24 May 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to match his words with action concerning funds for the clean up of oil-impacted sites in Ogoniland, as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme.
MOSOP, an apex body of Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers State, disclosed this while reacting to the announcement by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, that President Buhari has ordered NNPC and its JV companies to immediately release funds for the Ogoni cleanup.
President of MOSOP, Legborsi Pyagbara, told our correspondent that although the directive is a positive development, it was not the first time the President has given such directive on Ogoni clean up.
Pyagbara stated that the people of Ogoni will not be overly excited about the directive until visible and clear actions have been put on the ground by the Federal Government.
According to him, “The directive is a positive development because, for us, we believe that once the funds are there, the proper work will be done because we can’t go forward without adequate funding.
“I think it is a welcome development and we expect the President not just to give directive but to follow it up with definite action to ensure that the funds are released into the Ogoni Cleanup Trust Fund.
“Now that the President has given the directive, this is not the first time of such directive, in 2016 he gave the directive for a fast track action and we didn’t see anything happen.
“So this time around we expect him to match that directive with clear actions on the ground where we will confirm that the money is released into the Trust Fund.”
On claims by critics that the Presidential directive was a political gimmick to secure Rivers State votes since the election is nine months away, the MOSOP President said it was still okay if politics will fast-track a remediated Ogoni environment.
“If it will require politics to get the money out, so be it. I don’t want to go into the argument whether it is driven by politics or not. The issue is if it is politics that will get the money for Ogoni cleanup out for the work to be done, for me it is okay,” the Ogoni leader said.