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Nigeria’s Ogoni leaders to meet with regional governor


Nigeria’s Ogoni leaders to meet with regional governor

Nyesome Wike
Photo: The Guardian Nigeria

Ogoni political and community leaders will host a reception today in honor of the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike in Bori, a city in Khana Local Government.

The Ogoni people, living in Southeastern Nigeria, near the Niger Delta, have long suffered from pollution linked to Shell’s commercial oil extraction since the 1950s. The Nigerian federal government has long delayed environmental remediation and suppressed local groups to expand oil production. Additionally, the Nigerian Government has faced significant criticism from international organizations for its lack of action, but the criticism has been muted. Nyesom, who has increasingly criticized the government for making little progress in remediation, has won the Ogoni people’s support because of his commitment to development projects in the region.

Expect the local people to show their appreciation for Nyesom’s contributions as he is likely to continue to discredit the government during today’s meeting. Given the longstanding suppression of the Ogoni in relation to the effects of the oil industry, it is unlikely that any significant announcements will be made following the meeting. Additionally, the lack of strong, consistent international pressure for Nigeria to demand recompense for the Ogoni people, coupled with Nyesom’s popularity will only further delay any substantial remediation efforts by Shell or the federal government.

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