Ogoni: Shell Continues to Cast Shadow Over Human Rights in Nigeria
Photo courtesy of UNPO @Flikr
As the British-Dutch oil company pushes to return to the Ogoniland region, civil society actors warn about the risk for human rights that its presence would pose. Since the beginning of Shell’s operations in the Niger Delta in 1957, the company has been responsible for the ruthless exploitation of natural resources in the area, severely degrading the living conditions of the population. Should it succeed in its intention to regain the activity in the region, the respect for the rights of the Ogoni would once again be placed at risk.
The article below was published by newtelegraphonline.com :
The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) yesterday vowed that the people of Ogoni would resist an alleged plot by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to resume oil production in Ogoniland.
MOSOP in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Fegalo Nsuke, said the oil giant was still not permitted to explore oil in Ogoniland because the people of the area was still holding Shell responsible for the killing of Ogoni leaders in 1994 and 1995 and the persecution of other Ogoni.
He said rather than re-enter Ogonioland and begin oil production, the people in the area wanted Shell to immediately withdrawal all its equipment from the land. Nsuke said: “We state unequivocally that the actions of Shell are unacceptable to the Ogoni people. We note that Shell and its allies are still persona non-grata in Ogoniland. Consequently, any attempt to forcefully resume production in Ogoni without properly negotiating with all stakeholders will surely be resisted by the people and could lead to a breakdown of the peace and possible military crackdown as usual”.
“MOSOP therefore demand the immediate withdrawal of all equipment belonging to Shell in Ogoniland.
We still hold Shell responsible for the killing of our leaders 1994, 1995 and the subsequent persecution of our people, which led to the death of more than 4,000 others between 1993 and 1999. “We maintain that Shell or any of its allies are not wanted in Ogoniland. We call on Ogoni people to stand against Shell in any form they manifest, be it Belema Oil Producing Nigeria Limited, Robo Michael, NPDC or in any form they may choose to disguise”.
“We urge the Nigerian government to put an end to this continuous harassment of our people over oil and address our demands which are clearly stated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights and in particular, we demand the release of funds for the cleanup of our devastated environment.”