Port Harcourt — A group known as the Conscience of Ogoni People, COOP, has blamed the deteriorating security situation in Ogoniland due to cult clashes in the area, on oil firms interested in Ogoni oilfields.
COOP, which was formally known as the Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates, particularly blamed the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, said the firm should be held responsible for any crises in Ogoniland.
The leader of the group, Chief Gani Topba, told our correspondent that NPDC has shortlisted companies to take over the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC’s operatorship in OML11.
Topba explained that these companies were, in turn, sponsoring cult gangs to cause crises in the area, so as to pave the way for a fraudulent and forceful resumption of oil exploration in Ogoniland.
According to him, “We have discovered that the insecurity in Ogoniland is caused by some oil companies who want to pass through the back door to take Ogoni oil. They have cashed in on some of the violence that rocked Ogoni communities by providing funds to these cult groups.
“NPDC should be held responsible for any crises in Ogoniland. NPDC has shortlisted companies that they will give pilot jobs, these companies go about funding cultists to intimidate any Ogoni leader who would stand on their way.
“We call on the Department of State Security Services, the Nigerian Army and the Police to up their games, because of this new trend by desperate oil companies, who are doing everything to grab the Ogoni oil.”
Topba charged stakeholders in various Ogoni communities to explore those who are involved in acts of cultism in the area, said Ogoni leaders not safe as plans are underway to eliminate Ogoni leaders during cult clashes to make look unsuspicious.
He also urged President Buhari to make a clear statement on the Ogoni issue to douse the tension.
“I can tell you that DSS have these records because the DSS cannot tell Nigerians that they do not have intelligence reports on this.
“I will soon release a list of companies that have been shortlisted by NPDC and I have alerted the international community. The Federal Government must sit down and discuss Ogoni oil and not give room to people that are calculating how much profit they can make from Ogoni oil.”