Environmental Right Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN)
says the pronouncement by the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation
Project, HYPREP, that it has commenced the clean-up of the Ogoni land
contaminated areas is false.
HYPREP in January, went haywire on the media, claiming that it has
allocated some contaminated sites to about 16 contractors, thereby,
flagging off officially, the clean-up exercise of Ogoniland.
However, ERA/FoEN’s Executive Director, Dr Uyi Ojo, said the
independent inspection by ERA on the sites in Ogale, Ueken, Korokoro
and Bodo among others, showed there was no sign the job had begun in
any of the sites.
Oyo spoke at a news briefing to update stakeholders and reporters on
the clean-up in Ogoni, in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital.
At the event, 100 Community Independent Monitors (CIM), trained and
equipped by the ERA, were unveiled, to provide qualitative and
scientific progress reports on the clean-up process.
Describing the discovery as unfortunate, ERA/FoEN deplored the Federal
Government and HYPREP for playing with the emotions of the Ogoni
He appealed to the Federal Government and HYPREP to stop the deceit
and implement the emergency measures, including the provision of
potable water, building of livelihood measures, construction of the
centre of excellence, and the Integrated Contaminated Soil Management
Centre (ICSMC), before the clean-up, as recommended by the UNEP
He said, As we are gathered here, the verdict on Ogoni land by the
UNEP environmental assessment has not changed. Recent visits to the
communities indicate that Ogoniland remains a wrecked environment and
environmental disaster zone; in spite of efforts made towards the
clean-up. Till date, contrary to popular belief, not a drop of oil has
The multiple claims that contractors have mobilised to site and that
clean-up has commenced is false and there is no visible sign of
contractors on sites going by reports from our independent field
monitors who are closely monitoring the process and were there this
week, he said.
Speaking on activities of HYPREP, he said, the report finds monumental
deviation that has eroded public confidence and will likely compromise
the quality of the clean-up process. Hence we request HYPREP to stick
to the concrete recommendations relating to the clean-up process, as
this report is of interest to critical stakeholder in the Ogoni
Providing useful tips on the way forward the activist said, The
Federal Government should comply with UNEP recommendation on emergency
measures to provide the Ogoni communities water for drinking and other
uses. In the short term, the Port Harcourt water corporation should
play its statutory role of ensuring every citizen of the state has
equal access to safe, adequate and reliable water supply.
HYPREP should stop so much talk show and begin to implement the
serious issue of water provision for the people of the area who are
till now consuming the same polluted water heavily contaminated with
cancer-causing metal such as benzene which that kills slowly.
There will be no elections in Rivers state without APC – Princewill
– calls for postponement
Following on the heels of back to back stays of execution recently
granted the APC in Rivers state and the wild jubilations that erupted
across the state, the APC Director of Strategic Communications for the
Tonye Cole Campaign, Prince Tonye T.J.T Princewill has laughed at the
possibility of elections holding in Rivers state without the APC and
its candidates, saying that it would be an exercise in futility.
He made the assertion in an interactive session with journalists where
he was reacting to INEC’s suggestion that APC is not yet on the
ballot. “Of course we are not yet on the ballot, it’s a process. INEC
by now has received the first order and in another day or so, will
receive the second one. Then their lawyers will advise them and at a
meeting of the powers that be, a decision will be taken. That decision
will be to obey the law. We expect nothing less. If they don’t, then
it will be lawful to be lawless in a lawless society. There will be no
elections in Rivers state.”
The Prince went on to appeal to Rivers people for calm, saying “We
knew Wike had penetrated the judiciary, every day the signs are
revealed. We know he has also penetrated some of our security
agencies, but we do not want to believe he has penetrated our
electoral body at the highest levels. We are soon about to find out.
Let us be patient. These things take time. Our money, that he is
using, will be traced to its last hiding place when he leaves office.
We know a lot about who he is working with. Money leaves a trace. And
in this government, corruption will always come with consequences.”
He went on to describe the PDP as an “accident waiting to happen” and
advised all those with good conscience still sitting inside it, to
jump for safety before the inevitable crash or hold themselves to
blame. “Wike is a learner driver. He has no business driving the
vehicle of Rivers state and everyone knows it. Even he knows it. He
can use money to win awards, ascribe bogus titles to himself, get
biased media coverage, even delay justice, but he can’t use our money
to bribe God. Judgement is coming for him and it is coming soon.”
Reacting to questions on the schedule of campaigns going forward and
the paucity of time available, Prince Tonye noted that while being on
the ballot was necessary, allowing the APC candidates time to go about
their campaigns, as had been denied them; was only fair because their
campaigns were gaining momentum before legal gymnastics stepped in.
“PDP should be very ashamed that after four good years, their
candidate could not go from ward to ward to tell them what he has
done. Instead he has stumbled from LGA to LGA headquarters with more
people in his entourage than indigenes to receive him, only to drop
sound bites and share two-two thousand Naira to willing takers.
His mate (even though we are yet to ascertain Nyesom Wike’s actual
age), his mate and our candidate Tonye Cole, has gone from ward to
ward in every LGA and had done 236 wards out of 319 before a judge,
Magnus and Wike stopped him using the law. Magnus is not our focus. He
is our lost brother whom we wish well. His room is there, if he
returns. Our focus is Wike and nothing will distract us from
demystifying his perceived grassroots’ appeal, his supposed strong man
status and his recent Mungo Park like discovery of Spirituality.
Tonye Cole and others must be allowed to finish their campaigns.
Anything short of that can not be just and we will contest it. INEC
should get ready for the Presidential elections, but State House of
Assembly, National Assembly and the Governorship elections must be a
separate exercise set aside for a special date.”
All eyes are now on INEC as the fate of Rivers state now hangs in
their balance. Will Wike be given a free ride back into Government
house or will the never say die attitude of Tonye Cole emerge from the
ashes of court judgements? Very soon, all will be revealed.