Thursday, May 20, 2010

Finacial Times refuses to publish Niger delta anti Shell ad

This is the ad that the Financial Times would not run on 18th May 2010 highlighting the effects of Shell's practices on the Niger delta. The ad, which was timed to coincide with the Shell AGM and capitalise on the public disgust at the BP leak in the Gulf of Mexico deserves as much exposure as possible. Shell have a lot to answer for in Nigeria.
This article about the Niger delta coincided with the release of a book in 2008 by Michael Watts entitled "The curse of black gold". It gives a vivid description of the levels of destruction and profound ecological and social corruption caused by Shell and it's friends. This article by Guardian blogger Roy Greenslade outlines just how flimsy the Financial Times reasoning for pulling the ad was.
The problem of Shell and oil in the Niger delta has been visited and revisited over and over. The saga of the Ogoni people and their spokesman Ken Sarowiwa has brought the actions of Shell out into plain site many times. Fela Kuti regularly critiqued the destructive power of greed and wealth and decried the fact that it was many of his own country men who brought such destruction and corruption to his country while holding hands with the Europeans.
I recently watched the documentary "Music is the weapon" where Fela Kuti outlines the conditions of his city Lagos, that was 1975. Even now artists like Daddy Showkey explain how the ghettos of Lagos are a killing field where bodies lie untouched in the street.
How little the world seems to care. The Financial Times stymied a rare and timely opportunity to prick the collective conscience of 'the west'.

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