Ogoni: Kukah Expressed Gratitude for Confidence in Peace Process
The presidential facilitator of the Ogoni Peace Process, Rev. Fr. Matthew Hassan Kukah, has expressed gratitude to the people of Ogoni for the confidence reposed in him.
Rev. Fr. Kukah stated this at Kpor, headquarters of Gokana Local Government area of
The facilitator described the .exercise as one of the most crucial phases in the reconciliation process, disclosing that the involvement of the United Nations team was at the instance of the President Olusegun Obasanjo and supported by the Governor of Rivers State, Dr Peter Odili, whom he said had done so much for the Ogoni in recent times.
He said the interactive session with the people was designed to explain details of the remediation exercise in the area, adding that the clean-up was specifically to better the lot of the people in so many ways.
He reiterated that the exercise had nothing to do with Shells’ re-entry into Ogoni, and in consonance with what the people had always wanted.
In her speech, the Minister of Environment, Chief Helen Esuene, represented by Dr Bamedele Ajaikaye said, the exercise was to clean-up the area, as well as prevent future occurrences.
She described the UNEP as a world organisation that had its integrity to protect and solicited the cooperation of the people.
In their speeches of the occasion, the State Commissioner for Environment, Dr Roselyn Konya and Chief Priscilla Vikue, Special Assistant to the Governor said the degradation in Ogoniland, emanating from oil prospection and exploitation necessated the exercise and urged the people to support and believe in the exercise.
They called on the people to give necessary support to the United Nations team, while expressing gratitude to President Obasanjo and Governor Odili for their love for the Ogonis.
Also speaking, the Operations Manager, UNEP, Mr Muralee Thummarukudy, assured that the exercise would be detailed enough to cover all aspects of pollution and called for their cooperation.
Earlier in his speech, the Chairman of Gokana Local Government, Chief Fred Kpakol, thanked the President and the State Governor for their interest in the affairs of the Kingdom and the people, saying that the clean-up had been one of the desires of the people and pledged their cooperation.