The executive-director of the African Centre for Leadership Strategy & Development (CENTRE LSD), Mr. Monday Osasah, has urged stakeholders on the Ogoni cleanup and people of the Niger Delta to collectively put in more effort to see that progress is made on the project.
He said since inception of the project in June 2016, despite the approaches used at different levels by stakeholders, the results seem to be slow with the assurance that the desired results are still achievable.
Osasah, stated this during his openning remarks at a town hall meeting on Thursday, organised the project by Centre LSD with the support of Cordaid in Port Harcourt.
“The engagement of the cleanup of the Niger Delta and particularly the Ogoni cleanup has been on now since June 2016 using the approach of local, state and national linkage. With the approach, diverse engagements were done with stakeholders at different levels. Though the results have been slow in coming, our motivation is that we are no more where we use to be as far as the clean up is concerned, but the truth remains that we have really not reached our intended destination.
“In this town hall meeting, there will be deliberate interrogation of the clean up and or remediation process to truly situate the status and to be sure where to really channel our collective energies going forward to achieve the clean up. The interrogation shall help us examine the issues from diverse perspectives, government, community, operators and civil society. We shall look to know the reimbursement pattern for jobs and the regularity of payments, as well as the role played by independent monitors including community-based monitors if at all in the entire exercise,” Osasah stated.
He further said that, a healthy and sustainable environment in the Niger Delta is the overarching goal, which could happen when all stakeholders co-operate to play their roles. “This is the understanding that the UNEP report brings when it said, ‘the Ogoni and indeed the Niger Delta clean up requires a multi-stakeholder approach.
“As we collectively embark on the reflection and interrogation journey, I urge all of us to be open and frank in our contributions so that concrete ideas that could help to justifiably answer the question, and change the narrative will emerge from this convening. Let me advice that this meeting is not put together for blame game but to see how we can genuinely own the project, put our collective energies to work and achieve the cleanup,” he added.