Topic: human rights
Picture from the SAM file:
11 December 2007
Posted to the web 11 December 2007
The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) yesterday blocked the entrance of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Port Harcourt in protest of what they called human and Environmental rights abuses of their people by Shell.
The protest which saw about 250 Ogonis protesting in front of the oil giant coincided with the celebration of the United Nations Human Rights Day where they vowed that Shell was not going to return back to Ogoniland.
The march which was led by the Information Officer of MOSOP, Mr. Bia-ara Kpalap who said that they had no alternative than to make public the negative impact that SPDC has visited on their people.
He said that since Shell entered Ogoni land, they have lost human and natural resources, adding that they were tired of living without peace which was why they had asked the federal government to give the wells in Ogoni to another company.
There was almost a breakdown of law and order when a Shell staff who had removed his name tag came out to where the police were dialoguing with the Ogonis and asked them to use tear gas on the protesters.
This angered the youths who said they have always usedpeaceful means of making their grievances known. Theyinsisted that they would go into the Shell compoundand meet with the Managing Director.The police however pleaded with them to select fiverepresentatives who will go inside and meet with theofficer in-charge of their facilities in Ogonilandwhich MOSOP turned down.Kpalap dismissed the peace and reconciliation effortsof the Reverend Father Mathew Hassan Kukah Committee, saying he became partisan in the matter and startedrelating to shell without recourse to them on the matters of common interest.
He also dismissed the remediation effort by UnitedNations Environmental Agency (UNEP) as it was beingcarried out secretly without the knowledge of the Ogonis which he said smeared the effort. "We are using December 10th, International Human Rights Day, to associate our call for justice with thepending 60th anniversary of the Universal Declarationof Human Rights. The United Nations has longrecognised 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 arecontinuing and that injustices in the name of oil production must end now.
"We associate ourselves with all those opposing gasflaring, which has been a curse on the Niger Delta for 50 years. It has damaged our environment daily, andnow it is contributing to climate change whichthreatens all of Africa.
"We cannot accept that oil companies can tell theinternational community and the public that they are concerned about climate change and then ask for anextension of gas flaring in the Niger Delta. It ishypocrisy beyond words."Our stance is also informed by reports, endorsed by our own President, which say that agriculture, whichis the lifeblood of our communities, will inevitablybe impacted by climate change", they charged.