Buhari approves governing council, board for Ogoni clean-up

By The Citizen

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved a 10-member Board of Trustees and a Governing Council comprising of 13 individuals for the clean up of Ogoniland in Rivers State.

The Presidency said this on its official Twitter handle on Saturday, stating that the announcement was made by the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, in a statement by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Bukar Hassan.

Mohammed stated that the structures would ensure inclusiveness, accountability, transparency and sustainability of the clean up exercise, and that she was aware of the various concerns raised by stakeholders on the perceived slow pace of the clean up.

The minister was quoted as saying, 'Nigerians have a right to voice their concerns. We have a responsibility to deliver. The launch was the first step in a 30-year journey. We continue to make strides toward the implementation.

'We ask for patience as we lay solid foundations for the clean-up. The context is complex and stakeholders are diverse. All must be taken along.'

She explained that the President had remained steadfast in his conviction to see Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta cleaned up.

Buhari inaugurated the clean up on June 2 at Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers.

Mohammed noted that her ministry was working with the Ministries of Petroleum Resources, Niger Delta, the NDDC and key stakeholders in implementing the UNEP report.

She observed that the exercise was a collective responsibility and urged all the Niger Delta communities, especially the Ogonis, to support the remediation and restoration efforts of government.

According to a United Nations report, the clean up of Ogoniland could take up to 30 years with the initial remediation taking five years and the restoration another 25 years.