Jesse JJesse Jackson, other U.S. activists warn Lagos govt against water privatization

.Urge Sanwo-Olu to embrace public water system

By Valentine Amanze

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has attracted criticisms from prominent U.S. citizens over his determination to privatise water in Lagos State.
The prominent U.S. citizens, who want the Lagos State governor to back off the obnoxious and anti-people water privatization plan include American civil rights activist and candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, Rev Jesse Jackson; President, Institute of the Black World 21st century and independent candidate for President of the USA in 1992, Dr. Ron Daniels; Senior Vice-President for Advocacy and Director on NAACP Washington Bureau, Hillary Shelton; Nayyirah Shariff, the director of Flint Rising; among other 11 African American and U.S.-based racial justice organizations.
Already, the group on February 4, 2020, formally wrote to the state governor to stop water privatization in the state.
In the letter, which the Environmental Rights Action (ERA) Deputy Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi; and Our Water Our Rights Coalition made available to the media in Lagos, the U.S. group advised the Lagos State government to abandon its privatisation agenda and consider the public water system, while maintaining that “water is human right.”

Part of the letter reads: “The Institute of the Black World 21st Century and the undersigned African American and U.S based racial justice organisations stand in solidarity with the people of Lagos, Nigeria, and our sisters and brothers on the continent as we collectively struggle together to achieve the universal human right to clean, safe drinking water.
“At a recent Roundtable discussion on water as a human right with African American leaders in Washington, D.C., we learned about the calculated strategy of multinational corporations to profit from the privatisation of water systems in Africa. Nigeria has emerged as the epicenter of this insidious effort.
“Because of our racial, cultural and historical relationships with the people of Africa, we have a strong commitment to standing in solidarity with the Our Water, Our Rights Coalition in Nigeria. As the people of Lagos, the largest city in Africa, face the ongoing threat of water privatisation, the Our Water Our Rights Coalition stands as a symbol of the power of people coming together and fighting for a water system that serves their communities instead of corporate interests.
“Accordingly, we call on the Lagos government to abandon its efforts at water privatisation and listen to the voices of the people who are demanding a public water system with the investment needed to work for all Lagosians.
“We have requested that the Congressional Black Caucus of the U.S. Congress use its full influence to bring attention to the demands of the Our Water Our Rights Coalition in Nigeria.”
Besides, Akinbode Oluwafemi, the ERA/FoEN Deputy Executive Director, had explained that nearly eight months into the life of the Sanwo-Olu administration, demands by the Our Water Our Right Coalition for a blue print on how to resolve the water crisis and recommendations on real solutions, have not elicited any response.
Other signatories include: Ebonie Riley (National Action Network, Bureau Chief, Washington DC), Ronnie Galvin (Vice-President for Racial Equity and Democracy Economy, Democracy Collaborative), Rev Terrence Melvin (President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, Albany, NY) among others.

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