Fresh Reasons for Urgent Clean- Up of Ogoni and Conduct of immediate health audit on Citizens: A Release by Ogoni Solidarity Forum-Nigeria

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

While the Ogoni are still struggling to understand reasons for non implementation of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Report over four years after its release, more polluted  sites not yet visited by Civil Society Organisations and environmental right activists, have been discovered in Ogoni. On his first visit to one of such community (B-Dere, abandoned original home) in Gokana Local Government Area, Celestine AkpoBari, the National Coordinator of Ogoni Solidarity Forum (OSF) opined that he was shocked and disturbed that there were still unknown  polluted sites in Ogoni than he  imagined.  Ironically, the regular trade mark from HYPREP was already there before his arrival. 

HYPREP Prohibition Sign Post at the abandoned community water front

The big question is, why would HYPREP and other State Agencies know all polluted sites in Ogoni and do nothing to hasten clean up and restoration of the environment.

 

Apart from an offensive smell of hydro carbon in the air and  visible pollution of the entire water body in the area, what look like a former massive mangrove forest is fast been transformed into a desert.

Polluted water and dying mangrove forest in B-Dere abandoned ancestral community

According to Comrade AkpoBari Celestine, the most painful aspect of the visit was an encounter with one Mr Naanwee Labara, a young man who has been reduced to a ghost of his former self by poison from hydro carbon because he refused to leave the community with others after the well publicized  2008 and 2009 oil spill that polluted Bodo creeks and those of every other community on same coastal line with it. Like Goi, this ancestral B-Dere community, does not have any oil facility or pipeline, making it impossible to accuse community people of sabotage.

 The man whose legs and hands have been twisted without a physical fight with anybody, keep whispering into the ears of anyone who care to listen, “see what sHELL did to me, I was a healthy person before the oil spill, see what sHELL  turned me into”  

One is forced to immediately recall the festival of burial that Ogoni has been turned into, especially weekends. From the sight of Mr Naanwee, one can imagine the grave danger facing those who still live in Ogoni.

 

Comrade AkpoBari Celestine giving a little hope to Mr Naanwee during his visit to B-Dere Ancestral Home on Saturday March 14, 2015

Although, fingers has been pointing at oil pollution and hydro carbon in the air, as the main cause of increasing number of deaths in Ogoni, a near confirmation was established between 6 and 7 August 2014 when the Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), led by Rev Nnimmo Bassey organized a two day program for Ogoni people tagged “Memories and Hope: Ogoni Women as Ecological Defenders” at  Bori, the traditional Headquarters of Ogoni people 

At the program which was attended by over 500 participants, people were shocked to hear ear cracking and unbelievable testimonies from some attendees that some young Ogoni women who are yet to be married or give birth are no longer experiencing their monthly flow (menstrual circle) due mainly to what people suspect to be regular exposure to oil polluted environment and poisoned air in the area. About five of such ladies were identified at the program. 

Judging from the above case scenario, the Ogoni Solidarity Forum (OSF-Nigeria) is calling on friends of Ogoni and concerned civil society groups to intensify effort in pushing further, the campaign for immediate implementation of UNEP Report and urgent call on the Government of Nigeria and sHELL, to commence health audit on every Ogoni person before the whole place is turned into a burial ground.

Mr Naanwee Labara’s house with other abandoned houses and mono pump in the once beautiful community.

As we all prepare to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the murder of Ken saro wiwa and eight others, one things we must do, is to channel our energy and resources in this campaign to  more twisting of bones and early menopause  like we have in the cases stated above.

Again, we all have to jointly call on sHELL to stop her divestment plan in Ogoni as all the company have in the area, are liabilities and not a single asset to sell.

Please see link to 4 minutes video on Naanwee Labara https://www.youtube.com/watch?edit=vd&v=r1Yumlc_3YI

For other details, please contact:-

 AkpoBari Celestine Nkabari

National Coordinator

Ogoni Solidarity Forum-Nigeria

Cell No.: +234-803-2733 965

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Skype ID: celestine.rights

http://www.facebook.com/celestine.akpobari

Twitter @GreatOgoni