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The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People

Essay by   •  March 1, 2017  •  Business Plan  •  443 Words (2 Pages)  •  1,287 Views

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he Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MSOP) is an organization that fights for the rights of the Ogoni People. It began as a movement to protest against the exploitation of natural resources in the Niger Delta by Shell Oil Company . MSOP main targets are the Nigerian government and Shell.

Its main priority is to receive an apology from Shell for the killing of Ogoni people promoted by the company through 1993 and 1994. Furthermore, once Shell recognizes its fault, they want to be given control over a “fair proportion of the region’s economic resources”. They also want to have decision power in the concession of licenses to operate oil fields. Another important claim made by the MSOP is that oil companies take care of the environment when operating oil fields and prevent Ogoniland from being environmentally devastated. Lastly they want Shell to discontinue working in the Ogoni area without their permission and to stop using armed forces to enter their territory.

Inside the borders of Nigeria, the MSOP power is limited as the Nigerian government holds the monopoly of violence and doesn’t doubt to exercise it. Moreover where corruption is widespread in the country and big corporations like Shell do not have any difficulties to bribe officials in order to get contracts and to repress any movement against their interests. An important strength they have is their ability to paralyze Shells operations for a short period of time, as Shell has a year to resume its operations in Ogoniland before the Nigerian government cancelling their licenses.

However, MSOP’s main power can be found outside Nigeria. If they manage to get the International community involved in the issue, they could put a lot of pressure on Shell and the Nigerian government and force them to capitulate and to reach an agreement with them. Shell brand recognition may suffer from the conflict and the company may be forced to control its local staff and contractors and to stop neglecting Ogoni people.

When assessing the power the other parts in the conflict have over the Ogonis, they are in a weakness position. Being a peaceful movement, they don’t have any armed forces backing the up and both the Nigerian government and Shell Oil company use violence against them. In the case of Shell, the company allegedly hires local armed guards to operate with total impunity in the Ogoni territory.

Ogonis’ main assets in order to help to advance the situation are they openness to debate and their non-violent attitude. They are disposed to reach an agreement and as soon their counterparties agree to start a fair debate, they will be willing to participate in it.

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