Oronto Douglas – Nigeria

Linked with our publications of Nigeria’s Oil and the population, and with Environemental Rights Action ERA – Nigeria, and
SEEN – Sustainble Energy & Economic Network. Also with The World Bank’s Recipe for Climate Disaster.

He says (excerpt): ” … So we need to discuss, and in discussion, the issues we have raised must be analyzed. We have called [for] and we are demanding resource control. When we talk about resource control, we mean that we want to be in control of the air that we breathe. We don’t want to breathe polluted air. We want to be in control of the forests and the land, where the wildlife and the rain forest bring forth life. We want to protect the waters. We don’t want those waters polluted; they are our vital resources. Oil and gas are temporary resources that could evaporate, that could go away over a given period. It is not a key issue, say, over a thousand years. Because we are going to be there for many more years than that! We have been there for more than 10,000, 20,000 years, as human memory can remember, and there is a possibility that we will remain there for more thousands and thousands of years. But oil is very temporary. When it’s finished, it is finished. But the people, the land, the environment, will remain. The challenge is: what is going to be left to be integrated? An impoverished land that after 2,000 years cannot be healed, or what? These are our legitimate worries. We are calling for resource control by our people” … (Read all on this page of Berkely interview of 2001).

Oronto Douglas – Nigeria

He is a human rights attorney and environmental activist. He is Deputy Director of the Environmental Rights Action Group in Nigeria.

Read the text on ERA of May 02, 2006.

He says also: “Each step in the history of the Niger Delta struggle has always assumed more sophistication than the previous one,” said Oronto Douglas, a human rights lawyer nominated by MEND to mediate with the federal government. “A total shutdown is a high possibility,” he said, adding that triggers could include military reprisals against the militants or electoral fraud in next April’s general elections. (Read all of this article on iol.co.za of June 28, 2006).

Read this Interview with Oronto Douglas by Third World Traveler.

Excerpt: … In a paper titled “The Imperative of a Nigerian President from the South-South,” Dr. Oronto Douglas, one-time commissioner for information, culture and tourism in Bayelsa, stressed the need to elect a president from the South-South in 2007 (read all on VAGUARD, July 9, 2006).

Listen also to this video: Drilling and Killing: Chevron and Nigeria’s Oil Dictatorship, a 59 Minutes video. See also text of it on same page, or on this page of Humanitarian Texts.

Shell is one of many, many companies that cause great harm. And countries do harm, as well, not just corporations. There is no scarcity of evil in the world.

See also this link about Shell Facts.

Excerpt of a long article: … But what Bayelsa voters require now is dispassionate and intelligent analysis of the party programmes and public policies of the various contenders, and how these might help to alleviate the shame of unremitting poverty and burgeoning youth violence in the area. This is a public service that the likes of Inirou Wills and Oronto Douglas, assisted by Patterson Ogon, Doifie Ola, Kemedi Diemeri, and other talented Bayelsa intellectual activists must begin to render to the ordinary people now. Not to do so is to abdicate their duty as shapers and guardians of the public conscience … (read all on allAfrica.com of July 9, 2006).

A human rights and environmental activist, Mr. Oronto Douglas who spoke to Vanguard in Yenagoa condemned the action of the security operatives … (read the whole article on the VAGUARD of June 20, 2006).

He tells: was in high school then. My uncle came back and was telling us about what was going on at home, that things were no longer the way I used to know, and that when I go back, it is possible that I will not recognize the community, because I left while I was young, shortly after primary school. And he warned me about this. But what I saw when I came back was more dramatic than I could imagine … We are talking here about 1986-87. When I came back, Shell was everyhere. They had taken over the land. They had established kingdoms in all the areas that they operate in. Chevron, as well. Mobil. Exxon. Texaco. Conoco. All the big oil companies, you name them, they have taken possession of our land. And for Shell, Shell came to the Delta in 1937, and after a few explorations had to leave. They returned after the Second World War, and they struck oil in a community not too far from mine, called Oluebury, in 1956. That was the beginning. They did the thunderous explosion of the boils of planet Earth. The exploration activities of Shell led to the realization that underneath was the black gold. And that community of Oluebury, not too far away from my village, became a rallying point for the extraction of fossil fuel in my community, in the region where I come from. The impact of that first strike was dramatic. There was a huge spill, which according to the old men and women who witnessed that spill, leveled every plant, every animal, took over the whole survival intricacies and mechanisms of nature, and rendered life impossible for months. And it took time. They never had clean-up mechanisms at that time. This was in the fifties, about 1956. And the oil companies continued the attack on nature. Constant spillage and pollution and explosions between 1956 through the nineties. And they still continue now. A few days ago, there was a major explosion in Ogoni, where a lot of oil from Shell, this time again, was spewed into the surrounding environment. The impact is largely on the local people. We are a largely agrarian community. We do not have the industries like the American or the European world depend on. We depend on land; we are from the ground. We plant our crops, we’ve been going to the river to fish and so we depend on nature largely. And when oil is now used as a mechanism to deny us our survival strategies, it is absolutely unjust. And that is what is going on in Niger Delta today. (Read more about on this page of a Berkely interview of 2001).

NEW YORK, Nov 14 (OneWorld) – Multinational oil companies were ordered by Nigeria’s highest court this week to stop engaging in a decades-old process that indigenous and environmental rights groups say has been poisoning the oil-rich area where Africa’s Niger River meets the Atlantic Ocean. “This victory marks a new dawn in the struggle of the communities of the Niger Delta,” said Reverend Nnimmo Bassey, executive director of the Nigerian group Environmental Rights Action, soon after the Federal High Court announced its judgment Monday against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria. The decision is expected to have far-reaching implications for the local activities of ChevronTexaco, ExxonMobil, and other multinational oil giants as well. “We expect this judgment to be respected and that for once the oil corporations will accept the truth and bring their sinful flaring activities to a halt,” Bassey added. (Read all on OneWorldUS).

Links:

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