Top government functionaries, political associates, mourners, family members and well-wishers of late Barr. Oronto Natei Douglas Saturday 2nd May, 2015 gathered at Federal University Otuoke for the commissioning of the E-library donated by the late human rights activist as part of activities marking his final departure and internment to mother Earth.
Facilitated by Oronto’s foundation Community Defence Law Foundation (CDLF), the project is named after President Goodluck Jonathan’s project supervisor, Prof. Charles Bruce Powell, a highly respected teacher in biodiversity studies of the Niger Delta.
Commissioning the library, President Goodluck Jonathan extolled Oronto Douglas virtues as a complete gentleman, a lover of education, an uncommonly gifted, courageous and steadfast fighter for the rights of the down-trodden.
Represented at the occasion by Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson, President Jonathan said Oronto left behind an enduring legacy that will stand the test of time. According to him, Oronto’s demise as a legal luminary and dogged activist has created a vacuum in the nation’s civil society community. President Jonathan also described his late aide as a most strident voice who pioneered conscious engagement with the aim of redressing the environmental and social wrongs done to the people of the Niger Delta region.
Noting that Oronto also fought for the intellectual emancipation of the human race, President Jonathan urged the University community to put the project to good use for the advancement of knowledge in the institution.
Welcoming the guests at the commissioning, the Vice Chancellor Federal University Otuoke, Prof. Mobolaji Aluko, represented at the occasion by the Registrar, Mr. David Suowari, euologised the ideals and visions of late Oronto Douglas.
The Vice Chancellor commended Community Law Defence Foundation (CDLF) founded by Oronto Douglas for building such an edifice within the University campus. He however assured the guests of the University’s determination to preserve the project to ensure the vision of the donor late Oronto Douglas lives on.
The E-library has --- 31,000 E-books, 500 books and 23 computers.
Late Oronto Douglas was a leading human rights attorney and author and one of the team of lawyers who represented Ken Saro-Wiwa during his trial under the Sani Abacha regime.
The environmentalist co-founded Africa’s foremost environmental movement, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, the platform which he used to fight against environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region by oil companies.