BUHARI INABILITY TO SHOW UP PERSONALLY IN THE NIGER DELTA UNFORTUNATE, ANEEJ SAYS
Benin City, Nigeria…The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has expressed dismay over the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to personally visit Rivers State to flag-off the clean-up of Ogoniland, an area suffering from environmental degradation from oil spills.
The expression of frustration was contained in a statement issued in Benin and endorsed by the Executive Director of ANEEJ, Rev David Ugolor. Prior to the scheduled visit of Mr. President to Rivers State, ANEEJ hailed it as an epoch-making one and asked Mr. President to do everything in his power to ensure that the Niger Delta is not reduced to a theatre of turmoil and unmitigated disaster. After the ANEEJ call, hopes were high and the expectation was that Ogoniland, together with the many communities which had been despoiled from oil exploitation and exploration, would begin to enjoy a measure of attention from the Federal Government of Nigeria in accordance with the recommendations of the UNEP Report on Ogoni.
‘If the Gulf Oil Spill in 2010, one of the worst oil spills in United States history can be resolved in less than five years after it occurred, it is indeed an unfortunate thing that Mr. President could not brush perceived threats to his person aside and muster the political will to initial this much-expected visit and launch a massive clean-up exercise’, Rev Ugolor said in the press release.
In expressing his dismay at the unfortunate turn of events, Rev Ugolor used the opportunity to reiterate his call on militant groups in the Niger Delta to eschew violence as a mode of conflict resolution and management. ‘As President Buhari did not personally flag off the clean-up exercise, it calls to question the level of preparedness or otherwise that was invested in Mr. President’s first official visit to Rivers State since his election as President. It appears that government was more interested in the visit to the Niger Delta only after the Niger Delta Avengers began to blow up pipelines, Ugolor said.
Rev Ugolor also berated the Federal government for not consulting widely before embarking on the botched visit to Rivers State. ‘President Muhammadu Buhari is commander in chief of the armed forces of Nigeria, and therefore is father of all, irrespective of ethnic and religious background. He has travelled abroad on a number of occasions seeking solutions to Nigeria’s security problems but has cancelled visits to Lagos, and now this very important one to the Niger Delta to flag-off a clean-up. This weakens the institution of the executive and may reduce the confidence Nigerians have in his ability to provide security of life and property. What Mr. President must do therefore is to consult very widely and rein in all facets of individuals and groups linked with the restiveness in the region, and work out a plan that would checkmate restiveness in the Niger Delta region ’, Ugolor said in the statement.
ABOUT ANEEJ: To contribute to the emergence of a just and equitable African society through socio-economic and environmental rights protection, institutional strengthening and people’s empowerment.
For more information please contact:
Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ
39 Oyaide Street,
Off Benoni, GRA,
Advocacy Office: Plot 208, Zakariyah Maimalari Road
Off Herbert Macaulay Way,
Central Area, Abuja
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org www.aneej.org, @bobaneej
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