Dec 12, 2007

Ogoni: Protest at Shell Headquarters

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) marched to Shell Headquarters for the first time in three years opposing the abuses of the oil company in Ogoniland.

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) marched to Shell Headquarters for the first time in three years opposing the abuses of the oil company in Ogoniland.

Below is an excerpt press released published by Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP):


“Shell has not extracted oil from Ogoni for over 14 years but the corruption and violence which are associated with their pipelines running across Ogoni is continuing,” said MOSOP spokesperson Bari-ara Kpalap in Port Harcourt.

“In the past few weeks we have seen known criminals who have damaged pipelines in the past for profit being engaged by SPDC to gain access to key parts of their pipelines.”

“These are the same people who were arrested by the Kegbera Dere community just weeks ago for damage, which caused six oil fires that burnt for over 3 months, polluting our communities and our environment.”

The deliberate sponsorship of miscreants for the purposes of protecting its interests including vandalisation oil pipelines, which causes spills and fires in order to win corrupt contracts and violence against perceived opposition to her interests, had inflicted huge crises in Ogoni communities. 

“Despite our protests, which have already gone as far as the Netherlands, Shell has taken no action. Even when these fires were burning Shell continued to pump oil on damaged pipelines, all in the name of profit.”

“We are using December 10th, International Human Rights Day, to associate our call for justice with the pending 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

“The United Nations has long recognised the injustices in Ogoni and the Niger Delta as a whole. We are calling on the UN and the international community to recognise that abuses are continuing and that injustices in the name of oil production must end now.”

MOSOP’s protest falls on the same day that other groups are calling for an end to gas flaring in the Niger Delta.

“We associate ourselves with 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 Africa.”

“We cannot accept that oil companies can tell the international community and the public that they are concerned about climate change and then ask for an extension of gas flaring in the Niger Delta. It is hypocrisy beyond words.”

“Our stance is also informed by reports, endorsed by our own President, which say that agriculture, which is the lifeblood of our communities, will inevitably be impacted by climate change.”

“We hope that every well meaning Nigerian will rise up in opposition to gas flaring when they realise that climate change will eventually imperil with sea level rises affecting every low lying coastal community in Nigeria- from Lagos to Akassa and beyond,” said Bari ara Kpalap for MOSOP.

Background Information

Shell ceased oil extraction operations in Ogoni in 1993, after widespread protests triggered by police violence during pipeline construction by oil servicing company Wilbros. Pipelines running across Ogoni still carry around 200,000 barrels of oil per day to the Bonny export terminal.

Shell declared “force majeure” for several weeks in May 2007 when youths closed valves on the pipeline at Kegbara Dere, in Ogoni. Shell later operated the pipelines despite oil fires caused by sabotage that burnt between June 20th and October 19th 2007.

(Source: MOSOP)