President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) worldwide, Barrister Eric Omare, has called on the federal government and critical stakeholders to take drastic steps to protect the Niger Delta environment from continuous degradation by the activities of multinational oil companies and the local refiners in the region.
The IYC leader made the call while speaking at Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opukuma local government area of Bayelsa state during the opening ceremony of the annual Late Jasper Isaac Boro celebrations on Tuesday, May 15, 2019.
According to Omare, the Late Adaka Boro who is the inspiration behind the Niger Delta region had envisioned a Niger Delta region where the people would have control of their resources and manage the resources in harmony with the environment for the benefit of present and future generations.
However, this is no longer the case as the Niger Delta environment has been massively degraded and almost totally destroyed by the activities of the oil companies operating in the region and in recent times, the degradation has increased with the prevalence of local refinery activities in the region.
The local refinery activities have had very negative impact on the environment as the unskilled refiners spill oil massively and continuously in the environment.
The situation is made worst by the unprofessional burning and destruction of the local refineries by the Nigeria Armed Forces who have no regard for the safety of the environment in carrying out their burning of local refineries.
Mr. Omare therefore called on the federal government to carry out a comprehensive study of the extent of degradation of the entire Niger Delta environment as was done by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) in Ogoni land and carry out a comprehensive clean-up of the Niger Delta environment. The IYC leader also charged youths of the Niger Delta to emulate the late Isaac Boro by standing to protect the interest of the Niger Delta region especially the region’s ecosystem that is undergoing severe stress.