Port Harcourt — Host communities in Ogoniland have called on the federal government to resettled all impacted communities who have been displaced due to the high level of environmental degradation, before any oil resumption activities can take place in the area.
Leaders of host communities made this known in a letter sent to President Muhammadu Buhari, after their meeting in Bera community, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The letter which was signed by 19 leaders of host communities in Ogoniland, said they are ready to withdraw all pending court cases, if the federal government demonstrates sincerity of purpose in the implementation of all their demands, including payment of compensation benefits.
The President of Ogoni Liberation Intiative, Dr. Douglas Fabeke, who read the letter on behalf of the host communities, disclosed that the host communities would produce a drafted master-plan, which are the final resolutions of its Ogoni economic development recovery plans to the President.
Fabeke said the master plan would serve as the blue-print and strategic models for the development of Ogoniland, cutting across agriculture, marine, aviation, health, power, water resources, environmental restoration and management, education, socio-political change, oil and gas, refinery, military, security formations and others.
Thr letter reads in parts “Besides, the Host Communities shall include in the final draft, the following developmental and impactful areas for Mr. President’s implementation, namely Scholarship, TrustFund, Payment of compensation
“Demonstration of practical steps for restoration of our polluted environment and development of the land through complete and total implementation of UNEP Report’s recommendations, including the emergency measures, which are neglected by the ongoing clean up exercise.
“Relocation of all Host Communities and impacted homes to another well settled location because of the high level of environmental degradation, before any environmental activities and oil & gas business should be carried.
“That the Host Communities and Ogoni Liberation Initiative are ready to withdraw all pending cases in courts over various decrees of injuries meted to the Ogoniland and her people, if the Government actually demonstrates sincerity of purpose in the implementation all our requests, including payment of compensation benefits.
“That the Government should take cognizance of the fact that since the invasion of Shell in Ogoniland in 1958, we have suffered tremendously without commensurate pay for our tapped natural economic resources.
“Therefore, we appeal to the President to fulfill his words, thus, “Commitment to ensuring clemency and national integration as part of his administration’s bid to lay the foundation for genuine reconciliation and bring closure to the issues of Ogoniland.”
On the pronouncement of grant of pardon to Late Ken Saro-Wiwa, the letter said the expectation of the people is for complete exoneration and not pardon.
“The expectation of the people is for complete exoneration and not pardon because these people were killed 10days after judgment without room for appeal, that was supposed to be 30days.
“However, it should be noted that Mr. President did not pronounce pardon to Late Ken, but said “despite the grievous circumstances, the Federal Government will consider the request for the grant of pardon to finally close the Ogoni saga.”
“We all know that what transpired in the 1990 resulting to the tragic loss of our resourceful martyrs and ugly judicial processes were globally condemnable, even as one of the pronouncements in the judgment gave them the prerogative to appeal the case within reasonable time, but were killed 10 days after the judgment, not accepting pleas from international community.”
Highlights of the meeting was the flag-off of Green Energy Revolution project in collaboration with Sun Energy Community Development Initiative.
The project is designed to provide power without the use of petrol and the company is expected to manufacture their solar powered electronics products in Ogoni, where hundreds of Ogoni youths are expected to be trained on production of green energy.
Dr Fabeke said the training of the youths in Green Energy would reduce youth restiveness and also curbed air and noise pollution cause by generators.