Ogoni-American organisations which consist of the National Union of Ogoni Students International USA, Centre for Democracy Human Rights and Anti-Corruption, and Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, have urged the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to declare a state of climate and health emergency in Ogoniland, in the Niger Delta region.
The groups made this appeal to Guterres in a letter jointly signed by the President of NOUS, Pius Nwinee; his Secretary General, Sampson Npimnee; the acting Coordinator of CDHRAC, Deekor Adokor; and his Secretary General, Toate Ganago, made available to journalists on Thursday.
The letter read partly, “Sir, we are also asking you to use your good office to declare a state of climate and health emergency in Ogoniland to protect Ogoniland and Ogoni ethnic nationality from serious bodily and mental harm because such declaration is in line with your laid down institutional power and more important as your solemn duty to guarantee world peace and safety in overseeing peacekeeping mission in mediating conflict, and Ogoni ethnic nationality should not be an exception.
“In or around 2007, the Nigerian government hired the United Nations Environment Program to study the Royal Dutch Shell’s decades of oil spillage, pollution, and gas flaring in Ogoniland. These contaminated residues are a tangible act of genocide that is slowly and steadily increasing the mortality rate in Ogoni and its enclaves.
“They are also causing serious bodily and mental harm to Ogoni as a people and as a tribe. We therefore humbly appeal to UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to declare a state of climate and health emergency in Ogoniland and her enclaves or impress upon the federal government of Nigeria and the Royal Dutch Shell to immediately contract international remediation firms with professional experience and technical know-how capacity.”
The pressure groups also accused the agencies that were tasked with the responsibility of cleaning the polluted sites of abandonment and corruption.
“However, the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project which is tasked with the cleaning of sites has not only ignored but abandoned UNEP recommendations and is now primarily involved with kickbacks and kick fronts from unqualified contractors,” the statement added.