The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has appealed to Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, to own the ongoing Clean-Up of impacted environment in Ogoniland and ensure that the people of the ethnic nationality were not short-changed in the process.
The group also appealed to the Rivers State House of Assembly and members of the National Assembly from Rivers State to come together to ensure the the clean up project was carried out as agreed in order not to allow Ogoni people to suffer.
CISLAC Executive Director, Auwal Ibrahim Musa, who spoke yester in Port Harcourt during a strategic meeting organised by the group, expressed concern over the level of politicking that has enveloped the entire cleanup process.
Musa said: “Rivers State Governor should rise up to ensure that Ogoni people are not short-changed in the course of the project. The Rivers State House of Assembly and National Assembly members from Rivers State must also come together to ensure that the project is carried out as agreed so that Rivers people will not suffer.
“CISLAC and its allies have expressed concern over the level of politicking that has enveloped the entire cleanup process which was conceived to restore, remediate and rehabilitate the people of Ogoni and the Niger Delta region as a whole.”
Musa stated that several scorecards on the Ogoni clean-up has scored the Hydrocarbon Remediation Project (HYPREP) lower on the implementation of both aspects of the project, including the emergency measures and remediation.
He said: “Several scorecards on the Ogoni clean-up has scored HYPREP lower on the implementation of both aspects of the project – emergency measures and remediation. The emergency measures are implemented in an adhoc manner which undermines overall benefit to the communities.
“Similarly, the environmental remediation aspect of the project and associated critical infrastructure required for effective contaminated land remediation are yet to be developed, and thus pose significant risk to the achievement of the overall project goal.
“Of the 8 elements on the emergency measures, only public awareness of the project has been attempted. Even that has been weak and ineffective following the weak strategy adopted by HYPREP.
The CISLAC Executive Director demanded for an immediate review be conducted by a team from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) alongside independent stakeholders to access progress made drawing indicators from the UNEP report.
He also demanded the immediate setting up of civil society organizations’ desk within HYPREP to share regular information with stakeholders, internal and external.