Paul Obiajunwo, PortHarcourt
A coalition of Ogoni youth leaders has demanded for the appointment of an indigenous project manager for the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme’s recommendation on Ogoni clean-up.
The youth leaders, under the aegis of the Ogoni Joint Youth Leadership Council, explained that this was necessary since the Federal Government appointed leadership of other structures outside Ogoni.
A statement signed by the Chairman of the leadership council, Mr. Friday Ngbihoro; and Public Relations Officer, Mr. Vincent Gbosi; indicated that the people of Ogoni had in abundance environment experts with the capacity to work as project managers.
The statement which was issued in Nonwa, Tai Local Government of Rivers State, also added that the appointment of an Ogoni person would alleviate the plight of the people and ensure compliance with global best practices, being victims themselves.
He said: “We demand vehemently the appointment of an indigenous project manager having appointed leadership of the other structures outside Ogoni.
“We strongly believe that Ogoni has in abundance world class environmentalists and project managers whose appointment will alleviate the plight of the people ensure compliance with global best practices being victims themselves.
“We also demands equal spread in these appointments across the four local government areas that make up Ogoni in order to give all parts of Ogoni a sense of belonging.”
The Ogoni youth leaders further sought the immediate action of the Federal Government and its security agencies against the spate of insecurity, particularly in Ogoniland.
They pointed out that this could affect the implementation of the project and the forthcoming legislative reruns.
According to them, continued politically related murders, arson, communal and cult related clashes remain a threat to peace and development of Ogoniland.
They commended President Muhammadu Buhari for actualizing his campaign promise to the Ogoni people and by extension to the Niger Delta region on environmental justice.
The Ogoni youth leaders also applauded the inauguration of the Governing Council and the Board of Trustees for the clean-up of Ogoniland.
The group restated its belief in the Buhari administration and confidence in the Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed, to achieve the clean-up of Ogoni and other impacted areas in Niger Delta for the Federal Government.
It, however, called on Ogoni youths to remain peaceful, united and supportive of development-oriented leaders from Ogoni and Rivers State.