Rivers State Governor Rotimi Amaechi has said he left the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) for the All Progressives Congress (APC) because of the failure of the Goodluck Jonathan-led administration to implement the recommendations in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland.
He declared that the Federal Government lacked the political will to implement the recommendations.
The governor spoke at the thanksgiving service for a former Chairman of Khana Local Government Area, Gregory Nwidam, at St. Dominic’s Catholic Church, Bane-Ogoni.
The UNEP report stated that the sustainable environmental restoration of Ogoniland would take 20 years to achieve and will need coordinated efforts of government agencies at all levels.
It recommended that the Federal Government should establish an Ogoniland Environmental Restoration Authority.
The UNEP report notes that full environmental restoration of Ogoniland would be a project, which will take 30 years to complete.
Amaechi said: “After the verification and recommendations to the Federal Government, it has refused to release $1 million for the clean-up and development of the area.
“As I am talking to you today, the Federal Government is doing nothing about the UNEP report.
“One million dollars is about N160 million, but the Federal Government has been spending billions in other places.
“But, you need to ask yourselves what did Ogoni do to the Federal Government that it cannot release N160 million to save your environment?
“That is the reason I left PDP for APC, because our interest is not protected in PDP. So, when they cannot give the people of Ogoni N160 million, which is not even enough for their kids to travel why should you vote them?
“What you should do is to punish them with your votes, by voting them out next year. When you vote, you are not fighting for me, you are fighting for yourselves, because I have served as a Speaker for eight years and also as governor for eight years, what I need from God is long life. You need to fight for yourselves and save Rivers State.
The governor urged the people to register and identify with the APC.
Amaechi said: “Let me assure you that the APC will win in Rivers State. You owe me a duty to get registered with APC. Go and register during the voter registration and get your voter cards.
“The PDP said it will bring the policemen and soldiers. Let them bring them, but you should know that they are also human beings. On election day, I will be in front.
“There is nothing police will shoot that I have not inhaled before. There is no cell that they have not locked me up as a student leader. There is nothing new that the Federal Government has not done to me.
“What has Federal Government done for the people of Ogoni? If I have not done anything, I have built roads, primary and secondary schools, as well as health centres in Ogoniland.”[The Nation]