Port Harcourt — The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP has accused the NNPCL Exploration and Production Limited, NEPL, of plans to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoni without addressing legacy issues including community concerns for development and the environment.
Recall that NEPL, formerly NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, recently announced 100percent ownership of OML11 and seven other OMLs with plans to drill over 60 oil wells between now and 2024.
Managing Director of NEPL, Mr Mohammad Ali Zarah, at the just concluded 4th Nigerian Oil and Gas Opportunity Fair, NOGOF2023, said the company was targeting to produce over 300,000barrels per day of crude within its assets domiciled in the six states of the South-south region.
Reacting on the development, President of MOSOP, Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, said the planned resumption of oil exploration in OML11 will endanger the lives of the Ogoni people, incite the state against the Ogoni people and lead to state repression and killing of innocent Ogoni community residents.
Nsuke accused the NEPL of attempting to derail current efforts by MOSOP to bring all parties to the Ogoni conflicts to a discussion table with hopes of a mutually beneficial resolution.
He further said the move by NEPL was not only an attempt to sabotage the push for the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority, which he said was a key demand put forward by the Ogoni people to address the Ogoni crises of over three decades, as well as attempts to sustain the denial of the rights of the Ogoni people to benefit from their natural endowments.
The MOSOP president urged the NEPL and NNPCL and the federal government to respect the wishes of the Ogoni people, desist from creating unnecessary tension in Ogoni over an issue that MOSOP has already proposed the Ogoni Development Authority as an acceptable path to resolve the problem and have shown willingness to negotiate a settlement.
“Forcing oil production in Ogoni will only lead to more Ogoni killings with the risk of a spill over to the rest of the Niger Delta who will show solidarity with the oppressed Ogoni people.
“NEPL is planning to repress the people with the force of state rather than allowing a dialogue that will address the concerns of all parties and lead to peace and development.
“MOSOP will mobilize the Ogoni people against the move because it is a threat to the lives and peace of Ogoni communities. Nsuke strongly condemned what he called the NEPL’s insensitivity to the concerns of the Ogoni people and an attempt to sustain Ogoni’s impoverishment through a system of natural resource extraction that completely alienates the future and concerns of the Ogoni people.
“The NEPL is attempting to cage Ogoni and the Niger Delta to perpetual slavery and sustain an economic repression which the region has resisted over the years. That will not be reasonable at this time that we are proposing a model that can address all issues related to conflicts in the Niger Delta region,” he said.
While alerting the Ogoni people of a possible military invasion on the orders of the NEPL, the MOSOP leader urged the Ogoni people to be ready for a non-violent resistance against the moves.
He assured of MOSOP’s commitment to an inclusive dialogue on its proposals for the operation of the ODA and hopes that the government will embrace a progressive path that takes the people’s concern into perspective.
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