Rights group demands accountability for failed Ogoni cleanup 

Nearly a decade after the purported commencement of the famed Ogoni cleanup, the Coalition of Civil Society Groups for Transparency and Accountability, an Abuja based rights group, has described it as a ruse, scam and a circus show.

The Ogoni cleanup was recommended by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) following the mindless asphyxiation of the Niger Delta region by Shell Petroleum Company and other companies, particularly in and around the rich oilfields of Ogoni land in Rivers state with attendant consequences on livelihoods and standard of living.

In a press conference addressed by Comrades Igwe Ude-Umanta and Danesi Momoh Prince, convener and co-convener, respectively for the coalition and monitored by our correspondent in Abuja on July 4, 2024, the group insisted that Nigeria must demand accountability for the decades-   long neglect and abuse by oil companies.

 “Despite the euphoria that followed the announcement by the Buhari administration to commence the clean-up of Ogoniland with a thunderous regional applause, massive national endorsement and a loud international commendation, it was alas a scam, a big ruse. Even if it’s not intentional, that’s the sad reality on the ground now.

“Similar attempts by the Federal Government to establish the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) in April 2017 to oversee this all-important project have equally failed. The colossal failure on all fronts in this exercise begs for answers and Nigerians need to know what exactly is happening,” the Coalition said.

Highlighting the mandate and obligation of HYPREP which it has abdicated, the Coalition lamented that little or nothing has been done towards completing the cleanup.

It said, “Upon its creation, HYPREP was mandated to determine the scope and means of soil and groundwater remediation; enhance local capacity for better environmental management as well as ensure livelihoods and sustainable development, security and promotion of peace building efforts in the local communities, in addition to strengthening governance, transparency and accountability in the region. It is, however, sad to admit that little has been done in achieving these mandates”, the statement added. 

The Coalition bemoaned the total neglect of core areas of the UNEP recommendations like access to potable drinking water, livelihood restoration have not been fully met 7 years after,” the Coalition added.