Shell Continue Harassment of The Ogoni In The Rivers State
Following a story first reported on this website earlier this week, UNPO President Ledum Mitee of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) comments on the situation in Ogoniland.
Below is an article written by UNPO:
On 11 December 2007,
The most prominent force in the Delta is the Shell Petroleum Development Company of
Criss-crossing the rich agricultural land of the Delta are the numerous pipelines that carry oil at pressure over farmland and through villages. With little consideration for those living in their midst, these pipelines have coursed through prime agricultural land, key water sources, and the cemeteries of the local Ogoni people.
While the oil that lies beneath the Niger Delta finds its way to the offshore tanker terminals, by-products of the extraction process are simply burned at site. The result is a landscape illuminated at night by roaring flares that burn twenty-four hours a day, releasing harmful gases into the environment, and leaving surrounding homes and land covered in a fine black powder. As soon as it begins to rain, this black ink of soot and water runs down from roofs to the fields and watercourses, carrying with it numerous chemicals which go on to denude the landscape and damage the livelihoods of local people. Speaking at the most recent protest to be held, MOSOP’s Information Officer, Bari-ara Kpalap reasserted MOSOP’s stance in supporting “all those opposing gas flaring, which has been a curse on the Niger Delta for 50 years. It has damaged our environment daily, and now it is contributing to climate change which threatens all of
Until 1990 there were limited channels for local people to make their grievances known, but with the founding of MOSOP in the same year a concerted drive was made to raise awareness of the environmental degradation facing the Ogoni and their neighbors in the Niger Delta. The movement gained international visibility with the murder by
Eighteen years since its founding and despite its vehement commitment to adhere to the principle of nonviolent protest, the leader of the movement, Ledum Mitee noted that the Nigerian government “appears to see and respond to the Niger Delta issue championed by our crusade via the narrow prism of those who unleash violence and do other condemnable acts”.
The lack of action in addressing the failing oil infrastructure, environmental destruction, and poverty in
Note: Mr Litee has also commented on the issues facing Ogoni people in
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