A group, Save Our Ogoni Project, SOOP has expressed concerns about the whereabouts of $200million Shell recently released to the governing council of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Programme, HYPREP for Ogoni cleanup.
The group said that its fears has become imperative because it has lost confidence in the leadership of HYPREP which it alleged may have deposited the funds in a private account instead of the “Ogoni Trust Fund” account.
It said that their worries followed the failure of HYPREP to brief Ogoni people of how they had appropriated the $10million the Federal Government earlier released for the clean up exercise.
SOOP, in a statement by its Coordinator, Mr. Aalo Anthony, also said that the alleged secret recruitment of youths for oversees training drawn from a particular political party affiliation and the failure of accountability within HYPREP gave rise to their decision.
The statement read: “The “Save Our Ogoni Project” is deeply concerned about the secrecy and clear lack of openness and consultations going on within HYPREP as it portends real danger to the peace of Ogoniland and to the $200million recently released by Shell for the Ogoni cleanup”.
“We believe that the Governing Council and particularly the project coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil hold whatever offices in trust for the Ogoni people and therefore are obliged to report back to the people”.
“On the finances of HYPREP, we have lost confidence in the leadership of HYPREP and suspect that the $200million paid by Shell may have been deposited in a private account instead of being kept in the Ogoni Trust Fund”.
“We therefore demand that the Ogoni public should be briefed and notified on the state of the fund”.
“We are concerned about the secret recruitment of youths for oversees training drawn from a particular political party affiliation and the failure of accountability within HYPREP while the organization hastily appear to be engaged in activities that only suggest attempts to justify its reckless spending patterns”.
“It would be recalled that the Federal Government has earlier approved $10million for the funding of HYPREP secretariat that has not functioned.
“The Save Our Ogoni Project therefore demands that the project coordinator, Dr. Marvin Dekil should make his work plan public, disclose the state of the finances of HYPREP for Ogoni cleanup and cancel the partisan list of trainees he has already drawn”, the group concluded.
BigPen Online recalls that the Project Coordinator for the implementation of UNEP report on Ogoni, Dr. Marvin Dekil, had recently announced that the governing council has approved a one-year strategic plan for implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland.
Written by Joe Ogbodu