The House of Representatives on Tuesday kicked against a proposal by a member, Kingsley Chinda (PDP-Rivers) to observe a minute silence in honour of late Environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, 22 years after he passed on.
Saro-Wiwa was killed alongside eight others by a former Military government on November 10, 1995 for fighting for the rights of the Ogoni people.
The lawmakers said it would be inappropriate to grant Saro-Wiwa the honour, arguing that his execution was “duly considered and endorsed by government.”
A pitiable condition
The House, however, agreed that 22 years after, the environmental situation in the Niger Delta, where the late environmentalist canvassed for enhancement, had not improved.
It also urged the Federal Government to declare Ogoni land an “Ecological Disaster Zone” and invest resources aimed at tackling the devastation in the area and the entire Niger Delta.
Benjamin Wayo (Benue-APC) said “while I agree that the environmental situation in Niger Delta is pitiable, we have to be careful in adopting the prayer in the motion, calling for one minute silence for the late environmentalist.
On the contrary, Onyemaechi Mrakpor (Delta-PDP) said that observing one minute silence for the late environmentalist or not would not change the narrative that the pollution and infrastructure decay in the Niger Delta region had not abated.
Earlier in his lead debate, Chinda expressed concern about contamination in the region.
He said the Federal Government was slow in the clean-up of the region, as recommended in the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) report forwarded to it in 2011.