Oil Buhari  UNEP

Oil Buhari  UNEP
ABUJA—President Muhammadu Buahri has given approval for the cleaning up of Ogoni land polluted with oil spillage.
The presidential directive followed the report of the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, on the environmental restoration of Ogoniland.
President Buhari also approved the composition of the Governing Council and Board of Trustees of Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project, HYPREP, which were majorly facilitated by the recommendations of the Executive Director of UNEP, the UNEP Special Representative for Ogoniland, Permanent Secretaries of the Federal Ministries of Environment and Petroleum Resources, and other stakeholders, including the amendment of the Official Gazette establishing the HYPREP to reflect a new governance framework on the project.
Members of the governing council and their representatives will include Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal Ministry of Environment, impacted states-Rivers, oil companies and Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Ogoniland, United Nations System, while the Secretariat is to be headed by a Project Manager.
Similarly, the new board of Trustees for the HYPREP Trust Fund will have representatives from the Federal Government, NNPC, International Oil Companies, Ogoniland and the United Nations System.
Ogoni hails FG
Meanwhile, Ogoni have hailed the action by the Federal Government to fast track the implementation of the UNEP report on its area.
Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, said the development was a step in the right direction.
Media aide to the President of the body, Mr Bariaria Kpalep toldVanguard, on phone that the body was elated by the development. He said the body will issue a formal statement on it today.
Meantime, he appealed to the Federal Government to immediately constitute the various agencies approved to drive the implementation of the UNEP report so that the exercise can quickly take off in Ogoni.
“We welcome the approval so far by the Federal Government. We also request Mr President to constitute the agencies he approved like the Governing council, a trust fund, a board and so on so that the implementation of the report can commence quickly,” he said.
Sen. Magnus Abe
Senator Magnus Abe who represented Rivers South East senatorial district in the Senate lauded the move, describing it as a step in the right direction. He congratulated President Buhari for doing what former President Goodluck Jonathan, a son of the region could not do for the area in his six years as President of the country.
“I congratulate the President for doing what a Niger Delta son refused to do for us in six years. I congratulate the Ogoni people for their persistence and non violent disposition. It shows that you can fight for your right without being violent. I congratulate my party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, for this development.”
Akpobari lhails development
A frontline Ogoni activist, Mr Celestine Akpobari, who also lauded the development, described it as a step forward, adding that former President Jonathan failed to take practical and appreciable step on the report all the while he was President.
He urged the Federal Government to allow civil society to be represented in the process of implementing the report.
He said that the development on the part of the Federal Government also took cognizance of livelihood and sustainability of Ogoni area, an issue the UNEP report according to him did not look at.
“This is a breakthrough. It is a major breakthrough for the Ogoni people. We want civil society to be given representative capacity. It has been a collective struggle of civil society and Ogoni people for the implementation of the report.”
On its part, the APC in Rivers State said the move had further shown that a good friend was by far better than a bad brother.
State Publicity Ssecretary of the party, Mr Chris Finebone, said it was regrettable that for six years, former President Jonathan ignored the UNEP report.
“The reaction of Rivers State APC, is that this is a confirmation of our earlier position that President Buhari means well for the Niger Delta as a whole and Ogoniland in particular. It further gives credence to the saying that a good friend is by far better than a bad brother.
“For six years that President Jonathan was in the saddle as President of Nigeria with full executive powers, he blatantly ignored the UNEP report for the cleaning of Ogoniland. He carried on as if Ogoniland was not part of the Niger Delta. But today, just 68 days into his administration, President Buhari has demonstrated that with strong will, love and honesty of purpose, nothing is impossible to achieve.

By Lekky

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