Port Harcourt — The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, has tasked Ogoni stakeholders to ensure that the collective interest of Ogoniland is paramount, by joining hands in the clean-up exercise to make it a success.
Project Coordinator, HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil, speaking in Port Harcourt at the 3rd Stakeholders’ Forum on the Cleanup Project, emphasised that Ogoni people should do everything to ensure that the project succeeds.
Dekil thanked the Ogoni people for having hope in the project, assuring that the project would be implemented in line with international specifications.
While speaking on the achievement of the agency in the last one year, the Project Coordinator also appealed to Ogoni youths to desist from acts capable of re-polluting the Ogoni environment.
“We hold you in high esteem as key stakeholders in the Ogoni clean-up project and once again want to assure you of our determination to ensure that Ogoniland is cleaned to international standards.
“We have a duty to advised those who are deliberately misinforming others about the project that such is not the best way to go, because our personal interest shouldn’t override the common good of Ogoniland, rather collective interest of Ogoniland should override every personal interest.
“It is our earnest expectation from the youths that as Ogoni is cleaned it remains clean from the activities of illegal bunkering and refining.
“It is our collective responsibility to educate the youths on the dangers of illegal refining on health, the environment and the national economy. Together we can achieve it and achieve we must to guarantee a safe environment and future for our children.”
Also speaking, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, disclosed that Ogoni people were lucky the their long agitations earned them the clean up of their impacted communities by the Federal Government.
The President of MOSOP and member of the Governing Council of HYPREP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, said that it was not only Ogoni that was affected by activities of oil firm in the country, but that Ogoni was fortunate that their struggle got attention of the United Nations, which prompted the clean-up.
“This is our project and it is a product of our struggle. So, the genuine interest I see in Ogoni is welcomed. This project is the most commented I have seen, the most applauded and the most criticized project I have seen.
“The project has got both international and local attention, so we must do everything to ensure that it succeeds and ensure that the recommendations are put on the ground.
“We are very lucky that our struggle got attention of the Federal Government and and the world. It got attention of UNEP to do a report. Every Ogoni man must stand tall that our agitation has earned us this.”
For his part, the President of KAGOTE and member, HYPREP Board of Trustees, Dr Peter Medee, urged Ogoni people to join hands and make the project a success instead embarking on destructive criticism and campaign of calumny against the project.
“Those blackmailing thee project are sending wrong signals to the world and other donor agencies, who may wished to support the project as they may feel they cannot put money into a that ithat is not credible.
“Those Ogoni people into commercial activism for their own selfish interest should desist from it. The clean-up is an important and laudable program that will transcend Ogoniland to the envy of many, therefore we all must cherish this project.”
However, the member representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Sen. Barry Mpigi, assured that the legislature would work with HYPREP to erase any bureaucratic bottlenecks that may impede the pace of the clean-up project.