The UNEP report has estimated $1b and 30years required to cleanup Ogoni. While I watched the flagging off of the exercise amidst jubilation of the Ogoni people, I felt disappointed. As Nigerians, we have seen a good number of projects flagged by governments, whose places were never captured in budgets. This has been a tact used in scoring cheap political points and the planned bioremediation of Ogoni is not an exception. Let me now ask some questions:
1. Is there an account already having at least 50% of the proposed fund?
2. Is there a template that would guide the execution of the project by successive administrations?
3. Is there any human rights group of Ogoni indigenes and concerned persons with impeccable “national morality” that will constantly interface with the government and significant institutions until the cleanup is achieved as at when due?
4. Are there tangible efforts made toward compensating the Ogoni people for the killings of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 8?
5. Bioremediation can’t compensate for direct human tragedy. The Ogoni people over the years have been deprived of socioeconomic benefits owing to a destroyed flora and fauna. What tangible efforts are also aggregated to compensate for such longtime losses?
6. Are there strict and implemented policies that will protect the ecology of the Niger Delta from further ecological tragedy and terrorism unleashed by oil imperialists?
In saner nations, a very little ecological disaster could amount to a declaration of state of emergency and equally a huge fine or sack for the perpetuators.
When Odimegwu Ojukwu asserted that Nigeria is in limbo, he meant that the citizens just like their leaders share in the spoils of mediocrity… It’s structural…