Fifteen years ago today, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others were executed by the Nigerian military government in collaboration with Shell Nigeria. The oil giant is under fresh scrutiny after secret documents revealed in The Guardian today expose how Shell tried to cover up oil spill data and manipulated the media and NGOs in the wake of the executions.
Dividing NGOs into friends and foes, Shell emphasised the need to “work with [and] sway ‘middle of the road’ activists”. The Body Shop, Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth were seen as unlikely to change their position. One suggested tactic to counter these organisations was to “challenge [the] basis on which they continue their campaign against Shell in order to make it more difficult for them to sustain it”.
Elsewhere, events across the world (from Ogoniland to the capitals of Europe) have received an unprecedented level of support calling for justice for the Ogoni, and demanding that Shell cleans up their mess in the Niger Delta.
To mark the anniversary, we are launching an new series of podcasts, “Fifteen Years On” which you can listen to or download for free. PLATFORM visited the Niger Delta this Autumn to meet with some of the activists who are keeping alive the struggle for social and environmental justice, and who face the combined oppression of multinational oil giants like Shell and government security forces. Hear testimonies from frontline activists and learn more about the Niger Delta situation. You can find out more about the podcast series here.