17 February 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates have said that the Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, must accept responsibility and apologize for their complicity in the human rights violations and murder of Ogonis between 1993 and 1998.
This was part of the resolution reached at the end of the 2018 Ogoni General Assembly convoked by the group on the planned resumption of oil production in OML11 Ogoni oil field, held in Bori, Ogoniland.
A frontline activist and National Coordinator of the group, Chief Gani Topba, who read the resolutions called on President Muhammadu Buhari who is also the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources to reject the application of SPDC to renew its lease over OML 11.
Topba also called on the Federal Government to immediately revoke the subsisting OML11 lease from SPDC to pave the way for discussions with Ogoni leaders on the demands of the people as captured on the Ogoni Bill of Rights presented to the government since the year 1990.
He called on the Federal Government to rebuild all Ogoni communities that were destroyed by the Nigerian Military between 1993 to 1998, resettle and rehabilitate all Ogoni refugees in Nigeria and in the diaspora and victims of human rights violations during the period.
“The people of Ogoni reiterates that the Royal Dutch Shell and its Nigerian subsidiary, SPDC must accept responsibility and apologise for their complicity in the human rights violations and murder of Ogonis between 1993 and 1998.
“Can a man beat and kill your father yet cannot tell you sorry? The apology is a step for Shell to talk to Ogoni.
“Whether the company agrees or not, Shell must apologise to Ogoni people. Even if they are not operating in Ogoni, they are bound to apologise to the people of Ogoni.
“SPDC must establish and implement an appropriate and adequate compensation mechanism consistent with the requirement of international law and industry best practices to compensate the Ogoni people for the environmental degradation, health impairment and loss of livelihoods, to which they have and continue to be subjected through the decades of SPDC’s reckless oil and gas operations in Ogoniland.
“The Ogoni people are not opposed to oil production in Ogoniland, however, the Royal Dutch Shell and SPDC remains persona non grata in Ogoniland and cannot hold stakes or profit from exploration and production of oil and gas in the land.”
The people of Ogoni in their resolution also demand the speedy implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme Report and recommendations on oil spill clean up in the Ogoni environment.
They affirm their belief in the nonviolent approach in their quest for social, economic, political, cultural and environmental justice as enunciated by their forebears.