President Jonathan’s top aide, Oronto Douglas, is dead

Oronto Douglas

Oronto Douglas, the Special Adviser to President Goodluck Jonathan on Research, Documentation and Strategy, is dead.

Mr. Douglas, 49, a presidency source said, passed on at the State House clinic at 4:58 a.m. Thursday.

The real cause of his death is unknown at this time, but the presidential adviser is said to have managed a terminal illness for sometime, and had, from time to time, sought treatment abroad for prolonged periods.

Born 1966, Mr. Douglas is regularly described as one of Mr. Jonathan’s most brilliant and influential aides, documenting the President’s achievements and legacies, and helping coordinate parallel media and campaign strategies for the presidency.

“He was one of those who had the most far-reaching influence on President Jonathan,” a presidential aide said.

A lawyer and committed environmentalist, Mr. Douglas was a commissioner for information in Bayelsa and was a delegate from the state for the 2005 National Political Reform Conference organised by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration.

He emerged one of the shinning stars of that conference as the Niger Delta region pushed for improved revenue allocation to the area to mitigate the effect of oil exploitation.

Mr. Douglas’ last Facebook post was on March 8 when he shared the video of Mr. Jonathan’s interview with foreign news channel, Al-Jazeera, in the runup to the March 28 presidential election.

“The Conviction with which President Jonathan says “I Will Not Lose the Election’ is compelling almost to the point of prophesy. This is a President well connected to his people,” he wrote in what appears his analysis of Mr. Jonathan’s performance in the interview.

Below is how Mr. Douglas described himself on his Facebook page.

Oronto Douglas; is a leading human rights attorney in Nigeria, and served as one of the lawyers on the defense team for the Ogoni leader Ken Saro Wiwa, who was executed by Nigeria’s military rulers in 1995. Douglas co- founded Africa’s foremost environmental movement, the Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria and has served in the board of several non profit organizations within and outside Nigeria. Though he has been arrested and tortured by successive military regimes, he continues to work for and speak out on issues of social justice in a corporate- military state.

He was the first Niger Delta activist to be hosted by a serving American President – he presented the Niger-Delta struggle at the White House to President Bill Clinton. Douglas who advises the Nigerian Vice President on strategic issues of community and the environment, is a fellow of both the George Bell Institute (England) and the International Forum on Globalization (USA). Widely traveled, Douglas has presented papers in over 200 international conferences and has visited over 50 countries to speak and present on human rights and the environment. He is the author of several works including the ground breaking WHERE VULTURES FEAST, Shell and human rights in the Niger Delta which he co-authored with his friend Ike Okonta.

Environmentalist and Special Adviser to the President on Research, Documentation and Strategy, Oronto Douglas has been named among the 20 most influential writers, thinkers, and activists in the world. Mr Douglas was listed in a recent book “Political Awakenings: Conversations with History” by Harry Kreiser the Executive Director of the Institute of International Studies, University of California. Mr Douglas was selected with 19 others, from 485 interviews of people which the book described as “distinguished men and women who by the power of their intellect and strength of character shape the world.” Mr Douglas made the Science, Food and The Environment: Movement for Justice category which comprised select individuals that have challenged corporate power which seeks to disproportionately reap the benefits of science and technology to the detriment of the society.


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  • Kay Soyemi (Esq.)

    It is appointed unto man to die, but once.

    RIP, Oronto.

    • Alfredo

      I regret the loss of any intellectual. Intellectuals are a country’s best assets.
      This intellectual lost is Nigeria’s loss. My sincere condolence to his family.

    • Abdulazeez Oyibo

      …..and after that, judgement!

  • Desmond Blessing

    Distributor at dangote cement factory Obajana, buy a bag of dangote cement at
    #1000 per 50Kg bag, call Sales Rep Mrs Abimbola 08039415204 for more Details

  • oba

    Good bye and may God protect his family and Nigeria

  • burning spear

    MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE

  • Maybe

    Maybe this is what TB Joshua was prophesying when he said a ‘great’ politician would lose his life and it would happen in the night on Wednesday or Thursday…

    • humm

      Hey my prediction is that a well known preacher will die between Monday to Saturday in 2015. C’mon, please stop falling for this bogus stuff. He should have foreseen his church collapsing.

  • Salisu Suleiman

    Power is transient, life even more so.

    What matters is the legacy of good we leave behind, not how influential
    we were in life, or how much money we leave behind. . . .

    • Niyi Akinlabu

      Such wise thing to say. Thank you.

    • hummm

      True dat. You are spot on.

  • Onosobedi2000

    Orontolaw, may your soul rest in peace

  • Lawrence Azubuike

    Rest in peace Oronto Douglas.

  • bib

    May his soul great in peace. But his advice did not show positively on Mr President. Never had human rights been so blatantly abused in Nigeria than in the outgoing regime.

  • kate

    Hmmmm. RIP

  • Esther Vikthur

    It’s even most painful for President Jonathan to loss his aide at a time like this – our prayers go to the presidency and the family of Oronto Douglas

  • gbam

    RIP

  • Chris1408

    RIP, it’s sad that such a brilliant man was associated with this failed administration

    • Ceejay

      Unintelligent comment

  • Otile

    Wallahi, continent 9ja will soon become a Golgotha under the APC Islamic regime. God save us.

    • Scalywag

      Hahaaaaaaaa. Courage. Take courage dear friend. Don’t despair. It’s only those crumbs you will miss. Brace up and work hard. No more free lunch because you come from the Niger Delta

  • _Proudly Niger Deltan

    My comrade goes to the land of the saints. But his spirit, brilliance, doggedness, drive and infectious enthusiasm remain with us in our struggle for self determination. These are most important. Rest in peace and let the saints know that our rivers are still soaked with pollution by the environmental terrorist oil companies and their continent Nigerian collaborators.

    Let the Saints know that our lands and deep water resources are still being exploited by Nigeria while the give us a paltry and highly provocative 13%.

    Let the Saints know that it is worse now than then. But that we are not fainting nor do we despair bcos we’ve gone too far to stop now.

    Let Wiwa know that he who was part of the Government that hanged him and 8 others is coming back to grab power with the help of the Y….

    But the struggle continues. We are sure of victory bcos we know that the triumph of evil over good can only be transient.

    Rest in peace!!!
    God bless the Niger Delta Republic

    • Aaron Nwogu

      Sad to hear of the demise of this enigma. A facebook friend I so much treasure and a defender of the oppressed like me. An institution ended so soon, the Niger Delta has lost another illustrious son. Today the scar of Ken Saros’ death has been opened afresh and the sore gone putrid.

  • Alexander Ibhade Igwe

    May his gentle soul rest in the Lord. This is big loss.

  • Scalywag

    The death of every human being diminishes the human race. RIP