10 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The apex Ogoni socio-cultural group in Rivers State, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has given the Federal Government until December this year, to commence the clean up of oil polluted areas in Ogoniland or face the wrath of the people.
MOSOP also expressed total dissatisfaction over the delay in the commencement of the actual clean-up of Ogoniland, as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP, over one year after it was flagged-off by the Federal Government.
Speaking during an interaction with newsmen in Port Harcourt, as part of activities marking the 21st annual Ogoni Martyrs Day commemoration, MOSOP Media Advisor, Mr. Bari-ara Kpalap, explained that there has not been any meaningful activities going on in Ogoniland concerning the cleanup.
Kpalap, who is also the Secretary of the Martyrs Day Planning Committee, noted that since the flag off of the cleanup and the groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the Integrated Contaminated soil management, there has not been any activities going in the area.
He expressed worry that if nothing is done fast to commence on the cleanup exercise, the life of the people in the area will be more endangered than reported, stressing that spilled oil has drastically affected the soil and underground source of drinking waters in Ogoniland.
“If by the end of December this year, we did not see any meaningful activities as regards to clean up in Ogoniland, or anything that convinces us that the government is ready to commence on the cleanup, we will go back to the trench and embark on a peaceful campaign against the federal government, until government match its words with action.
“Our expectations have not been met, since June 2, 2016, till date, we cannot point anything concrete that the Federal Government has done that is on the ground today in the history of the Cleanup of Ogoniland.
“The flag-off was done in June 2016 and they did another groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of the integrated contaminated soil management, but as we speak, construction or cleanup of the area is in comatose.”
Kpalap stressed that the rate of pollution in Ogoni is not abating but instead is expanding and deepening.
He stated that the people of Ogoni are not satisfied with the federal government’s pace of the clean up, and urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to expedite action and facilitate the cleanup exercise.
MOSOP also called on the federal government to respond to the demands of the Ogoni people as contained in the Ogoni Bill of Rights.
He said, “the fertility of our soil continues to deteriorate, affecting food production and other of our livelihood.
“No clean water in the area, the drinkable water in Ogoniland is contaminated and have led to an increase in the health challenge.”
He further explained that the Ogoni Martyrs Day is a memorial anniversary for deceased Ogoni people, including renowned Environmentalist and Playwright, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who were killed by Nigeria’s government while struggling for the survival and development of the Ogoni ethnic nationality.