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Senator Dickson Receives Excellence In Leadership Award On Environment

….for setting up an international commission on oil pollution led by Bishop Shentamu
…..raises the alarm over reckless deforestation in Nigeria
……urges state governors to adopt urgent measures to curtail the dangerous trend

The Chairman of, the Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, Senator Henry Seriake Dickson has raised the alarm over the mindless deforestation in the country.

Senator Dickson who represents Bayelsa West in the National Assembly spoke while receiving the Excellence in Environmental Leadership award conferred on him by a Coalition of 20 Non-Governmental Organizations with core values on Environment, Ecology, and Climate Change at the Senate on Wednesday.

The award was presented by Comrade Celestine Okwudili who represented Mrs Ene Obi of Action Aid at the event.

The Coalition said that the award was conferred on the Senator for his contributions and stewardship in sustaining a healthy environment while serving as Governor of Bayelsa State between 2012 and 2020.

According to Mr Okwudilli, the indelible efforts made by Senator Dickson include the constitution of an international commission on the environment chaired by Bishop, Lord Sentamu.

The report of the Commission was presented to the House of Lords after a thorough and painstaking analysis last month and was received by Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State.

The Coalition also cited Senator Dickson’s bold and proactive decision to employ 250 graduates who were trained and posted to the Ministry of Environment as forest protection officers to stem the unlawful felling of trees leading to massive deforestation in Bayelsa, states in the Niger Delta and in most states in Nigeria.

In his remarks, Senator Dickson called on state governors to take deliberate steps to halt the reckless deforestation going on in most of the states of the federation.

He warned that if urgent steps are not taken, it would be difficult to find trees that are 15 years old in the country.

He also urged the state Governors to redouble their efforts to ensure the preservation of the environment in the interest of posterity.

The Senator promised to take advantage of his new position as Chairman, Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change to collaborate with all critical stakeholders on the issue of the environment.

He pledged to use all platforms available to him to advance the cause of the environment, the ecology, and climate change.

“As the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Ecology and Climate Change, I will work with all NGOs in Nigeria, support the efforts of all institutions and bodies, to advance the cause of the environment, particularly to join the campaign against climate change.

“Nigeria’s response for climate change and supporting communities devastated by climate change will see a marked difference by the time our Committee swings into action,” he said

Speaking on the Bishop Sentamu Commission which indicted the oil companies operating in the region, Senator Dickson recalled why his administration set up the international commission.

“I was tired of the environmental degradation, and its impact on the lives of the people. I set up the commission of distinguished international figures to do an in-depth thorough and comprehensive report.

“They went to the communities to take samples, including blood samples. Heavy metals were found in the systems of the people from the water that they drink, and the polluted air they breathe. A scientific basis was established for the case of the pollution in the area.”

“I thank my team, the members of the commission, and Lord Bishop Sentanmu, who went into the creeks. The oil companies were not cooperating with me and fought me. I was not bothered”, he concluded.

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