Gov. Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has called for joint action from governors of the Niger-Delta states in the struggle for a cleaner environment.
Diri made the call on Friday during an online global conference to mark the 2020 World Environment Day, with the theme: ‘The Impact of the Coronavirus Pandemic on the Flora and Fauna of the Niger Delta’.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Mr Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, lamented the pollution of the Niger-Delta environment by oil business operations in the region.
He, however, pledged his administration’s resolve to take the issues of the environment as key in the state.
Diri said that Bayelsa, like other states, had recorded death of lots of fishes during the coronavirus period in Akassa, Koluama, and Agge.
He advocated the planting of trees by all Bayelsans, which, according to him, would allow the flow of oxygen across the streets and towns of the state.
“I urge my people not to contribute to the environmental genocide in their localities; shun illegal refining of crude products and embrace intellectual approach in the agitation for the clean-up of the region,” the governor advised.
Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, King Bubaraye Dakolo, Agada IV, called on governments across board to do more than engage in rhetoric on matters of the environment.
Dakolo, who is also the Ibenanaowei of Ekpetiama Kingdom, charged them to frontally drive all genuine efforts for the restoration and restitution of the region’s flora and fauna.
In his lecture, Dr Pereowei Subai, a senior lecturer from the state-owned Niger-Delta University, highlighted the implications of the theme on the environment.
He noted that the wealth of the region should not be confined to oil alone.
“We must also be investing in agriculture and aquaculture,” Subai said.
He said there were both short and long term solutions to the environmental challenges of the region.
By Christian Ogbonna