The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)) says not much has been achieved on the Ogoni cleanup conducted under the supervision of Nigeria’s federal ministry of environment through the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP). President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke made this known in Port Harcourt today in a speech to mark six years after the official flagoff of the Ogoni cleanup programme in Ogoni by Nigeria’s president, Muhammadu Buhari.
“Not much has been achieved but corruption, mismanagement and embezzlement,” Nsuke said of the cleanup programme.
The MOSOP leader noted that despite receiving over $800million for the cleanup programme, the Nigerian authorities have been unable to make any positive impact in Ogoni. He said it was inconceivable that as common as drinkable water could not be provided for the Ogoni people. Nsuke further said an investigation commissioned by HYPREP indicated that underground water in the entire Ogoni has been contaminated.
He said the water crisis in Ogoni is an emergency but unfortunately has not been taken seriously. He accused HYPREP of rushing to award cleanup contracts without basic determinations because its management was desperate to loot the funds while the fundamental issues demanding urgent attention were being neglected.
“HYPREP has received over $800million (Eight Hundred Million United States Dollars) and an additional NGN6 Billion (Six Billion Naira) for water supplies. What we have seen is bribery and looting of the cleanup funds” Nsuke said.
The MOSOP President said HYPREP ought to be ashamed and the government itself should see today, six years after it flagged off the cleanup programme, as a day exposing its tolerance for the looting and corruption going on in HYPREP”
“Sometimes, I feel there is some compromise compelling the government and anti-corruption agencies to turn their eyes away from several alarms and complaints coming from the communities and people who have consistently said the cleanup is only on the pages of newspapers and where some work appear to be going on, what their are doing is to cover the spill sites with heaps of sand” Nsuke said.
Nsuke called for a thorough investigation to be conducted into the activities of HYPREP if the cleanup programme can be rescued. He said the Ogoni people have lost confidence in the cleanup project and demand a half on further funding for the project noting that the monies are not committed to the work of cleaning Ogoni”
“We want the government to halt further funding for HYPREP, it is important to check the financial mismanagement in HPREP. The government will also need to further commence an investigation into the activities of HYPREP and ensure that the gaps are significantly closed before funding for activities can resume” Nsuke said