12 April 2013, Port Harcourt – Goi, one of the Ogoni communities affected by Shell Petroleum Development Company’s operations in Rivers State, has called on the Federal Government to prevail on oil giant, Shell, to return to clean up impacted environment.
Mr. Stephen Kobani, a community leader, said, while inaugurating a new leadership for Goi, that years after fire from Shell’s operations forced the community to abandon their homes, neither the government nor Shell had deemed it necessary to clean up the environment.
Also, no compensation was paid to the people for the damages caused, he said, adding: “As far as Shell is concerned, we do not exist; that is why since we have been crying out over the sacking of our community by the company’s operations, they have continued to ignore and neglect us.”
Also speaking at the event, Mrs. Veronica Kobani, Goi Women Leader, said the incident which destroyed farmlands, rivers and fish ponds, had pushed the community into severe poverty and suffering.
“Shell and government should clean up the environment to enable us come back to our ancestral homes,” she said.
Lamenting the plight of the community, rights group, the Social Action and Ogoni Solidarity Forum, led by Celestine Akpobari, advised that rather than setting up Ogoni Environment Restoration Agency as prescribed by United Nations
Environmental Programme, UNEP, the government set up Hydro-carbon Pollution Restoration Programme, HYPREP, which has “only been wasting money in setting up bill boards focusing on oil theft.”
The Goi leadership inauguration led by the paramount ruler, HRH Livinus Kobani, saw Mene Tommi sworn in as Chairman, Council of Chiefs and Elders and Mrs Kobani as Women Leader. Also sworn in were the Youth Executives and the Community Development Committee.