Senator Magnus Ngei Abe, All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate for Rivers South East Senatorial District in the yet to be concluded legislative re-run election, has said that the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)report in Ogoni land is the fulfillment of APC campaign promise.
Speaking at the Rhythm Fm 93.7 news and current affairs programme tagged: “Talk-of-the-Town”, Monday, Abe said that the APC deserved commendation and not condemnation on the implementation of the project.
He frowned at a situation where anytime credit is given to APC and himself for the project, the state chapter of PDP would say that the implementation should not be politicized.
“What is disturbing to me now is that now that we are set to implement the report, every time I open my mouth and say something, you will hear people say don’t politicize the report and I ask what is the politicization of the UNEP report? Is it the voice of Senator Abe that is now politicization of the UNEP report. This was the same voice when I went to every village in Ogoni land. It was our campaign slogan in the APC- $1 billion dollars, APC. It was a campaign promise by the APC presidential candidate. The implementation of the UNEP report in Ogoni land is the fulfillment of an APC campaign promise. It is a programme of the APC-led Federal Government of Nigeria”.
Abe said that our politics would be better if we learn to give credit to a party that fulfilled its campaign promise, pointing out that in so doing, there would be a healthy competition among parties to fulfill their promises.
He cited the case of Saakpenwa-Kono road flagged off by Governor Nyesome Wike as credit to PDP.
“Governor Nyesome Wike was in Ogoni land to launch the Saakpenwa-Kono road, which a lot of people have described as politics and that it’s just a response to the visit of the President and the elections in the area. Everybody there was making speeches how the former government did not do it. We know that that was politics but it does not stop me as an Ogoni man from being happy that the governor remembered us. It does not stop me from appreciating the fact that he is going to do a road that we need and I would be one of those who will use the road even though I’m not in PDP. Every Ogoni son who wants to pass on that road will use the road. So, we are all happy that the governor came to do that”.
Abe, however, said that although the road project was budgeted for N100 million, which means that it was not a serious project but politics that the governor could make it worthwhile if he had the political will to complete it.
“I do not want to make an issue out of the fact that from the information available to me what was projected or budgeted for the road is N100million. It means there was actually no plan to do the road at this time. But if he is doing the road, we are happy about it and I thank him for remembering us at this time. I think that in the same vein, the PDP members in Ogoni should be gracious enough to thank us and President Buhari for the APC government coming to keep its promise to the Ogoni people. I think it is the determination of the PDP not to acknowledge that this is the fulfillment of a promise by the APC government that brings up the issue of anytime you open your mouth and say this is APC government; they say you are politicizing the report”.
He commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his political will to implement the UNEP report.
“I want to particularly thank him for his commitment to the cleanup of Ogoniland”.
The former Secretary to Rivers State Government urged every Ogoni son and daughter irrespective of party affiliation to support the project and cautioned that it did not preclude the APC from celebrating a promise fulfilled.
Abe said that the journey to UNEP report began when he as the SSG and the then governor of the state, now Minister of Transportation, Rt.Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, requested, approved and supported the United Nations team to conduct a scientific survey in Ogoniland on the oil pollution in the area.
He further said that that move tainted their image as they were alleged to have plotted the return of SHELL to Ogoniland for oil exploration through the back door.
Abe stated that when the report was eventually published, nobody gave them credit.
He said because of the love for his people, he led a delegation to former president Jonathan and latter to the presidential candidate of APC, now President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I wasn’t just part of the delegation to former president Jonathan. I actually led the delegation and I read the address on behalf of the Ogoni people, which I presented to former president Jonathan. In fact, because of the fiery nature of what we said in that place, while I was talking, they asked the press to leave. So, I actually handed over that address to former president Jonathan. I also presented the address on behalf of the Ogoni people to then presidential candidate, Muhammadu Buhari”, he revealed.