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Ogoni: ERA/FoEN urges HYPREP to focus on delivering proper clean up

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on August 11, 2011 a man scoops spilled crude oil allegedly caused by Shell equipment failure floating at the bank of B-Dere waterways in Ogoniland, Rivers State. – Oil giant Shell has agreed to pay around 95 million euros to communities in southern Nigeria over crude spills in 1970, the company and the community’s lawyer said on August 11, 2021. (Photo by Pius Utomi EKPEI / AFP)

The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN) has urged the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to focus more on delivering a proper clean-up that benefits the people of the polluted environment in Ogoniland.

Executive Director of ERA/FoEN, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, in a statement in Benin City, yesterday, said the organisation remains resolute to champion a proper clean-up as an environmental advocacy group.

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Ojo added that it would continue to speak verifiable truth to power and to stand shoulder to shoulder with the indefatigable and resolute people of Ogoni in their implacable opposition to the genocidal activities on their lands, rivers, and lives.

According to him, ERA/FoEN was birthed in 1993 from the crucible of the Ogoni struggle.

Ojo noted that the organisation drew inspiration from the Ogoni Bill of Rights and the mobilisations of the Ogoni people.

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The environmental activist condemned the recent advertorial response by HYPREP to critics, noting that HYPREP’s response was a cover-up and a cheap diversionary tactic to deflect from the reality on ground.

“HYPREP’s advertorial response was an audacious and vexatious judicial overreach on a matter that is sub judice, over which a competent court has granted far-reaching orders restraining the former chair of ERA/FoEN board of trustees from parading himself as such and further restrained the former chair and his hirelings from participating in the management of ERA/FoEN as well as maintaining that Godwin Uyi Ojo remains the valid Executive Director of ERA/FoEN.

“ERA/FoEN believes that the Ogoni people stand on the part of justice when they declared Shell persona non grata in Ogoni until the company has publicly apologised for the genocide it perpetrated in Ogoniland, clean up, remediation and restoration of the ecosystem and pay appropriate compensation to Ogoni people for the death and destruction the company brought to the impacted communities,” he said.

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