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 Twists and Turns Aplenty in US Presidential Race

    Even as Americans pause for this week’s Memorial Day holiday, much attention is focused on the presidential contest

    Iran Orders Social Media Sites to Store Data Inside Country

    New requirements are expected to affect the instant messaging app Telegram, which has more than 20 million users inside Iran

    The Struggle With Painkillers: Treating Pain Without Feeding Addiction

    'Wonder drug' pain medications have turned out to be major problem: not only do they run high risk of addicting the user, but they can actually make patients' chronic pain worse, US CDC says

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.
    Video

    Video Meet Your New Co-Worker: The Robot

    Increasing numbers of robots are joining the workforce, as companies scale back and more processes become automated. The latest robots are flexible and collaborative, built to work alongside humans as opposed to replacing them. VOA’s Tina Trinh looks at the next generation of automated employees helping out their human colleagues.
    Video

    Video Wheelchair Technology in Tune With Times

    Technologies for the disabled, including wheelchair technology, are advancing just as quickly as everything else in the digital age. Two new advances in wheelchairs offer improved control and a more comfortable fit. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Baby Boxes Offer Safe Haven for Unwanted Children

    No one knows exactly how many babies are abandoned worldwide each year. The statistic is a difficult one to determine because it is illegal in most places. Therefore unwanted babies are often hidden and left to die. But as Erika Celeste reports from Woodburn, Indiana, a new program hopes to make surrendering infants safer for everyone.
    Video

    Video California Celebration Showcases Local Wines, Balloons

    Communities in the U.S. often hold festivals to show what makes them special. In California, for example, farmers near Fresno celebrate their figs and those around Gilmore showcase their garlic. Mike O'Sullivan reports that the wine-producing region of Temecula offers local vintages in an annual festival where rides on hot-air balloons add to the excitement.
    Video

    Video US Elementary School Offers Living Science Lessons

    Zero is not a good score on a test at school. But Discovery Elementary is proud of its “net zero” rating. Net zero describes a building in which the amount of energy provided by on-site renewable sources equals the amount of energy the building uses. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, the innovative features in the building turn the school into a teaching tool, where kids can't help but learn about science and sustainability. Faith Lapidus narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora