The Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) on Saturday, applauded the Federal Government for the commencement of the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the clean-up of Ogoni Land.
The IYC made the commendation in a statement issued by its spokesman, Mr Eric Omare and made available to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Yenagoa.
The youth group also urged the Federal Government to extend the gesture to other Niger Delta communities adversely affected by oil and gas exploration.
The IYC noted that the formal inauguration was a practical demonstration of political will to implement the UNEP report on Ogoni by the highest political authority.
“We are of the view that irrespective of the fact that funds have not been released for the purpose, the effort is nevertheless commendable.
“The government is advised to immediately take concrete actions by awarding the relevant contracts and release funds for the actual clean-up to start without delay.
“We express our strong solidarity with the Ogoni nation and salute the courage of fallen and living heroes of the Ogoni struggle such as Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Ogoni 9, Ledum Mittee and others.
“This effort by government clearly shows that their sacrifices were not in vain and it is also the triumph of non-violence struggle.
“We recommend the Ogoni example to other Niger Delta people and communities,” the statement read in part.
According to IYC, the Ogoni clean-up should be used as a starting point to clean-up the entire Niger Delta region.
IYC maintained that the entire Niger Delta environment “is polluted and in need of urgent clean-up to provide sustenance and livelihood to the Niger Delta people’’.