Nigeria: Ogonis Protest Non-Implementation of UNEP Report

Cross-posted from here

More than 2,000 Ogoni people in Rivers State yesterday staged a peaceful protest in Port Harcourt against the non-implementation of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the oil impacted sites in Ogoniland.

The UNEP had conducted an environmental assessment of the oil impacted sites in Ogoniland and submitted the report to the Federal Government on Aug. 4, 2011.

The report called on the Federal Government to take urgent steps to clean oil impacted sites in Ogoniland to save the lives of the people.

Mr Ledum Mitee, the President, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), said during the protest, that the Ogonis wanted immediate implementation of the report to safeguard their lives.

He urged the Federal Government to commence the clean-up of oil impacted sites in Ogoniland to save the environment from further deterioration.

He said the Ogonis believed in using a non-violence approach to seek redress.

“These are ways by which the Ogonis show that they can resolve issues in the Niger Delta by peaceful means. And that is why we have come today to say that we are tired and to ask how long our people will continue to drink this poisoned water before we hear from the Federal Government.

“We thought that consistent with our own methods of demand, we have to take a letter of protest to the President and pass it through your Excellency to him to say that our people need attention.

“We have taken Shell to court abroad and we want to know those in the Federal Government delaying these issues.”

Mitee said MOSOP would not hesitate to take necessary action against those whose inactions had made the Ogonis to continue to suffer.

He said that in spite of a unanimous resolution passed by the National Assembly calling for the implementation of the UNEP report, government had done nothing.

In his speech, Mr Tele Ikuru, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, said that the government was aware of the negative effect of the environmental pollution in Ogoniland.

He said that the state government would ensure that the movement’s message was sent to the Federal Government (NAN).

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