The people of Ekuri
live in Cross River State in the southeast of Nigeria, deep in the heart of one of Nigeria’s last surviving
rainforests. These rainforests are
chimpanzees, some of the last forest elephants in West Africa and wild buffalo. All of this is about to disappear forever!
The Ekuri people
rely completely on their ancestral forests for everything. It provides not only fruits, vegetables and
other forest products but also their medicines and shapes their unique culture, language and identity. The Ekuri Initiative NGO was established to protect their forests and has successfully brought development benefits to their villages at the same time. But now this forest and with it the entire Ekuri way of
life, is threatened with destruction.
of Cross River State, Ben Ayade has announced the construction of a 260 km
superhighway to go from the coast to a small town called
Katsina-ala in Benue State to the north. The highway has no obvious economic benefit and is in effect, a highway to nowhere! The superhighway will rip through
the heart of the Ekuri rainforest opening it up to farming, logging and hunting on a massive scale. Worse still, in an unprecedented massive land grab, the Governor has seized the ancestral land of thousands of other forest dependent villagers, for 10 km
either side of the 6-lane superhighway for its entire 260 km length!
This superhighway will obliterate the entire Ekuri
forest destroying their way of life and leaving them homeless. The Ekuri
people have already written to the Governor and President Buhari making it
clear they will protect their forests through determined non-violent protests. However as we write bulldozers have already started clearing the forest in the village next to Ekuri WITHOUT an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) in place.
For more information (maps, community letters, etc.) go to this website:
SIGN AND SHARE THIS PETITION
“To President Buhari of Nigeria, the Cross State Governor Ben Ayade and the Federal Minister for Environment, Amina Mohammed:
We demand the Cross River State superhighway be
stopped immediately until a new route can be found that will safeguard the
rainforests and future of the Ekuri people.”
Posted: 24 February 2016 (Updated: 11 November 2016)