THE Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, on Monday hosted the Senate Committee on Environment to a reception at his country-home in Bera, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The committee was in Ogoniland on oversight and investigative visit to the sites of the ongoing cleanup and remediation exercise in Ogoniland as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme,UNEP
Abe is a member of the Senate Committee on Environment as well as chairman, Senate Committee on Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA.
At the reception, Senator Oluremi Tinubu,chairman of the Committee, expressed the hope that President Muhammadu Buhari will not relent in his promise to clean-up the polluted environment in Ogoniland.
Tinubu said, “The land that had been flowing with milk and honey and I know you must have been taking fish from the rivers before, but it is no longer like that. So, you see that this is real; even your plants in the farms, are not growing to the capacity that you would have wanted.
“I believe that we have done much of agitation and sensitization and we know that lives have been lost in all these Ogoni cleanup struggle. The world have heard and we believe that Mr. President have also heard.
“With the confidence we have reposed in this President, I believe and I pray that he will not disappoint you. He has been a man of his word and we expect him to match his word with action. He has promised and I believe he will deliver to the latter.”
The Committee Chairman urged those who have instituted Court actions that could hamper the smooth running of the cleanup exercise to withdraw their matters from Court as no meaningful development will take place in an atmosphere of disunity.
She said, “we came here on oversight and investigative visit just to see what is actually going on. We have read so much on paper, let the papers match what we are seeing. So when we go back to the Senate, we have a better picture. Ogoni sons are occupying key positions in the cleanup process, so Ogonis are not in the gap about what is going on”.
“We have heard something that is very common all the places we have been to, it is about bureaucracy in going about this cleanup exercise. From my one little knowledge, I believe that where there is no unity, others will come and instill other measures. That is why I appreciate your message today that despite everything, we are saying one thing, unity”.
“All those who are in Court, I think they have to step it down. Like I said, the Senate, if a matter is in Court, we can’t deal with it. So, if you want us to work fully, we see a lot of interest groups and the agitations. Some of the agitations may not be healthy, while some are healthy because you now see that there is a real threat. If is no longer say, oh, it could happen. We have seen it happening.”
In their separate remarks, Presidents of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) and the KAGOTE, Legborsi Pyagbara and Dr. Peter Medee, called for the full implementation of the UNEP report as well as the removal of bureaucratic bottlenecks hampering the process of the cleanup exercise.
– Nov. 28, 2017 @ 19:03 GMT