News / Africa

MOSOP Feels Vindicated by Shell Company's Spill Admission

MOSOP president Ledum Mitee says admission proves MOSOP's non-violent agitation over years can yield positive results

Oil is seen on the creek water's surface near an illegal oil refinery in Ogoniland (file photo)
Oil is seen on the creek water's surface near an illegal oil refinery in Ogoniland (file photo)

Multimedia

Audio
James Butty

The president of the movement for the survival of the Ogoni people (MOSOP) said Shell Oil’s acceptance of responsibility for two oil spills in 2008 and 2009 vindicates the Ogoni people’s claims that the company had been responsible for environmental degradation in the region.

Ledum Mitee said Shell Oil’s mea culpa and Thursday’s United Nations report on the magnitude and impact of oil spills in the Niger Delta prove that MOSOP’S non-violent agitation over the years can yield positive results.

‘We think it is a very welcome development. We applaud it, and we think that it is a victory for the Ogoni People and the non-violent approach that we have adopted in an environment that will appear most times that only the violent options attract attention,” he said.

MOSOP has struggled against the degradation of their lands by Shell in Nigeria for years.

It began its campaign with the 1990 Ogoni Bill of Rights, addressed to the federal government. Among the concerns listed in the bill were oil-related suffering of the Ogoni People and neglect by the federal government of Nigeria.

Mitee said the group feels vindicated by Shell Oil’s mea culpa.

“We feel completely vindicated, and the only regret is that it took a court in the United Kingdom to get Shell to admit its culpability in oil spills that we already knew that they were culpable for,” Mitee said.

Lawyers representing the Bodo community of Nigeria's Ogoniland region sued Shell in a British court. They said the oil company could pay out hundreds of millions of dollars in damages.

Mitee said Shell’s admission of responsibility would encourage other Ogoni groups to seek damages from Shell.

“Definitely, this presents a very good precedent. For several other communities, it will open a whole line of cases where people will feel that this is where they need to go, and more importantly, it sends the message that the non-violent option also has some rewards ultimately,” Mitee said.

In a report released August 4, the United Nations Environmental Program said drinking water supplies within Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta have been damaged by 50 years of crude oil spills.

The United Nations report said decades of oil spills in Nigeria's Ogoniland region may require the world's largest petroleum cleanup that could cost more than $1 billion.

Mitee said the UN report confirms what MOSOP has said all along that there was a high level of environmental devastation in Ogoniland.

“We think that this is a very salutory development to the cause that our leaders and my friends who died many years ago stood for,” Mitee said.

He expressed regrets that the UN took four years and $10 million to say what the Ogoni People have been saying for years.

In November 1995, nine MOSOP activists, among them the playwright Ken Saro-Wiwa were hanged by the Nigerian government on charges of "incitement to murder".

Mitee said Shell’s admission of culpability is a good atonement to Saro-Wiwa and several Ogoni activists who died in the struggle.

“He [Saro-Wiwa] would feel fulfilled that some of those things that he stood for and Shell was always denying that there was environmental devastation, now scientifically have been proven, and he would feel vindicated, and I’m sure that several others who laid down their lives in this in this cause, that is a good atonement to their memory,” Mitee said.

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that were eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports from the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, where one band is bringing Yiddish tango to an American audience.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid