The All Progressives Congress (APC) on Tuesday said that the steps taken by President Muhammadu Buhari to fast-track the environmental clean-up of Ogoniland proved that he is a president for all. Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the National Publicity Secretary of APC, said this at a media briefing in Lagos.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved several actions to fast-track the long delayed implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme Report on the environmental restoration of Ogoniland.
An Indian based Environmental Group, Navdang International, says the continuous pollution of the Niger Delta by oil companies amounts to environmental terrorism against the people. The Executive Director of the organisation, Vandana Shiva, said in a live interview programme on African Independent Television(AIT) monitored in Port Harcourt.
KPMG Australia's purchase of Richard Boele's human rights consultancy Banarra is the latest sign that business is taking corporate and social responsibility seriously. The idea that commercial imperatives can override all other considerations is thankfully dead or dying. Companies are now conscious of their obligations to all of the people touched by their activities, whether it is those living near a BHP Billiton mine site or workers making products for the Wesfarmers-owned Target.
A non-governmental organsiation, (NGO), Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to implement the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoni land without further delay. The organisation made the call in a statement issue by its Communications Officer, Oluwafunmilayo Oyatogun, in Abuja on Monday.
On July 23, to mark the UN International Year of the Soil and the decades long struggle against oil extraction in the Niger Delta, 1993 Right Livelihood Laureate, Vandana Shiva, will give a lecture at the Right Livelihood College in Port Harcourt. The event, organized in collaboration with Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and 2010 Right Livelihood Laureate, Nnimmo Bassey, will be followed on July 24 by a seed democracy workshop in collaboration with Ogoni women and a press conference in Abuja on July 27.
The UN has chosen 2015 as the International Year of the Soil with the aim of raising awareness about the importance of soil for human life, food security, climate change adaptation and sustainable development. In the Niger Delta, oil extraction has severely contaminated the soil. A 2011 United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) assessment of the environment of Ogoniland found that, in over 40 locations tested, the soil is polluted with hydrocarbons up to a depth of 5 metres and all the water bodies are polluted.
“With oil spills occurring with a disturbing frequency of almost one a day, the soil and waters of the Niger Delta are being severely degraded, thus raising challenges for the production of wholesome food,” said Nnimmo Bassey, Director of HOMEF. “Vandana Shiva's visit is timely and we expect that she will raise critical issues on the need to preserve our soils, seeds and food systems, rather than allowing them to be destroyed by the irresponsible activities of oil companies in their bid to extract resources of diminishing value.”
Vandana Shiva, a physicist, philosopher, feminist, activist and author, has dedicated her life to defending small farmers’ rights and the rights of people to forests, biodiversity, water, seeds and land. Her organization, Navdanya, which means “nine seeds,” has been actively involved in rejuvenating indigenous culture and knowledge, and setting up seed banks across India, training farmers in sustainable agriculture and seed sovereignty.
“I am honoured to have the opportunity to visit Ogoniland and pay tribute to the many defenders of the earth, including Ken Saro Wiwa,” she said. “We need to move urgently from an age of oil, with its wars and violence against the earth and its people, to an age of soil - of peace with the earth and between people. Soil, not oil, holds the future for humanity.”
Schedule of events
Thursday, July 23, 9 am: Right Livelihood lecture, International Students Conference Hall, University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt
Friday, July 24, 9 am: Seed democracy workshop and garden of hope, Ken Saro-Wiwa Peace Centre, Bori, Ogoni
Saturday, July 25, 10 am: Seed democracy, environmental monitoring, Erema, Rivers State
Monday, July 27, 10 am: Press conference, Sheha Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja
The residents of Ogoni communities in Rivers State, Thursday(July 16), fled their homes when unknown gunmen stormed the area killing two people, witnesses and the police have told PREMIUM TIMES. One of the residents of the area, who pleaded not to be named, said the gunmen invaded Kira, a village in Tai Local Government Area in the early hours of the day killing two persons.
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, has decided to immortalized deceased Nigerian writer, environmental activist, Kenule “Ken” Beeson Saro Wiwa by changing the name of the state polytechnic at Bori to Kenule Beeson Saro-wiwa Polytechnic. In a statement issued by the special adviser to the governor on media and publicity, Opunabo Inko-Tariah, the poly was renamed in memory of a humanitarian who shouldn’t be forgotten.
The Caretaker Committee Chairman of Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr Confidence Deko has promised to work towards enthroning peace and development in the local government. Deko, who spoke at the inauguration of the committee’s members, said every member must be prepared to give the people of Gokana quality service that would promote goodwill among them.