The politics of environmentalism and environmental degradation in Nigeria: The case of MOSOP
Job Imharobere Eronmhonsele, Chukwuemeka Egberase Okuchukwu, Imongan Ernest Omokhoa, Ubiebi Kingsley, Roy Ochuko Aboribo
The ills of environmental degradation in Nigeria became more prominent with the emergence of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) in the 1990s. This later led to the rise of environmentalism and environmental concerns in Nigeria with the emergence of various environmental movements like the Oil Watch, Nigeria. Since then environmentalism in Nigeria has been experiencing challenges which are political in nature. This paper analyzed the politics involved in environmentalism and environmental degradation in Nigeria with the case of MOSOP. The Concept of Environmentalism was adopted in explaining the study. Also, the group theoretical approach was also adopted in explaining the study. The methodology employed in this study for the purpose of data collection and analysis is the use of secondary data and historical method. It was discovered that there is politics involved in environmentalism in Nigeria, because environmental movements in their struggle for environmental rights and protection and in a bid to influence political process in Nigeria are caught in the web of politics as environmental movements often makes political demands on government. Also, it was discovered that MOSOP even as it advocates for environmental justice also made political demands on government as reflected in the Ogoni Bill of Rights presented to the Government and people of Nigeria on 26 August, 1990. The paper however recommends that environmental movements in the process of seeking to influence the political process and in their political demands/ activities should ensure that there is high level of commitment to the struggle of environmental rights and that environmental movements should focus more on environmental issues than politics.