The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has urged the Federal Government to immediately commence the implementation of the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the clean-up of Ogoniland.
MOSOP President, Legborsi Pyagbara, who made the submission on Monday (January 4, 2016) at the 23rd anniversary of Ogoni Day in Bori, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, issued a 30-day ultimatum to government to implement the report.
Pyagbara declared that the Ogoni people would not relent in embarking on protests if government failed to meet their demand, even as he lamented that the people of the area were tired over the continued delay in implementing the UNEP recommendations.
The MOSOP boss warned that Ogoni people would take to the streets in peaceful protests after the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum until the UNEP report was implemented. He described as pathetic a situation where the FG had refused to carry out the instructions of UNEP on the clean-up of Ogoniland more than four years after the recommendation was made.
His words: “As part of Ogoni Project 2015, we began a multifaceted campaign involving protest, letter writing campaigns, media advocacy and international advocacy for the implementation of the UNEP report.
“We commend the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government for the renewed interest in the UNEP report and his approval of the fast-track actions for the implementation of the report.
“However, we are seizing this opportunity to remind the government that the unusual delay for the take-off of the project is becoming unbearable and indeed taxing our patience.
“We urge the Federal Government to, without further delay, bring into being the announced structures and the roadmap for the implementation of the report that respect the sensibilities of the communities.
“The ongoing delay on the part of the government will continue to be seen as an act of genocide being committed against the Ogoni people. We are giving the Federal Government a 30-day ultimatum to commence the implementation of the report or we will take up a series of non-violent measures to press for our demand.”
Chairman on the occasion, Prof. Ben Naanen, called on the people of the area to form a united front in order to achieve the struggle of the implementation of the UNEP report.
Naanen vowed that the struggle for the actualisation of the freedom of the Ogoni would not stop until their demands were met.
Additionally, Pyagbara called on the Rivers State Government to commence the dualisation of Saakpenwa Road as it promised during a campaign in the area. According to him, the road would boost the economic well-being of the people of the area if it was dualised.
He urged the youths to desist from behaviour that could sabotage the struggle of the ancestors of the land.
Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, promised that the government would soon commence the construction of Saakpenwa Road.
Wike, who was represented at the event by his Commissioner for Housing, Emma Okah, disclosed that the dualisation project would start before the end of January.