By Samuel Oyadongha
AN environment advocacy group, SING Foundation, yesterday, staged a procession in the streets of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, to mark the World Environment Day, WED, calling on the Federal Government to end gas-flaring in the state and Niger Delta.
Accompanied by officials of Environment Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, ERA/FoEN, the group lamented that the continued illegal acts of gas-flaring in some Bayelsa communities, including Polako community in Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state, was a clear case of genocide against the people by the oil multinationals.
Members of the group, led by Tony Ile, supported by Mohammed Hassan of SING Foundation and Morris Alagoa of ERA, noted with concern that despite a Federal High Court judgment delivered against one of the oil majors in Benin City, Edo State in 1984, the issue of gas-flaring had continued to devastate homes, farms and indigenes of oil-bearing communities of the region.
Ile, in a speech read and presented to Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Mr Samuel Numunengi, on behalf of Executive Director of SING, Idris Usman, said the theme of this year’s celebration “Beat Air Pollution,” was to raise serious awareness on the menacing trend of gas-flaring and other oil exploration activities in the Niger Delta region.”
It is worrisome to note that nearly 77million people worldwide die prematurely each year from air pollution.
“The SING foundation will also be using the opportunity of this year’s event, to urge government, oil companies, manufacturing industries, communities and individuals to come together to explore options of renewable energy and green technologies, in order to improve air qualities in cities and communities across the Niger Delta and the country at large.”
“We are also determined to work with every relevant stakeholder, in order to advance the well-being of humanity through the environment.
“We shall also continue to encourage government, private sector and citizens on the need to galvanise actions into a collective power that generates an exponential positive impact on the planet,” he said.