Group seeks review of Ogoni cleanup, alleges neglect of settlements
The Ogoni Liberation Initiative (OLI) at the weekend urged President Muhammadu Buhari to review the cleanup ordered in the oil-rich community, insisting that the exercise had not yielded the desired result.
It charged the Federal Government to take a cursory look against the project’s alleged failure to address the challenge of social amenities and potable water for the locals which formed the fulcrum of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report besides the remediation work that began June this year in 16 sites impacted by oil pollution in the four council areas that make up Ogoniland.
Briefing the media in Lagos, OLI president, Rev. Douglas Fabeke, claimed that the project had “no human face as the contractors have failed to provide adequate water supplies for the communities.”
He spoke ahead of the unveiling of a book titled, “The Issues of Ogoni People, The Crises And The Solution: Creating Awareness For Public Participation.”
Fabeke implored the Buhari administration to suspend and evaluate the project, describing it as a “mere jamboree.”
He noted that the late President Musa Yar’Adua’s initiative was the “best approach” to the Ogoni dilemma.
Fabeke alleged: “Nothing is going on at the moment. Ogoni people cannot reach the contractors and no single centre is on ground for the dissemination of information.
“The suspension will be good for the communities because nothing is going on. There was suppose to be a central office for the Ogoni to engage the contractors, but we do not know the contractors and I don’t know if they are professionals and the kind of equipment they use. That is why we want President Buhari to suspend the exercise and assess what is going on?
“Before the exercise, there was suppose to be a water project, but as we speak, there is no potable water anywhere in our communities.”
He further claimed: “The contractors supply water to the people with tankers as they wish. A professional body of experts should be constituted to investigate the ‘failed’ project.”