Protect Niger Delta From Devastation, Mulade Sheriff Tasks Stakeholders
Protect Niger Delta From Devastation, Mulade Sheriff Tasks Stakeholders

Comrade Chief Mulade Sheriff, a prominent Niger Delta environmental rights activist, has warned stakeholders in the region, particularly those in oil and gas-producing communities, not to compromise by accepting palm grubbing from oil firms that do not follow environmental best practices.

Comrade Mulade, the National Coordinator/CEO of the Center for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, a leading environmental civil society organization, delivered the charge in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State Capital, on Monday, 3rd January 2022, as a new year message.

According to him, “One big challenge faced in promoting growth and development in our communities is compromised from those who we naturally believe should fight to ensure that the needful is done which will benefit the greater majority of the people at the long run.”

He urged that leaders should endeavour to work for the people’s economic progress and advancement at all times.

He urged Niger Deltans, particularly leaders of oil and gas host towns, to defend and save their environment in 2022.

While reacting to the oil spill situation in Bayelsa State’s Nembe area, Chief Mulade advised stakeholders to task oil companies with addressing pollution challenges in order to restore the Niger Delta Region’s degraded environment to its original status, as well as protect and sustain the environment for future generations.

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It is worth noting that the National Oil Spill Detection and Responses Agency (NOSDRA), the Nigeria Upstream Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and other environmental regulatory agencies in Nigeria have now appeared to be tools in the hands of multinational oil and gas exporting companies in Nigeria, compromising and taking biased actions against the local people when it comes to the need for objectivity in dispensing oil spill matters because the locals have nothing to offer the government.

Concerned about the discovery of a severely deteriorated ecosystem as a result of oil spills, he stated that the economic losses incurred as a result of spills may not be recovered in the next 30 years.

Chief Mulade, the Ibe-sorimowei of the ancient Gbaramatu kingdom in Delta State’s Warri South-West LGA, urged the Federal Government and other stakeholders to pressure oil multinationals in 2022 to take urgent measures to restore the region’s degraded environment and protect the region’s flora and fauna.

Further, the peace and environmental justice advocate, who is also a fellow of the Nigerian Environmental Society, urged leaders, particularly the Ijaw National Congress (INC), to establish an Environmental Impact Assessment/Sustainability Committee to assess the level of degradation and determine the best course of action for recovery.

Oil firms should not be allowed to award cleanup contracts to inept contractors to save money and create divisions among the public, according to the environmental activist, because there are standard protocols for cleaning up oil spills around the world.

As a result, he urged regional authorities to ensure that oil companies follow strict global best practices rather than allocating clean-up projects to contracting firms with little capacity and experience.

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