Shell Oil and environmental devastation of Nigeria

On November 10, 1995, Nigerian poet and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and nine co-defendants were hanged by General Abacha, the dictator of Nigeria, despite international pleas for clemency. Ken Saro-Wiwa's crime was fighting against the exploitation of the Ogoni people and the destruction of their land by oil companies, including Mobil, Chevron, Texaco, and especially Shell.

Ogoniland, the center of oil production in Nigeria, has suffered deteriorating social and environmental conditions, in great part because it is a center of the country's oil production, generating 80% of government revenues in Nigeria.

Shell Oil controls most of the country's resources, having extracted an estimated $30 billion worth of oil from Ogoniland since 1958. Shell has never used its considerable influence either to moderate the anti-democratic actions of General Abacha and previous authoritarian governments, or to help the Ogoni People and Ken Saro-Wiwa, from whose homeland, Ogoniland, Shell Oil has reaped enormous profits over the past 37 years.

Since Ken Saro-Wiwa's execution, Shell has announced plans to build a liquefied natural gas pipeline from the Niger Delta on Nigeria's coast through Ogoniland. The Niger Delta is home to coastal rain forest, mangrove habitats, and wetlands. It has been identified by the United Nations as the most endangered river delta in the world, the result of nearly four decades of oil exploitation. From 1982 to 1992 alone, more than 6.4 million liters of oil were spilled in Nigeria, an amount more than 40% higher than that released by the Exxon Valdez.

You can respond to Ken Saro-Wiwa's murder and to the ravaging of Nigeria's environment by Shell Oil, a British-Dutch consortium, as well as the American oil companies Texaco, Chevron, and Mobil, by writing letters to President Clinton, and your Senators and Representative in Congress, demanding that sanctions be placed on Nigeria immediately, and that no oil be purchased from Nigeria.

You can also send letters to Shell Oil, demanding that Shell end its support for General Abacha, the murderer of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the environmental activists who died with him.

President, Shell Oil
One Shell Plaza
Houston, TX 77702

In addition, boycott Shell Oil by not filling-up your gas tank at Shell stations.

Environment watch