In a statement issued by Chijioke Amu-Nnadi, the Head of Corporate Affairs unit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Monday, President Muhammadu Buhari will visit the oil rich region to launch the Ogoni land clean-up on June 2.
According to the statement, the Minister of the Environment, Amina Mohammed, confirmed the date when she visited Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area of the state to inspect an oil spill clean-up demonstration.
She was quoted as having said: “I can confirm that President Buhari will visit Ogoni land on June 2 to flag-off clean-up of oil spills in the area as recommended in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.
“Buhari would return to Ogoni land where he inaugurated a fish pond in 1984 where the once flourishing pond regrettably had been destroyed by oil pollution.
“The Federal Government is coming back to restore the ecosystem to what it used to be and as such restore the peoples’ source of livelihood.
“We are not just committed to implementing the UNEP report but we are also going beyond that by taking steps to improve security, good governance and economy of the Niger Delta region.
“I can assure that the clean-up exercise is only the beginning, as Mr President is focused on restoring hope to people of the region.”
The statement quoted that Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed as saying that the President had given assurances that the area would be cleaned-up in fulfilment of his electioneering promise to people of the Niger Delta, and solicited support of all stakeholders to make the exercise a success.
The statement also quoted Ibim Semenitari, the Acting Managing Director of the NDDC, as saying that the clean up was of utmost importance to the commission and lauded the President for taking steps to fulfil his electioneering promise of improving welfare and living conditions of people of Ogoni and others in the region.
She said: “Ogonis are united behind this effort by the Federal Government to clean up their environment, and as such, the people will help in ensuring sustainability of the clean-up.”
Semenitari said NDDC, through the Niger Delta Regional Development Master Plan Forum, would mobilise and coordinate support of various stakeholders to make the clean-up a success.
The UNEP report was released in September 2011, with a call on the Nigeria and multinational oil companies to clean-up Ogoniland.