June 24, 2024

Activists Demand Shell Clean Up Nigerian Communities Before Exit

 

Environmental activists and community leaders have called on Shell to clean up the communities affected by its oil extraction operations before leaving Nigeria.

 

The groups, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) and Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), staged a protest in Lagos, emphasizing the oil company’s responsibility to remediate the damage caused in the Niger Delta.

 

Akinbode Oluwafemi, Executive Director of CAPPA, criticized Shell’s leadership for neglecting the environmental and health impacts of their operations in Nigeria while convening comfortably in the UK for their Annual General Meeting. “Shell’s shareholders prefer the comfort of the Intercontinental London Hotel to discuss their environmental strategies, disregarding the people suffering from their hazardous operations,” he said.

 

Oluwafemi accused Shell of planning to divest its onshore business and offload its toxic assets to a consortium of companies, including Renaissance, without addressing the environmental damage left behind.

 

The activists argue that Shell’s exit strategy reveals a deeper exploitation and lack of accountability. Oluwafemi highlighted the irony in Shell allegedly offering a loan to the buyers to facilitate the acquisition of these problematic assets, describing it as a “shameless ploy” to evade responsibility while maintaining a hold on Nigeria’s resources.

 

Rev. Nnimmo Bassey, Executive Director of HOMEF, called for an independent and comprehensive environmental assessment of the Niger Delta. He stressed the need for a thorough health audit of residents in extractive communities and demanded the cleanup, remediation, and restoration of polluted areas. “We want Shell and Chevron to be held accountable for the destruction of communities in the Niger Delta,” Bassey stated.

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