Mixed Reactions Trail $177m Ogoni Clean-Up Fund


The recent release of the sum of $177 million by the Federal Government for the Ogoni environmental clean-up exercise has continued to generate reactions among stakeholders.
Some Ogoni stakeholders who commented on the issue, expressed mixed feelings over the Federal Government approach towards the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Project (UNEP) recommendation for the clean up of the polluted Ogoni environment.
In his reaction, former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr Ledum Mitee, accused the Federal Government of playing politics with the ogoni-clean up exercise, noting that no concrete achievements have been recorded in the clean-up exercise, years after its flag off.
Speaking during a chat with newsmen in Port Harcourt, recently Mitee, an Ogoni born activist described the Ogoni clean-up exercise as a “political gimmick” and urged the Federal Government to show sincerity and commitment on the matter.
He said, “after several activities have been projected, nothing practically has been done, the oil impact sites remain in a messy state. Ogon’s still drink contaminated water resulting in high level of diseases and death”.
He pointed out that the release of the fund at the eve of election is an indication that the Federal Government is politicising the Ogoni clean-up, adding that nothing has be done to mitigate the untold sufferings of the displaced Ogoni population.
He said there was need for another study to determine the level of damages done to the Ogoni environment, especially in areas that were not captured in the previous study.
On his part, the President of a pan Ogoni group, KAGOTE, Dr Peter Medee, said the clean-up exercise was on course.
Medee who is a member of the Board of the Hydro Carbon Pollution and also stated that all funds so far released for the clean up exercise were intact, and commended the Federal Government for the recent release of $177 million for the programme.
A youth based organisation in Ogoni, the Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) also picked hole in the process of implementation of the Ogoni clean-up exercise.
President of the body, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, in a press statement, accused the Federal Government of gambling with the lives of the Ogoni people, noting that the Ogoni people have not felt the impact of the exercise.
He accused the management of HYPREP of being secretive in the handling of its affairs and called for a probe of the body.
He urged the Federal Government to call on the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jubril to account for the initial $10 million released for the clean-up.
as a result of pollution.
Comrade Christian also cautioned against personal appropriate of funds meant for the clean-up exercise and called for proper scrutiny by companies applying to participate in the exercise for effective delivery.