Some online info on the decade of ongoing struggle to protect the Niger delta from petroleum corporation exploitation;
"On November 10th 2005 it will ten years since MOSOP's President - Ken Saro Wiwa - was murdered, one of twelve other prominent Ogoni citizens killed as a warning to their people and other oil-producing communities not to challenge Nigeria's status quo."
"MOSOP's letter to Moody Stuart is the first correspondence to Shell in over four years and notes quite desperate measures by Shell contractors seeking to establish a presence in Ogoni and widespread destabilisation efforts which even include police involvement in the vandalisation of oil pipelines.
[Shell whose operations in Ogoni began in 1958, last faced a crisis in relation to its operations in Nigeria in 1995 when Ken Saro Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists were executed as the military government of General Abacha sought to end resistance to Shell operations in the Ogoni area.]
"We have been forced to advise Shell that their local staff and contractors are now using similar tactics to those of the last decade in what appears to be a desperate attempt to establish a foothold in Ogoni which will allow the company to resume oil operations in the area," said Ledum Mitee president of MOSOP today"
"The trial, conviction, and execution drew international condemnation, with MOSOP supporters accusing Shell of sponsoring the repression of the Ogoni. Shell adamantly denied any responsibility for the military regime's actions, though it did ask the government to send troops into the area to protect its investments and, according to The New York Times, "paid for the transportation and salary bonuses of some troops — ostensibly oilfield guards — who committed the abuses."
Shell, the Times reported, "also accused Mr. Saro-Wiwa of supporting violence" and "expressed no regret at the death sentences."
Owens Wiwa, by contrast, remembered his brother as a man of peace, someone who was "a little bit rich" but who was disturbed at the plight of the Ogoni, and determined "from the outset" there should be "no violence" in the MOSOP-led campaign. He said Saro-Wiwa would periodically visit his medical clinic, where the writer witnessed "the slow genocide of the Ogoni people," most of whom had no electricity or running water, and were dependent on streams polluted by oil spills. Gas flaring from oil operations, he added, contributed to acid rain and high rates of childhood asthma.
"I was busy treating what Ken was busy trying to prevent," he said.
Economically, he continued, Shell's operations despoiled farmland, rivers, and fishing creeks, the foundations of people's livelihoods — hardships exacerbated by the costs of rising medical needs."
After Shell leaves Chevron-Texaco moves in and is met by a new generation of grassroots activists..
"Inspired by MOSOP's nonviolent direct action campaign, communities and peoples across the region have organized themselves to challenge the multinational oil companies, including Shell, Mobil and Chevron.
Groups such as the Ijaw Youth Congress, Niger Delta Women for Justice, and the pan-Delta nonviolent resistance group Chicoco (named after the word for the Delta's rich soil) have built a strong grassroots base for resistance, and engaged in demonstrations, festivals, and peaceful occupations to further their demands."
link to www.moles.org
Ijaw Youth Movement declare autonomy in Kaima;
link to www.waado.org
Niger Delta Women of Justice;