Here in Nigeria the Earthday 2001 usually slated for 22nd April, every year was celebrated with lots of events. It was an opportunity for different civil society groups, NGOs, CBOs and unions to come together to jointly resist all forms of anti-human development,environmental degradation and social-economic injustice been afflicted on us by the government , multinationals corporations, and other world neolibral economic agents like the WTO, WORLD BANKS, ADB , IMF etc.
Three major programmes were map out for the event which commenced on the 21st of April and end on the 22nd, April,2001.
The activities that follows:marked the two days long programme are as
1. A ROUND TABLE FORUM WITH THE THEME: GLOBALISATION AND DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA- THE WAY FORWARD.
2. EF! NIGERIA FLAG OFF
3. RALLY,..TELEVISION CONFERENCE …….
ROUND TABLE FORUM
The forum took place on the 21st day of April,2001 at the International head office of Environmental Rescue International (ERI), EF!NIGERIA . It was well attended by different activist from different parts of Nigeria. Activists in attendance cut across different movements from various areas struggle for freedom. Over twenty nine activists from 19 peoples' movements attended the forum. These moveents were drawn from human rights, environmental conservation groups, health, poverty alleviation, women empowerment, political and social economic concerned movements.
The major highlight for the programme was a paper delivered by Winters Negbenebor, the executive director of ERI on the theme of the forum. His paper gave a detail break down of what globalisation is all about, hence creating a better picture globalisation issues and the struggle of other groups from different parts of the world.
The presence of the neolibbral economic agents and their local Nigeria collaborators were also exposed in the course of the paper. He stated that these multinationals and other world bodies like WTO, WB, ADB, IMF etc are in Nigeria to steal our resource, kill local people and rape and destroy their virgin environment. He cited the issues of oil spillage, killing of local people and their environment are nolonger new in our country. He stated that though these massacre are never reported in our dailys and magazines but we all have records and statistic of these happenings.
Also, issues of Nigeria foreign debt came to focus in his paper. He traced the debt problem to the influence the IMF, WB and WTO have selfishly developed in Nigeria and other parts of Africa over the years to plunder the continent into debt.
The view of ERI which was presented by the executive director states that globalisation is all about terrorism of the Africa people. ERI identified some of the major effects of the new world terror "GLOBALISATION" to include among others poverty, environmental degradation, human right violation, resource exploitation, and destruction of the people culture, welfare and their communities. He cited the acceptance of IMF loan in the 1980s by the then head of state of Nigeria as a complete plot by the head of state and his collaborators-the IMF to completely impoverish the people , which he said is a complete violation and rape of the people rights to life and development. These and many other similar transaction between the Nigeria government and the WTO,IMF and the World Bank have completely disvalued the Nigeria currency to an exchange rate of 1$ to 130 Naira, official rate, ( and 150 Naira to $1 at black market rate at as 10th May 2001). This is against the 1979 exchange rate of $2 to 1 Naira.
The dominance of multinational corporations in almost all resource rich communities in Africa and their continous exploitation of the peoples resources with no respect for the environment and the welfare of local community people was also cited. ERI lamented over the unbearable situation and the persistent cry of the Niger-delta people who's resources are been exploited and their environment been continuously destroyed. He said that the presence of multinationals like Shell,Mobil,Elf, Agip, Chevron etc has never produced an atom of blessing to the continent , but rather terror on the people, their community and the resources. ERI also traced the origin of the neolibral economic agents that resulted in "globalisation" to the meetng of Briton Wood of the early 1940s. He traced the WTO,WB,and IMF to that meetng and also made His presentation by saying that the presence of these agents in Nigeria and other parts of Africa is to the detriment and exploitation of the southern people, their resources and their life. Since globalisation does not include southern people welfare and their environment into consideration. ERI also cited the issue of the American President who completely refuted the complience of America to the kyoto protocol and promise to emit gases with no respect for the world's environment and the effect it will have on the countries in the South.
In conclusion, ERI called on all organisations and groups present to resist all forms of economic globalisation, resist GMO products, and all operations of multinationals in the continent. ERI called for a working network of all movements in Africa to harmonise the struggle of the Africa people . He also used the forum to solicite for support from organisation in the north to facilitate the struggle of the region. Also a call of all Africa movement to identify with the PGA as a global movement harmonising the struggle of all people of the world against economic globalization was called for by ERI.
The presence of EF! Nigeria was also strongly introduce as a harmonising movement that is furthering the struggle of different people and communities across the globe. All the organizations present pledged their continuos support to resistance all forms of social, environmental and economic injustice.
Other participants also gave their contributions in this direction. Supporting and refuting and resisting opressions, economic globalisation, human rights violations and other social and environmental injustice.
A call was also made for support by activists organisations, groups /donor to support our struggle here in Africa, to enable us fight against the above mentioned ills.
THE CONFERENCE COMMUNIQUE ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1.To resist all efforts of WTO,WB, ADB, IMF and their operations in Nigeria and other parts of africa.
2. To resist all forms of economic globalisation through all possible means including direct action.
3.To undertake a detail study of all projects of WB,WTO,IMF,ADB,and their effects on local communities.
4 To form a campaign / monitoring strategies against all actvities of multinational corporations in Nigeria, particularly Shell, Mobil, Agip, Cheveron etc.
5. To resist and refuse all forms of GMO seeds and products being pumped into nigeria and other african countries.
6. To establish an independent media network to break the unusual protocol in publishing peoples struggle and means of sharing information and dessemination of same to other parts of the world. this will enable the world have the freedom.
EARTH FIRST!NIGERIA fLAG OFF
The EF! Nigeria was officially flag off in the ancient City of Benin. It was witness by activists, union, NGOs, CBOs and university students.
This event took place during our celebration of earthday 2001 here in nigeria. The flag off was marked with a round table conference on globalisation in Nigeria.
Several activist took the opprtunity to enlist into ef! Nigeria and the pledge to upholt to the philosophy of ef! We also made open our sincere desire to work with other groups and persons from any part of the world. Photos of this event has been attached to this report.
PUBLIC RALLY..TELEVISION CONFERENCE
On earthday sunday 22nd April 2001, Eri and other groups converned a rally of activists in protest against economic globalisation and other environmental and social injustice in the continent.
The event took place in benin city with over Two hundred and eleven participants. Our opinions were displayed directly on banners and cards with different inscriptions like DON,T KILL US... DON,T KILL OUR ENVIRONMENT. NO TO WTO, WB AND IMF. NO TO ECONOMIC GLOBALISATION. DON,T PRIVATISE US ...DON,T PRIVATISE OUR WATER, HEALTH AND AIR. WE NEED FREEDOM etc.
The rally was rounded up at ERI,EF!Nigeria office.A television conference programme was also sponsored by ERI,EF! nigeria to focus on vital issues sorrounding economic globalisation. This event was relayed on EDO BROADCASTING TELEVISION/RADIO and its target viewers was 20,000 people across nigeria. Through the participation of actvists groups the television conference was really a productive event.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT US AT:
ENVIRONMENTAL RESCUE INTERNATIONAL (ERI),EF! NIGERIA
INTERNATIONAL HEAD OFFICE:
20 DAWSON ROAD,
BY FORESTRY JUNCTION,
TEL: 234 52 25 45 29