By Alemma Aliu

BENIN CITY—Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, HOMEF, Dr. Nnimmo Bassey has called for collective support of various actors and political leaders in Niger Delta region to ensure the speedy clean-up of the Ogoni-land, Rivers State, devastated over the years due to oil exploration.

Mr Nnimmo Bassey
Nnimmo Bassey

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Bassey, who addressed newsmen in Benin City, Edo State at a reception organised for him by HOMEF staff for the Honorary Doctorate Degree awarded him by York University, in the United Kingdom, said the  more the delay in the project, the more the oil spillage and bad chemical in the land is contaminated which destroys the vital nutrient in the land and water.

He said: “Ogoni-land has come late again and we must ensure that the project is properly executed. The finance to be used is not the problem because it is not part of Nigeria’s budget. The finance is coming from those oil firms such as: Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Agrip, Shell and others oil companies that caused the spillage and polluted the land.

“My view is that we should all do what we can to ensure the project is executed successfully. The Ogoni-land is just a tiny fraction in the Niger Delta, if the area is not properly cleaned up, every other areas will be polluted and contaminated which goes beyond the Niger Delta. The Ogoni clean up for it to be properly done will take many years.

“It is a complex project and exercise and Nigerians must know that this is a learning process and to encourage those who are in charge to do what should be done, and do it well. If the clean up of Ogoni- land fails, it means, the environment to a large extend will be polluted and contaminated. It will be dead and can never be recovered.”

“So, people should burry their differences and ambition. I am not from the Ogoni, but we must all come together and be committed to ensure the clean up of the land. Otherwise, it will cause more harm and chemical degradation to the environments.”

Identifying some of the constraints that may lead to the delay of the project, Dr. Bassey, listed time frame for the completion of the work, getting the right manpower and personnel, the method and strategies to be used to clean up the area and the modern technology to be adopted is very vital.



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