The Ogoni Community Development Network has observed with dismay the continuous exclusion of the larger Ogoni society in discussions related to the implementation of the U.N report on Ogoniland.
On Saturday July 1, 2017, HYPREP organized a non-representative stakeholder meeting in Port Harcourt where over 80percent of the participants were drawn from a particular political party with the exclusion of members of other political groups and civil society organizations including The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), a situation that is already creating strong divisions in MOSOP and could lead to civil protest against HYPREP.
It is appalling that what HYPREP claims to be a stakeholder meeting did not have a single member of the Executive Committee of MOSOP in attendance.
We are further disturbed that the key resolution of the so-called stakeholder meeting was a call for the release of funds for HYPREP. Clearly, HYPREP’s desperation for Ogoni cleanup funds would most likely have engendered the exclusion of active stakeholders who should ask critical questions about the management/mismanagement of about $210million already approved for HYPREP and raise questions about how HYPREP intends to conduct its cleanup without first putting in place critical structures like the Integrated Soil Management Center, the Center for Excellence and the provision of water for all Ogoni communities whose sources of water supply will be affected by the remediation work.
We accuse HYPREP of attempting to jettison standards and recommended procedures to hurriedly move into the phase where contracts can be awarded to politicians seeking avenues to raise funds ahead of the 2019 elections
We call on the Ogoni public to stand up now and insist on the right standards and procedures and reject a seeming repetition of the Shell’s way of short-changing Ogoni interests and resort to divide-and-conquer tactics which are currently being employed by HYPREP.
President, Ogoni Community Development Network
SOURCE :The Nigerian Voice (opinions)