Indigenes of Ogoni in Diaspora under the aegis of National Union of Ogoni Students International (NUOS INTL) USA, and Ogoni Live Matter International (OLM INTL) USA, in collaboration with other human rights organisations in Ogoni, including the apex organiMOSOsation, Movement For the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), have reiterated their call on President Muhammadu Buhari to probe Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
In an earlier petition to the President months ago, the group had also demanded the removal of the National Coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil, over alleged corruption and failure to adhere to UNEP’s recommendations.
The demands were contained in a statement jointly signed by the President of NOUS INTL, Mr. Pius B. Nwinee, the General Secretary of NOUS INTL, Mr. Sampson B. Npimnee, Coordinator of OML INTL, Mr. Cornelius J.S Dumerene, and the Secretary General of OML INTL, USA, Mr. Toate Ganago.
The statement dated Monday, June 15, 2020, and titled, ‘Ogoni in the Diaspora uncover HYPREP fraud, ask FG to sack Dr. Marvin Dekil’, was made available to the Daily Sun yesterday.
Part of the statement read: As such, NOUS INTL USA, and OLM INTL USA welcome and applaud the Federal Government’s recent pronouncement on restructuring of HYPREP, and request the minister of environment to make true government’s intention, working with Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), to re- showcase Federal Government’s commitment to jump start the changes in the long overdue project.
“To ensure a smooth collaboration, enlightenment, education and proper remediation campaign between Ogoni and HYPREP, we hereby recommend two Ogoni illustrious sons, Dr. Life Kanagbara and Professor A.Wai Ogosu, all credible environmental engineers and professionals to be interviewed for the position of national coordinator to replace Dr. Marvin Dekil, to alleviate the tremendous suffering and setback that the project has already met.”
The groups added that they viewed the Minister’s call for restructuring as a step in the right direction, stressing that “restructuring alone wouldn’t cushion the harm and damages HYPREP’s corruption, and incompetency has caused the area. “To this end, an immediate compensation should be given to those whose lives have been impaired, livelihood destroyed, and historical heritage damaged, due to the devastated environment.”
“For every fraud that makes headline in HYPREP, whether it was HYPREP’s callous refusal to adhere to UNEP’s recommendations, or financial marketing of $380m, without proper disclosure of a N3.2 billion dividend from private or group business trading on Lagos stock market as speculated.
“The ugly truth is, there is no proper accountability. Reflecting on this poor abuse and misuse of public trust, we demand an immediate forensic audit of HYPREP, and those found responsible and culpable to be prosecuted under the unblinking eyes of the law,” the statement added.
However, NUOS INTL USA and OLM INTL USA have equally welcomed and commended the Federal Government’s proposal to reposition and upgrade HYPREP, even as they pointed out that HYPREP’s failures were not only corruption, but also lack of professional and technical skill, as well as technology to handle such monumental degradation.
They, therefor, urged the Federal Government to contract the services of an international company with capable professional and technical know-how to supervise, monitor and handle the entire cleaning with best practices in collaboration with HYPREP.
“Finally, Ogoni is within her rights, and the Federal Government has a duty of care to protect Ogoni land and Ogoni people from HYPREP and Shell’s fraud to enrich themselves at the expense of Ogoni lives,” the statement read.