Ogoni youths, under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation, have written to the United States of America and the United Kingdom seeking their intervention in the cleanup of polluted Ogoni communities in Rivers State.
The communities have been affected by hydrocarbon pollution.
The letters, which call for the urgent attention of international communities in order to avert a looming crisis in the Niger Delta, were transmitted through the respective consulates of the United States and United Kingdom in Abuja on Thursday, September 19, 2019.
The letters made available to our correspondent on Tuesday, titled, ‘Compromised Ogoni cleanup; United Kingdom /United States’ intervention to avert crisis in the Niger Delta,’ were also sent to the Federal Ministry of Environment, Petroleum Resources and Niger Delta Affairs.
The President-General of the youth group, Yamaabana Legbosi, said the letters became necessary following alleged Federal Government’s failure to prevail on Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project to strictly comply with the United Nation Environment Programme Report recommendations.
The letter read in part, “As you are aware, on June 2, 2016, the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, represented by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, flagged off the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme Report on Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland.
“During the said event, it was stated that the implementation of the report would be done holistically and in a manner that would ensure transparency, accountability, genuine partnership and proper representation of the people at the grass roots, as well as guarantee job creation for young people and that Agro-allied industries required for processing agricultural produce would be put in place.
“The cleanup was flagged off in the glare of local and international press since 2016 and till now nothing practically has been done and our people continue to die in their numbers as a result of bathing, drinking and fishing in benzene and hydrocarbon-contaminated water.”
Legbosi lamented that UNEP’s recommended emergency public health measures which included provision of clean drinking water for the people had not been implemented three years after the cleanup began.”
Other measures he alleged had not been taken included, “Provision of adequate sources of drinking water to Ogoni people; posting signs in areas where hydrocarbons were observed on surface water, warning people not to fish, swim or bathe in those areas.”