9th January, 2015
Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Former Head of State and presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Major General Muhammadu Buhari, has promised to implement the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report and activate abandoned Federal Government projects in Ogoniland if elected President of Nigeria in the forthcoming general elections.
Buhari, who made the promise on Thursday while speaking during a meeting with stakeholders of Ogoni ethnic nationality at Saakpenwa, headquarters of Tai local government area of Rivers state, also vowed to complete the abandoned Bodo-Bonny road project.
“The decision of the Federal Government to abandon the Bodo-Bonny road project is a clear case of incompetence and social injustice. It amounts to neglect at the highest level. A lot is taking from Ogoniland and relatively, a little is brought back in return. I assure you that an APC-led Federal Government will fulfill all its promises in Ogoniland,” he said.
The APC presidential candidate called on the people of the area to ensure they get their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVC) so as to vote en masse for the APC at all levels of the general elections.
In his remarks, Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, stated that despite being the second most populous ethnic nationality in the state, the people of Ogoni have suffered a lot in terms of environmental degradation and other challenges, stressing that a vote for APC will alleviate their pains.
In an address read on behalf of the people of Ogoni, the Senator representing Rivers South-East and APC Senatorial Candidate in the February 14, 2015 general elections, Senator Magnus Abe, said several injustices have been committed against the ethnic nationality in the past fifty years.
While emphasizing that, Bodo-Bonny road, the only seeming ongoing Federal Government project in Ogoniland is uncompleted years after the Government of President Olusegun Obasanjo awarded the contracts, he said “our position as a people concerning resumption of oil exploration in Ogoni is that, there should be adequate consultation with, and participation of the Ogonis in the process leading to their eventual operation.
“As a deprived people, we have consistently placed in the domains of all governments, the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR) that seeks for equal representation of Ogonis in the affairs of the nation. These demands include appointment of Ogoni sons and daughters in government, provision of live sustainable infrastructures, such as good roads, water and development institutions.”
Earlier, the President of the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, King Godwin Gininwa, who in company of other leaders presented a Sword and copy of UNEP report to Buhari said the people of Ogoni expects Buhari, when elected as President of Nigeria, to wipe out their years of tears and pains.