22 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — The Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates, KSA, have said that 25 percent equity shares of OML 11 oil bloc should be awarded to Ogoniland before any company can be allowed to commence oil exploration and production activities in Ogoni.
The group claimed that the mining license of OML 11 held by the Shell Petroleum and Development Company, SPDC, would expire in 2019 and the company was already jostling for a renewal from the Federal Government.
President of the group, Chief Gani Topba, explained that the solution to the Ogoni debate was for the Federal Government not to renew the OML 11 license for Shell but take back 100 percent control of the oil bloc while it gives 25 percent of the shares to Ogoniland.
Topba who disclosed this at the weekend during the Ogoni General Assembly 2018, held in Bori, the traditional headquarters of Ogoniland, said granting 25 percent of OML 11 shares to Ogoniland was a step towards resource control which renowned environmentalist, the late Ken Saro-Wiwa fought and died for in 1995.
He explained that the Federal government was never the problem but Shell, and accused the company of pushing the government to renew the license of OML 11 for them.
“The government of Nigeria has one solution and the solution is that since Shell’s license for OML 11 would expire in 2019, Shell has applied for renewal, the Government should not renew it.
“Let 100 percent of the Ogoni oil bloc go back to the Federal Government. Ogoni is looking at how to agree with a company that will give Ogoni 25 percent stake in the 45 percent JV formula, which to us, means resource control.
“Ken Saro-Wiwa never said Ogoni should break up from Nigeria, all he wanted was for the people to control their resources.
“Now to control these resources, Shell must be entirely out from Ogoni and the Federal Government negotiates Ogoni oil bloc with the people of Ogoni where at least 25 percent equity shares are given to Ogoniland.”
Asked if the people of Ogoni would be okay with just any company in Ogoniland, so far as 25 percent equity shares are allocated to the people, Topba said, “Not just any company, not RoboMicheal, not NPDC; there are Ogoni leaders that will tell the world which company they want to come and operate in Ogoniland.
“We have the likes of Ledum Mitee, Chief Barinua Moses Wifa, SAN and Owen Wiwa and other Ogoni leaders who would break the news, I am not in a position to break the news,” Gani Topba said.