© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Oronto Douglas, President Jonathan’s Chief Strategist Dies
Oronto Douglas, the chief strategist of outgoing Nigerian President, Goodluck Jonathan, is dead.
Douglas, 49, who served as the special adviser, Research, Documentation and Strategy, to Jonathan passed on at the State House clinic, Abuja, at about 4:58, Thursday morning.
Born in 1966, Douglas rose to limelight in the nation’s polity and internationally through his spirited activism as an environmental activist who struggled for the recognition of oil producing communities in the Niger Delta.
He was a commissioner for information in Bayelsa State in the government of Diepreye Alamieyeseigha and served as a delegate from the state for the 2005 National Political Reform Conference organized by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.
He served as one of the lawyers in the defence team of the erstwhile Ogoni leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was killed by military fiat on November 10, 1995.by the regime of late dictator, Sani Abacha.
Douglas co-founded Africa’s foremost environmental movement, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth, Nigeria.
He equally worked at many non-profit organisations within and outside the country. He was once hosted, in his capacity as a Niger Delta activist, at the White House by former American President Bill Clinton.
Douglas was a Fellow of the George Bell Institute, England, and the International Forum on Globalization, USA.
He is believed to have presented academic papers in over 200 international conferences around the world and had been invited to speak on human rights violations and the environmental neglect issues in at least 50 countries.
He co-authored a series, “Where Vultures Feast”, an in-depth study on Shell and human rights violation in the Niger Delta region.
Douglas has been widely described as one of Jonathan’s most effective and ingenious aides and is believed to have commanded respect in the President’s inner circle as well as the Niger Delta.
As an aide to Jonathan, he was tasked with documenting the President’s achievements and strides in governance as well as coordinating media and campaign strategies for the presidency.
Douglas, who had been battling cancer for many years, had nevertheless served as a background source of inspiration for Jonathan all through the 2015 presidential campaigns and had expressed optimism on social media that his principal would win.
He is said to have died from cancer related complications.