From NWADIKE UGOCHUKWU, Port Harcourt
THE Akwa Ibom State Commissioner for Environment Dr. Iniobang Essien has appealed to the Niger Delta Militants to drop their ammunition and seek a way to negotiate with the Federal Government.
Essien told National Daily in Port Harcourt that the action of the Niger Delta Militant has affected Oil Production in the region urging them to stop attacks on Oil pipelines and installations, a development, he said has worsen the situation in the Niger Delta region.
The Commissioner said the action of Militants has also negatively affected the Nation’s Water ways due to vandalism of Oil pipelines, urging the security agencies to step up actions in tackling the activities of militants in the Niger Delta.
He said President Buhari has shown commitment but it’s left for us to actualize the cleanup exercise in Ogoni Land.
According to him, what we have seen there the level of degradation in Ogoni Land called for intervention from the Federal Government and all stakeholders in the region to find a way a way to address the environmental challenges that had confronted the region in the past years.
The Commissioner expressed regret over the activities of Oil Producing Companies operating in the area where the people are leaving in abject poverty, adding that the issue of environmental degradation in Ogoni Land was not given necessary attention but the President has shown commitment to commence cleanup exercise in Ogoni Land.
He also urged the Federal Government to carried along other Niger Delta Communities who had suffered from Oil pollution, their Communities, their environment, their livelihood have been destroyed as a result of oil activities in the region by the oil companies.
He said, With the recommendation of the United Nation, going by what we have seen with the level of degradation and devastation in Ogoni Land over the year, if it is important as a people, we must also corporate with the government of the day to protect environment and the lives of the people of the Niger Delta, warning that the United Nation report on Ogoni Land should be implemented in the Cleanup exercise.
“It is better for the Militants to discuss with the Federal Government than attacking the Oil Pipeline, damaging the environment, what they have done to the environment will take more than 20 years to mitigate, at the end of the day, the whole world are going into energy, but they are looking for a way to cleanup of Ogoni Land”.
According to him, the economics of the nation belongs to Nigerians and they should come up to do what is needful to protect the environment.
He added that the economic downfall is a global thing but the situation we find ourselves here in the Niger Delta not just in Ogoni Land is one of the arrowheads. What is happening in Ogoni Area also happened in other Niger Delta region. We must also guide against further degradation in the Niger Delta.
He said that statistics have shown that vandalism caused by oil spill, 70% damage on environment caused by oil spill in the Niger Delta.
“We must look inward to avoid things that will happen to us in a long run government have come to mitigate the effect on environment”.
The Commissioner noted that Nigeria dependent in Oil resources to energy, if discovered oil in the entire Niger Delta, what we are doing now in 2 weeks Oil price has gone up, right from now, the Nigeria problem cannot produce quantity of Oil adding that the Nation has recorded a huge lose in the Oil sector because of downfall in Oil price as a result of Militant attack on Oil pipeline.
Speaking on Gas flaring, the Commissioner assures that come 2020 Gas flaring will be reduced to its barest minimum. He said that this Gas flaring will also protect the environment from depleting