Protect national assets, Buhari tells Ogoni leaders

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President Muhammadu Buhari has urged Ogoni leaders to sensitise indigenes on the value of protecting national assets like pipelines and other oil installations.

According to the president, willful damage usually creates more havoc on their environment and hampers development in the area.

The president, who gave the charge when he received some leaders and people of Ogoni Land at the State House, Abuja, Friday, noted that willful damage usually created more havoc on their environment and hampered development in the area.

He said the federal government was committed to the cleaning up of Ogoni Land “so that indigenes could regain their lives, return to farms and re-activate economic activities.”

“You will need to educate the people of Ogoni Land and the region more that when pipelines are broken, the damage is more to the immediate environment and the people. The majority of farmers and fishermen struggle because the fishes now move to the deep sea,” he said.

The president said further that bad industry practices coupled with security challenges had resulted in massive spills with attendant environmental degradation of Ogoni, leading to agitations and strife, adding that the government would bring to a close all pending issues on sons of Ogoni Land.

“Your Royal Highnesses, distinguished representatives of the people of Ogoni Land, I note the need to ensure completion of segment of the East-West road traversing Ogoni Land, and steps will be taken to ensure delivery under the Infrastructure Development Fund as earlier conceived. We intend to complete this vital artery of Nigeria.

“Furthermore, we are committed to ensuring clemency and national integration as part of this Administration’s bid to lay the foundation for genuine reconciliation and

bring closure to the issues of Ogoni Land.

“The unfortunate incidents of the early 1990s leading to the loss of lives of distinguished sons of Ogoni Land and the collateral judicial processes are indelible in our memories.

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