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Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Ray of Hope

Of the saddening and glooming news emanating from Nigeria these days was this report that Shell on Friday was slapped with $1.5billion fine for environmental pollution by a federal high court in Port Harcourt. Just last year another court in Benin city had ordered Shell to stop its pollution and gas flaring. This development happilly points to a new direction on solving the myriad problems plaquing the Niger Delta region and Nigeria in general. The federal government of Obasanjo has continously shown its disinterest in helping its own people this leaves the courts as the only hopeful alternative and the Nigerian courts in all honesty despite having to carry out their operations in a non conducive environment still remain the only hope of the less priviledged in such a predatory society as ours outside of an hobbesian solution. The problem is Nigerians rarely appeal to legal authorities to right wrongs against them. Either they complicitly try to bribe their way around or simply suffer the injustice with grunt and the government with its continous flagrant disobedience of court rulings hasn't help matter but still if we want our democracy to work we must learn to use courts as means of redress.

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