A new level of hydrocarbon pollution of Ogoni environment has been
discovered as exposed by the ongoing construction of the N120.6billion
Bodo-Bonny Road.  The 34-kilometer long road is being constructed by Julius
Berger Plc through the swampy and muddy creeks of Bodo community in Gokana
Local Government Area to Grand Bonny Kingdom in Bonny Local Government area
of Rivers State.
A visit to the Bodo community axis of the project site today by a team
comprising of environmental justice campaigners, environment monitors,
journalists and volunteers exposed a stretch of vast expanse of massively
hydrocarbon pollution devastated areas covering miles and miles away.
The team which was led by Fyneface Dumnamene Fyneface, Ogoni/Niger Delta
Environmental Justice Campaigner said the team drove over 7km from Patrick
Waterfront where Ogoni cleanup was flagged-off in 2016 up to kilometers
7+900 on the new Bodo-Bonny road where sites of pollution could be seen
many more kilometers away. His words As we drove 7+900KMs (as seen written
at the point we stopped) from Patrick Waterfront where Ogoni/Niger Cleanup
was flagged-off on June 2, 2016 towards Bonny Island where the Bodo-Bonny
road is being constructed to, we were greeted by a new sight of pollution
and devastated environment that I never knew existed in Ogoniland, Fyneface
Mr. Fyneface who said the main purpose of the trip as a development
concerned citizen was to ascertain whether work was actually ongoing on the
Bodo-Bonny road as stated by President Muhammadu Buhari during the
presentation of the 2019 budget at the National Assembly on December 19,
2018 but was booed by some lawmakers including those from Rivers State told
journalists that the visit did not only reveal that work is actually
ongoing on the project as the President said but that the ongoing
construction exposes a new level of pollution that may not have been
captured or reported in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
Report on Ogoniland released on August 4, 2011. “I was shocked to see this
extent of pollution in that part of Ogoni alone. I do not think that this
level of pollution, stretching over 8kms from flag-off point and continuing
as far as eyes can see towards Bonny Island was captured in the UNEP report
on Ogoniland, Fyneface said.
There is need to re-assess these new level of hydrocarbon pollution being
revealed by ongoing construction of Bodo-Bonny road while the cleanup of
other impacted sites commences. With what I saw today, Ogoniland cannot be
cleaned up without simultaneously cleaning the environment in neighbouring
communities like Ogu/Bolo, Andoni, Opobo, Okrika, Bonny, etc. that share
common water boundaries. I use this opportunity to invite environmental
justice activists, campaigners, environmental organizations, institutions
and media organizations locally and globally to take advantage of the road
being constructed to Bonny through Bodo creeks to visit the area and
experience the new level of pollution I saw today. Such visits will enhance
our collaboration for a strong campaign to stop re-pollution in Ogoniland
and the Niger Delta region as cleanup gets on the way, Fyneface noted.
It would be recalled that Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria
(SPDC) accepted responsibility for multiple oil spills in the area upto
2009 and paid 55million British Pounds to the Bodo community in 2015 as
part of out of court settlement following a case instituted by the
community against it over the spills in a London Court.
Mr. Fyneface reiterate call on the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation
Project (HYPREP) to commence the actual cleanup of Ogoni environment
without further delay while the Federal Government, SPDC, etc. should
ensure the availability and adequate funding of the project.