Urhobo Historical Society


NIGERIAN ENVIRONMENTAL AND CIVIL SOCIETY GROUPS WRITE PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH

ON US OIL POLICIES IN NIGERIA'S NIGER DELTA



ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTION/ FRIENDS OF THE  EARTH, NIGERIA;
#214, USELU-LAGOS ROAD
, UGBOWO, BENIN
CITY; NIGERIA

TEL /FAX: +234-52-600165
EMAIL: ERACTION@INFOWEB.ABS.NET


July 11, 2003

PRESS STATEMENT:
GROUPS OPPOSE US TROOPS DEPLOYMENT
TO NIGER DELTA


 Nigerian civil society groups have called for a review of United States government's foreign and oil policy.

The environmental and human rights groups in an open letter to the visiting United States President, Mr. George Bush, said America's foreign and oil policy currently serve only the interest of powerful corporations. The groups specifically opposed plan by the US to deploy troops to guard Nigerian oil installations.

They lamented that for four decades Western oil companies operating in Nigeria have reduced the once balanced and life-sustaining Niger Delta to a veritable nightmare.

"The corporations have been flaring death-dispensing gas into the atmosphere of local communities, mangling fishing waters and farmlands with oil from old and broken pipelines they have refused to maintain and repair, cutting down forests and abolishing fresh water sources", the groups observed. "We have seen them march alongside Nigerian soldiers they pay with blood money, into villages and hamlets killing, maiming and raping young men and women whose only crime is that they dared raise their voice to protest the wanton destruction of their lives and sources of livelihood".

The petitioners pointed out that the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis can neither be found in militarism nor legalism but in political dialogue with the local people who matter the most.

The environmental and human rights groups similarly called on the US government to:

 The letter was endorsed by leading civil society groups, including:

Environmental Rights Action (Nnimmo Bassey),

Centre for Constitutional Governance (Dr. Beko Ransome- Kuti),

Ethnic Minority and Indigenous Rights Organisation of Africa (Alfred Ilenre),

Journalists for Democratic Rights (Adewale Adeoye).



DOIFIE OLA
Head, Lagos Office



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