We are just working to die, say Shell workers in Nigeria
[Trade union federation] IndustriALL’s mission to Port Harcourt, Nigeria, found Shell workers living in shocking conditions with poverty wages, no job security and inadequate medical cover that is costing workers’ lives. Find out more here.
At the end of 2017, the Dutch ambassador to Nigeria leaked confidential information about a major corruption investigation into Shell to the oil corporation. NRC daily writes this based on an integrity investigation into Robert Petri. He was prematurely replaced as ambassador to the Nigerian capital Abuja in early 2019.
The ministry only intervened after two consecutive inspections: an integrity investigation into Petri, at the end of 2018, and subsequently a specially inserted investigation into the working climate at the embassy, at the beginning of 2019.
The initial investigation was prompted by a complaint about the ambassador’s integrity. It was about a trip he made with his wife in May 2018 on an aeroplane of a Nigerian gas company partly owned by Shell.
The two internal investigations revealed, eg, a sick working atmosphere at the embassy.
Iconic Nigerian drummer dies: Tony Allen, a top Fela collaborator
Legendary Nigerian drummer Tony Allen, who created afrobeat along with his old bandmate Fela Kuti, has died at the age of 79 in Paris, France.
Allen was the drummer and musical director of Fela Kuti’s band Africa ’70 in the 1960s and 1970s.
During that time the pair created afrobeat, combining West African musical styles such as highlife and fuji music with American imports jazz and funk.
The duo recorded more than 30 albums together, before going their separate ways in the late Seventies. Tony Allen remained hugely influential and beloved by generations of musicians.
“Fela’s relationship with Tony Allen, who joined the Fela Ransome-Kuti Quintet in 1964, was one of permanent collaboration, for though Afrobeat was overwhelmingly Fela’s creation, Allen’s drum-patterns were signature ingredients.
“Allen was the anchorman of all Fela’s bands for fourteen years, as the Quintet morphed first into Koola Lobitos, then Nigeria 70, then Africa 70, and finally Afrika 70. Along with most of Fela’s musicians, he left Afrika 70 in 1978, triggering the formation of Egypt 80”, the Nigeria legend’s memorial website wrote about Allen.
RIP to the late great Tony Allen, legendary drummer. Allen joined the Fela Ransome-Kuti Quintet in 1964 and was the anchor of Fela’s bands for fourteen years, from Koola Loobitos to Nigeria 70 to Africa 70 to Afrika 70. Read more here: https://t.co/V7BqmdVvl9pic.twitter.com/paSB98Ndph
On the domestic front, Mr Erdogan’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) was accused by a European Union intelligence agency of commissioning an Isis bomb attack in October 2016 which killed more than 100 people at a peace rally in Ankara.
In November last year, he was accused of shipping arms to the Boko Haram jihadist group in Nigeria via Turkish Airlines.
An audio recording purporting to be former Turkish Airlines executive Mehmet Karatas was leaked in which he told Mr Erdogan’s adviser Mustafa Varank that he felt guilty over his role in transferring the weapons.
The herder-farmer conflicts are said to have killed more people than Boko Haram attacks in the region.
Turkey accused of supplying arms to Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram
TURKEY has been branded a “terrorist state” and is under investigation by the Nigerian military over allegations it supplied “sophisticated weapons” to jihadist terror group Boko Haram, according to a senior army official.
In a 2014 audio recording circulating on YouTube, the assistant executive of the Turkish airline, Mehmet Karatas, allegedly told Mustafa Varank, a former adviser to Mr Erdogan, then-Turkish Prime Minister, that he felt guilty over the arms shipment to Nigeria.
“I do not know whether these [weapons] will kill Muslims or Christians. I feel sinful,” Mr Karatas was allegedly heard saying.
Mr Erdogan dismissed the claims at the time as “vile”.
But Nigerian Defence Headquarters spokesman, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu said on Wednesday: “The veracity of the claims in the video cannot be ascertained immediately.
“However, it is a serious national-security issue, and I believe it is receiving the required attention at the national strategic level.”
In May 2017 the Nigerian government claimed to have intercepted an illegal arms shipment from Turkey, seizing 440 illegal pump-action rifles at the port in Lagos.
This came five months after customs officials halted a truck with 661 of the same weapons.
