Tell Shell: "Use your influence to help stop the bloodshed in Nigeria!"

  • by: Chris Burley
  • recipient: Ben van Beurden, CEO, Royal Dutch Shell

The Nigerian extremist group Boko Haram has massacred another 2,000 people in northern Nigeria, according to media reports that surfaced on Jan. 9, 2015.

The killings are one of the most horrifying examples of violence in an ongoing conflict between the central government and Boko Haram, notorious for its April 2014 kidnapping of more than 270 schoolgirls. It is a conflict that has claimed the lives of thousands.

Despite the valuable role it could play in fostering security in northern Nigeria, Royal Dutch Shell, one of the largest international economic actors in Nigeria, has remained largely silent on Boko Haram and security issues outside of the oil-rich areas in which it operates.

Instead, the company has funneled billions to Nigeria's central government and development in areas around its operations. All the while, severe poverty in the north and rights abuses by the military — the same military that committed atrocities against Nigeria’s Ogani people allegedly to secure Shell’s interests — have helped fuel Boko Haram’s recruitment.

Royal Dutch Shell has one of the loudest voices in Nigeria, and could help foster peace by supporting security, poverty reduction, and infrastructure improvements in areas targeted by Boko Haram. The company could also help promote regional collaboration and support moderate counterpoints to extremists operating in Nigeria.

Shell has made plenty of money from Nigeria’s people. It’s time for them to give back and help stop the bloodshed.

Mr. van Beurden:


I ask that your company, Royal Dutch Shell, do everything in its power to facilitate peace and security in northern Nigeria and specifically to end the brutal conflict between Boko Haram and the central government.


[Your comments here]


Despite the valuable role Royal Dutch Shell could play in fostering security in northern Nigeria, your company -- one of the largest international economic actors in Nigeria -- has remained largely silent on Boko Haram and security issues outside of the oil-rich areas in which you operate.


Poverty and rights abuses by the government are powerful recruiting tools for extremists in the north and you are in a unique role to help address both. 


Royal Dutch Shell has one of the loudest voices in Nigeria, and could help foster security by supporting security, poverty reduction, and infrastructure improvements in areas targeted by Boko Haram. Your company could also help promote regional collaboration and support moderate counterpoints to extremists operating in Nigeria.


Shell has profited greatly from Nigeria's oil. It's time to be a responsible corporate citizen and do more for its people.


Thank you for your consideration.


Sincerely


[Your name here]

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