News Oil & Gas Rivers

‘Ogoni people’ll never allow resumption of oil production, without broad discussion’

Ogoni people in the four Local Government Areas of Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme of Rivers State have declared that they will never allow resumption of oil production in the marginalised area, without broad-based discussion with the masses of Ogoni people.

They called on the Federal Government to initiate the broad-based discussion with Ogoni people, by urgently setting up a proper mechanism for engagement that would recognise the critical parties to the Ogoni conflict: the Federal Government, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) and the Ogoni people, as equal partners in finding lasting solutions to the crude oil-induced conflict.

These were contained in a communiqué issued yesterday at the end of a special Ogoni congress, held at the Peace and Freedom Centre, Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoniland.

The congress was called by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), with the communique signed by MOSOP President, Chief Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, and the congress was attended by many Ogoni women, youths, politicians, activists, traditional rulers and Ogoni professionals.

Ogoni people stressed that they welcomed the reconciliatory efforts being facilitated among different groups in Ogoniland, while urging every Ogoni person to work for the greater unity and peace in the area.

The communique read in part: “Congress urges the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to make public its work programme, implementation plans and budgets through a dedicated portal and website for proper and appropriate information delivery to enable the community and other stakeholders to monitor and follow-up on the implementation of the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the environmental assessment of Ogoniland.

“While congress appreciates the medical outreach programme being embarked upon by HYPREP and appeals for its continuous expansion to other areas, congress  calls on HYPREP to move to fully carry out the health study and medical evaluation of every Ogoni person, as recommended by the report.

“Besides the health component, HYPREP should immediately embark on the implementation of other emergency measures, particularly as it relates to provision of water and vigorous commitment to the implementation of the livelihood-restoration programme for the youth and women.

“Congress welcomes the ceremonial signing of the Ogoni Trust Fund Escrow Agreement on April 27, 2018 at the Presidenrial Villa, Abuja, in the presence of the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN).”

Ogoni people also called on the contributing partners to immediately follow-up the Abuja’s signing ceremony with making available their respective contributions into the Ogoni trust fund escrow account, without further delay.

SPDC was sent packing from Ogoniland in 1993, while the renowned environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight other Ogoni activists were hanged at the Port Harcourt Prisons on November 10, 1995, during the regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha. Shell is yet to be allowed to return to Ogoniland, after 25 years.

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