News Rivers

Ogoni communities urge FG to compensate them before resuming oil exploration

…Call on exoneration of Saro-Wiwa, others

Communities in Ogoniland have directed the Federal Government to compensate Ogonis for years of environmental pollution the area has suffered as a result of oil exploitation before considering the resumption of crude oil exploration.

The resolution was reached after a meeting held under the auspices of the Ogoni Liberation Initiative (OLI) where they also called for the reversal of the verdict that led to the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others, including their exoneration, Sun reports.

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Part of the resolution read: “Adequate compensation should be paid to Ogoni people for the sufferings, death of loved ones and contamination of our environment resulting from the decades of unpleasant method and manner of oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the area with its attendant atrocities.

“Adopt the report of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right on Ogoni Case. The unjust and illegal verdict that led to the killing of late Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others should be reversed for possible exoneration.”

President of OLI, Douglas Fabeke, who spoke at the meeting, urged President Buhari to halt further payment to Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Programme (HYPREP).

Fabeke accused the agency of misuse of funds released for the cleanup exercise, which he said was not in line with international standards and best practices, urging the Federal Government to re-visit the project.

In the meeting, the group further asked for the resettlement of host communities that have suffered a high level of pollution to oil facilities.
They claimed that some oil wells located in close proximity to residential homes made living hazardous in Ogoniland.

They said the resumption of oil and gas exploration and production in such lands would be unattainable unless those settlers located in close proximity to oil facilities and in contaminated areas were relocated to a safer environment.

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