By Desmond Ejibas
The Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project (HYPREP) on Friday sought the support of political leaders, particularly Councilors to fast track the ongoing remediation of oil impacted communities in Ogoniland.
Dr Marvin Dekil, Project Coordinator of HYPREP, under the Federal Ministry of Environment, made the appeal in Port Harcourt at a meeting with Ward Councillors drawn from Ogoniland.
Our Correspondent reports that Ogoniland is made of four Local Government Areas in Rivers, including, Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai.
“We decided to seek support from the ward councilors in order to make our mandate of remediating the area a success.
“We believe that their inputs, suggestions and recommendations will help HYPREP to fulfill the mandate of remediating Ogoniland and providing sustainable alternative livelihood,“ Dekil said.
The HYPREP boss said the Federal Government was highly committed to clean-up exercise, and as such, had put measures in place to fast track the process.
“As grassroots people, HYPREP cannot do without the support of Councillors in the remediation of lands and livelihoods destroyed by oil spillage in the area.
“We decided to inform the Councillors in that area on what we have been doing; where we are currently and the various programs, activities and processes in the remediation work.
“HYPREP has been mandate to clean-up the area, and so, we are soliciting the of the Councillors because we understand the strategic roles they play at community level,“ he said.
On his part, HYPREP’s Chief Security Officer, Lt.-Col. Olayinka Coker urged the ward Councillors to assist security agencies to end the current killings in Ogoniland.
According to him, the Federal Government was concerned with current insecurity situation caused by activities of cultists, oil bunkers and illegal refiners in the area.
“We are appealing to the ward Councillors to put the interest of the communities first before their personal interest,” he said.
One of the Councillors, Mr Lekia Nwanikpo, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues, attributed current unrest in the area to fake information being spread to people around the communities.
Nwanikpo, who is leader of Khana Legislative Assembly, urged HYPREP to make its activities known to the Councillors to enable them give the correct information to people in their various wards.