminated.
“Due to the hydrocarbon contamination of underground source of water, UNEP recommended the provision of potable water across Ogoniland.
“The pollution of the underground source of drinking water amounts to genocide, and we are looking at how we are going to use the Genocide Convention to intervene on the Ogoni issue.”
The MOSOP leader also condemned the failure of the federal government to give attention to Ogoni wetland, which according to him, was also part of UNEP recommendations, that the Ogoni wetlands be declared a Ramsar site in order to attract investment into the area.
According to him, “UNEP recommended that the federal government of Nigeria should declare the intention to make the wetland in Ogoni a Ramsar site, to draw international attention.
“When a place is made a Ramsar site, it means it has become a site of international importance, it means that the ecosystems and the biodiversity in that area can receive international intervention.
“And when you declare a place a Ramsar site, it means you can get funding both locally and internationally to start addressing the challenges with the wetland,” Pyagbara said.
Meanwhile, Ogonis in Rivers State are considering a united position concerning the issue of restructuring of Nigeria.
The National Coordinator of a pan-Ogoni group known as the Ken Saro Wiwa Associates, Mr. Gani Topba, said Ogonis will be meeting to make known their position on the call for the restructuring of Nigeria.
“In our view as Ken Saro Wiwa Associates, we are using this medium to call on Ogoni leaders on the need for a pan-Ogoni meeting where we can discuss issues of Ogoni, including the Ogoni Bill of Rights, and state our position known again to world and to the country, on where we stand concerning the restructuring of Nigeria.
“However, Ken Saro Wiwa Associates is prepared and in few days ahead, we will start our engagement with opinion leaders in Ogoni and we are prepared to work with the opinion leaders to make the engagements a successful meeting.”