ERA & Our Philosophy
Committees & Contacts
MUST THE DENIAL OF ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE CONTINUE IN
We have stepped into 1999, an epochal
watershed between this and the next millennium, in creeks of blood. While men of
goodwill spent the closing days of 1998 planning for the uplifting of mankind
through the enthronement of justice in every area of life, it has become evident
that the lot of Nigerians is neglect, despair, pain, sheer wickedness and
WHY DO WE SAY THIS?
- The peaceful protests/calls for DIALOGUE by the Ijaws
and peoples of the Niger Delta has been visited by orgies of violence and
sheer slaughter on the streets of Yenagoa. Is this the New Year gift that
the military regime has for Nigerians? Can bombs silence the resolve of an
oppressed people? Wont the polluted waters of the creeks, now running with
blood respond to this injustice in the land of our birth?
At the last count about 20 people have
been murdered in this gory display of state terror. How many more lives must
be lost before the government and the oil giants realise that a conquered
territory is not the best environment for business?
- In the midst of mass poverty the government of General
Abubakar, an offshoot of the infamous General Abacha junta, has inflicted a
massive petrol price hike (from 11 naira to 25 naira or 31 cents a litter).
The prices of kerosene and diesel have been raised from 8 and 9 Naira
respectively to 23 Naira. One implication of this is a huge inflation for a
people with no buying power. The implication is that our poor people who
cannot afford to buy kerosene or gas for cooking now have to resort to the
fast disappearing forests/bushes for fuel wood. For the entire world,
Abubakar’s policy is a negation of all that has been proposed to halt
the negative climate change for the preservation of life on planet
- When the government says that the price of petroleum
products should be negotiaited between oil marketers and the consumers what
sort of dark humour is that for a civil society that has been virtually
totally castrated by repressive military regimes?
- In September 1998 the government of General Abubakar
announced a wage raise for workers. The minimum wage was pegged at 5,200
naira ($65) per month. Now the story is that this new increase has to suffer
a decrease down to N3, 000 ($37.5) a month. The government’s plea that
they have been messed up by advisers does not address the issue of how much
they have messed up the people. In what area are the advisers and the
advised not messing up one another?
- The transition to democracy programme has so far shown
that as everyone knows, the military cannot husband a true democracy. Fraud
and violence in many areas marred the local government elections. The
gubernatorial primaries have best been marked by brazen display of
well-learnt military tendencies by the so-called politicians. Money and raw
power appear to be the decisive factors in who becomes what. It has now
become even clearer that sanity can only return to the political scene
through a Government of National Unity whose fundamental work will be to
gather the peoples of this nation together for dialogue on how best to march
into the next millennium.
- The military government should halt the ethnocide being
visited on the Ijaw people. The killings must stop, NOW! The terror in
Yenagoa cannot bring the peace we need to face our future as a
- It is NEVER TOO LATE FOR DIALOGUE. GUNS cannot
silence the Niger Delta people or any other sufficiently suppressed people
for that matter. This is one war that has NO VICTORY.
- It is time for the soldiers to return to their
barracks. We also call for the disbanding of all military taskforces for
- It is time for the immediate release of all detainees.
We demand the provision of access to medical care for those who have been
wounded in the fray. From our reports many of the victims have been innocent
- The military government and the oil companies should
not think of drilling oil from the blood of Nigerians because crude oil
prices are falling. Budgetary deficits are not handled by emasculating the
populace. Government should immediately reconsider its stand on the pricing
of petrol, kerosene and diesel and return all to their former pump
- We call on all lovers of (Environmental) Justice to
note that the lot of the Ogoni and the Ijaw will become their lot too if
they don’t speak up now.
- We call on the multi-national oil companies to
immediately heed the call of the people.
If we do not speak up now, we will do well to
note that in the smoke of battle sitting on the fence opens you to stones from
LET PEACE REIGN IN THIS "OUR DEAR NATIVE
ACT NOW. SAVE OUR PEOPLE. SAVE OUR ENVIRONMENT
AND OUR FUTURE. PEACE IN 1999. DIALOGUE NOT WAR!