By Gladys Nweke
Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) has declared that the recommendations of the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the clean up of polluted Ogoni environment in Rivers State are flawed.
This is as the youths accused the management of the Hydrocarbons Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) of aiding black soot in Rivers State and of using the Federal Government as a cover-up to sabotage the Ogoni clean-up process.
OYF President-General, Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana, who spoke to newsmen in Bori, headquarters of Khana local government area of Rivers State, said the recommendations of the UNEP report were aimed at alleviating the plight of the Ogoni people and the rest of the Niger Delta region.
Yamaabana stated that more than three years after the flag-off of the Ogoni cleanup project, the manner and processes which the managers of HYPREP are using for the implementation of the recommendations of the UNEP report run completely counter to the assurances given by the Federal Government.
He said, “As a condition precedent, UNEP recommended that all sources of ongoing contamination, including artisanal refining, should be brought to a swift end before the clean-up project, and for that purpose, the sum of $10million was recommended for the provision of alternative employment for those in artisanal refining.
“We consider it very sad and barbaric that not only has nothing been done about any of the recommendations of UNEP but also HYPREP is doing everything to sabotage the cleanup project.
“In the pages of the report, UNEP censure artisanal refining as one of the causes of contamination in Ogoniland and we can not decipher how HYPREP could claim that they are cleaning impacted sites in Ogoni, alongside illegal oil refining. This is unimaginable.
“Artisanal refining has been adjudged as the most significant cause of soot. If HYPREP had implemented the said recommendation, the issue of black soot could have been brought to the barest minimum in Rivers State.
“We fervently urge President Buhari to address these issues in order to save lives, the environment and to ensure that the cleanup project is not delivered dead in arrival.”