News / Africa

Nigeria’s Niger Delta Called Pacified

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +
Joe DeCapua

As the Nigerian military tries to quell the religious and ethnic violence in Jos in Plateau State, the situation in the Niger Delta is very different.  The oil-rich region known for its violence and kidnappings is now relatively peaceful.

VOA reporter Chinedu Offor is on assignment in Nigeria.  From Port Harcourt, the capital of Rivers State, he says, “A dramatic improvement when it comes to security.  The Nigerian security forces say they have, in their words, pacified the Niger Delta.”

As a result, there are fewer military operations.  “Most of the militants have turned in their weapons and most of the commanders.  And (they’re) now working with the government on the amnesty program,” Offor says.

Son of the Delta

In addition to military operations and an amnesty program for militants, Offor says there is another key factor in bringing peace to the Niger Delta.

“The president of Nigeria at this moment, Mr. Goodluck Jonathan, is from the Niger Delta.  And the militants and every other person in the Delta see that as an opportunity.  They want to extend the hand of cooperation to him.  They want to work with him.  He has promised he is going to bring several projects into the Niger Delta.”

Goodluck Jonathan
Goodluck Jonathan

The biggest perhaps is the proposed trans-Niger Delta highway, connecting the region to other parts of the country.

Offor says, “[President Jonathan has] also put a lot of resources in retraining militants who have turned in their arms.  He’s also promised to bring other development projects to the Niger Delta.”

Many dignitaries are visiting Port Harcourt Wednesday.  More than 30 governors, along with the country’s vice president and influential business people, are in the city.

“They are all here,” says Offor, “for the declaration for the re-election of the state governor, who is of the (ruling) PDP.  Prior to now, because of security problems, such a crowd would not converge in this city.”

Cleaning up the delta

For many years, the region has been plagued by oil and gas pollution.  Agricultural land has been destroyed, many rivers are too contaminated to fish and some communities have lost a clean source of drinking water.  The pollution has been a major cause of violence against oil companies and the government over the years.  But while the Delta is more peaceful now, the pollution remains.

“That’s a major issue,” says Offor, “but it’s one government authorities say they cannot handle on their own.  So they have an equivalent of the American agency that oversees oil spills and also issues concerning the environment.  But most of it is paid for by the oil companies.”

The government levies fines against oil and gas companies for spills and environmental damage.

“The government says it’s trying to do as much as it can to hold all the companies accountable and to have them put in place relevant operations to ensure that the spills are reduced to the…minimum,” says Offor.

But quick progress is not expected in the effort to reverse decades of environmental damage.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid