Buhari declares that the era of harbouring oil thieves in the Niger Delta region is over. - EazyFeeds

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Friday 3 June 2016

Buhari declares that the era of harbouring oil thieves in the Niger Delta region is over.

 President Muhammadu Bu­hari has declared that the era when oil thieves were having a field day in the Niger Delta region was over.
He made the assertion on Thursday during the launch of the long-awaited clean-up of Ogoni­land and other oil impacted com­munities in Niger Delta as con­tained in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

Buhari said: “The current oil theft and illegal refining will not be tolerated. The regulators in the oil industries must live up to expec­tations. They must ensure that oil companies carry out their oper­ations in line with universal best services.”
Represented by the Vice Pres­ident, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the event held in Bodo Town, Gokhana Local Government Area of Rivers State, President Buhari lamented the over five decades of oil explora­tion activities and its attendant envi­ronmental degradation, noting that the milestone ceremony would cul­minate in the restoration of the en­vironment in Ogoniland.
The President regretted that the people of Ogoniland and the Niger Delta region had to live and suffer the avoidable environmental deg­radation in the area.
President Buhari recalled that during his electioneering cam­paign, he stopped over in Ogoni­land and promised to clean-up their environment when elected.
According to the President, the exercise is epoch-making as UNEP had provided the timeline and de­tails for the exercise and called for cooperation from all the stakehold­ers.
While insisting that the Fed­eral Government will not tolerate any form of pipeline vandalism and oil theft, President Buhari said he has approved the constitution of all the relevant organs to facilitate the clean-up project.
The Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, said that the clean-up is not a prescription of the Federal Government, but a collaborative effort to get the Ni­ger Delta cleaned by starting from Ogoniland.
She explained that the exercise is in stages and that the first stage will look at the emergency respons­es while the second stage will pro­vide the base line to understand where the scheme should start from, adding that the third stage is on training on the job.
The Executive Director of UNEP, Mr. Achim Steiner, ac­knowledged the efforts made by former President Olusegun Oba­sanjo and the former governors of Rivers State.
The Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike commended Presi­dent Buhari for bringing to fruition the clean-up of Ogoni.
The governor noted that over the years, the Niger Delta region had been devastated in spite of the persistent protests against spills and pollution.

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