RIVERS State Governor Nyesom Wike says the Ogoni clean-up can only succeed when the Federal Government stops playing politics with the programme.
Wike said this on Thursday at the Government House in Port Harcourt when he received the Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammad Abubakar.
He urged the Federal Government to come with the terms for the implementation of the Ogoni clean-up as recommended by the UNEP Report.
The governor observed that no tangible milestone has been achieved since 2016 when the exercise was flagged-off.
He said, “I am not happy that the Rivers State Government is not part of the clean-up. Nobody has ever briefed the state government. The programme has been politicised.
“The only way the programme will work is when we all work together. The programme is not working because they see it as politics. They are using unqualified contractors to execute the project.”
The governor said rather than tell the world the level of success attained, the Federal Government had continued to circulate the same old story of handing over remediation sites to contractors.
“It is unfortunate that no tangible effort has been achieved. Handing over the remediation site to contractors does not mean the work has been done.
“Since 2016 till date, it’s the same story because the people are from this part of the country. The Federal Government is supposed to come up to say that they have been able to achieve about 30 per cent of the clean-up in Ogoniland.
“What I want to hear is we have achieved about 30 per cent; we have achieved about 40 per cent the clean-up. The Federal Government should tell the people if they are not ready to clean up Ogoni land,” he said.
He regretted that some Ogoni sons were part of the challenges negating the successful clean-up of the Ogoniland.
Wike charged the Ogoni people working in the exercise to tell the world if they are satisfied with the programme.
Earlier, the Minister of Environment, Abubakar, said they were in the state to hand over an additional 36 remediation sites to contractors as part of the exercise.
The minister added that 400 women in the area would be trained as part of the exercise at the Rivers State Songhai Farm.