On the invitation of the Ogoni Restoration and Development Foundation, the president of the Trans Atlantic Group and former mayor of Greenevers, Alfred Dixon on Monday, July 25, 2016 visited parts of Ogoniland to assess the extent of oil spills contamination and the level of government preparedness to address the impacts on the Ogoni environment.
Alfred Dixon, a 20-year mayor of Greenevers in North Carolina and president of the Trans Atlantic Group was accompanied on the tour by the publicity secretary of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke and the media advisor to the MOSOP president, Bariala Kpalap.
Speaking in Bodo and K-Dere in Ogoniland, Mayor Dixon who was visibly shocked by the level of contamination in Ogoniland expressed concern for the safety of the Ogoni people, the poor handling of the cleanup process which is coming without compensation for years of environmental devastation and nothing in place to create an economic base for the Ogoni people.
Mayor Dixon urged the people to work closely with the authorities to ensure that the interest of the Ogoni people were not shortchanged.
Dixon particularly expressed concern about the poverty in Ogoniland and hoped that the companies involved in the cleanup with be willing to plough back some funds to build an economic base for the Ogoni people.
In their separate responses, the head of the Gberezorkpan chief Micheal Porobumu of Bodo said, the cleanup must be done in collaboration with the local people and community leaders. He noted that the people’s participation will guarantee that the process benefits the Ogoni people. Also speaking, the paramount ruler of Ke-Dere expressed joy over Mr. Dixon’s visit and urged the government to immediately commence the process.
The federal government had in June flagged off the campaign to cleanup Ogoniland. Despite the elaborate flag-off event, nothing had been done to kick-start the process.