The centre for 21st century Issues and Ethnic Minority rights of Africa (EMIROAF) on the 22nd of November organized a memorial anniversary interactive session for the late ogoni Environmental activists who was murdered by the Nigerian state under the late Millitary ruler General Sani Abacha on November 10, 1995, seventeen years ago for advocating for the socio economic rights of the Ogoni people. The theme of the interactive session is “ETHNIC MINORITY STRUGGLE FOR GROUP FREEDOM”
Papers were presented on the following topics by resource persons:
(A) Constitutional Amendment or Constitutional Conference?
(B) The United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) Ogoni report, how far?
The Executive Director of Centre for 21st Century issues, Ms Titi Akosa spoke on the collaboration between EMIROAF and C21st on this year’s event which was also held last year. Ms Akosa emphasized that today’s occasion calls for sombre reflection for all to work with the Ogoni people to get compensation for the environmental injustice meted out to them. She told the audience that Ken Saro Wiwa fought for a just cause for which he was murdered and that the cause for which Ken Saro Wiwa was killed has been vindicated by the UNEP 2011 report. The report confirmed that Ogoniland, water and eco system is despoiled and polluted. The Ogoniland and people are endangered species due to the environmental disaster occasioned by the activities of the oil companies. She highlighted that till date, the federal government of Nigeria is foot dragging on the implementation of the UNEP 2011 report.
She linked the injustice perpetrated by the Nigerian state on the ogoni people to climate injustice which the developing countries are suffering today. She called on the Nigerian government not only to ensure environmental justice for the ogoni people but also the Nigerian people who have been devastated by the impacts of flood in recent times . The devastating impacts of flood experienced in almost 26 states of the Nigerian federation is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria, many are still unable to recover from the devastation.
The executive director of C21st called on the federal government to join all other progressive developing countries to demand climate justice in the UNFCCC climate change negotiations coming up in Doha, Qatar in December 2012.