Chairman, Ogoni Council of Traditional Rulers, His Royal Highness, King Suanu Baridam, the Kasimene Bangha VII, yesterday said that the Ogoni cleanup exercise that was launched by the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Niger Delta, was all noise as there was no sign to suggest that the government was serious with the exercise.
Already, reports said some concerned citizens in the region would be filing legal action against the Federal Government at an Abuja high court today.
Also, our visit to the devastated communities revealed so much worries and apprehension about the alleged neglect and ‘deceit by the Federal Government.’
In an exclusive interview with New Telegraph, King Suanu Baridam, said: “All you have heard and read about the cleanup were all noise, nothing is happening.
Up till now, not a single plot has been cleaned up, it has all been noise and noise, and those of us in the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), are watching with keen interest.
“I am the chairman of the council of traditional rulers, who are part of MOSOP, I am saying it here to you that nothing has happened, Federal Government has not done anything but make noise.
We have given them every opportunity, thinking they will do something meaningful by now, but it is all motion and no movement.
We are not seeing them doing any cleaning in the near future, because what we are expecting them to do, they have not done,” the monarch said. Baridam further explained that government was yet to show any sign of seriousness.
“I have told you that we are still drinking water filled with benzyl, I have also told you that there has not been any health check on the people which is part of UNEP report, and the people are still living there.
“The UNEP report said that in every 10 Ogoni people, one of them must be suffering from cancer, up till date, no test has been carried out on the people to ascertain the number of people likely to have the terminal illness.
“That means, right now, we have lots of cancer patients in Ogoni because of the water we drink and the air we breathe in.
There are supposed to be hospitals, schools and other institutions built there, yet none has been provided. So, that area has remained worse than it was in the past due to oil explorations of decades ago. So nothing has change but mere noise and politicking.
He said as a people, the people were keeping the next line of action in that regards close to their chest. For him, the action was a continuation of the genocide against his people.