I remember I met Nnimmo for the first time in the first Oilwatch International meeting held in Mexico City. I met him second time in Ecuador in 1997. He was arrested on arrival at the Nigeria Airport in Lagos on 26th October 1997. He was detained in the airport for the night and transferred to the Head Office of the SSS in Lagos the next morning.
As he wrote us later, "all through Monday I was subjected to rigorous interrogations. I spent Monday night in their cell. No talk of convenience in the cell! I regained partial freedom at about 8 pm on Tuesday night, I was allowed out of their center, but with all my luggage held hostage. That included my eye glasses, wedding ring, wrist watch and wallet. I was further interrogated on Wednesday and Thursday. Centred on my involvement in the struggle for a better environment in Nigeria. Centred also on my activism in the Oilwatch network. I was finally released yesterday [Friday 31st October 1997]. My luggage was returned to me but my Passport is still being held."
Where is the liberty? Where my freedom? Our freedom?? I have to keep reporting to the SSS and that in itself is dangerous! That's the price to pay for fighting for an environment suitable for mankind. He wrote..
Now Nnimmo is the Chairperson of the Friends of the Earth International, the largest grassroots environmental network. This Monday Nnimmo Bassey will be one of the five recipients of the 2010 Right Livelihood Award. This award is often referred to as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize'.
Nnimmo Bassey, who is also Executive Director of Friends of the Earth Nigeria, was nominated for this award "for revealing the full ecological and human horrors of oil production and for his inspired work to strengthen the environmental movement in Nigeria and globally."