Today marks the twenty seventh anniversary of the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other members of the Ogoni 9. They were murdered in 1995 by the Nigerian junta for their peaceful campaign to highlight the ecological destruction and environmental racism of Shell’s operations in Nigeria.
In 2017, Esther Kiobel and three other widows of the Ogoni 9, brought a new legal case against Shell in the Netherlands for complicity in murdering their husbands. And today was judgement day in the Hague. A day for hope. A day of dreams. However, those dreams were to be shattered. But this is not the end of the fight.
We ask you to vote for Shell in Corporate Accountability’s Hall of Shame for denying justice in Nigeria for a generation and for delaying action on climate change.
Last Friday, in an historic judgement, Shell’s day finally came. A Dutch court ordered that Shell’s Nigerian subsidiary pay compensation for oil spills in the Niger Delta that stretch back decades. Do not underestimate this moment.
On November 10, 1995, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni activists — Saturday Dobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbooko, Paul Levera, Felix Nuate, Baribor Bera, Barinem Kiobel, and John Kpuine — were hanged by the Nigerian dictatorship in Port Harcourt. Their only crime? Exposing the devastating impact that Shell Petroleum Development Company’s extraction of fossil fuels from the Niger Delta had on the Ogoni land, lives, and livelihoods.
To do anything less than stopping all public money to fossil fuels dishonors the memory and sacrifices of Saro-Wiwa, the Ogoni 9, and countless others who have risked and lost their lives to defend their lands and communities.
Another grim, painful milestone is reached. It is now a quarter of a century since Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 were murdered in Nigeria by Shell.
Why does the fight for justice take so long? Why is it so difficult to hold Big Oil to account? Why does it take years even decades to drag oil executives, kicking and screaming, into a court-room?
Divesting from fossil fuels and ending environmental racism goes hand-in-hand with defunding the police in the fight for racial justice and reinvestment in Black and Brown communities.
Shell’s latest grotesque greenwashing propaganda was put out for International Women’s day, when the company rebranded its logo to “She’ll”, along with the strapline: “#Makethefuture gender balanced.”