The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to name members of the Governing Council and Board of Trustees (BoT) for the cleanup of oil spills in Ogoni land.
MOSOP spokesman, Mr Nsuke Felago made the call on Monday in Port Harcourt in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
He was reacting to the approval given by the president for the composition of the council and board for the cleanup.
NAN recalled that the Minister of Environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, in a statement on Sunday said the president had given approval for the composition of the council and board for the cleanup.
Felago told NAN that the Ogonis expect the president to name members of the board to take charge and drive the cleanup process.
“Yes, we are concern that the president has not named members of the council and board. We do hope that would not take another two months,’’ he said.
Felago, however, described the approval given by the president to constitute both governing council and board of trustees for the cleanup as a welcome development.
“Actually, it (approval) is a welcome development.
“We expected this to have happened before now. Remember during the launch of the cleanup, the president said that he had approved the board.
“We were expecting that the board would have been set up a week after the launch but we didn’t see that.
“Though the announcement is belated, we are happy that at last, we are having this board that will power the process,’’ the MOSOP spokesman said.
Speaking on the cleanup, Felago said that MOSOP and relevant authorities had already commenced discussion on the need to train the Ogoni people to enable them participate in the exercise.
“We expect that there will be training for our people so that so we can participate in the process,’’ he said.
Felago said the over 50 years of oil spill had destroyed the land. He called on government at all levels and oil giants to empower the people economically.
He said: “over 50 years of oil spill has destroyed the economy of the Ogoni people; particularly fish farming; there are no fish in our water any longer.
“The agricultural base been destroyed, the land is no longer producing. We expect that infrastructure would be rebuilt. We expect that schools will also be rebuilt.
“We expect that roads and hospitals would become functional; we expect that electricity will be available to power the system.
“We expect that water will be available for the people so that we do not continue drinking contaminated water.
“These are the things the government needs to do in consultation with MOSOP.’’
The spokesman said the Ogonis were committed to the cleanup and would not do anything to obstruct it.
He added that the Ogonis would work closely with all agencies that would be involved in the exercise.
“We have also commenced the process of educating the people on their expectations so that they know what to do and what not to do as the cleanup continues.
“We are talking with communities and community leaders; we are holding rallies in communities to tell the people what we expect; to tell them how they should respond to issues,’’ he said.
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