By Samuel Oyadongha
YENAGOA—Chairman of Bayelsa State Environmental Degradation Commission and Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu, yesterday, alerted that the state was facing environmental terrorism and genocide
He said it would be an unfair understatement for anybody to describe the magnitude of violence done to the environment due to spillages and pollution by the oil firms as degradation.
Sentamu, after a Special Sunday Service, yesterday, in Yenagoa, lamented that the environment had been destroyed because of unchecked pollution, which culminated in the destruction of the people’s sources of livelihood.
The cleric said he embarked on a trip for about six hours on the waterways without seeing any bird flying because of the violence unleashed on the environment.
Blaming the oil companies for not taking into cognizance the negative effects of their activities, he called on the people to speak out and draw international attention to their plight.
He said: “The problem is that when you talk about environmental degradation, it sounds as if it’s acceptable. In other words, it’s bad but not really too bad whereas genocide is a tough word, you are actually killing.”
“Do you know that I went to the river for about four to six hours without seeing a single bird flying anywhere? You would have expected me to see them because there should be plenty of them but the environment and habitat have been destroyed, so the people found themselves with all kind of diseases and suffering.
“What is going on is that the bio- diversity is not what it should be, so we need words that actually express what the truth is. You know as I said in my sermon, corruption has become a very weak word because it doesn’t tell you who is corrupt or who is corrupting who, I will rather use the word organise theft and organised bribery, that what is causing the trouble.”