Group decries slow pace of clean-up of Ogoniland
By Nefishetu Yakubu
Benin, Oct. 7, 2020 The Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), on Wednesday decried the slow pace of work in the clean-up of Ogoniland by Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP).
Godwin Ojo, the Executive Director of ERA/FoEN told newsmen in Benin that the pollution of the entire Niger Delta was causing serious environmental degradation in Nigeria.
The group in its general assembly held in Benin equally removed as trustee and chairman of the Board, Nnimmo Bassey, over his alleged unacceptable leadership style.
“The general assembly took cognisance of the lingering crisis among the trustees and management team of ERA/FoEN prior to 2013.
“The conflict of interest has caused rivalry and entrenched conflict that is inimical to the smooth running of ERA/FoEN.
“The main cause of the crisis is Nnimmo Bassey’s leadership style, He has remained in control and directly involved in the day-to-day management of the organisation which is primarily the role of the executive council headed by the current executive director.
“Nnimmo Bassey occupied the dual position as ERA/FoEN Executive Director and Chairman of the Board since inception in 1993 to 2013 and remained as chairman of the Board for over 27 years.
“He combined these as the Executive Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), an organisation which he established for the purpose of sabotaging the progress of ERA/FoEN).
“Since I started in 2013 I have not seen a proposal or workplans. ERA has an account which I am not a signatory to up till now.
“I have high regards for Nnimmo Bassey, but he betrayed and violated me, human rights were thrown to abyss under his leadership,” Ojo said.
Reacting to his removal, the Director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), Nnimmo Bassey, insisted that he remained Chairman, Board of Trustees of ERA/FoEN.
Bassey told newsmen that the general assembly called by Godwin Ojo where he was purported to have been removed as Chairman of the Board was illegal.
He added that all decisions reached amounted to nullity.
Bassey, however, noted that Godwin Ojo was removed as Executive Director of the organisation at an emergency Board meeting on Oct. 3, 2020 based on a report of an independent evaluation of ERA/FoEN.