05 August 2013, Port Harcourt – The Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers State has said it would drag Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to court to stop the oil multinational from selling its assets in the area.
Shell, whose vast oil exploration operations in Ogoniland had been shut since the 1990s following Ogoni struggle against the Nigerian State as a result of the killing of Ken Saro- Wiwa, is believed to be secretly selling off the idle assets in furtherance of its divestments from Nigeria.
At a rally by thousands of Ogonis in Bori, to protest two years of Federal Government’s non-implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, report on Ogoniland, the people vowed to stop Shell from selling any Ogoni assets till all contentious issues were resolved.
Celestine Akporbari of the Ogoni Solidarity Forum, who led the protest, said “Nothing is working in Ogoni because of the evil destruction of our land by Shell, which is now secretly selling all its assets to private companies. That is why we are going to court next week to stop Shell. Whoever buys anything is buying Shell’s liability.”
Akporbari added that the people had run out of patience over Federal Government’s continued indifference to the UNEP report, saying that the development was pushing the country towards a violent struggle.
He said: “Today, the report of UNEP has exonerated Ken Saro- Wiwa’s struggle and ours that Ogoni environment has been polluted. Instead of doing something about our plight, government is playing politics with our lives. We have not seen anything relating to the implementation of the report in Ogoni. The people are suffering. Water, crops, air and the environment have been poisoned.”
“Ken Saro Wiwa agitated in non violence, our generation has also sustained non violence, but the next generation of Ogoni, whose fate may have been dashed to the mud because of the current damage to our environment may be less tolerant and may want a war,” Akporbari said.
– Egfue Yafugborhi, Vanguard