News / Africa

Nigeria’s Niger Delta to Receive US Congressional Hearing

Villager shows effects of an oil spill right behind his home in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. (file photo)Villager shows effects of an oil spill right behind his home in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. (file photo)
x
Villager shows effects of an oil spill right behind his home in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. (file photo)
Villager shows effects of an oil spill right behind his home in Nigeria's Niger Delta region. (file photo)
James Butty
A Nigerian diaspora group in the United States said a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives has agreed to hold a hearing next month on the situation in Ogoniland and the oil-rich Niger Delta region.  

The group, the Council of Ogoni Professionals International, also said the Congress has drafted a concurrent resolution describing the Niger Delta as one of the world’s important wetlands that must be protected and economic development made a priority.

Butty interview with Anslem John Miller
Butty interview with Anslem John Milleri
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X

Council member Anslem John-Miller said the hearing is possible through his group’s quiet diplomacy and advocacy.

“You are very aware of the fact that on August 4, 2011, the UN Environment Program [UNEP] released a report on Ogoni and, up to this moment, nothing has been done.  So, we are going to be discussing all that and the overall situation in the Niger Delta,” he said.

The report said the Niger Delta’s drinking water supplies and agricultural land have been damaged by 50 years of oil spills.  It said the cleanup could cost more than $1 billion.

“The clean-up of Ogoniland will not only address a tragic legacy, but also represents a major ecological restoration enterprise with potentially multiple positive effects ranging from bringing the various stakeholders together in a single concerted cause to achieving lasting improvements for the Ogoni people," said Achim Steiner, U.N. undersecretary-general and UNEP executive director.

Miller said he has been invited to testify at the upcoming congressional hearing. He said the hearing and the concurrent resolution on the Niger Delta were the result of quiet lobbying by his organization.

“The Council of Ogoni Professionals has been a very silent diplomat and [done] a lot of advocacy work on the issues of Ogoniland and what’s going on in Nigeria.  So, you can see that we are fighting to ensure that justice is done to Ogoni and the Niger Delta people,” Miller said.

Miller said the concurrent resolution is sponsored by Representatives Bobby Rush of Illinois and Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska.  He called on the Ogoni people throughout the United States to call their representatives in Washington and ask them to support the resolution.

To protest Royal Shell Oil company's destruction of their environment and what they see as the Nigerian government's indifference, the Ogoni people founded MOSOP, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, in 1992, under the leadership of the late writer Ken Saro-Wiwa.

In November 1995, nine MOSOP activists, among them Saro-Wiwa, were hanged by the government on charges of “incitement to murder.”

Miller expressed regret for the current ongoing sectarian violence in Nigeria.  He called on President Goodluck Jonathan to take decisive action in dealing with the situation.

“It is very sad that Christians and Muslims are engaged in this kind of bloodletting.  But, at the same time, I think it is time for the president to be decisive on the sponsors of Boko Haram,” Miller said.

He also called on Jonathan to involve Nigeria’s different nationalities.

“It is time to call a national conference; let the ethnic nationalities sit down eyeball to eyeball and discuss how we [can] live together,” Miller said.

You May Like

Israelis Quietly Expand Enclave in Palestinian District of Jerusalem

Estimated 500 settlers, armed or protected by paramilitary police, live in Silwan among 50,000 Palestinians More

Video US, Iran Face Similar Challenges in Syrian Fight Against IS

Both Washington, Tehran back fighters battling Islamic State militants in Iraq -- but in Syria they support opposing sides in country’s civil war More

China Boosts Efforts to Help Afghan, Regional Stability

Observers say China’s increased regional involvement are due to concerns that Afghan instability and the presence of anti-China militants in Pakistani border areas could fuel Xinjiang troubles 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.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid