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The Shame of an African Giant:: The Case of Nigeria’s Suppression of Civil Rights in Ogoni

The author, Fegalo Nsuke is the Publicity Secretary of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). 

At the inception of this administration, I had anticipated some relief for the Ogoni people not only because the new president had during his campaign pledged to implement the clean-up of Ogoniland but I had expected that the clean-up will open discussions on crucial issues affecting the Ogoni people especially the issue of the political rights to self determination.

I had hopes that president Buhari’s integrity, based on what I had heard about him and his uprightness, will not be compromised and was actually optimistic of a renewed commitment to resolve the Ogoni problem.

I was sure that president Buhari understood that in over 30 years of oil exploration in Ogoniland, an estimated $81 billion dollars had been generated from the area, excluding the huge gas potentials of the area, the revenue from the two seaports, two refineries, a petro-chemical complex and two power stations in the area.

I was equally sure that the president new that the Ogoni region from where the revenue that has built his own Katsina state, the Abuja where he lives and the beautiful places that make us proud of our country, had no water electricity, roads, and the dominant councils in the Ogoni region only budgeted about $15 million annually, just about what is generated from Ogoni in two days. Revenue from the rest of the remaining 363 days in the year where shared among Nigeria”s 36 states and administered by their governors as they wish.

The lessons from Ogoni clearly shows how much injustice is pervasive in our country. The shame is that rather than address these injustices, our country and our government has attempted to deceive the world about the true situation in Ogoniland.

Today in my Ogoniland, some villages bury as much as 13 persons in a week. When you relate this to some parts of our country, Imo state for instance, where you do not hear of deaths in one year except for very old people, you will appreciate the reality of the danger faced by the Ogoni people. Nigeria seemingly does not care about this but still furiously going after the Ogoni oil.

Our country seem not bothered about its reputation as one expected to provide leadership in the sub-region. As we speak, our country, Nigeria, still acts like one who does not use his conscience, contemplating the resumption of oil production in an Ogoniland full of working corpses called humans. Nigeria’s primary interest is the Ogoni oil and not the safety and future of the people.

It is unfortunate that despite the outrage of the 1995 hangings and the controversial death of four chiefs in 1994, Nigeria is still not committed to doing the right thing in Ogoniland.

In their usual manner characterizing a fantastically discriminatory society, the government speak of oil resumption and not the freedom from discrimination which Ogoni seek. The government focuses on lobbying chiefs and politicians who are on its payroll and not the future of the Ogoni people. While the Ogoni people are calling for respect for political rights which will allow the Ogoni function within Nigeria as a distinct ethnic group, which it is, the government canvasses the people to accept its current slave status where its resources are being used to build cities and nothing comes back to Ogoniland..

The Ogoni people have become slaves in their own country, a realization that has prompted what has become known as the “Ogoni Struggle and led by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP. Wittingly, the Ogoni people had presented a shopping list to the federal government of Nigeria noting that the Ogoni people want to control their own affairs.

Government response had been brutal, a deliberate neglect of the Ogoni region to force poverty on the people and hoping to compel the call for oil resumption in the land. That had been the attitude of a Nigeria where human rights mean little or nothing. Where the government only show strength against a peaceful and legitimate demand for fairness while it look for negotiators to intervene in cases of people who take up arms against the state like the cases of Boko Haram and the Niger Delta militants.

While the Nigerian government has appeared helpless in dealing with terrorists whom it has nicknamed herders, the armed forces display unusual dexterity of a strong army each time it is deployed against peaceful and non-violent Ogonis.

If Nigeria could be so skillful in dealing with Boko Haram, the same way it has done against civilian protestors in Ogoni, Nigeria would long have overcome its security challenges.

It is indeed a shame that our country’s strength can only be seen against an oil producing community whom it has unfairly exploited to death and in demanding for social justice has peacefully, non-violently protested this exploitation.

What Nigeria has done to the Ogoni shows that it has become a country that has lost its humanity. If Nigeria will succeed and return to the path of prosperity, it must end the discrimination and unfair exploitation of its own people. Our country must be built on social justice. In this regard, Ogonis must be respected and treated as Nigerians with equal rights with the rest of Nigeria..

The answer lies in the words of Ken Saro-Wiwa: An Ogoni State is not negotiable. An Ogoni state will indeed deliver social equality and justice for the Ogoni people, allowing the oil producing region the right to participate in Nigeria’s democracy as Ogoni people and allowing the Ogonis set their own priorities and developmental needs.

Nigeria and its government must realize that a distressed child will not stop crying because of a heavy use of the cane, he or she will stop crying when you show love and address his/her demands.Ogoni will not surrender to an oppressive Nigeria, we will remain defiant, courageously confronting Nigeria’s discriminatory policies, laws and practices until justice is delivered.

