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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals 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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More