Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has declared that the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led federal government must as a matter of urgency release funds for tackling issues of environmental degradation and security in the Niger Delta.

Wike said while he would not condemn the release of $1 billion to tackle Boko Haram, the environmental and security challenges in the Niger Delta far outweigh the Boko Haram conflict.

The governor spoke during the annual general meeting of Okpo Club of Nigeria (Association of Ikwerre Lawyers) on Saturday in Port Harcourt.

He requested the APC federal government to release the derivation component of the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to the oil producing states of the Niger Delta.

He said: “Niger Delta environmental problems are as serious as the Boko Haram insurgency. I am not saying that you should not fight Boko Haram.

“If you can get funds from the national pool to tackle Boko Haram, then you should go to the pool to get funds to fight environmental problems in Ogoni and other Niger Delta communities.”

Details later…