Protect the Goose Laying Nigeria’s Golden Eggs, ANEEJ tells Buhari
Benin City, Nigeria…The Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ, has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to do everything within his power to ensure that the Niger Delta is not reduced to a state of anarchy and turmoil leading to unmitigated disaster for the rest of Nigeria.
The call was made following a press statement issued by ANEEJ executive director, the Rev David Ugolor on the occasion of the scheduled visit of Mr President to Rivers State Niger to flag off the clean-up of Ogoniland, an area which has been severely affected by oil spills. In recent times, the Niger Delta has witnessed a spate of violent demonstrations, especially from the militant activities of the Niger Delta Avengers who have demanded a clean-up of Ogoni land, the restructuring of the allocation of oil blocks and the autonomy of the region.
‘ANEEJ uses the opportunity to commend Mr. President for taking the bold step to kick-start and accomplish this long-awaited role. The Niger Delta region is currently witnessing an invasion by the Nigerian military. These attacks have reduced Nigeria’s daily oil production and worsened the tension aggravated by global crash in the price of crude oil. The impact on this military invasion could result in life-threatening situations and dislocate the innards of the economy thereby impoverishing an already sidelined population’, the Rev David Ugolor said in the press release.
The Nigerian economy has suffered enough from the slump in worldwide oil prices. Power generation is at an all-time low, food prices have sky-rocketed and therefore deploying the military to pummel an already traumatized people will not solve the problems of militancy in the Niger Delta or elsewhere in Nigeria.
‘Rather, Mr. President should pay attention to the following: extension of the clean-up exercise to other parts of the region like the Isoko, Olomoro and communities in Bayelsa and Cross River which have equally been polluted by crude oil spill, exploration of dialogue rather that a military approach, innovative and scientific ways of protecting crude oil pipelines and other oil and gas facilities to check the obnoxious trend of pipeline vandalism and oil theft’, Ugolor said in the statement.
Ugolor also suggested that the Federal government should pay special attention to completing critical infrastructural projects in the Niger Delta such as the East-West road, embark on new ones which will have significant impact in the lives of the majority of Niger Delta people and increased funding for the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Niger Delta Development Commission, to enable them play this role.
‘Instead of winding down the amnesty programme, we urge the Federal government to rejig the programme to ensure that it is concluded in such as way and such a time that it will not further deepen the crisis in the region’, the ANEEJ director said.
ABOUT ANEEJ: To contribute to the emergence of a just and equitable African society through socio-economic and environmental rights protection, institutional strengthening and people’s empowerment.
For more information please contact:
Bob MajiriOghene Etemiku
Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ
39 Oyaide Street,
Off Benoni, GRA,
Advocacy Office: Plot 208, Zakariyah Maimalari Road
Off Herbert Macaulay Way,
Central Area, Abuja
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com www.aneej.org, @bobaneej
+2348156171133, +2348187674339, +234(0)8059880550
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