Uduaghan Applauds UK Court Decision On Ogoni Oil Spill

Source: THEWILL. - thewillnigeria.com
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ASABA, August 07, (THEWILL) - Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has hailed the decision of the UK High Court ordering Shell to pay compensation to the Bodo community in Ogoni land.

Shell is expected to pay over $410 million United States Dollars after it claimed responsibility for two spills as alleged by the Bodo Community in the lawsuit.

The governor in a statement weekend by his aide, Mr. Paul Odili, said, “Justice is gradually being done to the people of the Niger Delta, whose land, water and way of life were long destroyed by oil spillage and refusal of oil companies to clean up the spillages and accept responsibility for the failure of their systems, including the negligence to rehabilitate their infrastructure.

“For years spillages have occurred incessantly in the zone, with no one accepting to halt the devastation that gradually eroded the livelihood of the people of the zone, who are mainly farmers and fisher men for generations. The usual claims of International Oil Companies of sabotage is ringing hallow by the day.

“I welcome the decision of the UK Court in London on the Bodo community petition over the oil spill that occurred in 2008. The class action suit filed by the affected community is a clear indication of the increasing awareness of the people to the harm being done to them and to seek justice through due process instead of violence.

“I must stress that one of the causes of the Niger Delta crisis was that people were driven into violence because of mass poverty triggered by the wide spread despoliation of their environment.

“The truth is that despite this victory, the Niger Delta is still an environmental wasteland on account of several oil spills not cleaned up as quickly as it should and therefore a lot is still to be done.

“My interest in environmental issues is to seek ways to urge international support to take more committed action to protect the environment. I have, as part of steps to determine the harm done to Delta State, appointed a university academic and international consultant, Prof Richard Steiner to study and conduct an assessment of the damage to Delta State from Oil and Gas exploration and exploitation over the last 50 years.

“The aims of this exercise are to identify the damage caused by five decades of oil and gas development in Delta State, advice on remediation strategy and reduce the risk of future damage,” the governor stated.