The Director, Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Mr Nninmo Bassey has raised alarm over the delay in the cleanup of the polluted part of Ogoni land despite the huge resources and manpower made available since 2012.
In a statement signed by HOMEF’s, Media and communication Lead, Kome Odhomor on Friday, Bassey who is an Environmentalist regretted that successive leaderships of the Hydrocarbons Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP (a commission responsible for the cleanup exercise) had failed in cleaning up the region.
He urged the newly appointed HYPREP Coordinator, Professor Nenibarini Zabbey, to hit the ground running by ensuring that Ogoni land as well as other impacted communities of oil exploitation and exploration are cleaned up in no distant time.
While expressing confidence in the capacity of Prof Zabbey as an academic and activist, Nninmo said time was of the essence as the situation gets worse every passing day.
He urged Zabbey to use his office to advocate for a comprehensive health and environmental audit of Ogoni land as well as the entire Niger Delta.
The statement said, “The clean-up of Ogoni has taken longer than necessary despite the resources and manpower made available. In 2012, the Nigerian government established the Hydrocarbons Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) to help with the clean-up of Ogoni land and impacted communities.
”We applaud the appointment of Prof. Nenibari Zabbey. Who has deep knowledge of the Ogoni environment and has done important research in the area and in the wider Niger Delta region. This appointment coming 12 years after the UNEP report should signify a turning point in the sluggish manner by which the clean-up has been approached.
“We call on the Federal Government of Nigeria, the oil and gas industry to begin a comprehensive cleanup of the Niger Delta region and take coordinated action to end all forms of pollution including through gas flaring.”
Bassey also called for transparency, focus and inclusion of all relevant stakeholders in the operations as well as regular consultations in which projected milestones are shared and achieved targets presented.