Where Vultures Feast: Shell, Human Rights, and Oil in the Niger Delta

Front Cover
On February 22, 1895, a naval force laid siege to Brass, the chief city of the Ijo people of Nembe in Nigeria's Niger Delta. After severe fighting, the city was razed. More than two thousand people perished in the attack.

A hundred years later, the world was shocked by the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa—writer, political activist, and leader of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People. Again the people of Nembe were locked in a grim life-and-death struggle to safeguard their livelihood from two forces: a series of corrupt and repressive Nigerian governments and the giant multinational Royal Dutch Shell.

Ike Okonta and Oronto Douglas present a devastating case against the world's largest oil company, demonstrating how (in contrast to Shell's public profile) irresponsible practices have degraded agricultural land and left a people destitute. The plunder of the Niger Delta has turned full circle as crude oil has taken the place of palm oil, but the dramatis personae remain the same: a powerful multinational company bent on extracting the last drop of blood from the richly endowed Niger Delta, and a courageous people determined to resist.
 

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Contents

A People and Their Environment
5
Soldiers Gangsters and Oil
21
Colossus on the Niger
43
A Dying Land
61
Where Vultures Feast
96
Ambush in the Night
116
A Game for Spin Doctors
157
Healing the Wound
190
EPILOGUE
207
Justice on Trial
211
NOTES AND REFERENCES
229
INDEX
261
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Ike Okonta is a writer and journalist. His first collection of short stories, The Expert Hunter of Rats, won the Association of Nigerian Authors Prize in 1998.

Oronto Douglas is Nigeria's leading human rights lawyer and was a member of the legal team that represented Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995.

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