Rivers APC Welcomes President Buhari To Ogoniland, Hails Clean-up Exercise TrendyVoice

2 June 2016

Rivers APC Welcomes President Buhari To Ogoniland, Hails Clean-up Exercise




The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives
Congress (APC) has warmly welcomed President
Muahhamadu Buhari to Ogoniland, where he
would today flag-off the implementation of the
UNEP Report on the cleaning of the land.
Rivers APC Chairman, Dr. Davies Ibiamu Ikanya,
in a statement issued early Thursday morning in
the state capital Port Harcourt, said: "It is with
utmost pride and joy that we heartily welcome
His Excellency, President Muahhamadu Buhari, to
our dear State to flag-off the clean-up of
Ogoniland in keeping with the UNEP Report. The
date 2nd June, 2016 will ever remain historical,
epochal and remarkable in the life of every Ogoni
son and daughter as well as every Rivers son and
daughter as it was the day on which President
Buhari once more proved himself as a man of
principle, credibility and integrity.
"This struggle started by our brother, Kenule
Beeson Saro-Wiwa, Africa's greatest human and
environmental rights activist of international
repute, and for which he gave his life, is today
fulfilled before our eyes through the efforts of
another great son of Ogoni, Senator Magnus
Abe."

Going down memory lane, Rivers APC said about
the clean-up exercise: "In 2011, sixteen years
after Ken Saro Wiwa was murdered, the United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
released a damning report stating that vast areas
of Ogoniland are unsafe for human habitation due
to oil pollution. The report found that, in over 40
locations tested, the soil is polluted to a depth of
5 metres. Ogoniland's water bodies are all
polluted. The level of benzene in approximately
90 of the locations is more than 900 times above
accepted World Health Organisation standards.
This dangerously contaminated water is the
source of drinking water for local communities.
The UNEP Report recommended that US$1 billion
should be allocated to set up an environmental
restoration fund and begin the clean-up. In the
four years since the report was published, the
Nigerian Government simply looked the other
way even as Ogoni people buried their dead in
worrying numbers every weekend as a result of
illness mostly from oil pollution.


"Ironically, a Niger Deltan who should have better
understood the lugubrious reality of oil pollution
on the environment, health and lives of the
people was the President of Nigeria at the time
the UNEP Report on Ogoniland was published.
Sadly, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, for reasons best
known to him, simply looked the other way in
spite of repeated pleas from Ogoni leaders as
hydrocarbon pollution continued to wreck lives
and livelihood in Ogoniland. Today, June 2, 2016
President Muhammadu Buhari, a Fulani from
Daura in Katsina State in Northern Nigeria, will be
the one to fulfill the dream of the Ogoni people."
The statement noted that Dr Jonathan was the
only Nigerian President or Head of State that
never visited the Ogoniland. It regretted that "not
minding the wicked plots by the Dr Jonathan
Administration supported by Chief Nyesome
Wike to deny the Ogoni people this right to have
a decent environment, Chief Wike is still playing
politics with this epochal step by President
Buhari to restore the Ogoni land and
environment."


Rivers APC hailed Senator Magnus Abe and
former Governor Chibuike Amaechi for their roles
in making the clean-up of Ogoniland a reality. The
party said: "It is on record that Senator Magnus
Abe was the Secretary to the Rivers Government
under administration of former Governor
Chibuike Amaechi whose office rendered required
logistics to UNEP officials and was the part of the
delegation to visit former President Goodluck
Jonathan in August 2011 to plead for the lives of
is people to no avail. Senator Abe did not relent
but went to every village in Ogoniland to talk
about the UNEP Report and with the help of Rt
Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, General Buhari
visited the Ogoniland during his campaign, where
he promised to implement the UNEP Report."
The party commended "Senator Abe, our leader,
Rotimi Amaechi and, of course, the Presidential
Committee led by the Most Rev. Hassan Matthew
Kukah, that midwifed the work of UNEP and the
present Minister of Environment. Amina J
Mohammed for their efforts in making this report
implementable, and to APC for creating the
platform for this great impact in the lives of our
people."
Finally, we urge Ogoni and Rivers State people to
be respectful and peaceful during Mr. President's
historical visit and don't for any reason allow
Wike's pranks and plots to frustrate the event to succeed.

~vanguard




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