The Recently Flagged-Off Ogoni land Clean Up By President Muhammadu Buhari will evidently take up to 30years. This was pointed out by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo (Representing President Buhari) during His speech at the Flag-off Ceremony in Ogoni. The Reason Behind this is stated after the cut . . .In 1990, under the leadership of activist and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Movement of the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) planned to take action against the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the oil companies. In October 1990, MOSOP presented The Ogoni Bill of Rights to the government. The Bill hoped to gain political and economic autonomy for the Ogoni people, leaving them in control of the natural resources of Ogoniland protecting against further land degradation. The movement lost steam in 1994 after Saro-Wiwa and several other MOSOP leaders were executed for treason.
In a 2011 assessment of over 200 locations in Ogoniland by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), they found that impacts of the 50 years of oil production in the region extended deeper than previously thought. Because of oil spills, oil flaring, and waste discharge, the alluvial soil of the Niger Delta is no longer viable for agriculture. Furthermore, in many areas that seemed to be unaffected, groundwater was found to have high levels of hydrocarbons or were contaminated with benzene, a carcinogen, at 900 levels above WHO guidelines.
UNEP estimated that it could take up to 30 years to rehabilitate Ogoniland to its full potential and that the first five years of rehabilitation would require funding of about US$1 billion. In 2012, the Nigerian Minister of Petroleum Resources, Deizani Alison-Madueke, announced the establishment of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project, which intends to follow the UNEP report suggestions of Ogoniland to prevent further degradation.
Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed, made paramount the clean up exercise as one of important priorities in this administration. Amina Mohammed, was Senior Adviser on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to three different Presidents of Nigeria from 2000 – 2014; served as the Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
This exercise is expected to be the start in the improvement of lives of a people who have contributed to the tremendous wealth of Nigeria.