12 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has condemned an alleged resumption of laying of oil pipelines and the granting of operatorship licensing of OML11 to a company called RoboMichael Nigeria Limited by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC.
To this end, MOSOP which termed the approach of the companies as an affront on the rights of the Ogoni people and an open invitation to crisis, warned RoboMichael Nigeria Limited to steer clear of Ogoni.
A seven point communiqué issued at the end of its deliberations on issues affecting Ogoni by the Steering Committee of MOSOP, said the attempt by NPDC and its collaborators to forcefully resume with impunity oil production in Ogoni is provocative and a recipe for crisis and conflict with the Ogoni people.
The communiqué jointly signed by MOSOP President, Mr Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, and Secretary-General, Mr. Anthony Porole, said Ogonis warmly welcomes genuine investment that will create opportunities in Ogoniland, but warned that no company can be foisted on the Ogoni people and no oil extraction can take place in Ogoni without a broad-based discussion and agreement with the people.
“The Steering committee condemned in the strongest terms the unilateral and mindless demonstration of crass insensitivity by NPDC in awarding the Oil Mining Licence in respect of OML 11 to one RoboMichael Nigeria Limited in complete disregard of the free, prior and informed consent of the Ogoni people as recognized and protected under international law.
“The Steering Committee restated that the Ogoni community and the oil industry have been in dispute for more than two decades; in the course of this conflict, over two thousand souls were slaughtered in cold blood by the military that was protecting the interest of the oil companies, fourteen communities reduced to rubbles while thousands fled into exile.
“While the Steering Committee warmly welcomes genuine investment that will create opportunities in Ogoni, it reaffirmed its position that no company can be foisted on the Ogoni people and no oil extraction can take place in Ogoni without a broad-based discussion and agreement with the people, taking into consideration the long drawn impasse between our community and the oil industry that had occasioned the gross violations of the rights of the Ogoni people. The company called RoboMichael Nigeria Limited must, therefore, steer clear of Ogoni.”
MOSOP’s Steering Committee in the communique warned Ogonis involved in any clandestine deal with the oil companies that is inimical to the progress and prosperity of Ogoni to desist forthwith, saying that any issue affecting the destiny of Ogoni has to be addressed with openness and transparency.
“The Steering Committee further condemned any initiative that will undermine the remediation of the hydrocarbon contaminated Ogoni environment, and the restoration of livelihood, which is of overwhelming importance to the Ogoni people.
“Similarly, the Steering Committee strongly condemned the resumption of the controversial laying of oil pipelines in Ogoni by Shell/NPDC, which was suspended following protests as the pipelines are also connected to the unresolved issue of oil production in Ogoni.
“We consider the approach of the companies as an affront on the rights of the Ogoni people and an open invitation to crisis,” MOSOP said in the communiqué.