Ogoni, other stakeholders urged to cooperate with FG over clean-up

The people of Ogoni land in Rivers State and other stakeholders have been urged to give maximum support to President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to carry out remediation and clean-up activities of the polluted land.

National Coordinator of the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) Comrade Sheriff Mulade, made the plea in a statement.

He called on the Federal Government to speed up the clean-up, remediation and restoration of the degraded Ogoni land in Rivers State orchestrated by oil and gas exploration activities by multinational oil companies about 40 years ago.

Comrade Mulade harped on collaboration among the FG, Rivers State governments and communities, federal and state environmental agencies, as well as Civil Society Organisations and non-Governmental Organisations to work out modalities to remediate and restore the degraded Ogoni environment for safe habitation.

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He said based on the investigations and recommendations of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) on Ogoni land, there were evidences that heavy metals had contaminated the land and ground water which is the community’s source of drinking water.

He disclosed that most of the spill sites, which the oil companies claimed to have cleaned up, were still highly polluted.

He said there were shreds of evidence of oil films showing the dumping of contaminated soil in unlined pits and there were shreds of evidence of water being coated with hydrocarbons more than 1000 times the level allowed by Nigeria’s drinking water standards.

He charged the Federal and Rivers State governments to show more concern for the health of the Ogoni people, just as he recommended that they should beef up environmental monitoring and regulations in the country as well as initiate collaborative actions among the host communities, oil companies and the government.

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