Ogoni clean-up: Rivers lawmaker calls for patience with FG

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Mr Josiah Olu, an APC lawmaker representing Eleme Constituency in the Rivers Assembly has enjoined pressure groups agitating against the delayed Ogoni clean-up to be patient with the Federal Government.

Olu made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Port Harcourt.

He said that the Ogoni clean-up required extensive planning, scientific analysis, community involvement, and genuine partnership to achieve needed goal.

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Olu urged the people of Ogoni to exercise patience as the federal government strive towards implementing the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland in accordance with its framework.

According to him, the framework for the Ogoni clean-up is developed in a manner that embraces an all inclusive remediation of Ogoni land.

The lawmaker said that although the implementation stage of the program was slow it was still ongoing in line with its original framework and should not be viewed as an abandoned project.

“The issue of delay in the implementation of the UNEP report in Ogoni began with the past administration that ran for six years without any program of action to support commencement of the exercise.

“This present administration has within two years shown commitments towards implementation as it has already constituted governing bodies to take charge of the entire process,” he said.

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Olu said that relevant stakeholders had shown clear commitment by creating a Governing Council and Board of Trustees of the Ogoni Restoration Fund in August 2016 to oversee and fund the clean-up.

In another development, the lawmaker has decried the non payment of arrears of salaries and allowances of some lawmakers in the state since 2015.

According to him, the state Ministry of Finance attributed the delay to unverified bio-metrics of the affected lawmakers.

He, however, said that the affected lawmakers had been verified by the ministry but were yet to be paid.

Olu called on Gov. Nyesom Wike to ensure that arrears of the affected lawmakers were cleared to alleviate their sufferings.

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