*We’ve no intention to resume oil production in Ogoniland – Shell
01 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, has condemned alleged violence unleashed on the people by security forces during a protest against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, in Ogoniland.
Media and Public Affairs Advisor of MOSOP, Mr. Bari-ara Kpalap, said the protest was necessitated by Shell’s refusal to respond to the people’s demands, but rather hide under the shield of armed military and para-military operatives to resume the laying of oil pipelines in the region without carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment, EIA, as provided by law, to enable the people know the implications of the project.
But responding to this allegation, Shell said it stopped oil production in Ogoni in 1993 and has no intention to resume oil production in the area. It said no new pipelines were being laid in Ogoni but repairs of its 24-inch Trans-Niger Pipeline, TNP, which has been redundant since 2013.
The company further stated that all the affected communities have been adequately engaged and full support of all the host communities secured, prior to mobilisation of its repair crew.
Further speaking on the alleged attack on the protesters, Kpalap said over 18 persons were seriously wounded by the security forces and that the protesting crowd had to regroup in Nonwa, Tai Local Government Area, after the attack.
“The people of Ogoni carried out a peaceful demonstration, Thursday, October 26, 2017 against Shell over her resumed laying of pipelines in Ogoni suspended in August this year following protests led by MOSOP.
“Suddenly, heavily armed soldiers and police officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS, led by the JTF commander in the area arrived in many military trucks and unleashed mayhem on the unarmed, harmless Ogoni demonstrators in an attempt to frustrate the protest,” Kpalap said.
He warned that Ogoni cannot accept laying of pipelines in the area without EIA and discussions as well as agreement with the people, adding that Shell remains persona non-grata in Ogoni and must steer clear of the region.
Meanwhile, SPDC has reiterated that no new pipelines were being laid in Ogoni but repairs of its 24-inch TNP, which has been redundant since 2013.
Spokesman for Shell, Mr. Joseph Obari, responding to the allegations raised by MOSOP, said SPDC stopped oil production in Ogoni in 1993 and since then, the company has no intention to resume oil production in the area.
Obari stated that all the affected communities have been adequately engaged and full support of all the host communities secured, prior to mobilisation of its repair crew.
“The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Ltd is carrying out repair work on the 24-inch Trans Niger Pipeline which passes through a part of Ogoniland and beyond.
“The scope of work involves replacement of vulnerable sections of the pipeline; the 24inch TNP has been shut in since 2013 awaiting this maintenance.
“No new pipelines are being laid, and it is not true that SPDC is executing the work in preparation for resumption of oil production in Ogoni land which was stopped in 1993,” Obari said.