From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Leadership of Ogoni Liberation Initiative (OLI) has said the visit of the Minister of State for Environment to Ogoniland was not in the best interest of the people.
Minister of State for Environment Sharon Ikeazor had on Monday, carried out an inspection tour of Ogoniland in Khana and interacted with some stakeholders in the area.
OLI President Douglas Fabeke alleged that the minister has visited Ogoni twice without making a strong effort to ensure speedy implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
Fabeke said he expected the minister to express displeasure over the slow pace of the supposed clean-up exercise, noting that Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Programme (HYPREP) has deviated from the report recommended by UNEP.
He raised concerns that there might be fresh spillage in some Ogoni communities due to the massive failure of Shell facilities, alleging that one of the damaged pipes caused a spill two days ago in Yorkpo community, Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State.
He also said it was regrettable that HYPREP has not been able to implement one of the emergency recommendations by UNEP for the benefits of the Ogoni community, let alone providing water treatment plants.
Fabeke insisted that the Minister of State for Environment and HYPREP Coordinator lack the capacity to handle the Ogoni clean-up.
The president of the group said his organisation would legally fight to ensure that the right thing is done in Ogoniland.