*Says calls for Shell to resume oil exploration in Ogoniland, premature
12 February 2019, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has described as premature and useless, the calls by some Ogoni groups on the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, to begin negotiations for her return to Ogoniland.
MOSOP said the call is without adequate negotiations and due consideration for the interest of the Ogoni people.
Factional President of MOSOP, Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, exclusively told our correspondent that it was fundamental to note that the Ogoni people are not opposed to discussions on oil, rather Ogoni wants it to be properly negotiated with the demands of the Ogoni people given very high priority.
Nsuke said contemplating oil resumption in Ogoniland without first addressing the fundamental issues raised by the Ogoni people in the Ogoni Bill of Rights will amount to a deliberate design to kill the Ogoni people as the proponents of oil resumption know that the entire Ogoni will rise against it.
Nsuke who explained that MOSOP is the only group with the mandate to speak for the Ogoni ethnic nationality noted that given the brutal and very painful experience of the Ogoni people, oil resumption at this time will certainly be met with strong resistance.
According to him, “Those calling on Shell to open negotiation for the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoniland should not be taken seriously, there are certain conditions that must be met before oil resumes in Ogoni.
“The people of Ogoni must benefit from Ogoni oil. We don’t want a situation where when oil is produced in Ogoniland, the proceeds are sent to the federation account while the Ogoni people get nothing.
“We cannot continue to suffer the brunt of oil exploitation and damaged environment but get nothing. We are willing to discuss on oil exploration but the people must benefit.”
The Ogoni leader stressed that the Federal government should first address certain issues affecting the Ogoni people.
These issues according to him are, “The full implementation of the cleanup program, the decriminalization of the Ogoni nine hanged in 1995, respect for the political rights of the Ogoni people to self determination and the development of social infrastructure in Ogoniland to pave the way for industrial development of the area and employment especially for young people.”
The MOSOP President said it was inhuman for the Federal Government to neglect the Ogoni people despite the huge contributions of Ogoni to the economic development of the country, adding that Nigeria’s interest for the Ogoni oil rather than the people was regrettable and unacceptable.
“It will be genocidal for the government of Nigeria to contemplate oil production in Ogoniland without the people’s consent as it will clearly portend the determination of the government to deliberately deploy military forces against peaceful Ogoni people who are only battling for the respect of their fundamental rights to a decent living.
“Efforts to force oil resumption in Ogoniland without the people’s consent will be useless as it can only breed crises and dampen the hopes of a possible resolution of the conflict through peaceful dialogue.”