Nigerian conservationist receiving death threats – speak out for his safety!

Environmentalist Odey Oyama Odey Oyama is one of Nigeria's most outspoken environmentalists. (© Rettet den Regenwald/Mathias Rittgerott)

Aug 23, 2016

The life of leading Nigerian environmentalist Odey Oyama is in danger: He is receiving death threats for standing up to the unbridled expansion of the palm oil industry and the planned Cross River superhighway project. Call on the governor of Cross River State to guarantee his safety.

As the director of Rainforest Resources Development Centre in southeastern Nigeria’s Cross-River State, Odey has received anonymous calls and emails threating his life for his lawsuit against Wilmar International and its land-grabbing oil palm plantations, as well as his unflinching opposition to plans to permit the deforestation of a 20-km wide corridor through five forest reserves for a planned superhighway.

Send a protest email:

Please write directly to the Governor of Cross River State, Ben Ayade, and call on him to ensure the safety of Odey Oyama and his fellow activists. Simply copy the text below into an email and send it to:

ngayi12@yahoo.com

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Your Excellency –

I write you today with great concern for the security of a resident of Cross River State. Mr. Odey Oyama has been advocating on the platform of the Rainforest Resource and Development Centre (RRDC) on behalf of environmental protection and human rights by taking a bold stance to prevent the harmful impacts of two projects in Cross River State.

Mr. Oyama has used legal means to raise concerns about the concessions given to Wilmar International for monoculture oil palm plantation development. These have been established inside the Cross River National Park. I request that these concessions be extinguished.

He has also spoken out, as have many others, against the current super highway project. This project includes an expansive buffer zone measuring 10 km on either side — making up a total of 5,200 square km of land that will threaten the natural and cultural heritages of more than 180 indigenous communities, who, I understand, may be evicted from their homes for this project. The 10 buffer zone should be revoked and the communities given back their land.

Recently, Mr. Oyama has received threats against his life issued by persons who are very agitated about these campaigns. While I respect that there are many different ways to approach development, and the state of Cross River most certainly has the right to pursue projects that will bring economic benefit, I am very concerned that these projects may be developed at the expense of human rights – in this case, the right to security of Mr. Odey Oyama.

I therefore request that you kindly use your good offices to investigate these matters and ensure the safety of Mr. Odey Oyama and all other law-abiding citizens in your state and country.

I thank Your Excellency for your kind consideration of this request.

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