• Gov promises cancer centre to immortalise late mother
• ‘Why Ogoni cleanup may be another failed project’
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has expressed concern over the alarming effects of environmental pollution, particularly in the Niger Delta resulting in terminal ailments such as cancer.
Dickson said this in his hometown, Toru Orua, when he received scores of sympathisers, who thronged his residence to commiserate with him over the demise of his mother, Mrs. GoldCoast Dickson.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Francis Ottah Agbo, quoted the governor as stressing that most cases of cancer in the region are traceable to environmental degradation in the region.
The governor, who had earlier promised that a cancer foundation would be instituted in memory of his late mother to principally screen people and create greater awareness on the dangers associated with the scourge, among others, described cancer as “a major health challenge almost reaching the point of an epidemic in this country, especially in the Niger Delta area.
Dickson, who said the fond memories of his mother would ever remain green in his heart and the family, thanked all, including the former Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, Chief Timi Alaibe, who came from far and near to share in their moment of sadness. Alaibe described the late Mrs. Dickson as a humble, kind and loving mother, stressing that she lived a fulfilled life and would be missed by all who came in contact with her.
Meanwhile, an environmentalist, Sheriff Mulade of Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ), has said that Ogoni cleanup project by the Federal Government may become another failed project in the country.In an interview with The Guardian, Mulade said the delay in executing the much-published project was a signal that the administration might use it as electioneering campaign for 2019.
He also said that this suppose to be a pilot project for the entire cleanup of Niger Delta region but has become a political gimmick for Federal Government to score itself a point without doing the needful.
The environmentalist, who stated that the failure of the Federal Government and international oil firms to provide an enabling environment for the project was another reason why the project has become a failed project in Niger Delta, said: “The Federal Government is only concerned with the oil and gas emanated from there, but not bordered about development. This gives impetus to the multinationals to continue to destroy the environment there.”
Another environmentalist, Abiodun Baiyewu of Global Rights, said the buck for most of these commitments stops at the door of the government, and it is up to it to sensitise citizens and gets them on board.