The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) wishes to express its concerns over the Ogoni cleanup. This is necessary following the recent media briefing by Mr. Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity in which he stated that “since the Ogoni Cleanup commenced in January 2019, with 16 contractors moving to site, a total of 21 sites has so far been handed over to contractors by Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) under the Federal Ministry of Environment.”
MOSOP commends the Nigerian government for initiating the programme in the first instance. However we regret that not much progress has been recorded on the project. We further note that the hype and claims of progress made on the Ogoni cleanup had only been on the pages of newspapers and other media platforms and not visible in Ogoni.
At best, what is going on in Ogoni is a coverup, an attempt by the corrupt managers of HYPREP who have engaged unqualified forms to loot the cleanup funds to justify their wasteful expenditure.
Most of the firms engaged by HYPREP on the Ogoni cleanup project unfortunately lack the required expertise to handle the complex situation in Ogoni.Some of them failed the pre-qualification assessment for the project but still made the list of contractors.
MOSOP therefore demands the dissolution and reconstitution of the HYPREP governing council especially as their tenure in office expires in February, 2020.
MOSOP regrets that the managers of HYPREP have not considered the impact of their failures on the life of the Ogoni people. The massive corruption in the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) which started with jettisoning the recommendations of UNEP especially the issues of water provision for Ogoni and the failure of HYPREP to establish the Integrated Soil Management Center which should handle the contaminated wastes. All these continue to endanger Ogoni lives without any hope of a reprieve. This is unfortunate.
The problem with the Ogoni cleanup today is therefore no longer just the issue of poor funding at this time but the mismanagement of available funds and corruption in HYPREP.
It is therefore our position that despite the huge media campaign to give the failed programme some facelift, much more needs to be done to redeem the project and make it more valuable. The project needs to be more transparent, the emergency measures need to be implemented especially the issue of water provision and medical care and the recommendations of UNEP needs to be diligently followed.
MOSOP calls on the Nigerian government to institute a probe into the activities of HYPREP to unravel the corruption that has ravaged HYPREP and urgently take steps to overhaul the management team of HYPREP and redeem the battered image the programme has given the current administration.
Assistant Secretary General
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)
Headquarters: Peace and Freedom Center, Bori Ogoni