The Royal Dutch/Shell company’s treatment of the Ogani people in the Niger Delta was nothing short of taking advantage of a disfranchised people. In some ways it reminded me of the Nike case because the government and the company both conspired together to take advantage of the local population. From reading the article on Shell and Nike, it seems to me that the common denominator for both is that they were taking advantage of people that are very far away from the Western world and its cameras. As much as we seem to think that we are connected with the world and that nothing can happen without our knowledge, there are still many parts of the world that fall under the radar. Companies like Shell know that these parts of the world won’t fall under the heavy scrutiny of mainstream media and so abuse their power by taking advantage of the local population.
In the case of Shell, they were using the land that the Ogani people lived on without the consent of the people and without giving much back to those people. Rights groups talked about how there were high pressure oil pipes winding around and within villages. If these any of these pipes were to leak or burst, it would be devastating to the immediate population as well as the Niger Delta. This, of course, is exactly what happened without much help from Shell. Compared to what BP did for the Gulf region of the United States when they had the big oil spill, the Shell company did absolutely nothing. Although the BP oil spill was bigger than any of the Shell spills, I think part of the issue is that BP was a huge news story and, unfortunately, the Ogani people and their issues aren’t. It seems to me that the media is sometimes the best regulators for big businesses because the media can reach out and influence millions of customers and potential customers.