Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has declared that the Ogoni clean up exercise can only succeed when the Federal Government stops playing politics with the programme.
Speaking during a Courtesy Visit by the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar on Thursday at the Government House Port Harcourt, Wike urged the Federal Government to come with the terms for the implementation of the Ogoni Clean up Exercise as recommended by the UNEP Report.
Governor Wike noted that since 2016 when the Ogoni Clean up Exercise was flagged off, no tangible milestone has been achieved.
He said: ” I am not happy that the Rivers State Government is not part of the clean up exercise. Nobody has ever briefed the State Government. The programme has been politicised”
“The only way the programme will work is when we all work together. The programme is not working because they see it as politics. They are using unqualified contractors to execute the project.”
The Governor said rather than tell the world the level of success attained, the Federal Government continues to circulate same old story of handing over remediation sites to contractors.
“Its unfortunate that no tangible effort has been achieved. Handing over remediation site to contractors does not mean the work has been done.”
“Since 2016 till date, its the same story because the people are from this part of the country. Its unfortunate. The Federal Government is supposed to come up and say that they have been able to achieve about 30% of the cleanup in Ogoniland.
“What I want to hear is we have achieved about 30%, we have achieved about 40% of the cleanup. The Federal Government should tell the people if they are not ready to clean up of Ogoniland” he said.
He regretted that some Ogoni sons are part of the challenges negating the successful clean up of Ogoniland. He said Ogoni people working with the exercise should tell the world if they are satisfied with the programme.
“I support the clean up, but the Rivers State Government will not do what it doesn’t know. Also the lack of clean up of Ogoniland is caused by Ogoni sons and daughters because of politics. I challenge Ogoni sons to tell the world if they are satisfied with the cleanup exercise in Ogoniland” he said
Earlier, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar said they were in the state to handover additional thirty-six remediation sites to contractors as part of the Clean up Exercise.
He lauded the Rivers State Governor for demonstrating strong commitment for the Ogoni Clean up Exercise since the inception of the programme in 2016.
He added that four hundred women in the area will also be trained as part of the cleanup exercise at the Rivers State Songhai Farm.