05 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The people of Ogoni in Rivers State have regretted the continuous delay in the commencement of the cleanup project of oil polluted areas in Ogoniland.
The apex Ogoni socio-cultural group, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, says further government delay in the commencement of the cleanup would be perceived as genocide against the people.
Speaking at the 2018 edition of Ogoni Day commemoration in Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoni, the President of MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, demanded a new economic structure that would ensure proper management of Ogoni resources for the development of its communities.
Pyagbara also expressed displeasure with the delay in the provision of the emergency measures included in the report on Ogoniland by the United Nations Environment Programme.
According to him, “The efforts are indeed too slow and is becoming too late to come if there is no urgent deliberateness to guarantee that critical steps are taken to ensure that the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, delivers on its core mandate to remediate the polluted Ogoni environment and restore livelihood.
“Any further delay on the part of the government in the restoration of our land will be seen as an act of genocide being committed against the Ogoni people.”
The MOSOP President also spoke on the provision of emergency measures, such as the provision of potable water, as part of the remediation project.
“We want to see a clear and focused intervention programme in the area of emergency measures which will see the take-off of the water intervention project, provide livelihood support training for women and carry out the health impact assessment in the first quarter of the year.”
Meanwhile, the Unrepresented Nations and People Organization, UNPO has strongly condemned ongoing aggressions and repression in Ogoniland and urges the Nigerian government to fully implement the action plan for a large-scale and sustainable clean-up of the Niger Delta region.
UNPO called on the European Union, the United States and other actors involved in oil extraction in Nigeria to make the plight of the Ogoni people “one of their primary concerns and pressure the Nigerian government to conform to international laws,” UNPO said.