By Gladys Nweke
The traditional ruler of Eleme, His Royal Majesty, Emere, Dr Philip Obele JP (Ag King of Eleme) has expressed happiness that at last, the fruits of the Ogoni struggles have started to be harvested. The royal father thus poured prayers on the Ogoni fallen heroes who started the straggle and noted that their straggle has come to bear fruits.
The royal father expressed the joy when he received the FG delegation to his palace on sensitization on the Ogoni Clean Up. In a bid to demonstrate its readiness towards the Ogoni Clean-up, the Federal Ministry of Environment in synergy with the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) took its programme for sensitization and Town Hall Meeting to Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
This was done by the Project Coordination Office (PCO) at the familiarity visit of the minister of environment, a surveyor, Suleiman Hassan Zarman, who was represented by the permanent secretary of the ministry, a pastor, Mrs Ibukun Odusote.
The royal father had also admonished the youths of Eleme to shun violence and embrace peace in their various communities so as to reap the dividends of Ogoni Clean-up and the benefits of the eight sites in Eleme land.
At the same time, the executive chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, Hon Barr, Philip Okparaji, in his remark, thanked the governor of Rivers State, Chief/Barr Nyesom Wike, for creating enabling environment for the Clean-up exercise and also commended President Buhari-led administration for the implementation of the UNEP report and its reality in their area.
The chairman also maintained that this struggle started since 1993 and that today, it has come to reality. He pledged the support of the Council to the contractors and also appealed to HYPREP to include Eleme in their scheme of things for equity, justice and fairness.
Odusote had paid the visit to the palace of His Royal Majesty, Emere, Dr Philip Obele JP (Ag King of Eleme). The minister of environment expressed joy on the way and manner the traditional rulers received the FG delegation.
The minister was on a tour of one of the sites where proper work was ongoing. She said she was overwhelmed by what she saw at the site, stressing that some of the youths have been trained in cassava processing and that the youths are to be engaged for training on the project.
The minister also noted that the last visit in Ogoniland was the inauguration of Central Representative Advisory Committee (CRAC) in which Rev Dr Abraham Olungwe emerged as chairman and commended the president. The minister commended President Mohammadu Buhari for his quick response on the implementation of UNEP report on the Clean-up of Ogoniland and also commended the traditional rulers of the area for their understanding. She appealed for their support in the ongoing work at the various sites.
In his part, the Project Coordinator, Dr Marvin Dekii, commended President Buhari for the UNEP report and its implementation and urged the people to remain calm. He said there is provision for local content in which they have many ways to address the issues.
He said whatever they want to be included should be properly presented to the HYPREP office or go to their social media page for clarification. He said there are lots of opportunities for the community people including the women.