Introduction by Alfred Donovan.
Robert Aouad, a guest columnist in a U.S. College publication, recently took issue with a suggestion that Shell Oil should be included in a list of terrorist organisations: the following is an extract from his article published on 22 September 2006.
EXTRACT: As for Shell Oil, who you suggested should be included in a list of terrorist organizations with extremist groups like Hamas, I have trouble equating an unfortunate oil spill with a terrorist attack. Shell Oil did not set out to Nigeria with 56 million gallons of oil to intentionally spill it onto the farmland of the Ogonis. It was a very unfortunate incident indeed, but definitely not a terrorist attack. Furthermore, how do we expect Shell Oil to get into areas such as these for cleanup when the volatile Nigerian military government and the protesting Ogoni people are at each other’s throats?
Complete article: BG News: Labeling terrorists should be left to government, not colleges
The Ogoni author, Ben Wuloo Ikari, has asked us to publish his passionate views in relation to this controversial suggestion. Although Shell management has a track record of using what can be described as terrorist tactics against perceived enemies, I do not believe that it is appropriate to categorise Shell alongside extremist groups. Shell management can fairly be described as evil, dishonest, greedy and unscrupulous. And as Ben correctly points out in his article, Shell has been closely associated with an uncover spy firm. (In this connection, Shell admitted, after being cornered as a result of a newspaper investigation, that it has used undercover activity involving deception, faked documents, infiltration and sabotage, against opponents.) But despite these facts, we do not consider that Shell senior managers are terrorist masterminds or that Shell is a terrorist organisation.
However, we do recognise that the Ogoni people see Shell from a unique perspective bearing in mind the way Ogoniland has been plundered and polluted over the decades. Shell admitted only after an internal report was leaked, that its activities in Nigeria have fuelled corruption and violence. It is also impossible to forget the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and a number of his supporters as a consequence of their peaceful campaigning activities against Shell. Ken Saro-Wiwa was found guilty on trumped up charges by a Nigerian military regime which was in Shell’s pocket.
Consequently although we do not agree with all of the views expressed by Ben, we are happy to provide him with a free speech platform.
Article by Ben Wuloo Ikari
I write to contribute to the above subject matter as follows:
I tend to understand the position of Robert Aouad, however terrorism is not limited to the activities of groups like the “Hamas” as recorded inter alia. It is not limited to plane hijacks, bombings, and other strategies used.
And, although both the Oxford Advance Learner’s and American Heritage College Dictionaries summarily defines Terrorism and a Terrorist as “The unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence to intimidate or coerce societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons,” and “One that engages in acts or an act of terrorism,” the call to include Shell Oil (HELL) in the popular terrorist organization’s list is indeed wholesome and not out of order.
Shell is no doubt one of the most dangerous human and environmental terrorist groups in the world. It has been linked with “Hakluyt” which is an undercover spy group. The company’s overall activities in Ogoni and Niger River Delta of Nigeria, since oil discovery is nothing but terrorism. Consider when the environment which is man’s first right is despoiled, making it difficult for people to inhabit such. This Shell’s nonchalant act/attitude of environmental ruin is even worst compared to other terrorist groups that target known enemies who kept terrorizing them as well. I know that sometimes real terrorist groups which includes established governments, attack innocent civilians, but terrorism launched at the environment is far deep than not. The killer oil firm terrorized and monitored (ordered the hanging of the Ogoni leaders) Ken Saro-Wiwa of the most blessed memory until he was killed as ordered. It paid Rtd. Colonel Paul Okontimo of the dreaded Rivers State Internal Security Taskforce to intimidate, terrorize, brutalize, torture, rape, and kill innocent Ogoni peasants who protested the company’s double standards and it environmental racist policy and devastation. This happened when under Ken Saro-Wiwa’s leadership, Ogoni gained the consciousness that Shell had devastated her environment thus forcing inhabitants and aquatic lives to extinction. A protest that exposed the company before the world, making it uncomfortable considering Shell’s over magnified reputation.
Note, that, the group also terrorized the family of Alfred Donovan, a long-term member of Shell Transport and Trading Company. Dr. John Huong, a Geologist of 30 years standing was also intimidated and terrorized; threatened with imprisonment for revealing the oil/gas reserves overbooking that was reported as the biggest 419 (scam) of the decade. There are uncountable others who have had sad tales to tell about the deadly company’s repression.
No doubt Ogoni has issues with the Federal Government of Nigeria; it also has deep problem with Shell for degrading the environment with high degree gas flares (charging it with hydrocarbon), oil spills and laying of high pressure pipelines that crisscross at close proximity of human habitation. And have refused to accept responsibility for its reckless behavior. The many blowouts since 1970 to date that occurred in Ogoni and other parts of the Delta have not been attended. Making the entire ecosystems a total biohazard. This is of course what it would not or cannot do in its home countries, Britain/Netherlands, and America.
The present oil pipe blowout/spill is causing great panic in Ogoni now as the oozing fumes spread unchecked into the atmosphere exposing the inhabitants to more health related problems and death. The issue Ogoni have with the government is immaterial to Shell’s acceptance of its responsibilities. It is not the government’s function to stop the blazing in an oil field caused by corrosive and outdated equipment, cum lack of use as is the present situation in Ogoni. The responsibility is Shell’s, so it must be held accountable no matter how long it takes. The companies only interest is the oil and not the people and where they live, or the environment. Their many clandestine efforts toward resumption of operations in Ogoni even though it is succinctly clear the firm is not wanted is a testimony to the above fact.
Whether or not Shell Oil is wanted does not absorb it from responsibilities such as oil spills and previous crimes committed against Ogoni. It should be known that the company is a quasi government in Nigeria. It flares over 89 percent gas in the country and has jettisoned the agreement to end flaring in the nation by 2008.
Shamefully too, the Nigerian government does not even know how many barrels of oil per day Shell mines; the dumb government accepts whatever number of BPD Shell gives mainly due to the fact that it does not care for the people and also do not live in the oil bearing communities, hence do not appreciate the effects and danger inherent in environmental pollution by the company. Recently, the so-called government summed up courage and tasked Shell and other foreign oil imperialists companies to account for the exact quantities of crude oil mined on daily basis and Shell, etc., have bluntly refused to cooperate because of greed.
Conclusively, the brief activities of terrorism listed above is substantive evidence to label and convict this firm that kills to make profit as a terrorist group. I therefore submit that labeling should not be left to the government alone because most governments in the world, especially, British and American have been involved or are presently involved in acts of terrorism. Colleges handy with credible information about organizations, governments, and or companies such as Shell have the right to name them without fear or favor. This, if honestly and effectively carried out and the world becomes aware of their inhuman activities, would go a long way to check and balance acts of terrorism of all kinds.
For more on Shell’s alleged terrorist acts and genocide against the Ogoni people, feel free to check out the book, Ken Saro-wiwa And Mosop: The Story And Revelation by Ben Wuloo Ikari (Paperback – Mar 14, 2006). Ben is also the author of “Inspiration: Speak Your Mind” by Ben Wuloo Ikari (Paperback – Feb 17, 2006)
Both available on Barnes & Noble.com, Xlibris.com, Ebay.com, Amazon.com, Amazon.Co.Uk and many others: