Group Wants Assessment Of Ogoni Impacted Communities

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Following the apparent delay in the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report in Ogoni land, a youth-based organisation, under the auspices of Ogoni Youth Federation, (OYF), has called for a supplementary impact assessment on Ogoni to ascertain the current state of the Ogoni environment.
The call was part of the declaration reached by the group, after a one-day round table discussion with Ogoni leader and stakeholders at Londa Hotel, Port Harcourt at the weekend.
The body also demanded that medical checkups should be carried out on every Ogoni person inhabiting Ogoniland, as well as proper treatment of Ogoni’s, who might be suffering ailments resulting from inhaling toxic air and drinking of contaminated water.
National Coordinator of the body, Comrade Yamaabana Legborsi, who read the communiqué at the end of the gathering, decried the lack of sincerity on the parts of the Federal Government and Shell to the implementation of the UNEP report in Ogoni.
He called on Shell to cease engagement focused on resumption of operations in Ogoniland and concentrate on the implementation of the Ogoni Clean-Up as stipulated by the UNEP report.
He said, “the only source of livelihood of every Ogoni man is fishing and farming but this has been truncated by the activities of Shell and the Nigerian Government” and demanded compensation to all Ogoni people for their own share of damages and benefits from the exploitation of Ogoni resources so far.
The group also called on Shell and the Federal Government to carry out a scholarship scheme to enhance capital and capacity development of Ogoni Youth.
It also blamed the IOCs and politicians over the proliferation of arms and growing spate of security in Ogoni land and called on the Inspector-General of Police, to establish more police stations in Ogoniland.
The deliberate exclusion of Ogoni Youth from the pipeline surveillance contract was also identified by the body as a major cause of joblessness and insecurity in the area.
Some of the participants at the meeting, who spoke with The Tide in an interview, said the platform created avenue for broad based discussion on matters concerning the development of Ogoni land. A participant, Barr Noble Sarowiyo commended the body for the initiative and called for proper sensitization of the people on issues relating to Ogoni. He pointed out that lack of sensitization builds doubts in the mind of the people, particularly on the present Ogoni Clean-up exercise.

Taneh Beemene