A community-based group, the Ogoni Environment Watch (OEW) Initiative, has said President Muhammadu Buhari has proven the genuineness of his love to the people of Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers State with the appointment of a renowned environmentalist, Professor Nenibarini Zabbey as Project Coordinator of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) and recent ground breaking ceremony for three people-oriented projects in Ogoniland.
The three multi-billion naira projects include the Centre for Excellence, the 100-bed Ogoni Mega Specialist Hospital and the Ogoni Power Project.
OEW, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt yesterday, said the Zabbey’s appointment as HYPREP project coordinator further demonstrates Buhari’s genuine commitment towards ensuring the speedy actualisation of the Ogoni clean up project.
The statement, which was signed by the group’s convener, Dae Steve Deegbara, commended the Minister of Environment, Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi, for recommending an accomplished Ogoni son to the President for appointment as HYPREP coordinator.
The statement reads in part: “The worrisome slow-pace of the Ogoni clean up exercise since it was inaugurated in 2016, about seven years ago by President Buhari, despite federal government’s committing of humongous fund to HYPREP over time, the failure of the project had been largely dependent on bad leadership and ineffectiveness of handlers of the programme, particularly by those previously managing the clean-up exercise at the project coordination office.
“Thus, for us at OEW, the swift intervention by President Buhari and the Honourable Minister of Environment, Mohammed Hassan Abdullahi, to appoint a fresh handing Professor Zabbey, to saddle affairs at HYPREP at this critical time, with the task of driving to satisfactory completion of those newly initiated three live-changing projects in Ogoniland, showcases the present administration’s genuine love for the people of Ogoni. Our people are grateful.
“Ogoni people welcome the appointment with great optimism and views the development as a good omen and relief for a people who have gone through pains and agony as a result of years of oil pollution.
“We trust in the capacity and experience of Professor Zabbey as clearly defined in his very rich credentials, that he will deliver the mandate of his office creditably, especially to ensure the actualisation of the good intentions and vision of President Muhammadu Buhari for Ogoni people vin making sure a speedy, accountable and successful implementation of all aspects of the Ogoni clean up programme are achieved.”