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Ogoni group urges re-assessment of spill sites before clean-up

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A group, the Ogoni Solidarity Forum (OSF), has called for a fresh environmental assessment of the area before the clean-up begins.

Its founder, Celestine Akpobari, told The Guardian that there had been 189 oil spills in Ogoniland after the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report was published about six years ago.

He stated that it would be ludicrous to base the intended clean-up of Ogoni environment on the over six years old report, which he said, could not be in sync with the current environmental realities of the area.

Akpobari emphasised that there was need for reassessment of the environment before the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) embarks on the actual clean-up exercise, which The Guardian learnt would not commence this year due to some administrative hitches.

He said that while the UNEP report on Ogoniland could still be relied on for clue on the extent of damage done to the environment, it could not be validly relied on to serve as the basis for any environmental remediation that will be sustainable.

The environmental and human rights activist said Ogoni would resist any attempt to commence oil exploitation and exploration in the area until a proper clean-up of the entire area had been carried out.

“Until you clean up the mess that has been generated by the oil companies. Until you clean up that mess, there will be no need to restart oil production in Ogoni and it will not happen in our own life-time. No amount of money or bribe can make oil production resume in Ogoni.

“We cannot kill Ken Saro-Wiwa the second time,” he said.



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