Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has officially launched the Ogoniland clean up programme.
Ogoniland is an area badly destroyed by years of oil spills.
The United Nation Environmental Programme, UNEP had recommended the clean up of the heavily polluted region in a report in 2011.
President Muhammadu Buhari was scheduled to officially unveil the clean up programme, however he cancelled his visit to the region at last minute.
The President’s visit to the region may have made significant impact following a wave of attacks by militants on oil and facilities in the region.
A militant group, which calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers, has claimed responsibility of the attacks. The group’s attacks have brought Nigeria’s oil output to a 20-year low.
It would have been the first visit of the former military ruler to the Delta since taking office in May last year.
Critics have already accused Buhari, a Muslim from the north, of ignoring the predominately Christian south.
Just last month also at last minute, President Buhari canceled a visit to the commercial capital of Lagos in Nigeria’s south- west region.
Posters with his picture had been already hung up to welcome the president before his spokesman cited “scheduling” difficulties.
The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People and the Ijaw Youth Council had on Wednesday expressed support for the President’s visit to Ogoniland.
Minister of Environment, Amina Mohammed has said nothing will stop the clean up of the region which is scheduled to last for 30 years.
Oil exploration by foreign oil companies has led to environmental ruin and oil spillage, with farmlands and aquatic lives destroyed.
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