Ogoni groups in diaspora calls for disbandment of HYPREP

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Two groups campaigning against environmental degradation in Ogoniland; National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS INTL) USA, and Ogoni Lives Matters International (OLM) USA have called for the disbandment of Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project’s (HYPREP) and suggested that the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) should step aside in Ogoniland, Rivers State. This was contained in a statement released by the organisations entitled; “HYPREP a fraud and a scam; it should be disbanded, UNEP should step aside”, and dated May 18, 2019. The statement was jointly singed by the President and Secretary General of NUOS INTL. USA, Mr. Pius Baripkoa Nwinee and Mr. Sampson B Npimnee; and Coordinator and Secretary General of OLM INTL, USA, Mr. Cornelius J.S Dumerene and Mr. Toate Ganago. The two organisations said they were dismayed that the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and the Kingdom of the Netherlands government continues to cover and weaponize Shell and Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project’s (HYPREP) environmental and medical fraud against Ogoni people by parading Shell, HYPREP and the Nigeria government on a foreign trip to London. “Despite the recent Premium Times investigation exposing HYPREP medical and environmental malpractices, awarding contract to companies with no professional and technical skill or technology, in a quest to siphon money out of the project, they still continue toeing the same line reported in the investigation. “Ogoni demands are simple; we request the contracting of an international company with capable professionals and technical skills to handle the area because Ogoni-land is under stress and we can no longer tolerate, accept or ignore this retrogressive, deceptive contraption with HYPREP,” the statement read. The groups stated further in the statement that they viewed “this belated international visit facilitated by UNEP to five sites in the United kingdom and the purported statement made by the Netherlands’s ambassador to Nigeria as a fraudulent assault against environmental conflict and global warming.” They added that they were cynical, but not surprised to note that the ambassador and her government were satisfied with what is currently on the ground. According to the statement, the intriguing question the ambassador needs to tell the world are; “is she agreeably blindfolded with HYPREP deceptive scheme, the environmental malpractices or the medical fraud?………or is she attempting to cover HYPREP fraud to bamboozle and hoodwink Ogoni not to stand up for their rights. Could we say she is satisfied the same way the Netherlands and the United Kingdom governments helped Shell buy justice or escape culpability in Kiobel vs Shell. Enough is enough. “The purported visit is at minimum a lost opportunity designed to waste government money and at maximum another political gimmick to deposit Nigerian’s stolen wealth in London. “Apparently, we disagree with their presumption that this visit will provide HYPREP with the best technique and technical know-how. “It is totally malicious because no amount of visit to London would import an acceptable technology. Government should rather hire a capable professional to supervise, handle and monitor the restoration of our coastal and marine ecosystems” the groups said in the statement. They stressed that “while we have been grateful and remain grateful to UNEP for probing the worst oil pollution in the world, we also are deeply concerned about the conflict of interest and/or compromised between UNEP, Shell, HYPREP and the Nigeria authority. It was added in the statement that UNEP must step aside because, according to the groups, it’s independent has been corruptly squandered by its representatives self-seeking interests at the expense of Ogoni. The statement added that UNEP could no longer be the court, judge or jury in Ogoni clean up or be given a blank check as an examiner, and a deciders-in-chief of how much the clean-up should cost, then equally a TRUSTEE on HYPREP Board of Trustee. The groups subsequently demanded for an oversight so that they could evaluate “UNEP’s work as true, accurate findings, reports and recommendations based on facts and not politic.” “We call on Joyce Msuya to investigate and immediately withdraw corrupt UNEP’s representative from advising HYPREP because the aforementioned conducts are in blazing violation to defraud Ogoni people and cause more genocide in Ogoni-land. “We also want to put the Nigerian government on notice, to make true its mission of fighting corruption by disbanding HYPREP and stop it’s clandestine quest for oil resumption in Ogoni-land. “Though we do not oppose oil resumption in Ogoni-land, we however affirmed that there will not be oil resumption unless an international company with capable professional and technical skills or technologies is contracted to supervise and clean up Ogoni-land,” they said. Copies of the letter were sent to the Embassy of the Netherlands, USA, the Embassy of the Netherlands, Nigeria, United Nations office on Genocide Prevention and the Responsibility to Protect, Office of the Special Adviser on Africa and the Executive Director of UNEP, Joyce Msuya.

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