The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has commended the Nigerian President’s approval of NGN6Billion for water projects in Ogoni.
The decision not only vindicates our long-standing position of a fraudulent UNEP report implementation but also confirms the massive corruption on the Ogoni cleanup project under the previous management of the HydroCarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP.
Recall that HYPREP has severally denied our claims of failing to provide water for Ogoni and held that they were implementing the report diligently despite ignoring the first and very significant recommendation for water treatment and provision for communities.
MOSOP is however compelled to warn that the problem with the very faulty cleanup program implementation has not just been the unavailability of funds but the looting and corruption within the cleanup management agency, HYPREP.
We are also concerned that the proposed water project could suffer the failure of previous interventions without a proper framework to oversee the implementation process. We, therefore, demand to see a comprehensive and integrated water project design to empower our internal monitoring mechanisms for us to support the fulfillment of the water project.
It is our hope that as the 2023 elections approach, the water project funds and the cleanup contracts will not be misdirected to support political parties in their quest to win elections, funding violent groups and arming unemployed youths to cause conflicts in the society thereby making accountability difficult.
We call on the president to consider the issues of livelihoods and compensation for families whose sources of livelihoods have been destroyed by years of pollution and have suffered untold hardship consequently. It is worthy to note that there can be no remediation without compensation for livelihood losses. The fact that the Shell-sponsored UNEP report did not expressly state a value for community compensation does not eliminate the sufferings our people still go through due to the pollution.
We will urge the president to also consider the damaging effects of gas flaring to air quality and climate change and to take speedy measures to end gas flaring in the country.
We thank our President Muhammadu Buhari for the decision to commence the Ogoni water project and call on him to extend this gesture to other communities in the Niger Delta who also suffer similar pains and deprivations like us, the Ogoni people.