Mkpoikana Udoma 28 February 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – A socio-political group known as Solution Party for Governance, SPG, has charged the federal government to consider indigenes of Ogoniland when issuing out oil bloc licenses.
Give oil blocs to Ogonis, group tells Buhari
The group also advised the Minister of Petroleum and President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, to give licenses to operate modular refineries only to indigenes of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking at the inauguration of Rivers State chapter of the group, the National President of SPG, Amb. Emmanuel Piegbe, said after the clean-up of Ogoniland, indigenes of Ogoni should be allowed to manage their oil wells, adding that there are lots of qualified Ogoni people that have expertise in the oil and gas sector.
He also explained that the group which is a coalition of a total of 291 civil society groups and Non-Governmental Organisations from all over the country is working on modalities to formally register the group as a political party with the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
According to him, “The environmental cleanup of Ogoniland is very strategic. We have made supplications to the President and Minister of Environment, that, it is not only about cleaning up of Ogoniland and go, but since Ogoni has several oilwells therefore indigenes of Ogoni should be given oil wells so they could manage it and set up an endowment fund where the youths of Ogoniland can benefit from such fund, in terms of education, basic amenities, power supply and so that Ogoniland would developed like an oil rich region.
“So it is not only about coming to clean up Ogoniland and go, the most important issue that our late hero Ken Saro Wiwa agitated for, was for the cleanup of Ogoniland and an end to the political marginalisation of Ogoni people. Since 1958 that oil was struck in Ogoni, Ogoniland has not produced a deputy governor or a governor of Rivers State, has not produced a reasonable Minister of this country.
“So we of the Solution Party for Governance we are telling the government that if you are cleaning up Ogoniland you need to set up an endowment fund, and to do that, you must give Ogoni people some oil wells to manage. We are against the fact that people from other regions will come and own oil wells in our backyard.”
Piegbe who is also the Chairman, Ogoni Youth Assembly in Abuja, reiterated that it is only residents of the region that are bearing the brunt of crude oil exploitation such as the black soot experienced in Rivers State, hence, only Niger Delta indegenes should be allowed to operate modular refineries in the region.
He also said that when the party has been formally registered with INEC, its first priority will be to unseat the APC and PDP in 2019, explaining that the problem of the country is lack of good governance. And added that the party believe in the oneness of the Nigeria.
“The licenses for modular refineries should be given to only indigenes of the Niger Delta and not to people that are not of this region. Because they do not feel the pollution that we are suffering in the region; for example, the black soot that has ravaged Rivers State and other neighbouring states is affecting our health, we are the ones suffering it; so we should also benefit.
“They should give us license to operate modular refineries that would employ Niger Delta youths and more especially Ogoni youths. If any modular refinery is coming to Ogoniland, Ogoni people should be involved,” Piegbe said.