oil firms to End Niger Delta crisis, SERAP to FG

– SERAP has urged the Federal
Government to stand up to powerful oil
companies that have continued to abuse
the human rights of the people of the
Niger Delta
– The group urged President
Muhammadu Buhari to implement the
ECOWAS Court judgment which ordered
the Nigerian government to punish oil
companies
Niger Delta Pollution
Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability
Project (SERAP) has urged the Federal
Government to “stand up to powerful oil
companies that have continued to abuse
the human rights of the people of the Niger
Delta with impunity for decades if it is to
satisfactorily resolve the crisis in the
region.”
Against the background of continuing crisis
in the Niger Delta fuelled by the activities
of the ‘Niger Delta Avengers’ who are
relentlessly bombing the country’s oil
infrastructure and have slashed its crude
output, SERAP in a statement by the
organization’s executive director
Adetokunbo Mumuni said that, “An
important part of the solution to the
human rights crisis is for President
Muhammadu Buhari to implement the
ECOWAS Court judgment which ordered the
Nigerian government to punish oil
companies over oil pollution and
devastation in the region.”
The statement reads in part: “This
government should make sure that the
activities of oil companies in Nigeria bring
development to the people, rather than a
string of needless human rights tragedies.”
“The government of former President
Goodluck Jonathan ignored the judgment
and showed no political will to hold to
account oil companies that have for many
years continued to destroy the livelihoods
of tens of thousands of people with almost
absolute impunity. President Buhari
shouldn’t repeat Jonathan’s mistake. He
should make sure that his government
adheres to this judgment without further
delay.”
“Oil companies, particularly Shell, have
managed to evade responsibility for far too
long. And successive governments have
allowed them to do so, putting profits
before people. As a result, communities
badly affected by oil pollution are sinking
further into poverty, unable to eat the
contaminated fish or drink the water,
stained black from the pollution.”
“It’s also clear that oil companies wield
tremendous influence over the regulatory
regime that governs their operations. That
has to change for the good and peace of the
region. The change that Buhari champions
should include justice for the victims of oil
pollution in the Niger Delta, and that’s why
the ECOWAS judgment is so significant
because it provides the framework for
action.”
“The government should impose fines on
oil companies for breach of regulations
over the past 10 years and take measures
to punish the companies. The government
should also investigate the role that oil
companies and others have played and
continue to play in the environmental
pollution in the region, and widely publish
the outcome of any such investigation.”
It would be recalled that the ECOWAS Court
of Justice in December 2012 in a case
brought by SERAP upheld the right of the
people and communities of the Niger Delta
to a general satisfactory environment and
to an adequate standard of living.

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