Bayelsa State Governor Douye Diri has called for the total remediation of the Niger Delta region after long years of environmental damage.
Diri who stated this at the United Nations Headquarters, New York where he met the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Dr Amina Mohammed, lamented that Bayelsa State is the worst hit by incidents of oil spills leaving behind attendant devastated ecology and health issues.
According to him the ongoing clean-up in Ogoni land by United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) should be extended to the entire oil-rich Niger Delta especially Bayelsa State.
“You are very familiar with our stories and the Niger Delta environment. We must commend what you started in Ogoni as then Minister of Environment. Our land and rivers are polluted. The remediation of the region must be total. Bayelsa State is worst affected.”
Speaking on other issues, Diri in a statement by his Director, New Media, Dr Kola Oredipe disclosed that his government remains committed to the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) outlined by the United Nations to enhance the living conditions of the people of the state.
He expressed confidence that the continued collaboration with the global body would fast-track development in such areas as education, health, youth, and women empowerment, food production and the environment.
While congratulating Dr Mohammed for rising to the enviable position and for her great work at the UN, Diri stated that the collaboration would enhance the prosperity agenda of his government to the people of the state.
He told his hosts that his government is building critical infrastructure that will provide great opportunities to open up Bayelsa State for more investments in different sectors adding that he has offered to host the meeting of the Gulf of Guinea in Yenagoa because of the importance attached to the maritime domain.
Dr Mohammed in her response commended the pace of development in Bayelsa State since its creation in 1996 noting that the UN is ready to deepen the existing relationship with the state to support ongoing development efforts by the current administration.
She admitted that the UN is disturbed at the level of environmental pollution in the oil-rich Niger Delta which she described as a “complete disaster”.
“It is not just about Ogoni land but the remediation should be for all oil-producing places. The means of livelihood of the people, fishing and farming are greatly affected. The oil pollution is a complex thing and it is a complete disaster which requires urgent intervention,” Dr Mohammed added.