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Vol 59 No 24

Published 7th December 2018


Clean-up gets murky

Hold-ups in promised action against pollution in Ogoni region in the Niger Delta are multiplying and tension is rising

A long-delayed environmental restoration programme in Ogoni is finally in the works after decades of oil spills and fires left it one of the most polluted places in Africa. And yet, in spite of considerable funding, deadlines are being missed and obstacles to progress are springing up. The programme is fast becoming a hot potato in the presidential election contest, especially for President Muhammadu Buhari and his All Progressives Congress. The position of the ailing 75-year-old looked far more certain until former Vice-President Atiku Abubakar announced himself as the People's Democratic Party candidate after his defection from APC last year and sought support in the Niger Delta. More delay to the Ogoni clean-up – triggered by the initial 262-page United Nations Environment Programme report published in 2011 – will undermine Buhari's credibility in the south.

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