UNEP REPORT: Rivers Pledge Support For Ogoni

Mr. Tele Ikuru,Deputy Governor of Rivers State addressing protesting Ogonis in Government House

Mr. Tele Ikuru,Deputy Governor of Rivers State addressing protesting Ogonis in Government House

Ogoni people of Rivers State today, trooped out in their thousands in a peaceful public protest ending up at Government House, Port Harcourt, over the non-implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme Report on Ogoniland.

Mr. Tele Ikuru,Deputy Governor of Rivers State addressing protesting Ogonis in Government House

Ogonis under the aegis of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, were received at the Government House by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Tele Ikuru.

Stating the position of the state Government on behalf Governor Chibuike Amaechi, Ikuru pledged  support to the people of Ogoni in their quest for a speedy implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on environmental remediation for Ogoni land.

MOSOP was led by its President, Ledum Mitee to the Government House Port.

Ikuru, who received the protesters, stated that the issue requires immediate action as it has to do with the Ogoni Clean-Up; and called on the Federal Government to give the report the required attention.

“The situation which the Ogoni man lives is such that several people will continue to die of illnesses some of it you cannot fathom. We are waiting and hoping that the federal government and its agencies will put this at the front burner,” he said.

Ikuru however revealed that consultations have begun talks  with Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the Federal Government to provide interim measures, while a lasting solution is being worked out.

“We have started distributing treated water in tankers to the affected areas, where UNEP reported heavy presence of benzene in their drinking water. But the permanent solution would not only be to ensure that the Ogoni people have good water to drink. What about their livelihood; what about their land? So many things are indeed contaminated.”

Ikuru commended the people for the peaceful protest, while giving them the state government’s assurance to deliver their protest letter to the President and expressed hope of immediate action.

Earlier, MOSOP President, Ledum Mitee stated that the protest had become necessary due to the delay in implementation of the UNEP report, including failure by the Inter-Ministerial Committee set up by the government to evolve measures to address the matter.

“We want to know, who are those people in the Federal Government who are delaying these issues?”

Mitee lamented the poor living conditions in most affected communities, blaming it on the long years of oil exploitation and neglect, which he explained is why MOSOP has dragged Shell to court in the United Kingdom and the United States of America to seek redress over the situation.

He however commended the Rivers State Government and the National Assembly for their efforts in addressing the Ogoni issue, while revealing that the group will on November 10 commemorate the 17th anniversary of the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogonis who were executed by the military government in 1995.

By  Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt 

Load more