BP Oil Spill: Who Wears the Shoes Knows Where They Hurt
The Ogoni Children Cultural and Fundamental Rights Council (OCAFAC) extend its solidarity to the people of the Gulf of Mexico for the degradation they face. We're appalled by the yet to be quantified damages and losses caused by BritishPetroleum's (BP) avoidable and reckless oil spill.OCAFAC can feel the pains and loses since Ogoni had suffered and still suffering environmental degradation. It's aproblem caused by BP's sister company $hell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC). Not only has Ogonifelt these pains and loses, its people have been killed for standing up to protest $hell's negative actions or impact on thesociety and environment.On like America, in Nigeria, when oil spills are reported $hell and others claims they're caused by sabotage. Whereasoutdated equipments and corroded pipelines have been primarily responsible. These companies keep claiming militants,etc. sabotaged their pipes, but forgot that oil mining started in the region in 1956-while militancy came between 2004,2006 and up to 2009. Currently, pockets of militant groups are still available.Militancy came after Ken Saro-Wiwa and 8 others were killed by $hell and the government of Nigeria for campaigningagainst their methods of operations and stopping the flow of oil. Remember, it's BP that started mining in Nigeria (1956)and metamorphosed into $hell Petroleum Development Corporation and later SPDC. They therefore have the samedeadly tract records. These records are such that profit, recklessness is preferred over environmental safety and thehealth cum good of the host communities.Interestingly, the same recklessness, which pushed Saro-Wiwa to action, that he formed the Movement for the Survivalof the Ogoni People (MOSOP) in 1990, has impacted America. The Gulf is, however, fortunate because the media andObama's administration have channeled their energies on BP. This media concentration and service is what isdeliberately ignored when similar spills occur in Ogoni/Niger delta of Nigeria. Americans, except some activists and fewpeople of good conscience also downplay the Nigeria's predicaments. And, the reason is that they're the mostbeneficiaries of the oil from this region. As it stands in the Gulf, America may learn the same lessons and the reasonsSaro-Wiwa led his people against $hell. This is because who wears the shoes knows where they hurt.Meanwhile, American media have for decades knowingly and deliberately ignored life threatening situations of oil spills,gas flaring and other double standards applied by foreign oil companies in Nigeria and Africa in general. They do this inthe same vein and intent as inequitable reporting, which misinforms the American public and stereotype, stigmatizeAfricans. And the intent is to protect, promote and project these oil killer companies as lords and saviors to the blackworld whereas they are polluters. In short, the media have poisoned the minds of most African-Americans about theirancestral home with negative portraits.The irony is, when similar spills and degradation occur in Texas, Alaska, etc. and the alarming disaster in the Gulf, themedia no doubt makes the call. Not only have they covered the spills on minute basis, they've also demanded the truthof BP. Citizen's activism and the activist president of the United States of America have been catalytic in making BP workharder to try to contain the spill and also set aside $20 billion in four years for claims caused by its misguided damages.And when the dust settles the escrow money might even be more than what has been agreed. The media andgovernment are prepared to hold BP accountable. In Nigeria, 50 years old spills are yet to be clean. Little or nothing of adequate compensation is paid, but threats, repression and extrajudicial killings.