Sunday, February 26, 2012

Ijaw Council Upbeat as US Begins Trial of 2010 BP Oil Spill Today

This Day
27 February 2012

A number of Nigerians, particularly those of the Niger Delta extraction and the civil society groups, are upbeat as billions of dollars are on the line when a United States federal trial opens today over the reams of litigation spawned by the worst offshore oil disaster in US history, though those whose losses cannot be repaid are hoping for something more elusive: justice for lost loved ones.

Concerns about corporate social irresponsibility and the 'crude business of crude oil' has been brought to the fore again with the gas explosion at a Chevron facility in Bayelsa State. For close to a decade now, Chevron has been under trial in the US for the extra-judicial killings of youths in Opia and Ikinyan in Ondo State. As the trial takes on a new life, the worry is the inability of the Nigerian state to put the interest of its citizens first before oil and ensure the ecological health of the region in the face of the increasing level of pollution in the land and creeks.

The founding director of Ijaw Council of Human Rights, Mr. Patterson Ogom, said: “We desire a pollution free environment and wish immediate direct action had been taken since the UNEP report on the Ogoni spill was released. We deserve a better deal and hope the people of Koluama and other affected communities will not wait till eternity for justice to be served.”

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