Youths in Ogoni communities have vowed to desist from unwholesome activities that will re-pollute the on-going remediation and cleanup exercise in Ogoniland.
The youths made the vow during a one-day sensitisation campaign with communities in Gokana, one of the most affected areas of oil spill in Ogoniland.
The campaign was organised by the National Coalition on Gas flaring and Oil spills in the Niger Delta (NACGOND), in collaboration with National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and Environmental Monitoring Team (EMT).
The communities that were sensitised include; Biara, Bomu, Kpor and Mogho in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
A communiqué raised at the end of the programme signed by the different community and youth leaders in Gokana, urged the Federal government to live-up to its promise by cleaning up Ogoniland without further delay to earn the trust of the people.
The communique reads in part: “During the clean-up the government should train the youths in skills acquisition and also engage them while the clean-up is going on. We shall not resort to violent approaches on conflict issues during and after the cleanup.
“The Gokana people will appreciate that the process before and during the clean-up should be fair and transparent to all communities involved in the process.”
Speaking, the Monarch of Gokana Kingdom, King Barnabas Bagia, disclosed that of all the spills in Ogoniland, Gokana has over 138 spill sites, adding that the people should be included in the process of clean-up process.
Represented by Giosanyie Gbarage, the Monarch said over 90 percent of deaths were recorded in Gokana alone with over 138 spill sites, warning that if the communities are not carried along, the exercise may not yield the expected result.
He said: “If the people of Gokana are not carried along, I wonder how they will survive even after the clean up and how they can maintain and sustain their normal pattern of live without going back to the creek and without tampering with the oil pipelines.