President Muhammadu Buhari will launch the Ogoni land clean-up on June 2, a statement has said.
This is contained in a statement issued by Mr Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, Head of Corporate Affairs unit, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Port Harcourt on Monday.
It stated that the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, confirmed the date when she visited Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area of the state to inspect an oil spill clean-up demonstration.
The statement quoted Mohammed as saying that the president had given assurances that the area would be cleaned-up in fulfilment of his electioneering promise to people of the Niger Delta.
“I can confirm that President Buhari will visit Ogoni land on June 2 to flag-off clean-up of oil spills in the area as recommended in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
“Buhari would return to Ogoni land where he inaugurated a fish pond in 1984 where the once flourishing pond regrettably had been destroyed by oil pollution.
`The Federal Government is coming back to restore the ecosystem to what it used to be and as such restore the peoples’ source of livelihood. “We are not just committed to implementing the UNEP report but we are also going beyond that by taking steps to improve security, good governance and economy of the Niger Delta region.
“I can assure that the clean-up exercise is only the beginning, as Mr President is focused on restoring hope to people of the region,” the statement quoted the minister as saying. Mohammed solicited support of all stakeholders to make the exercise a success.
The statement also quoted Mrs Ibim Semenitari, the Acting Managing Director of NDDC, as saying that the clean was of utmost importance to the commission. Semenitari lauded the president for taking steps to fulfil his electioneering promise of improving welfare and living conditions of people of Ogoni and others in the region.
“Ogonis are united behind this effort by the Federal Government to clean up their environment, and as such, the people will help in ensuring sustainability of the clean-up,’’ she said.
Semenitari said that NDDC through Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan Forum would mobilise and coordinate support of various stakeholders to make the clean-up a success.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the UNEP report was released in September 2011, with a call on the Nigeria and multinational oil companies to clean-up the Ogoni land.