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

    Video Democrats Clinton, Kaine Offer 'Very Different Vision' Than Trump

    In a jab at Trump, Clinton says her team wants to 'build bridges, not walls'; Obama Hails Kaine's record; Trump calls Kaine a 'job-killer'

    Turkey Wants Pakistan to Close Down institutions, Businesses Linked to Gulen

    Thousands of Pakistani students are enrolled in Gulen's commercial network of around two dozen institutions operating in Pakistan for over two decades

    AU Passport A Work in Progress

    Who will get the passport and what the benefits are still need to be worked out

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

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movementi
    X
    July 22, 2016 11:49 AM
    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Poor Residents in Cleveland Not Feeling High Hopes of Republican Convention

    With the Republican Party's National Convention underway in Cleveland, Ohio, delegates and visitors are gathered in the host city's downtown - waiting to hear from the party's presidential candidate, Donald Trump. But a few kilometers from the convention's venue, Cleveland's poorest residents are not convinced Trump or his policies will make a difference in their lives. VOA's Ramon Taylor spoke with some of these residents as well as some of the Republican delegates and filed this report.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video With Yosemite as Backdrop, Obama Praises National Parks

    Last month, President Barack Obama and his family visited some of the most beautiful national parks in the U.S. Using the majestic backdrop of a towering waterfall in California's Yosemite National Park, Obama praised the national park system which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year. He talked about the importance of America’s “national treasures” and the need to protect them from climate change and other threats. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Counter-Islamic State Coalition Plots Next Steps

    As momentum shifts against Islamic State in Iraq, discussions are taking place about the next steps for driving the terrorist group from its final strongholds. Secretary of State John Kerry is hosting a counter-IS meeting at the State Department, a day after defense ministers from more than 30 countries reviewed and agreed upon a course of action. VOA Pentagon correspondent Carla Babb reports.
    Video

    Video Russia's Participation at Brazil Olympic Games Still In Question

    The International Olympic Committee has delayed a decision on whether to ban all Russian teams from competing in next month's Olympic Games in Brazil over allegations of an elaborate doping scheme. The World Anti-Doping Agency recently released an independent report alleging widespread doping by Russian athletes at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi. So far, only Russian track and field athletes have been barred from the Summer Games in Brazil. VOA's Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.
    Video

    Video Millennials Could Determine Who Wins Race to White House

    With only four months to go until Americans elect a new president, one group of voters is getting a lot more attention these days: those ages 18 to 35, a generation known as millennials. It’s a demographic that some analysts say could have the power to decide the 2016 election. But a lot depends on whether they actually turn out to vote. VOA’s Alexa Lamanna reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora