Sylvester Idowu in Warri
A non governmental organisation (NGO), Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) weekend protested against environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region as part of activities marking the United Nations World Earth Day.
CEPEJ, in synergy with the people of the oil rich Ogulagha community in Burutu Local Government area of Delta State, on Saturday staged a peaceful protest round the community including the site of Shell Development Company (SPDC) operated Forcados Export Terminal as well as other oil companies in the area decrying the effect of oil degradation on the earth.
Some of their placards read: “Our environment is our future, protect it”; ” Environment protection is key to our future”; “Our environment is our heritage, preserve it”; “Gas flaring is obvious enemy to our health, stop it” amongst others.
National Coordinator of CEPEJ, Comrade Sheriff Mulade said the protest was to bring to the fore the effect of environmental degradation resulting from oil exploration and exploitation and the resultant effect on the earth.
He noted that the earth and environment were the same hence the protest against environmental degradation which impacts on the earth and in turn affects humanity.
“We are here to protest the impact of environmental degradation on the earth that we are celebrating. Oil exploration and exploitation have tremendous impact on the earth hence our desire to sensitise our people and government on its impact on the earth”, he said.
Chairman of Ogulagha conmunity, Captain Solomon Prebor decried the level of poverty in the cimmunity inspite of oil exploration in the area which affects their source of livelihood.
“We produce about 10,000 barrels of oil per day here and there is nothing to show for it. We have made several representations to the federal government and the oil companies here but no response”, he said.