Ijaw leaders have expressed their concern over the rise in pollution caused by oil companies in the Niger Delta region. They are calling on President Bola Tinubu and Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State to implement a comprehensive environmental remediation program for the entire Niger Delta area. The leaders have also urged the Bayelsa State government to collaborate with relevant organizations to take immediate action in cleaning up the degraded environment within the state.
Furthermore, they are demanding that the home governments of major oil companies operating in Nigeria investigate the environmental pollution caused by these corporations and impose appropriate sanctions on them. The group believes that the Bayelsa State Government, the Federal Government, the Ministers of Petroleum and Environment, and regulatory bodies such as NOSDRA have failed to address the environmental pollution and its detrimental effects on the region
The coalition of Ijaw interest groups and stakeholders is calling for strict sanctions, including the revocation of rights of way and land leases, for oil companies that repeatedly or egregiously violate environmental regulations.
The leaders expressed disappointment in the lack of action taken by the state government in response to various incidents of environmental disasters caused by oil companies. They highlight instances where companies such as Agip, Conoil, Shell, and Aiteo Group have caused significant oil spills and environmental damage in different communities. They also criticize the state government for not responding adequately to these incidents or taking decisive action to combat the ongoing pollution.
The group emphasizes that it is crucial for the Bayelsa State government to move beyond empty promises and take concrete actions to address the environmental challenges. They believe that immediate remedial actions, rather than mere rhetoric, are necessary to demonstrate the government’s commitment to tackling pollution and protecting the affected communities. The leaders urge the government to act swiftly and decisively, showing its commitment to environmental justice enforcement.
The statement was signed by several prominent figures, including representatives from the Ijaw Elders Forum, Ijaw Nation Forum, Embasara Foundation, Ijaw Women Connect, Ijaw Professionals Association, Ijaw Diaspora Council, ERA Niger Delta Resource Centre, and Bayelsa NGOs Forum. They collectively call for urgent action to address the environmental crisis in the Niger Delta region.
SOURCE: THE SUN