How Buhari Violets UNEP Report, By OgoniI Leaders | Independent Newspapers Limited
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How Buhari Violets UNEP Report, By OgoniI Leaders

Posted: Aug 8, 2015 at 2:21 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Daniel Abia,

Port Harcourt



Despite his intention to fast-track the implementation of the United Nations Environmental programme (UNEP) report, President Muhammedu Buhari has been criticised by the leaders of Ogoniland for violating the technical demands of the report.

President of the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA), Dr Goodluck Diigbo, said that Buhari received the recommendations from “non-experts” which was made up of the Executive Director of UNEP, the UNEP Special Representative for Ogoniland, permanent secretaries of the Federal Ministries of Environment and Petroleum Resources, and others without recourse to the Ogonis.

Diigbo said that the recommendations, which were secret, and reliance on non-experts, were not only misguided, but, unacceptable. “Since Buhari was part of the regime that hanged Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists, for demanding for the Environmental Impact Assessment Study, the now President Buhari, should have treaded with caution in trying to override the disputed UNEP Report,” he said.

The Ogoni president said, “Buhari may have a good intention, but, his expressed intentions might deepen old wounds. For instance, Buhari avoided specific mention of recommendations by UNEP, including: Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Authority, Environmental Restoration Fund for Ogoniland, Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration and the $1 billion, considered grossly inadequate for take-off, is now missing.

“Next, we, the Ogoni people, are not aware of any Special UNEP Representative for Ogoniland. We don’t have one. Buhari’s intentions have created considerable confusion and resentment. Either, Buhari is conflicted, “tricked” by “parties” that corrupted the UNEP report, or, just politics as usual. For three years, they’ve stood against genuine joint stakeholders’ technical review – a prerequisite for due process, stipulated by UNEP, World Bank, IMF, US and others,” Diigbo said.

He explained that “the Nigerian government agencies concerned lack qualified technical experts and resources.” “So, I started to doubt if the Executive Director of UNEP could truly be part of what Buhari intends.”


Diigbo emphasized that “Buhari can help to respect the wishes of the Ogoni people. We don’t want him to turn a conflict prevention and resolution mechanism, into conflict-making, or political tool. The EIAS for Ogoniland is for Ogoniland, and not a nation-wide petroleum assessment report.”