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OGONI ACTIVISTS ACCUSE SHELL OF ‘ENVIRONMENTAL RACISM’

Extracts from a Press Statement issued by the National Union of Ogoni Students, USA.

On August 04, 2011 the world had a preview of the report of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) sent to the Nigerian government after 14 months of studying the impact of Shell Oil Company’s operations in Ogoni.

The report was astonishing and confirmed the toxicology of the Ogoni environment as a result of oil exploration, pollution, spillages and negligence. The report also collaborated on genocidal claim by Ogoni people as they experience slow death resulting from oil agents like benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, and xylene (BTEX), mercury, PAHs, VOC, polluted reactive gases, and metals.

Shell Oil Company has knowingly degraded the Ogoni environment and made Ogoni people live and die slowly  from pollutants, a man made poison for 55 years, while applying different operating standards in the west. This is the height of injustice and tantamount to environmental racism.

Since it is the desire of the United Nations that Ogoni and other indigenous communities should survive, we urge the UN and other western nations to come to the aid of Ogoni by compelling Nigeria to adhere to the terms of the Ogoni Bill of Rights (1990), Resolution of the Rivers State House of Assembly (1993), and the UN Report on Ogoni (1996).  We also recommend that the international community should compel Shell Oil Company to follow universal operation standards, be accountable, and accept responsibilities for 55 years of environmental devastation and degradation in Ogoniland.

BP accepted liability in the United States’ Gulf Oil Spillage in 2010 by adequate clean-up and setting-up compensation funds.

We want Shell Oil to do the same in Ogoni.

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