18th August, 2011
Less than 24 hours after the Federal Government announced the constitution of a Special Review Committee on the United Nations Environment Programme report on the pollution in Ogoniland, in Rivers State, the state chapter of the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, has faulted the membership of the Committee.
Reacting to the special Review Committee in a press statement signed by Jerry Needam, the Publicity Secretary of ACN in the state, regrets that the Federal Government is yet to come to terms with the true situation in Ogoniland by politicising the issue that has to do with the life of an entire ethnic nationality.
According to the statement, the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on oil pollution in Ogoniland is crystal clear and calls for no further talks but immediate action.
The party said that â€œwhat is therefore needed at the moment is convocation of experts, environmental activists, Ogoni stakeholders to fashion out immediate remedial measures and not an assemblage of PDP card-carrying members as special Review Committee.â€
The statement further stressed that the Committee should include the representatives of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, and the Rivers State government.
â€œItâ€™s against this backdrop that we reject the special review committee as presently constituted because the issue at stake is a matter of life or death well beyond politics,â€ ACN noted.
The ACN queried why such an all important committee that calls for technical and on the spot knowledge of the environmentally polluted Ogoniland should be made of â€œministers and Abuja-based politicians and their cronies most of whom have never visited Ogoni let alone appreciate the import of the UNEP report,â€ ACN argued.
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt