Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared that the federal government is not serious about the clean-up of Ogoniland.
The governor stated that for now, the Ogoni clean-up programme remains a political project aimed at attaining political mileage.
Speaking when he granted audience to the Senate Committee on Environment on Investigative visit to Ogoniland, Wike said the people of Rivers State are tired of procrastination in relation to the execution of the clean-up.
He said: â€œThe federal government is not serious about the clean-up of Ogoniland. We are tired of telling our people that the project will start next year.
â€œLet it not be a political project. Look at the North-east, a commission was established and $1 billion released.â€
He said the devastation of Ogoniland has impoverished the people by destroying their farmlands and fishing waters.
He regretted that as a state that produces the wealth of the nation, Rivers State has no single motorable federal road.
Commenting on the soot noticed in the state, Wike stated that it is a fallout of oil pollution, stressing that people were suffering the health hazards.
Earlier, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, said the committee was on an oversight visit to ascertain the level of environmental degradation in Ogoniland.
She said that the committee would draw attention to the environmental challenges facing the Ogoni people.
Tinubu said: â€œWe are concerned about these issues. We will use face masks when we get to the location. Face masks will draw attention to the message to the world on the essence of the clean-up.â€