The author, Fegalo Nsuke is the Publicity Secretary of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). He wrote from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
royaldutchshellplc.com and its sister websites royaldutchshellgroup.com, shellnews.net and cybergriping.com are all owned by John Donovan
Nigeria’s Suppression of Civil Rights in Ogoni was first posted on April 12, 2018 at 8:04 am.
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Shell Losses 9,000 Barrels of Oil per Day In Nigeria In 2017 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/04/11/shell-losses-9000-barrels-of-oil-per-day-in-nigeria-in-2017/ http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/04/11/shell-losses-9000-barrels-of-oil-per-day-in-nigeria-in-2017/#respond Wed, 11 Apr 2018 17:25:18 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=96375 Shell Losses 9,000 Barrels of Oil per Day In Nigeria In 2017 was first posted on April 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm.
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Multinational oil company, Royal Dutch Shell says it lost 9,000 barrels of crude oil to theft from the pipeline network of its Nigerian operation per day in the 2017 fiscal year. Shell made this known in its ‘Report on Payments to Governments for the Year 2017’ released on Monday, April 9.

BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK APR 10, 2018

Multinational oil company, Royal Dutch Shell says it lost 9,000 barrels of crude oil to theft from the pipeline network of its Nigerian operation per day in the 2017 fiscal year. FULL ARTICLE

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Shell Losses 9,000 Barrels of Oil per Day In Nigeria In 2017 was first posted on April 11, 2018 at 6:25 pm.
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Shell pays out £41billion to governments globally in 2017 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/04/09/shell-pays-out-41billion-to-governments-globally-in-2017/ Mon, 09 Apr 2018 16:26:37 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=96350 Shell pays out £41billion to governments globally in 2017 was first posted on April 9, 2018 at 5:26 pm.
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The firm also drew attention to a number of safety incidents in 2017 which it is working to address and provide support to victims for, including oil spills and theft in Nigeria, earthquakes in Groningen and a road tanker disaster in Pakistan.

Written by  – 

The company has published the findings in a report to accommodate UK regulations requiring transparency on government payments. It includes payments in 29 countries where Shell operates and does not include details related to refining, natural gas liquefaction, or gas-to-liquids activities which are not in the scope of UK regulations. Shell made the largest contribution to Nigeria, paying over £3billion last year, while the smallest sum went to Bulgaria at £109million. FULL ARTICLE

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Shell pays out £41billion to governments globally in 2017 was first posted on April 9, 2018 at 5:26 pm.
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Shell foresaw climate dangers in 1988 and understood Big Oil’s big role http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/04/07/shell-foresaw-climate-dangers-in-1988-and-understood-big-oils-big-role/ Sat, 07 Apr 2018 14:39:11 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=96328 Shell foresaw climate dangers in 1988 and understood Big Oil’s big role was first posted on April 7, 2018 at 3:39 pm.
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 April 5 at 4:28 PM

A Dutch journalist has uncovered Royal Dutch Shell documents as old as 1988 that showed the oil company understood the gravity of climate change, the company’s large contribution to it and how hard it would be to stop it. The 1988 report titled “The Greenhouse Effect” calculated that the Shell group alone was contributing 4 percent of global carbon-dioxide emissions through its oil, natural gas and coal products. “By the time global warming becomes detectable it could be too late to take effective countermeasures to reduce the effects or even to stabilize the situation,” the report warned. FULL ARTICLE

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Shell foresaw climate dangers in 1988 and understood Big Oil’s big role was first posted on April 7, 2018 at 3:39 pm.
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Friends of the Earth threatens to sue Shell over climate change contributions http://royaldutchshellplc.com/2018/04/04/friends-of-the-earth-threatens-to-sue-shell-over-climate-change-contributions/ Wed, 04 Apr 2018 15:25:54 +0000 http://royaldutchshellplc.com/?p=96290 Friends of the Earth threatens to sue Shell over climate change contributions was first posted on April 4, 2018 at 4:25 pm.
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Green group demands that the oil firm moves away from fossil fuels to comply with the Paris deal, in the latest of a rising number of climate litigation cases

The global flurry of legal campaigns against “big oil” has widened, with Royal Dutch Shell being threatened with legal action unless it steps up efforts to comply with the Paris climate agreementFriends of the Earth Netherlands on Wednesday demanded the Anglo-Dutch company revise plans to invest only 5% in sustainable energy and 95% in greenhouse-gas emitting oil and gas. FULL ARTICLE

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Friends of the Earth threatens to sue Shell over climate change contributions was first posted on April 4, 2018 at 4:25 pm.
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