Oct 04, 2012

Ogoni: Senate Committee Condemns Environmental Degradation

The Nigerian Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology has promised to take action against environmental degradation in Ogoniland.

Below is an article published by Leadership:

The Senate Committee on Environment and Ecology has decried the high level of environmental degradation caused by decades of oil spills in Ogoniland due to the activities of multi-national oil firms operating in the area.

Chairman of the Committee, Senator Bukola Saraki, made the observation during a town-hall meeting in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of the state, shortly after members of the committee visited oil spill sites at Ebubu-Eleme, Kegbara-Dere, Goi and Bodo communities in Ogoniland.

Saraki said: “When we got to the Goi spill site, a young boy of about six was having his bath in what I call crude oil. Very close to where the young boy was, a middle aged woman was trying to harvest cassava. She was harvesting cassava that she will eat but I don’t call that cassava, I call it crude oil, in Nigeria of today?”

He assured the people of the area that the Senate would do all it can to ensure that serious action was taken to return the Ogoni environment to its natural state so that the people, who are pre-dominantly farmers and fishermen, could go back to their trades.

The senator said: “I don’t know if I have the mandate but I believe that as a senator, a former governor, and somebody who used to assist the people, I think I have the moral obligation on behalf of the Senate to take up this issue in the Senate so that all of us will be happy at the end of the day.

 “I believe that today is the beginning of a new chapter. I say that with all honesty. I know that those that know me know that when I take up an issue, I fear nobody. Today is the beginning of a new thing to happen in Ogoniland. It is not because of anything but what I saw surpasses what I have heard. These are no longer your battle, go and sleep and by the grace of God, we will fight for you.”

Conducting members of the committee around the damaged Bomu Manifold in Kegbara-Dere in Gokana Local Government Area of the state, spokesman of the community, Mr. Bari-ara Kpalap, said the level of contamination in the area was so bad that it had already affected the ground water.