Shell and the military dictatorship of Nigeria have earned billions at the expense of the people of the Niger Delta, who now live in extreme poverty, and have lost many traditional sources of livelihood. From Ogoniland, an area about 404 square miles, Shell has extracted $30 billion worth of oil in the last 30 years, yet the region lacks functional hospitals, roads, steady electricity, and pipe-borne water. Shell must provide monetary compensation for loss of land, resources, income and life to people in oil producing regions in the Niger Delta who have experienced environmental devastation and military brutality.
The Nigerian military is currently occupying lands belonging to the Ijaw, who are demanding environmental justice on their oil-rich land. Ijaw land provides 2/3 of Nigeria's oil. Until the military leaves the regions where Shell operates, people will be violently prevented from organizing for their own freedom. The dictatorship's military deployments are intended to protect the interests of multinational oil corporations, not the people. Shell must make a public call for immediate demilitarization of Ijaw territories, Ogoniland and all other parts of the Niger Delta where Shell operates.
Shell has imported weapons for the Nigerian military, its business partner in the oil business. The Nigerian military established an infamous and brutal Task Force in 1994 to suppress peaceful protests against Shell by the Movement for Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). Since the Task Force's inception, it has been blamed for the deaths of over 2000 Ogoni, and the destruction of 27 villages. After Ken Saro-Wiwa, an outspoken writer and activist, and 8 other Ogoni leaders were hanged after trial in a military court, two witnesses against them admitted that Shell and the military bribed them to testify with promises of money and jobs with Shell. Shell must cut its ties with the brutal Nigerian military regime.
Shell is fully aware of its environmental devastation in Nigeria. In the early 1990s, the head of Shell Nigeria's environmental oversight team quit to protest Shell's environmental racism in Nigeria. Spilled oil in Ogoniland and other areas where Shell operates continues to pollute and kill wildlife, marine life and fauna. Environmental negligence by Shell and other oil industries is devastating for the health and traditional ways of life. Shell must cooperate with an environmental impact assessment by an independent third party, followed by clean up of spills and other pollution at all polluted sites in all Shell's areas of operation.
Shell alone provides over 40% of the Nigerian dictatorship's budget, and has the influence to force the military to reform and insure that a just and democratic government is formed which represents the interest of all Nigerians. Shell must refuse to operate under an unjust, brutal system.
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