From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has expressed dissatisfaction with the slow pace of the Federal Government’s clean up project of polluted Ogoni environment.
MOSOP has also reiterated its non-violent struggle, cautioning that its civility approach to agitations should not be seen as weakness.
President of the movement, Prince Biira, stated this yesterday, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the release of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) environmental assessment report on Ogoniland, in Port Harcourt.
MOSOP lamented that 10 years of the UNEP assessment report has no significant impact on Ogoni ethnic nationality, as government has not shown desired commitment to implementing recommended measures to ameliorate sufferings of the citizens.
Biira said federal government through its agency in Ogoni clean up, Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP), has not lived up to expectations and is incompetent to handle and oversee the remediation.
He regretted that, on June 2, 2006, when the implementation of the UNEP report was officially flagged off, Ogoni people had hoped and expected that the project would create succour to them.
Biira expressed: “But, over the years of implementation, the project is yet to meet expectations of the people. Thus, spurring misgivings arising from frustration, which has put the people and HYPREP at loggerhead and rendered the exercise marked by blame and distrust. Hence, the project has had no recognisable impact.”
According to MOSOP president, there have been imbalance in membership composition of the governing council of HYPREP; politicisation of virtually everything relating to the agency, poor release of funds for the clean up project, poor monitoring and evaluation, failure to comply with UNEP recommendations and others. He, however, charged the current leadership of HYPREP to match action with words, as Ogoni people were tired of “polluted promises” that have remained in the files of the agency.