Oil Exploitation: Speak With One Voice- Group Tells Niger Delta People 

Oil Exploitation: Speak With One Voice- Group Tells Niger Delta People

A cross section of participants at the one day “Community-CSOs Engagement” organised by the Environmental Rights Action,ERA/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria.
By Ovedhe Hezekiah.
A group under the auspices of Environmental Rights Action,ERA/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, has charged the people of the Niger Delta region to always speak with one voice saying the activities of the IOC’s operating in their domain are hurting, destroying their sources of livelihood and environment.
The group gave this charge at a one day “Community-CSOs Engagement”  organised by the Environmental Rights Action,ERA/ Friends of the Earth Nigeria in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
ERA Executive Director, Barr. Chima Williams while addressing participants,  said, the one day programme was tagged,”Motives Behind IOC’s Divestments in Niger Delta.”
He noted that, the oil exploration activities of the IOC’s the region are hurting and have destroyed the sources of livelihood and  environment.
Barr. Williams, revealed that, 15million Euros settlement have been paid by SPDC to the people of Ogoni-land in the Niger Delta region, noting that, some victims are already receiving their share of the money.
The ERA Executive Director, disclosed how his organisation defeated Shell Petroleum Development Company,SPDC in their own Country over the matter said it took over eighteen years to get judgement.
He noted that SPDC don’t want to pursue an Appeal to the Supreme Court  but have agreed to settle the matter out of Court to save the environment and the Peoples’ sources of livelihood.
He said judiciary all over the world are slow in the dispensing justice and that it is not peculiar to Nigeria alone.
Barr . Williams adviced the Communities and people of the Niger Delta region not to allow the International Oil Companies,IOC’s live after polluting their environment as well as looting them dry under the guise of “Divestments”. He said,”They cannot live” saying,the IOC’s had turned the concepts of Divestments upside down.
He noted that divestment had been happening in a very small scale in the Country.
Barr . Williams said the Companies have been selling their assets when the divestment of multinational began to take the thorn of the region.
According to him,”We felt this is abnormal. We decided to investigate and we discovered the lies. They’ve been turning the concept of divestment upside down. They don’t want anybody to scrutinized and monitor them. So, they can continue to pollute the environment and loot us dry.”
Barr . Williams said, there are no “Bonga fishes” anymore, Barr . Williams said this is because of the oil activities of the IOC’s have displaced the environment in the Niger Delta.
“If anyone say there Bonga fishes, let the person come up with a bag full for me and I will buy them all.”
Chief Omafume Amurun, a Veteran Journalist who also spoke at the brief event the IOC’s employ divide an rule tactics to divide the people of the various Communities in the region.
According to him, one of their major keys is “propaganda” as they cause troubles. Chief Amurun said people no longer take issues of environment serious.
He commended ERA for educating and sensitising the people of the region against the illegal and criminal activities of the IOC’s in the Niger Delta. Chief Amurun also enjoined the people especially their leaders not to collude with the government and oil companies loot their people.
Other stakeholders also bear their minds on the topic as they said the Federal Government of Nigeria should be blamed for the negligence, criminal activities of the IOC’s for failing to properly regulate their activities with well enacted laws to prevent environmental fraud.


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