Ogoni: Delayed Clean-up of Niger Delta Region Sparks Concern
Photo Courtesy of: Cristiano Zingale 2014 @Flickr
Politicians and members of civil society from Nigeria’s Niger Delta region increasingly express concerns over the slow pace of progress regarding the clean-up of Ogoniland and other oil-polluted areas of the region. After Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had formally launched the clean-up programme in June 2016, members of Congress such as Chief Fred Agbedi – himself a native of the Niger Delta region – repeatedly lamented the government’s lukewarm to non-existent commitment to implementing the programme.
Below is an article published by The Tide:
A member of the [Nigerian] House of Representatives, Chief Fred Agbedi, has expressed disappointment that months after the much publicised ground-breaking ceremony done by the Vice President [Yemi Osinbajo] on the Ogoni clean-up programme, no machinery or personnel has been deployed to the site to commence the exercise.
Agbedi, who is representing the Ekeremor/Sagbama Federal Constituency in Bayelsa State, told newsmen in Yenagoa that the delay by the Federal Government to commence work on the clean-up exercise was deceitful and dangerous.
“The Federal Government said it is embarking on a clean-up of Ogoniland. Up till now, no equipment or personnel have been deployed for the job,” he said.
The lawmaker described the ground-breaking ceremony as a mere photo-trick aimed at receiving Ogoni people.
He blamed the fiscal and economic policies of the Buhari administration for the hardship being faced by Nigerians stressing that – if no drastic measures are taken it may turn the nation into crisis.
Agbedi said true federalism and resource control remain an enduring solution to the socio-economic challenges being faced by the nation.
He said that the Minister of Solid Minerals, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, will appear before the House to say one of the main challenges was illegal mining and that the federal government is working on ways to organize those illegal miners who can be encouraged [to join] co-operatives.
“But when it comes to the Niger Delta region and our people refining our crude, they call it economic sabotage”.