Tony John, Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the Ogoni clean up exercise can only succeed when the Federal Government stops playing politics with the programme.
Wike spoke during a courtesy visit by the Minister of Environment, Dr. Mohammad Abubakar at the Government House, Port Harcourt. He urged the Federal Government to come up with the terms for the implementation of the exercise as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report. The governor noted that since 2016 when the Ogoni clean up exercise was flagged off, no tangible milestone has been achieved. He said: “I am not happy that the Rivers State Government is not part of the clean up exercise. Nobody has ever briefed the State Government. The programme has been politicised.
“The only way the programme will work is when we all work together. The programme is not working because they see it as politics. They are using unqualified contractors to execute the project”, Wike stated. The governor said rather than tell the world the level of success attained, the Federal Government continues to circulate same old story of handing over remediation sites to contractors.”
Earlier, the Minister of Environment, Abubakar, said they were in the state to handover additional 36 remediation sites to contractors as part of the clean up exercise.
He lauded the State governor for demonstrating strong commitment for the Ogoni clean up exercise since the inception of the programme in 2016.
He added that 400 women in the area would also be trained as part of the clean up exercise at the Rivers State Songhai Farm.