July 12, 2017

‘Niger Delta becoming dead zone, unsuitable for habitation’

By Perez Brisibe

UGHELLI—Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, FHRACC, has raised alarm that the Niger Delta region was fast becoming a dead zone, no longer suitable for habitation owing to the impact of oil exploration over the years.

The group also accused the Joint Task Force, JTF, codenamed Operation Delta Safe, of allegedly carrying out an economic war of aggression against the Niger Delta environment and causing more harm to the already degraded ecosystem.

FHRACC, while reacting to the concern raised by the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, ERA/FoEN, said oil extraction has destroyed the rural livelihoods of the people of the region, explaining that the position of the environmental group has vindicated the agitation of the Niger Delta people over the negative impact of crude oil explorations in the region.

The group, in a statement by its National President, Alaowie Cleric, explained that the position of ERA/FoEN has re-echoed earlier calls by FHRACC on the Federal Government to stop gas flaring in accordance with global best practices.

He said: “Niger Delta region is becoming a dead zone; no longer suitable for habitation as same is fast running out of the potency to sustain life, due to years of reckless exploratory activities.

“Government must brace up to the challenges by taking up some preventable measures in order to secure the lives that are already exposed to the danger of oil explorations/exploitations.

“One of the dangers associated with oil production in the region is gas flaring.”

Lamenting the activities of the JTF in the region, the group said: “The JTF is carrying out an economic war of aggression against the Niger Delta environment, an extension of what the multi-national oil companies have being doing to the region.

“The task force is causing more harm to the already degraded environment than the purpose it wants to achieve.

“We stand to condemn the JTF’s uncivilised practices by using wrong methods to tackle the menace of crude oil theft.”