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Ogoni rights group demands overhauling in HYPREP

By Obinna Nwaoku, Port Harcourt
29 December 2021   |   2:46 am
A rights group in Ogoniland has demanded the overhauling of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) media unit. It lists qualities expected of the next project coordinator

[FILES] Chairman, Senate Committee on Climate and Ecology,Senator Hassan Gusau(left); Hon.Suleiman Gumi; Executive Director, Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth,Dr.Ojo Uyi,Hon.Musa Mohammed;Hon.Benjamin Kalu; Hon.Onuoha Miriam and others during the oversight visit to Alode Eleme Ogoni Environment clean up by hydrocarbon pollution Remediation Project(HYPREP) in Rivers State.<br />PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ELUKPO

A rights group in Ogoniland has demanded the overhauling of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) media unit. It lists qualities expected of the next project coordinator

The group, Ogoni Development Drive (ODD), called on the Federal Government to immediately change the head of corporate communications of HYPREP for alleged lack of communication flow between the agency and the people of Ogoni.

The group alleged that the present head of communication of HYPREP in the past five years created a huge gap between the Ogoni and the activities of the interventionist agency.

This was contained in a statement issued in Port Harcourt, yesterday, by the convener of the group, Solomon Lenu, who stressed that unless the head of Communication and Community Engagement of HYPREP was redeployed, activities of the agency remain a sham because everything is shrouded in secrecy.

Lenu noted that the continued stay of the head of communication will frustrate the good intentions of the Federal Government and by extension, the good works started by President Muhammadu Buhari in remediating the Ogoni polluted environment.

“We also call on the minister of state for the environment too, as a matter of urgency, redeploy the head of communication, whose tenure in HYPREP has expired if she wants to bridge the communication gap amongst stakeholders in HYPREP, which virtually all Civil Society Organisations (CSO) have unanimously rated as very poor,” he said.

On the qualities of the next project coordinator of HYPREP, Lenu said the agency needs “someone who has knowledge of social dynamics of the Ogoni people, someone who knows and understands the language of the Ogoni and what we’ve been through over the years.”

According to him, appointing a new project coordinator for the agency, the world, and the Ogoni people, in particular, will want to see somebody who has the creativity and innovation for a sustainable solution to the Ogoni’s environmental problem, “not those who will compound the existing problems.”

He called on patriotic Ogoni people, especially those who represent the Ogoni community on HYPREP Governing Council and Board of Trustees, to speak up against the lack of adequate communication network between the Ogoni and the agency.

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