It is alleged that an intercepted phone call confirmed the arms deals, with Egpyt’s Ten TV host Nasha’t al-Deyhi saying: “Today’s leak confirms without a doubt that Erdogan, his state, his government and his party are transferring weapons from Turkey to — this is a shock, to where you may ask — to Nigeria; and to whom? — to the Boko Haram organisation.”
As the four Asian species of pangolins have dwindled, poachers are increasingly turning to the African species to supply the trade. In this short film, meet the bold Nigerians who are fighting to protect this gentle and vulnerable creature.
Nigeria: Shell admits to paying bribes to former petroleum minister
Two anti-corruption charities, Finance Uncovered and Global Witness, have published what they claim is evidence proving that global giant Shell knowingly took part in a bribery scheme to acquire a valuable offshore oil block in Nigeria.
In 2011 Shell, along with Italian oil firm Eni, they paid US$1.3bn to the Nigerian government for the block’s oil prospecting licence.
However, rather than staying with the government, all but a fraction of the money ended up in the hands of Malabu Oil And Gas.
Shell reports this on its website and the Public Prosecution Service confirms it. The investigation is almost complete and they are working on criminal prosecution of the multinational.
It concerns the acquisition of the rights of an oil field off the Nigerian coast, called OPL-245. To this end, Shell paid 1.3 billion euros in 2011, together with the Italian energy group Eni.
Shell and Eni have always denied that there was bribery, but an Italian judge already found that both companies knew that the proceeds were being channeled to a company owned by a controversial former oil minister of Nigeria. In Italy people have already been convicted for this.
In the Netherlands, the judiciary searched the Shell headquarters in The Hague three years ago.
One woman is squaring up to Shell. Stand with her.
Nigeria’s Esther Kiobel is taking on one of the world’s biggest oil companies – Shell – in a final fight for justice over her husband’s killing. She’s pursued them for 22 years, accusing Shell of colluding in her husband’s 1995 execution.
The company urged Nigeria’s military government to deal with environmental protests – knowing full well what that could mean. The military killed and tortured people in a brutal crackdown that culminated in the 1995 sham trial and hanging of nine Nigerian men, including Esther’s husband, Dr Barinem Kiobel.
Losing her husband tore Esther’s world apart. Fearing for her life, she fled Nigeria with her children. She never stopped struggling to have her husband’s name cleared. This month, Esther is taking Shell to court in the Netherlands in what will be a tense David vs Goliath face-off. Shell wants to belittle her claims and keep her complaints out of the public eye.
But Esther won’t let them make her feel small. Neither should we. Tell Shell you’re with Esther. Send us your message and we will make sure Shell gets it – and that Esther knows you’re standing with her.
Ten years ago, the family of one of the Ogoni leaders received compensation of $ 15.5 million from Shell, but the corporation emphatically did not admit guilt. …
The court will decide on the case on 8 May.
Hannah-Jones, the principal spokesperson for the [New York Times] “1619 Project,” appeared on a platform sponsored by Shell Oil, which is implicated in massive crimes against the human rights of the Ogoni people in Nigeria: here.
Amnesty international’s latest report, “They betrayed us” reveals how the Nigerian military and Civilian Joint Task Force (Civilian JTF) – a militia who work alongside them – have separated women from their husbands and confined them in remote “satellite camps” where they have been raped, sometimes in exchange for food. Amnesty International has collected evidence that thousands of people have starved to death in the camps in Borno state, north-east Nigeria, since 2015.
Nigeria: “They betrayed us”: Women who survived Boko Haram raped, starved and detained in Nigeria; Amnesty International report here.
Shell provides over 50% of the income keeping the Nigerian dictatorship in power. Although oil from Ogoniland has provided approximately $30 billion to the economy of Nigeria, the people of Ogoni see little to nothing from their contribution to Shell‘s pocketbook. Shell has done next to nothing to help Ogoni.
By 1996, Shell employed only 88 Ogoni (0.0002% of the Ogoni population, and only 2% of Shell‘s employees in Nigeria). Ogoni villages have no clean water, electricity, abysmal health care, no jobs for displaced farmers and fisher persons and face the effects of unrestrained environmental molestation by Shell everyday.
