Oil has polluted the land and water in the Niger Delta, ruining people’s lives and livelihoods. Their health and their future are at risk. Those responsible cannot just walk away. This was Amnesty International’s message during our 50th anniversary year, as we highlighted the devastating impact of two major oil spills in 2008 on the community of Bodo in the Niger Delta.
In April 2012, thousands of Amnesty activists and supporters in more than 16 countries joined Nigerian NGOs and Niger Delta communities for a global week of action. We sent a loud message to oil company Shell that it is time to own up, pay up and clean up.
Activists organized public events and demonstrations calling for Shell to clean up and compensate those who have been affected by it. Online, activists swamped Shell's Facebook and Twitter pages with messages and photos forcing the company to respond. At the end of the week, affected communities and Nigerian civil society captured media attention when they held a protest march to Shell's offices in Port Harcourt, Niger Delta.
We continue to keep up the pressure. At Shell's Annual General Meeting on 22 May 2012, we confronted the company again with the devastating impact their operations have had on the people and communities of the Niger Delta.
“The whole world is now hearing our cry and coming to our aid because of Amnesty International and the Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development”
Hyacinth Lema, the Chairman of the Bodo Council of Chiefs and Elders.