By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT— Ogoni Youth Federation, OYF, has pleaded with the Federal Government to divert part of the $1 billion approved for the fighting of insurgency in the North-East to the clean up of Ogoni devastated land.
OYF also expressed worry over the continuous delay in the commencement of the implementation of the Ogoni clean-up, stressing that the process was marred by poor funding.
President-General of OYF, Mr Legborsi Yamaabana, in a statement, weekend, at the annual national congress of the body at Bera Community, Gokana Local Government Area, Rivers State, said that for over three decades, the people of the area have suffered margilization and devastation, noting that the Federal Government should give priority to the dangers bedevilling the Ogoni people.
He said: “We have been in devastation for over 30 years and the Federal Government has been very slow in the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP report for over 11 years now, as nothing has been done to assuage the situation of the people.
“A huge amount of money has been approved for the insurgency that started a few years ago. We are saying that part of the money should be diverted to the clean up of Ogoni so that the work can start.”
However, in a communique at the end of the congress, read by the Legal Adviser of OYF, Pyagbara Gabriel, the body decried the lackadaisical attitude of Federal Government, International Oil Companies and Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, in the implementation of Ogoni clean-up.
The body demanded for a supplementary Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, on Ogoni since there was none at present, adding that any oil company willing to resume exploration in Ogoniland must enter into an agreement with youths of the area.