Paul Obiajunwo, PortHarcourt
Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has called on the leadership of the United Nations to prevail on the Federal Government to implement the clean up of Ogoni-land, which was flagged off last year.
Speaking at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday when he granted audience to the United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon, the governor regretted that nothing has so far been done on the Ogoni clean up.
He said that large scale environmental pollution in different parts of the state leads to environmental degradation, which negatively affects the sources of livelihood of the people.
He said the clean up of Ogoni land should not be politicised, as it dwells directly on the development of the area.
The governor said: “Yesterday in the Senate, somebody said that the Federal Government has not done anything as far as Ogoni clean up is concerned. When we were saying it, they said we were playing politics. But now, it has dawned on them that nothing is being done. So, we urge you to intervene.
“Part of the problem we are having today is because of the lack of attention by the Federal Government when it has to do with Rivers State. We will provide you with Helicopter to see what we are talking about. Don’t only read it on papers. You will really pity us. “
Speaking further, Governor Wike said: “The Federal Government has taken our oil and our environment has been degraded. Nothing seems to be done.
“We urge you on your own part as the United Nations to impress on the Federal Government that this clean up is very serious. Let it not be a political issue. We should not play politics with the lives of the people”.
The governor also called on the United Nations to partner with the Rivers State Government in the area of commercial agriculture.
He said because of the volatile nature of oil prices, investments in commercial agriculture will help create jobs for unemployed youths. Governor Wike urged the United Nations to provide a link for investors in commercial agriculture to come to the state, adding that his administration will provide incentives such as access to land and certificate of occupancy.
While soliciting for partnership in the area of environmental sanitation, Governor Wike declared that his administration places premium on the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals.
He informed the United Nations that his administration has improved security through the diligent implementation of the State Amnesty programme.
Governor Wike said that the State Government is working with relevant agencies to improve human rights and decongest the prisons.
Earlier, the United Nations Resident/Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr Edward Kallon lauded the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike for his infrastructural development, which has improved the living condition of the people.
He said the United Nations will continue to mobilise support for the development of Rivers State. He assured that the United Nations will partner with the Rivers State Government in the area of agriculture as a tool of employment generation and empowerment.
The UN Chief added that partnership will be developed with the Rivers State Government in the areas of Sustainable Development Goals, improvement of security, environmental sanitation, promotion of human rights and prisons decongestion.