How to achieve Ogoni cleanup, by Rivers communities



Stop destruction of oil facilities to save environment, NGO pleads
42 Communities in Gokana Local Government Councils of Rivers State have listed conditions to end unwholesome activities that could frustrate the Ogoni cleanup.

They disclosed these during a one-day sensitisation campaign in the areas most affected by oil spill in Ogoniland.

The campaign was organised by the National Coalition on Gas flaring and Oil spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND) in collaboration with the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) and the Environmental Monitoring Team (EMT).

The communities, which include Biara, Bomu, Kpor and Mogho in Gokana Council areas, urged the Federal Government to be fair and transparent to all communities involved in the process.

The monarch of Gokana Kingdom, King Barnabas Bagia disclosed that of all the spills in Ogoniland, Gokana has over 138 spill sites, and because of this, the people should be included in the cleanup.

Represented by Giosanyie Gbarage, the monarch said over 90 per cent of deaths were recorded in Gokana alone, with over 138 spill sites.

“I wonder how my people could go back to normal life without the temptation of going back to the creeks to tamper with oil pipelines,” Bagis said.

The Project Officer of NACGOND, Mr. Jesse-Martin Munafor said, without peace and unity, the exercise would be futile, adding that the theme of the programme, was carefully chosen to remind the people of the implication of destroying already damaged environment, which is under repair.

NOSDRA representative, Mr. Sylvester Agoh, urged support for government, maintaining that violence is an impediment to development.

Meanwhile, the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), a non-governmental organisation (NGO) based in Delta State yesterday raised concern over the environmental impact of continued bombings of pipelines by suspected agitators.

It also decried the alleged destruction of the environment in the region by the exploratory activities of multinational oil companies.

Coordinator of the group, Sherrif Mulade said that the activities of the international oil companies, pipeline vandals and oil bunkerers were affecting the Niger Delta environment seriously, and called on them to halt the destruction of oil facilities.

Mulade said it was unfortunate that there were still threats by some groups to continue bombing, amid the poor state of the economy.

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