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Stop Playing Politics With Ogoni Clean-Up – Gov Wike

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has asked the Federal Government to desist from playing politics with the Ogoni clean- up exercise if the programme must succeed and deliver the needed development to the people.

Speaking during a courtesy visit by the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, the Governor insisted that the Federal Government should come out with the terms for the implementation of the Ogoni Clean-up exercise as recommended by the UNEP Report.

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He noted that since 2016 when the Ogoni Clean- up exercise was flagged off, no tangible milestone has been achieved and expressed sadness 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”, he stated.

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.

“It’s unfortunate that no tangible effort has been achieved. Handing over remediation sites to contractors does not mean the work has been done.”

“Since 2016 till date, it’s the same story because the people are from this part of the country. It’s unfortunate. The Federal Government is supposed to come up and say that they have been able to achieve about 30 per cent of the clean-up in Ogoniland.

“What I want to hear is we have achieved about 30 per cent, we have achieved about 40 per cent of the clean-up. The Federal Government should tell the people if they are not ready to clean up Ogoniland,” he said.

He also 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 clean-up exercise in Ogoniland,” he said.

Earlier, the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Mahmood Abubakar, said they were in the state to hand over additional thirty-six remediation sites to contractors as part of the clean-up exercise and 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 clean-up exercise at the Rivers State Songhai Farm.

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