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

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened 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.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid