The Progressive


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For Immediate Release
Contact: Email:,info(at)fwwatch(dot)org,Seth Gladstone -,

Fearing Environmental Terrorism, Advocates Call on Nigerian Government to Help Return Abducted International Environmental Activist to Safety

 Statement of Food & Water Watch International Policy Director Darcey O’Callaghan


"Following the kidnapping this week of Justina Ojo, wife of Godwin Uyi Ojo, an internationally-renowned environmental activist and executive director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), Food & Water Watch is calling on Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari and Edo State governor Adams Oshiomhole to help return her safely and unconditionally to her family.

"The kidnapping, which occurred the evening of February 22 at gun-point outside Ojo's home in Benin City, Nigeria by unknown abductors, is consistent with cases of environmental terrorism. The ERA was founded by the legal counsel that defended activist Ken Saro Wiwa, and is no stranger to persecution. ERA staff has been targeted with violence and intimidation previously, and we fear that this attack may be politically motivated.

There's something in the air...

"We also call on the United States government to urge the government of Nigeria to immediately address this kidnapping. The Uyi Ojo family lives a modest lifestyle and has long been committed to public service and environmental sustainability. Both Justina and her husband are Nigerian citizens.

"Despite efforts by the Nigerian police, high profile abductions have been increasing. It is a great travesty that such violence could have the additional effect of deterring people from environmental justice work.

"Today we join Akinbode Oluwafemi, deputy director of ERA/FoEN in urging the abductors to release Justina unharmed, and we encourage the international community to increase pressure on the Nigerian police to locate her. Justina and her family are in our thoughts as we look forward to her safe return."

Food & Water Watch mobilizes regular people to build political power to move bold and uncompromised solutions to the most pressing food, water, and climate problems of our time. We work to protect people's health, communities, and democracy from the growing destructive power of the most powerful economic interests.

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