Nyesom Wike, govrenor of Rivers state, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for “closing an ugly chapter in our histrory”.
Speaking at the presidential launch of the Ogoni clean-up on Thursday, Wike said Buhari has shown commitment to the cause of the people of Niger Delta region.
He said for several decades, the region had been subjected to the “worst form of environmental degradation” never experienced in “this part of the world”.
“We commend Mr President’s determination to close this ugly chapter in our history, although this has taken long in coming, it is never too late when it comes to the environment,” he said.
“Millions of barrels of oil have been spilled into the environment by companies exploiting and extracting hydro carbons from the area with severe consequences to the eco system including wildlife, marine habitation, soil and water quality and human health”
Wike described as significant, the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) report, which prompted the clean-up.
“The UNEP report, which is the precursor to today’s event is significant for at least two reasons. First it presents the best available and factually detailed documentation of the scale of existing and continued damage to the entire Ogoni environment and by extension, the Niger delta,” he said
“Second and most significantly, it presents a clear roadmap on the priorities of action by government, stake holders and the international community in terms of clean up, remediation or restoration of the damage that has accumulated over the years for us as a people and the overall victim of the worst form of environmental degradation.
“We therefore welcome this initiative wholeheartedly as shown by enthusiastic presence believing that the recommendations of UNEP would be systematically executed because we believe only environmental justice will restore sustainable peace, stability and progress to the Niger delta”