The member representing Degema/Bonny Federal Constituency of Rivers State in the House of Representatives, Dr. Farah Dagogo, at the weekend raised the alarm that the people of the Niger Delta were dying slowly from long years of environmental pollution in the oil-rich area.
Speaking at an event to mark the 2020 World Environmental Day in Abuja, the lawmaker regretted that the development had rendered the entire region unhealthy for its inhabitants, just as he lamented that the people had become so hopeless to the extent that “they have been made to accept it as a way of life.”
Painting a pathetic picture, Dagogo said it was not only the people’s lives that were at risk but also aquatic animals and their habitats that had equally been affected by the unsavoury scenario.
His words: “As we join the rest of the world to celebrate the World Environmental Day, it is imperative and paramount that we draw the attention of the world to the suffocating health conditions we are experiencing in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
“As custodians of the largest oil-rich wetland in the world, the Niger Delta region had long been debated, documented and discarded by exploitative oil explorations that endorsed and enforced the incessant pollution of our riparian heritage, while the people of the creeks sit in limbo, idling away in hopelessness, huddled together in socio-economic inequalities as the treasure of our natural habitats is robbed by the greenhouse flares of big oil interests.
“As the world marks the World Environmental Day, we call for the promotion of green-blue economic development footprints to secure the long-awaited carbon-neutral future for children of the depraved Niger Delta region.”
The Rivers legislator spoke through the ‘The Dagogo Initiative’, an organisation at the forefront of rewriting the sorry narrative of the Niger Delta environment and seeking an end to the devastating consequences of environmental degradation.
Dagogo observed that just like the 2019 theme that focused on “Air pollution”, that of this year, which attends ‘biodiversity’, was apt, as it encapsulated what the people of the resource-endowed region were experiencing.