Popular Nollywood actress, Omotola Jalade Ekeinde has joined Amnesty International’s campaign calling on the Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company to own up, pay up as well as clean up the Niger Delta region.
A short video released on Wednesday featured the award winning actress outside Shell’s headquarters in London, calling upon Shell’s Chief Executive, Peter Voser, to take responsibility for the pollution in the oil rich region.
According to a statement by Amnesty International released on Wednesday, Omotola said in the video ‘I am from Ondo State, a region of the Niger Delta. I am devastated to see the impact on my beautiful country and our people from the pollution that Shell has caused.
People’s lives are literally being ruined by this mess. Fisherman cannot fish. Food cannot be grown or harvested. Water is contaminated and people’s health is at risk. Shell makes billions of dollars in profit yearly and needs to act now to clean up their mess.”
Amnesty said Oil pollution from Shell’s pipelines in the Niger Delta has had a devastating human rights and environmental impact, causing misery for the people living there. But Shell has failed to properly prevent or address oil pollution in the Niger Delta. Oil pollution has destroyed the livelihoods of tens of thousands of people who depend upon the environment to make a living and feed their families.
Adding, the organisation said it is working closely with Nigerian civil society and communities in the Niger Delta to stand up for their rights.
The Nigerian Government now bears significant responsibility for the impact of pollution in the Niger Delta, Amnesty stated, adding that the government has failed to enforce existing laws and regulations to prevent pollution and hold the oil industry to account, fostering a culture of impunity in which oil companies are able to operate without concern for the consequences.
Amnesty International called on the Nigerian government to address the long term systemic problems related to the oil industry. But it added that as the main oil industry operator in Nigeria, Shell cannot evade its share of the blame for environmental damage and human rights abuses in the Niger Delta.
The video features ‘Barren Land,’ a previously unreleased song from Omotola’s forthcoming album.
It is being released in the build-up to a global week of action in which Amnesty International activists, Nigerian civil society, and communities in the Niger Delta will be sending a clear message to Shell that it is time to own up, pay up and clean up the Niger Delta. Events and demonstrations will be held across Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia, including outside Shell’s offices and petrol stations.
Omotola is a long-standing Amnesty International activist. Her support includes having previously headlined a concert on a trip to Sierra Leone with the organisation to highlight the issue of maternal mortality.