Port Harcourt — The Ogoni Liberation Initiative says the federal government should compensate the people of Ogoni in Rivers State, before considering the resumption of crude oil exploration activities in the area.
The compensation, according to the group, is for years of environmental pollution the people of Ogoni have suffered as a result of reckless oil exploration and exploitation by Shell.
Speaking, President of the group, Mr. Douglas Fabeke, called for the resettlement of host communities that have suffered a high level of pollution by oil facilities.
Fabeke explained that some oil wells located in close proximity to residential homes made living hazardous in Ogoniland.
He said the resumption of oil and gas exploration and production in such lands would be unattainable unless those settlers located in close proximity to oil facilities and in contaminated areas were relocated to a safer environment.
“Adequate compensation should be paid to Ogoni people for the sufferings, death of loved ones and contamination of our environment resulting from the decades of unpleasant method and manner of oil and gas exploration and exploitation in the area with its attendant atrocities.”
The group also demanded for the reversal of the verdict that led to the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others, including their exoneration.
“Adopt the report of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Right on Ogoni Case. The unjust and illegal verdict that led to the killing of late Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others should be reversed for possible exoneration.”
The group further urged President Buhari to halt further funding of the Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project – the body responsible for the cleanup of Ogoniland.
Fabeke accused the HYPREP of misuse of funds released for the cleanup exercise, saying that the project was not in line with international standards and best practices, urging the Federal Government to re-visit the project.