Ogoni cleanup: MOSOP decries delay in implementation of UNEP Report

MOVEMENT for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has expressed concerns over the slow pace of progress on the implementation of the UNEP Report on the cleanup of Ogoniland and other oil-impacted communities in the Niger Delta region.

The organisation made this known in a communique issued at the end of its special congress held at the Peace and Freedom Centre, Bori-Ogoni, last Saturday, a copy of which was made available to Tribune Online on Sunday.

It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on June 2, 2016, formally flagged-off the implementation of the UNEP Report at Bodo Town in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Thanking the president for carrying out the flag-off ceremony, MOSOP, in the communiqué, signed by its president and secretary, Messrs Legborsi Pyagbara and Anthony Porole, respectively, however noted, “with concern, the apparent slow pace of progress on the implementation process.

“The congress therefore urged the Federal Government to speedily put into place the governance structures for the implementation of the UNEP Report on Ogoniland without further delay.”

MOSOP also alleged that the attempt to resume oil production in Ogoniland by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation (NPDC) and Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) would derail the remediation process in the area.

According to MOSOP, restarting of oil production by NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), was coming at a time the government was expected to move with deliberate speed in the implementation of the remediation and restoration of the over-polluted Ogoni environment.

“Congress observed that many sensitive issues in the entire Shell’s asset divestment and acquisition plans are shrouded in much secrecy and needed to be thoroughly examined.

“Congress alerted that the present attempt may be a ploy by Shell and NPDC, both of whom are joint venture partners, to cause division amongst Ogoni people and derail the Ogoni environmental remediation and restoration process.

“Congress calls on Ogoni sons and daughters to refrain from or be wary of any engagement relating to reopening of oil exploration and production in Ogoniland until the issues of Ogoni environmental rejuvenation have been properly addressed,” the communique further stated.

The organisation also condemned what it called the seeming inability of the security agencies to deal with the increasing scale of insecurity, occasioned by kidnapping, violence and robbery in Ogoniland.

It called on governments at all levels, especially the Federal and Rivers State governments, to provide the necessary logistics and machineries for the security agencies to respond appropriately to the situation.

MOSOP also urged the various governments to fundamentally address the security problem, particularly as regards small arms proliferation, drug abuse, mass poverty, mass destitution, unemployment and alleged expansionist tendencies of some ethnic groups in the state.

It charged all traditional rulers and youths of the various communities in the area to integrate security issues into their development plans and collaborative with security agencies to stamp out criminal gangs from the area.