Port Harcourt — The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, says the federal government and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited have not shown any commitment towards any true reconciliation in Ogoniland.
This is as the Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev. Matthew Hassan Kukah, who headed a reconciliation team set up by Olusegun Obasanjo-led administration to address the issue of oil production in Ogoni, has again called for reconciliation in Ogoniland.
Kukah during his recent book launch in Port Harcourt attended by former President Olusegun Obasanjo; former Rivers State governor, Nyesom Wike and Labour Party Presidential Candidate Peter Obi, had used the occasion to talk about reconciliation in Ogoni.
Reacting to the call for reconciliation by the stakeholders, MOSOP said reconciliation was impossible when there was a sustained and on-going harm against the people of Ogoni, saying that preaching reconciliation without addressing the issues and accepting responsibility was tantamount to unjust and hypocritical preachment.
President of MOSOP, Mr Fegalo Nsuke called for a transparent and practical commitment to a just and fair system which would protect the future of the people of Ogoni and the Niger Delta in decision making and resource allocation.
Nsuke also called on the federal government, NNPCL and the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited to put an end to the use of military forces against civil agitations for fundamental rights; and the use of divide and conquer methods to sustain conflicts between and within communities.
“Reconciliation is impossible with sustained and on-going harm. For there to be true reconciliation, the process must be fair and just which demands that those who suffer losses must be compensated in some way to remedy their sufferings”.
“It is also important for those whose actions have destroyed society to be brought to account. We have not seen a commitment on the part of Shell and the Nigerian government towards true reconciliation in Ogoni.”
Nsuke also criticised the government’s attitude towards the Ogoni people describing their tolerance of Shell’s crimes in Ogoniland as genocidal and noted that the government needed to show her commitment to reconciliation by accepting MOSOP’s offer for the establishment of Ogoni Development Authority which according to him, is a people-based initiative to foster reconciliation.
According to him, the damage which the Nigeria’s military regime in alliance with Shell has done to the Ogoni people may be irreparable in a generation.
“Reconciliation should not only mean oil resumption in Ogoni. It should also consider the needs of the Ogoni people and we expect the Nigerian government to embrace the people-based initiative for the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority.
“In Ogoni, the pain and damage Shell and the Nigerian authorities did to the people are extreme and a recovery is not likely in a generation. There had been rapes, detention, torture, killings and the mental impact are not easy to deal with when the harm is on-going.
“For the Ogoni people, reconciliation means that Nigeria and Shell should accept their wrongs and implement remedies especially with the opportunity of a people-based proposal for the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority,” Nsuke said.
Follow us on twitter