… Says order to NNPC, NPDC could cause persecution, rights abuses
Port Harcourt — The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has urged the Federal Government to rescind the decision to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoniland so as to allow for consultations with Ogoni people to avoid conflicts within Ogoni communities.
MOSOP also said the recent directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, to take over the operatorship of the Oil Mining Lease, OML, 11 in Ogoniland from the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, could lead to persecution and gross human rights abuses against the people.
Disclosing this to SweetcrudeReports, President of MOSOP, Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, described the president’s directive as appalling as, according to him, it was issued without prior consultation and consent of the people of Ogoni.
Recall that President Buhari, in a letter by his chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, had directed the NNPC and NPDC to take over operatorship of the oilfield given the delicate situation of Ogoniland.
The letter, which is titled ‘Operatorship of Entire Oil Mining Lease (OML)11’, specifically directed NNPC/NPDC to confirm the assumption of the operatorship by May 2, 2019.
But, Nsuke said MOSOP was worried about the directive. “It is appalling that despite the severe impact this directive will have on the lives of the Ogoni people, this decision had been taken without consultations with the Ogoni people nor were our inputs sought in such a crucial issue that affect our lives,” he said.
He added: “MOSOP considers this decision to have been taken in bad faith and in negation of the principle of free prior and informed consent which is fundamentally a requirement in dealing with issues affecting indigenous communities like the Ogoni people.
“Given our past and recent experiences with the Nigerian government over oil resumption, the height of which was the hanging of our compatriots and leaders in 1995, including Ken Saro-Wiwa, we expect sensitive issues of this nature to be widely discussed, allowing time for proper consultations within Ogoni communities to avoid any conflicts which will jeopardise the safety and security of the lives of our people”.
According to Nsuke, “MOSOP rejects the insensitivity of the Nigerian government to the pitiable situation of Ogoni dwellers who still grapple with the impact of massive pollution, and while the Ogoni environment is yet to be cleaned from past spillages, the government is only considering actions that will ignite conflicts and lead to a more deteriorating situation.”
MOSOP urged the international community to help the Ogoni people to “prevent this impending war and persecution of Ogoni people”, adding: “It is our hope that Nigeria will not be allowed to prosecute this planned and conscious move to violate the rights of its own citizens. It is our hope that the world will not remain silent over this danger faced by over one million Ogoni people.”