14 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Monarchs in Ogoniland under the auspices of the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, COTRA, have raised the alarm over their people being subjected to drinking hydrocarbon polluted water which the World Health Organisation, WHO, has declared unsafe for consumption.
The Chairman of Ogoni Council of Traditional Rulers, HRH, King Suanu Baridam, decried the Federal Government and the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP’s perceived lip service to emergency measures recommended in the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, report on Ogoniland.
King Baridam speaking at a workshop on Validation and Capacity Building on Influencing Decision Makers, organized by the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre, CISLAC, pointed out that the oil-impacted communities in Ogoni have continued to suffer neglect.
The former Spokesperson for the Association of Traditional Rulers of Mineral Oil Producing Communities in Nigeria, TROMPCON, explained that potable water which was recommended as an emergency measure by UNEP has not been provided.
“I have not seen anything on the ground as regards the emergency measures recommended by UNEP and I don’t think that there is even any process on ground to bring the emergency measures to reality.
“They only go on the television and other media houses to say that things are happening when actually they have not done anything.”
Earlier, the Conflict Adviser of CISLAC, Mr. Salaudeen Ibrahim, blame stakeholders, especially civil society organizations for failing to play actively their roles in the implementation of government policies.
Ibrahim noted that the essence of the capacity training workshop was to build advocacy skills for civil societies to bridge the capacity gap that is identified within their activities, especially on the need to influence government’s policies, activities, and decisions.
“We have noticed that most of our laws on environment are obsolete.
“Policies of government have adversely affected the way and manner development has thrived and that has actually set us back strongly.
“We believe that it is very important that we take the liberty to build advocacy skills among non-state actors to be able to engage very strongly.
“The desired results will be that people will be able to push even stronger and robust laws and policies and programmes of government to be enacted, CISLAC said.