UNEP report: MOSOP threatens to protest in Abuja

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People has issued a June 30, 2014 ultimatum to the Federal Government to begin the process of cleaning up Ogoni land or face a series of protests in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

MOSOP threatened to storm Abuja if the Federal Government failed to start the restoration of Ogoni environment, based on the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme.

The group lamented that nothing had been done to clean up the area since the presentation of the report to the government in 2011.

President of MOSOP, Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara, said in a statement by his Media/Public Affairs Advisor, Mr. Bari-ala Kpalap, that government had continued to delay the implementation of the UNEP report, even when a high-powered delegation from Ogoni had visited President Goodluck Jonathan on the matter.

Pyagbara, who had earlier spoken at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York, USA, described the Federal Government’s silence on the UNEP recommendations as “insensitive and unfortunate.”

He said, “As the World Environmental Day draws closer, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People has warned that if by June 30, the Federal Government of Nigeria fails to emplace any genuine process of restoring the Ogoni environment.

“At the expiration of the ultimatum, the series of peaceful protests deliberately delayed since last year would be resumed as MOSOP will have no choice than to mobilise the Ogoni people and her friends to march on Abuja in protest against its murderous inaction on the matter.

“In 2010, prior to the release of the report, UNEP had informed government and its agencies; and other relevant interests about the severity of the degradation of the Ogoni environment and advised quick and sustained response to prevent public health crisis in the region.

“True to UNEP’s declaration, between February and May 2014, the communities have collectively buried over 50 natives. The deceases suffered cancer, lung (respiratory) and other adverse health conditions associated with hydrocarbon pollution”.

“The government approach has violently undermined our inalienable right to clean and safe environment and by extension, our right to life guaranteed by domestic, regional and international instruments, which Nigeria has endorsed and domesticated.”

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