Oct 12, 2016

Ogoni: Youth Leadership Council Wants Indigenous Environmentalist to Head Clean-up

Photo courtesy of Oil Change International.


As the UN programme for the oil spills clean-up of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta advances, leaders from the Ogoni Joint Youth Council demand for an indigenous project manager to be put in charge. The environmental tragedy has created jobs locally, but the clean-up has been delayed several times and caused concern in the region. The clean-up is a very important project for the reason and the Ogoni people want to be involved and in the future of their environment.


The article below was published in The Nation:


A coalition of Ogoni youth leaders has demanded the appointment of an indigenous project manager for the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme’s recommendation on Ogoni clean-up.

The leaders, under the aegis of the Ogoni Joint Youth Leadership Council, said this was necessary since the Federal Government appointed leadership of other structures outside Ogoni.

A statement by the Chairman of the leadership council, Mr. Friday Ngbihoro and Public Relations Officer, Mr. Vincent Gbosi, said the Ogoni had in abundance environment experts with the capacity to work as project managers.

The statement, issued at Nonwa in Tai Local Government of Rivers State, said the appointment of an Ogoni would alleviate the people’s plight and ensure compliance with global best practices, being a victim.

It said: “We demand the appointment of an indigenous project manager, having appointed leadership of the other structures outside Ogoni. We believe that the Ogoni have in abundance world-class environmentalists and project managers, whose appointment will alleviate the plight of the people and ensure compliance with global best practices, being victims. We demand equal spread in these appointments across the four local governments that make up Ogoni, to give all parts a sense of belonging.”

The youth leaders sought the action of the Federal Government and its security agencies against insecurity, particularly in Ogoniland.

They said this could affect the implementation of the project and the legislative rerun.

The leaders said politically-related murder, arson, communal and cult-related clashes remained a threat to peace and development of the Ogoniland.

They hailed President Muhammadu Buhari for actualising his campaign promise to the Ogoni and by extension the Niger Delta.

The leaders praised the inauguration of the Governing Council and the Board of Trustees for the clean-up of Ogoniland.

They restated their belief in the Buhari administration and confidence in the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, to achieve the clean-up of the Ogoniland and other areas in the Niger Delta.

The leaders advised youths to be peaceful, united and supportive of development-oriented leaders from Ogoni and the state.