Ex-militant leader and renown agitator, High Chief Solomon Ndigbara has raised alarm that the Hydro Carbon Protection Remediation Project (HYPREP) for the Ogoni Cleanup may have been hijacked and monies meant for the project diverted by strangers.
The Mene Sira Ba Teera 1 of Ogoni Kingdom who was the first Niger Delta agitator to submit to the federal government, made his position known during a recent press briefing in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area.
He decried the failure of HYPREP to actualize its core mandate of the cleanup of Ogoni as well as employment and empowerment of Ogoni people, adding that the situation where most sensitive and strategic units of HYPREP such as Procurement and Operations respectively are headed by non Ogonis, is unacceptable because they have continued to undermine and deny Ogonis economic opportunities from the project.
He argued that whereas he is not against any non-Ogoni working in HYPREP, but that patriotic Ogonis should be at the helm of the affairs of the most strategic positions since it is a community oriented project for Ogoni land.
Ndigbara, who is also a Peace Ambassador, warned those who are fighting the Project Coordinator, Dr. Ferdinand Giadom to rethink their actions as Ogonis will no longer allow their well-meaning son to be frustrated in this life-saving project, insisting that Ogonis paid the Supreme price for this project to come on stream.
He said it took a major struggle for an Ogoni son to be appointed the Project Coordinator HYPREP, regretting that forces who are fighting against the man are both internal and external, and very known to Ogoni people.
Accusing those he described as ‘known enemy forces’ of self serving and vested interest in their quest to impede the Cleanup process. Ndigbara said most of the other key sub-projects of the Cleanup, such as water projects, human capacity programs among others, have also been hijacked by some people who are bent on derailing the laudable federal government project which he said is now failing.
He volunteered to provide a good land to HYPREP for the building of a Skills Acquisition Centre which, according to him, will help address the issue of unemployment and restiveness and partner other Ogoni stakeholders for its actualization.
He declared that if things continue the way they currently are, Ogonis will mobilize for a peaceful protest to drive home their demands, even as he issued a 21 Days Ultimatum to relocate the HYPREP headquarters from Port Harcourt to Ogoni land, insisting that a project meant for Ogonis cannot be run from outside Ogoni land.