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Spaces for Change to FG: Don’t let Shell escape with unresolved human rights violations in Niger Delta

``The government must intervene and ensure that Shell redresses ALL OF ITS WRONGDOINGS by cleaning up and remediating the environment, fairly compensating affected communities, and resolving the floodgate of litigation in numerous courts’’

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The Federal Government has been urged to take urgent steps to prevent SHELL from evading accountability for its violations of fundamental human rights under the guise of divestment, insisting that human lives must take precedence over profit., the Spaces for Change (S4C) said on Friday.

S4C urgently called on the government to intervene and ensure that Shell redresses ALL OF ITS WRONGDOINGS by cleaning up and remediating the environment, fairly compensating affected communities, and resolving the floodgate of litigation in numerous courts.

“We emphasize the importance of enforcing the fulfillment of all contractual obligations owed to these communities. Concurrently, we request a comprehensive needs assessment to accurately gauge the extent of environmental damage inflicted upon these areas as a condition for these divestments.

“On the 16th of January 2024, SHELL announced plans to sell off a large chunk of its onshore assets in the Niger Delta region to a consortium of companies in a deal worth $2.4 billion.

“SHELL’s business operations in the Niger Delta for more than five decades have caused extensive oil pollution, contamination of water sources, environmental degradation, monumental destruction of traditional livelihoods, and large-scale human suffering across communities in the Niger Delta region.

“Spaces for Change | S4C joins a ton of environmentally devastated host communities to ask: Who will clean up SHELL’s mess?, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, the Executive Director, Spaces for Change | S4C, said in a statement given to Persecondnews, titled, “WHO WILL CLEAN UP SHELL’S MESS?’ – A CALL FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION’’

Ibezim-Ohaeri also stated: ”Consistent with its business practices in the past that are well documented, SHELL has steadily blamed third parties/sabotage for persistent oil leaks, blowouts, and fires, avoided compensation responsibilities to impacted households and communities, flared gas with impunity, and dodged clean-ups from oil spillage.

“Although the full details of the deal between SHELL and the consortium of companies have not been made public, it is very unlikely that robust arrangements have been made to redress these environmental injustices.

“It is also unlikely that a new business venture will agree to take over the humongous liabilities resulting from SHELL’s business operations in the region.’’

According to S4C, it is a very bad practice that reaches the level of corporate irresponsibility to sell off its onshore business while the significant harm brought about by the same business operations continues.

“Selling off its onshore business while the enormous harm caused by the same business operations persists is a very bad practice that rises to the level of corporate irresponsibility.

“Perception is growing that the proposed sale is merely an avenue to escape liability from the litany of environmental injustices that have trailed its business operations in the Niger Delta region.

“S4C calls on the Nigerian government to immediately take steps to protect the rights of host communities across the Niger Delta, whose rights have been battered over the years with impunity.

“The damage caused by SHELL’s business operations is the subject of several lawsuits pending in courts all over the world. A litany of judicial proclamations by national, regional, and foreign courts have ordered SHELL to pay restitution, all to no avail.

“Courts have held that SHELL’s business operations violated communities’ rights to life, human dignity, a healthy environment, and a standard of living as constitutionally guaranteed by sections 11, 20, 33, and 34 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution and reinforced by Articles 4, 16, and 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,” Ibezim-Ohaeri said.

The Federal Government has been urged to take urgent steps to prevent SHELL from evading accountability for its violations of fundamental human rights under the guise of divestment, insisting that human lives must take precedence over profit., the Spaces for Change (S4C) said on Friday.

S4C urgently called on the government to intervene and ensure that Shell redresses ALL OF ITS WRONGDOINGS by cleaning up and remediating the environment, fairly compensating affected communities, and resolving the floodgate of litigation in numerous courts.

“We emphasize the importance of enforcing the fulfilment of all contractual obligations owed to these communities. Concurrently, we request a comprehensive needs assessment to accurately gauge the extent of environmental damage inflicted upon these areas as a condition for these divestments.

“On the 16th of January 2024, SHELL announced plans to sell off a large chunk of its onshore assets in the Niger Delta region to a consortium of companies in a deal worth $2.4 billion.

“SHELL’s business operations in the Niger Delta for more than five decades have caused extensive oil pollution, contamination of water sources, environmental degradation, monumental destruction of traditional livelihoods, and large-scale human suffering across communities in the Niger Delta region.

“Spaces for Change | S4C joins a ton of environmentally devastated host communities to ask: Who will clean up SHELL’s mess?, Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri, the Executive Director, Spaces for Change | S4C, said in a statement given to Persecondnews, titled, “WHO WILL CLEAN UP SHELL’S MESS?’ – A CALL FOR GOVERNMENT ACTION’’

Ibezim-Ohaeri also stated: ”Consistent with its business practices in the past that are well documented, SHELL has steadily blamed third parties/sabotage for persistent oil leaks, blowouts, and fires, avoided compensation responsibilities to impacted households and communities, flared gas with impunity, and dodged clean-ups from oil spillage.

“Although the full details of the deal between SHELL and the consortium of companies have not been made public, it is very unlikely that robust arrangements have been made to redress these environmental injustices.

“It is also unlikely that a new business venture will agree to take over the humongous liabilities resulting from SHELL’s business operations in the region.’’

According to S4C, it is a very bad practice that reaches the level of corporate irresponsibility to sell off its onshore business while the significant harm brought about by the same business operations continues.

“Selling off its onshore business while the enormous harm caused by the same business operations persists is a very bad practice that rises to the level of corporate irresponsibility.

“Perception is growing that the proposed sale is merely an avenue to escape liability from the litany of environmental injustices that have trailed its business operations in the Niger Delta region.

“S4C calls on the Nigerian government to immediately take steps to protect the rights of host communities across the Niger Delta, whose rights have been battered over the years with impunity.

“The damage caused by SHELL’s business operations is the subject of several lawsuits pending in courts all over the world. A litany of judicial proclamations by national, regional, and foreign courts have ordered SHELL to pay restitution, all to no avail.

“Courts have held that SHELL’s business operations violated communities’ rights to life, human dignity, a healthy environment, and a standard of living as constitutionally guaranteed by sections 11, 20, 33, and 34 of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution and reinforced by Articles 4, 16, and 24 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights,” Ibezim-Ohaeri said.

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