Since Shell began drilling oil in Ogoniland in 1958, the people of Ogoniland have had pipelines built across their farmlands and in front of their homes, suffered endemic oil leaks from these very pipelines, been forced to live with the constant flaring of gas. This environmental assault has smothered land with oil, killed masses of fish and other aquatic life, and introduced devastating acid rain to the land of the Ogoni.
For the Ogoni, a people dependent upon farming and fishing, the poisoning of the land and water has had devastating economic and health consequences. Shell claims to clean up its oil spills, but such “clean-ups” consist of techniques like burning the crude which results in a permanent layer of crusted oil metres thick and scooping oil into holes dug in surrounding earth.
Shell conceded it twice paid the military for going to specific villages. Although it disputes that the purpose of these excursions was to quiet dissent, each of the military missions paid for by Shell resulted in Ogoni fatalities.
Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 8 were leaders of MOSOP, the Movement for Survival of the Ogoni People. As outspoken environmental and human rights activists, they declared that Shell was not welcome in Ogoniland. On November 10, 1995, they were hanged after a trial by a special military tribunal (whose decisions cannot be appealed) in the murder of four other Ogoni activists.
The defendants’ lawyers were harassed and denied access to their clients. Although none of them were near the town where the murders occurred, they were convicted and sentenced to death in a trial that many heads of state strongly condemned for a stunning lack of evidence, unmasked partiality towards the prosecution and the haste of the trial. The executions were carried out a mere eight days after the decision. Two witnesses against the MOSOP leaders admitted that Shell and the military bribed them to testify against Ken Saro-Wiwa with promises of money and jobs at Shell.
Concern Universal is working to help preserve the last remaining mangrove forest in Nigeria. In this short film, see how training local communities, planting 20,000 new trees and educating schoolchildren can help prevent the Nigerian mangroves being lost forever.
A women-led civil society group in Nigeria is empowering women and the whole community to protect Nigeria’s extremely productive but disappearing mangrove forests, which provide abundant services to the marine environment and people.
By Jude Fuhnwi
A group of women are working tirelessly to reverse life-threatening challenges facing local economies in Nigeria, as the country’s declining mangrove forests face extinction – after decades of degradation. The Society for Women and Vulnerable Groups (SWOVUGE) is helping communities to restore and sustainably manage mangrove forests in the five villages of the Ukpom Okom District in South East Nigeria.
The Ukpom Community Mangrove in Akwa Ibom State is an important breeding site and home to numerous species of wildlife such as crocodiles, tortoises, turtles, fish, shrimps, crab, snails, clam and oysters. A large population of people also depends on resources from this rich mangrove forest to support their livelihoods.
However, limited knowledge about sustainable resource management in the communities has exposed the mangrove to activities that threaten its biodiversity. Overharvesting of mangrove forest products, including trees used for firewood in homes, or to dry fish or build canoes, have reduced the mangrove at an alarming rate. Patches of the forested mangrove have also been cleared for housing development, putting the ecosystem services and economic benefits of the mangrove at risk.
The project, funded under the Small Grants programme and referred to as the “Ukpom-Okon Community Mangrove restoration and tree planting project, Nigeria”, empowers women to conserve the very essence on which their livelihoods depend.
“Nigeria has no gazetted mangrove protected areas. Apart from this ongoing project, there has been no internationally supported women-driven project on mangrove restoration in the country,” said Emem Umoh, Coordinator of the project.
At least seven women are on the frontline, working with communities and coordinating all project-related activities to ensure that everyone in the five villages benefits from the project during its two-year cycle, with special attention to women beneficiaries. More than 330 women have been reached directly through different workshops organized in various communities to raise awareness about the importance of mangrove restoration and tree planting.
“We tell them to encourage other women to participate in project activities,” said Ms Umoh.
“I did not know, until now, that felling of mangroves indiscriminately could damage resources if trees are not planted to replace the felled ones”, explained 53-year-old Christiana Akpan, leader of a women’s group from the Ikot Etegne community who attended one of the sensitization workshops.
Barely nine months after the project was launched, over 400 trees have been planted in key areas and 600 more have been earmarked for distribution to women in the communities as part of efforts to promote agro-forestry practice. Two nursery sites have been established in two communities to grow the Rhizophora species of mangrove tree and over 400 seedlings grown.