Ogoni Diaspora Groups Calls For International Action on Ogoni Climate Crises
The Ogoni – American organizations; National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS) Int’l USA, Center for Democracy Human Rights and Anti-Corruption and Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) have urged the United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, to declare a state of climate and health emergency in Ogoniland, Niger Delta, Nigeria.
This, they said, is due to “the Nigerian government and the Royal Dutch Shell’s failure and refusal to timely and adequately clean the radioactive or ecological waste buried into Ogoni underground waters.”
NOUS Int’l USA and CDHRAC Int’l USA humbly asked Guterres “to declare a state of emergency in Ogoniland because of decades of Royal Dutch Shell hydrocarbon wastes and coupled with HYPREP’S contamination and unprofessional disposal of contaminated residues.”
These were contained in a letter to Antonio Guterres jointly signed by the President of NOUS Int’l USA, Pius Barikpoa Nwinee, its Secretary General, Sampson B Npimnee, Acting Coordinator, CDHRAC Int’l, USA, Deekor Adokor, and its Secretary General, Toate Ganago, which was dated Sunday, December 4, 2022, and made available to journalists.
Copies of the letter were sent to Pope Francis, the President of the United States of America, Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, the Nigerian Presidency, World Health Organization (WHO) and Mark Rutte of Netherland.
The groups stressed in the letter that “these contaminated residues are particularly and tangibly act of genocide that is slowly and steadily increasing the mortality rate in Ogoni and its enclaves.
“It’s also causing serious bodily and mental harm to Ogoni as a people and as a tribe, partly in response to the Nigerian government’s intent to permanently endanger and destroy Ogoniland. This is also in response to the prior killing history targeted to extinct the Ogoni as an ethnic nationality.
“We, therefore, humbly appeal to U N Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, to declare a state of climate and health
emergency in Ogoniland and her enclaves or impress upon the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Royal Dutch Shell to immediately contract international remediation firms with professional experience and technical know-how capacity.”
They recommended that an international remediation firm reputed with complex knowledge of best practices in deforestation, coastal erosion and
ecosystem remediation should “take over the ongoing cleaning of the Royal Dutch Shell decades of oil pollution and ecological war, as well as end the HYPREP cutting corner policies in the area.”
The pressure groups, however, urged the “United Nations to make the declaration in part, to protect Ogoniland and Ogoni people from the Royal Dutch Shell’s decades of environmental misery and in whole, to stop Nigerian government and the Royal Dutch Shell from further subjecting Ogoni, Ogoniland and Ogoni people to the Royal Dutch Shell’s ongoing occupational pandemic.”
The letter read: “Sir, we are also asking you to use your good office to declare a state of climate and health emergency in Ogoniland to protect Ogoniland and Ogoni ethnic nationality from serious bodily and mental harm because such declaration is in line with your laid down institutional power and more importantly, as your solemn duty to guarantee world peace and safety in overseeing peacekeeping mission in mediating conflict, and Ogoni ethnic nationality should not be an exception.
“In or around 2007, the Nigerian government hired the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to study the Royal. Dutch Shell’s decades of oil spillage, pollution and gas flaring in Ogoniland.
“The Report stated that samples were collected and taken from various oil sites or oi fields within and around Ogoniland for testing.
“While the UNEP report brought spotlight attention to the Ogoniland devastation and contamination, it was not different from Ogoni’s decades of fears.
“The report raised serious concerns about the presence of high levels of lead and benzene in the underground
waters. But it’s been eleven years of the big lie, half-truths, no truth and empty promises to this day since after the UNEP Report.
“However, HYPREP which is tasked with the cleaning of sites has not only ignored but abandoned UNEP recommendations and is now primarily involved with kickbacks and kick fronts from unqualified contractors, thereby pacing Royal Dutch Shell and the Nigerian government’s corruption ahead of Ogoni life expectancy and Nigeria national security.”
It was added that “a recent independent assessment and investigation in Ogoniland found significant contamination far worse than
the UNEP report discovered almost eleven years ago.”
According to the groups, this independent investigation found other kinds of radioactive or ecological contamination at levels far exceeding their expectations or acceptable levels.
This independent assessment, they said, also found that “radioactive or ecological
contaminations were found to be present in almost every site purportedly to have been cleaned by HYPREP and
HYPREP’S unqualified contractors.”
“Evidently, HYPREP or HYPREP’S unqualified contractors could not provide or show log in and log out records in line with international best practices records for independent validations.
“Furthermore, recent outbreak assessment in the area determined people who had increased decades exposure to radioactive or hydrocarbons or benzene or lead contamination in the area were now at higher heath risk of cancers, cognitive disorder, premature pregnancy and many other diseases.
“We respectfully ask you to declare a state of emergency to enable the United Nations and other international Organisations to deploy resources and personnel for the people to get access to medical care for the suffering, losses and damages for serious bodily and mental harm and life-saving assistance.
“NUOS INTL USA, CDHRAC INTL USA and Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni people are committed to advancing
the UNEP cleaning in Ogoniland and our position is clear and unambiguous.
“We can no longer live under the
unprecedented assault of hate, chaos and injustice showcased by HYPREP, the Nigerian government and the Royal Dutch Shell’s policies or politics of slow and steady killings of Ogoni people.
“We cannot allow HYPREP, the Nigerian government and the Royal Dutch Shell to use lead, or benzene or any of the poisonous chemicals to dismember its citizens or any other nation’s citizen or allow them to weaponize any poisonous agent as a weapon of mass destruction to kill or seriously caused serious bodily and mental harm.
“Given that any nation that does the above to the weak or those on the margin of society not only loses claim to its independence but also loses claim to its sovereign power and thereby exposes itself to sanctions from other nations.
“Sir, if there is ever a time that the world needs you to lead the fight against climate change or the fight against serious bodily and mental harm, that time is now.
“We humbly ask you to declare a state of
climate and health emergency in Ogoniland or impress it upon the Nigeria government and the Royal Dutch Shel to
immediately contract international remediation firms with professional experience and technical know-how capacity to stop this man-made outbreak misery,” they said.
It was revealed in the letter that on August 30th, 2022, “the United Nations Environmental Programs (UNEP), in its Bloomberg publication, indicted,
condemned and distance itself from HYPREP politics, poor judgment, and unprofessional practices of hiring unqualified contractors to use unscientific practices to defame and or use harmful chemicals to wash or spread wide the contamination far beyond reach that has caused serious bodily and mental harm.”
“So does the independent environmental assessment and investigation demonstrate or show or point to the same conclusion as well as the fragile situation on the ground?
“The recent trip of HYPREP’s Ministry of Environment to London is not a solution, but a lipstick on a pig or worst still picnic, spectacle and rhetoric politics to put a bandage on the unhealthy wound which is unacceptable to showcase a slow and gradual killing of Ogoni people and its enclaves.
“Finally, much has happened and much continues to happen in Ogoniland Niger Delta of Nigeria. So much so that HYPREP’s cutting corners policies of hate, chaos and injustice that have continued to contaminate and spread wide radioactive or ecological waste of Lead and Benzene into our underground waters is the cause and remains the cause of serious bodily and mental harm to the Ogonis.
“The above-intended genocide is hereby brought to you for your immediate attention and subsequent actions,” the groups said.