By Davies Iheamnachor
OGONI- PRESIDENT of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, Mr. Leborsi Pyagbara, has said that Ogoni people in Rivers State whose sources of livelihood were destroyed by pollution by oil companies required economic cleanup and not just environmental remediation from the Federal Government.
Pyagbara, who is a member of the Governing Council of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, spoke in Port Harcourt at a stakeholders’ meeting on the implementation of the UNEP report on Ogoni land cleanup, organised by the Federal Ministry of Environment through HYPREP.
He said: “This is a long journey we started some time in 1990. It is only our collective will and collective support that will make the project a success. For us, we will continue to raise the alarm when things go wrong.
“We need economic cleanup as you are going on with environmental cleanup. I call on all of us to give support to this project. It is a historic opportunity because the world is waiting to see it executed.
Money for Ogoni cleanup won’t be diverted -FG
Meanwhile, the Federal Government has assured stakeholders of the oil impacted Ogoni ethnic nationality of Rivers State that no part of the money paid for the remediation process would be diverted for any other use.
The Minister of State for Environment, who is also the chairman, Governing Council of HYPREP, Ibrahim Jibril, at the meeting also assured that the money so far paid for the process was intact in a designated account, adding that Ogoni Trust Fund has been incorporated.
Jibril, who was represented by Dr. Ishaku Mohammed, said: “Funding is the area of concern. We have opened escrow account. We assure that the money for the project is sacrosanct for the project and will not be diverted for other uses.
We’ve opened a foreign account, BOT
Meanwhile, the President of KAGOTE and member of Board of Trustee, HYPREP, Dr. Peter Medee, disclosed that the BOT had successfully opened an account with a foreign bank, adding that it would guarantee security of funds for the project
“The Ogoni Trust Fund has been incorporated. Two Ogonis are trustees in the fund. Ogoni can use the fund without interference from the Federal Government and it is done in such a way that change in administration will not affect the project,” he added.