Wike defends call for inclusion in UNEP report

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    From Nwadike Ugochukwu, Port Harcourt
    Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has explained that the state government requested for inclusion in  the  implementation of the UNEP Report because it is interested in a safe environment  for  the  Ogoni people.
    Also, the Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed said that the implementation of  the  UNEP Report is above politics, hence the  Rivers State Government will be involved  in  implementation  process.
    Speaking at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Thursday when  he granted  audience to the Minister of Environment, Governor Wike said though the  UNEP  Report is a  Federal  Government project, it is necessary  for the Rivers State Government to  be included  in  the  processes.
    He noted that it was necessary for the Federal Government to spell out the extent to which the Rivers State Government will be involved and the nature of its involvement.
    He said: “We are interested in supporting the Federal Government to achieve the clean-up of Ogoni land.  That is why we seek that the state be carried along.
    “By requesting that we be carried along, we are not asking for contracts.  We are only seeking to be involved  in the process  through  information .
    “Because we are committed to Ogoni land being cleaned up, that is why we are clamouring  to be  involved “.
    In her remarks,  the  Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed noted that  the concern  raised by the Governor is being addressed  as the  implementation  of  the  UNEP  Report  is  beyond  politics.
    She informed that in the new committee set up  by her ministry  has set up by her ministry to plan the launch  of  the  programme  will have two Representatives  of  the  state government.
    She said the clean up exercise is a long-term project that will last 25 years.
    According to her, the interaction with stakeholders has led to more inclusion as they head towards the launch of  the  UNEP Report.