Oil spill in Ogoniland
By Davidson Iriekpen
An environmental rights group, Foundation for Environmental Rights, Advocacy and Development (FENRAD), has called on the Federal Government and the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to immediately effect the Implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report on Ogoniland.
Addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt, the Executive Director of FENRAD, Comrade Nelson Nnanna Nwafor, faulted the media report that SPDC had started clean up and remediation in the Ogoniland without following the UNEP report recommendation that awarded the sum of $1billion as compensation to the communities.
The organisation condemned the presidential committee set up to co- ordinate action by all parties to the process of remediation and stressed that the presidential committee was not necessary because it will frustrate the process of the realisation of the said objective and will review the recommendation to death because its composition is made of politicians who are after personal and selfish interest.
It called for the constitution of a committee, which consists of the various communities in Ogoniland that will harmonise issues towards implementing the recommendation in the UNEP report.
FENRAD stressed that the UNEP report will be a catalyst for co-operation to address the environmental challenges and environmental degradation in the Ogoniland and Niger Delta at large if the multinational oil companies will adhere to the recommendations.
This it added can be achieved with the co-operation of both local, state, federal governments with the Ogoni communities.
It said SPDC would have to set up a team which should comprise members of the Ogoni communities and civil society organisation to review and develop a comprehensive decommission programme and asset integrity plan, and discuss these plans and its implementation with relevant Ogoni communities.
On the gas flaring, the organisation noted that apart from its deleterious impact on communities, health and the ecosystem, gas flaring is a gruesome and grievous violation of human rights and exposes communities within 30 kilometers radius of any flare point to a dangerous cocktail of toxin that poisons them.