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Jonathan, activists lament environmental degradation in Niger Delta

Posted by From Akanimo Sampson, Bureau Chief, Port Harcourt on 2008/12/18 | Views: 842 |

Jonathan, activists lament environmental degradation in Niger Delta


Some environmental rights activists from the Niger Delta have met with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan and expressed fears over what they described as the ‘’worsening environmental condition’’ in the nation’s oil and gas region.

Some environmental rights activists from the Niger Delta have met with Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan and expressed fears over what they described as the ‘’worsening environmental condition’’ in the nation’s oil and gas region.
They also spoke about the American troops in the Gulf of Guinea.

Chairman of the Friends of the Earth International (FoEI), Nnimmo Bassey, whose organisation initiated the parley, quoted the Vice-President as saying: "For this government, we believe that protecting the environment ultimately translates into good governance.Now is the time for us all to join hands in this most important assignment of our generation for the protection of our environment."

According to Bassey, who is also the Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action (ERA), the team noted that the landing of American troops in the Gulf of Guinea through the African Commission (AFRICOM) would further militarise oil-bearing communities, besides undermining the nation’s sovereignty.

Bassey said the delegation frown on foreign military presence in Nigeria, adding that this would involve the military in civilian activities.

‘’In spite of agitations by several mass movements, community groups and civil society groups in the oil region to resist oil multinationals and the local ruling elite from the continuing plunder of their lands, resources and livelihoods, the government and oil multinationals have continued to pay deaf ears to the agitations,’’ Bassey said.

Government, he added, is dishing out palliative measures, while at the same time conniving with the western world to militarise the region through the AFRICOM arrangement.

The activists stressed that environmental problems are not only inter-related but are also a result of international oil diplomacy.

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