Nigerian community urges action on oil devastation

September 3, 2012
An indigene of Bodo, Ogoniland region in Rivers State, tries to separate with a stick the crude oil from water in a boat at the Bodo waterways polluted by oil spills attributed to Shell equipment failure in 2011. Nigerians from a region devastated by oil spills on Monday called on the president to take action.

Nigerians from a region devastated by oil spills on Monday called on the president to take action, more than a year after a UN report said the contamination may require the world's biggest cleanup.

"Every Ogoni person is a potential ," Magnus Abbe, a senator and spokesman for a delegation from the Ogoniland of southern Nigeria, said during a visit to President Goodluck Jonathan with journalists present.

"Tragic and catastrophic as the situation is, the Ogoni people are concerned by a protracted and near absence of a strategic response by the federal government to the findings of the (UN) report."

The president did not comment with journalists present but later held a closed-door meeting with the delegation.

A landmark report from the UN's environmental agency in August 2011 said decades of in Ogoniland may require the world's biggest clean-up.

The United Nations Environment Programme also called for the and the Nigerian government to contribute $1 billion to a clean-up fund.

It pointed out major in the region of Africa's largest oil producer, including in one community where families were drinking water from wells contaminated with the carcinogen benzene at levels over 900 times above WHO guidelines.

Ogoniland was the native region of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the renowned environmental activist who was executed by a Nigerian military government in 1995 after what was widely considered a show trial, drawing global condemnation.

Shell, the biggest producer in Nigeria, was forced to leave Ogoniland in 1993 following community unrest sparked by poverty and allegations of environmental neglect, however pipelines still cross the area.

Despite the UN report, little action has been taken to clean up the region, which in part prompted the delegation's visit to Jonathan on Monday.

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3.7 / 5 (3) Sep 03, 2012
Another example of the many benefits of the fossil fuel industry..not just global warming but toxic spills as well:(
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 03, 2012
This is what you get when Conservatives hold government power.
4.3 / 5 (6) Sep 03, 2012
This is what you get when Conservatives hold government power.

More specifically, Nigeria is a great example of what happens when you eliminate rules and regulations; when you let industry dictate to the government what the rules should be.
5 / 5 (2) Sep 03, 2012
It's also a great example of a nation evenly split between xtians and Muslims, who take turns committing atrocities while the people life in desperate poverty despite standing upon black gold. How will these people live once the oil and bankster-funded warlords leave?

Religion is the root of evil
1 / 5 (4) Sep 03, 2012
Another example of the many benefits of the fossil fuel industry..not just global warming but toxic spills as well:(

People get the government they deserve.
5 / 5 (2) Sep 03, 2012
People get the government they deserve.
I disagree Nigerians deserve better, but they're imprisoned in a yoke of religious ignorance instead of, say, becoming trained physicists or biologists. It's just another cage people can't escape. Freethinkers are endangered there as well. The system is designed by Western oil companies to fuck the people.
5 / 5 (2) Sep 04, 2012
I agree with every poster bar one up to this point. But whatever the cause of the ravages of mankind and this planet, it's going to be a very long road back, and I am very discouraged. No encouragement that is based on fantasy will fill that void. No false promises or myths will change any"thing" for anyone. On the contrary, that is the root of the problem. Religion poisons. Reason is the antidote, and yes, it is a long road.

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