President of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, has hailed the outgoing Minister of Environment, Hajia Amina Mohammed, with an appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari not to appoint a lazy replacement.
Mohammed, Chairman of the Governing Council of the reformed Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP), was on December 15, appointed as the United Nations Deputy Secretary-General by the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres.
The Minister was at the forefront of the Ogoni clean-up and implementation of the recommendations contained in the UNEP report.
Speaking to newsmen, the MOSOP leader said “Mrs. Amina Mohammed was not working alone on Ogoni clean-up. She was working with a team, including the Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibril. We (Ogoni people) are going to miss Mrs. Mohammed; her passion, commitment, dedication to duties and hard work.
“We are pleading with President Buhari to either elevate the equally-competent minister of state for environment or appoint a committed substantive minister of environment, in order to fast-track the Ogoni clean-up.
“The Ogoni clean-up process has begun, but the actual clean-up has not started. The clean-up is to be done in an environment where there is no structure
“You cannot compare the intervention in Ogoni land with the intervention in the Gulf of Mexico, already with Environmental Protection Agency for over four decades in the United States of America and it is one of the most highly-respected environmental protection agencies in the world.
“The USA has already-established institutions that can respond immediately to such situations. The situation in Ogoni land is not like that of USA and that is why UNEP made recommendations about institutions’ building and having adequate structures on the ground, which are being addressed.
“We hope that before the end of January 2017, there will be a Project Manager, who will be in charge of the day-to-day affairs of HYPREP.”