Port Harcourt — The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has strongly rejected the directive by President Muhammadu Buhari to directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, to take over the operatorship of the entire OML11, Ogoni oilfield, from the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC.
Recall that President Buhari, in a letter by his chief of Staff, Abba Kyari, has recently directed NNPC and NPDC, to take overr the entire OML and also ensure a smooth re-entry into OML11i 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 2nd, 2019
President of MOSOP, Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, while reacting to the development, said it was appalling that such serious decision, which will have a crucial impact on the people, was taken without prior consultation and consent of the people of Ogoni.
Nsuke said MOSOP is deeply worried about the directive by the Nigerian government, saying it smacks real threats to the lives of Ogoni people, as it will likely result in state persecution and gross human rights abuses against the Ogoni people.
According to him, “Indeed, 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.
“MOSOP considers this decision to have been taken in bad faith and in the 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.
“Indeed, 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 jeopardize the safety and security of the lives of our people.
“MOSOP wonders why the government has failed to genuinely commit itself to dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the Ogoni conflicts years after receiving Ogoni demands as clearly outlined in the Ogoni Bill of Rights and will instead choose the paths that breed conflict in order to use its military might against innocent and peace-loving Ogoni citizens, whose lives have been rendered miserable by years of state repression and environmental devastation from Shell’s long years of pollution.
“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, therefore, urged the Federal Government to rescind the decision to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoniland and to allow considerable time for broad-based consultations with Ogoni people to avoid conflicts within Ogoni communities.
Nsuke also urged the international community to help the Ogoni people in every way possible and prevent this impending war and persecution Ogoni people.
“MOSOP call on Ogonis all over the world to remain peaceful and steadfast. 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.”