World environment day is celebrated on 5th of June every year.
This, according to the United Nations, is to protect the environment.
The President the Ijaw National Congress(INC), Worldwide, Professor Benjamin Okaba used the occasion to call on all concerned about the continued degradation of the environment to desist and do everything possible to preserve it.
The erudite Professor of Sociology stated this at an interaction with newsnen in Yenagoa, Bayesa state during this year’s World Environment Day celebration in the state on Tuesday, June15. 2021,
Prof Okaba said the Niger Delta environment had been polluted to an undoubtedly irredeemable level that if care was not taken, the region would go into extinction.
According to him, “the environmental hazards on the region are so many, including “flooding, oil pollution, deforestation, plastic pollution, noise pollution, air pollution among others.
“Ironically most of these are attributable to the operations of oil companies that have desecrated our land.
“The oil companies have been polluting the environment since they started operations in the Niger Delta region with no attempts at remedying the situation.
“Shell started operations in 1956 at Otuabagi/Oloibiri, leaving a lot of environmental pollutions behind without solutions to them and without any benefit to the people by way of Corporate Social Responsibility.
Prof Okaba, therefore, called on all the multi national companies operating in the Niger Delta to operate within the confines of the law.
He also called on them to ensure that all the soil polluted as a result of their oil exploration were cleaned up and the land remediated in order to avoid the experiences of Ikarama and.Biseni communities in Yenagoa local government, and Koluama, in Southern Ijaw local government area, among other places.
The INC President called on those who indulged in illegal refining, bunkering and pipeline vandalism to stop, as their activities were negatively affecting the economy and the well-being of the people.
Prof Okaba also urged those who engaged in illegal felling of trees to desist because the trees contributed to reaforestation which was good for the environment and the lives of the people.
He warned those using chemicals to farm, fish and catch snails to desist from the act forthwith in the interest of the health of the people.
In a related development the National Publicity Secretary of Ijaw National Congress (INC) Wordwide, Engr Ezonebi Oyakemeagbegha, while speaking at a forum to mark this year’s World Environment Day in Warri, called on multi national companies to provide basic infrastructure that would improve the quality of life of the people and advance development.
Engr Ezonebi advised individuals and organisations to be cautious of their activities as they affected the environment and those dwelling in it.
He encouraged the activities of volunteers and enjoined them to do more on sensitisation and tree planting programmes.