…demand restitution for refugees, rebuilding of Property destroyed by Military, wants relocation of HYPREP Hqrs to community
Communities in Ogoni land, working under the umbrella body of the Ogoni General Assembly has given strict conditions for the resumption of oil exploration in their communities.
The assembly had a meeting comprising of all the stakeholders in the communities, which were hosted by the Ken Sarowiwa Associates (KSWA), at Suanu Nwika Finimale hall, Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area, on Saturday, February 24, 2018.
At the end of the meeting, the stakeholders issued a 14 point communiqué.
The communiqué which was read by Mr. Kabari O. P-Agara, the chairman, communiqué drafting committee, spelt out the conditions for oil exploration and exploitation in any part of Ogoniland.
It however, pledged its commitment to the unity of the country, but declared that Dutch oil giants, Shell, remains persona non grata, in the land.
“The Ogoni people reaffirm their desire to remain part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
“The Ogoni people are not opposed to oil production in Ogoni land. However, the Royal Dutch Shell Plc and its subsidiary, the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) remains persona non grata in Ogoni land, as declared by Ken Saro wiwa and other Ogoni leaders in 1993. Therefore, SPDC cannot hold stakes or profit from exploration and production of oil and gas in the land”.
It, however, advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to issue any license on OML 11 (Ogoni fields) to Shell or its surrogate.
“The President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria who is also the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources should reject the application of SPDC to renew its lease over OML 11(Ogoni fields)”.
Also, the stakeholders vehemently opposed the exploration of the oil wells without consultation with Ogoni elders and people.
“SPDC subsisting lease over OML 11(Ogoni fields) should be revoked immediately, to pave way for discussions with Ogoni elders and leaders of thought on the demands of the Ogoni people, as articulated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR), presented to the Federal Government of Nigeria in October 1990, before the resumption of oil production”.
To this end, the General Assembly announced the rejection of Robomichael’s (oil services company) license to operate in any part of the communities.
“The unilateral decision of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to grant approval and operatorship license to Robomichael Nigeria Limited, to resume oil production in OML 11 (Ogoni fields) on behalf of the SPDC, without the free, prior and informed consent of the Ogoni people as guaranteed by International law, is brazen and undemocratic, as it is capable of igniting fresh crisis in the area”.
“Robomichael Nigeria limited, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NNPC), a subsidiary of NNPC and SPDC, should steer clear of Ogoni land in the interest of peace”.
It further stated that Royal Dutch Shell should accept responsibility and apologize for their complicity in the human rights violations and murder of Ogonis between 1993 and 1998.
Stating that the Ogoni people would not forget the destruction of their property, the communiqué insisted that, all the properties destroyed during the crisis by the Nigerian military should be rebuilt and restored, adding that these include the resettlement and rehabilitation of all Ogoni refugees in Nigeria and Diaspora.
“The Federal Government of Nigeria should urgently rebuild all Ogoni communities that were destroyed by the Nigerian military between 1993-1998, resettle and rehabilitate all Ogoni refugees in Nigeria and in the Diaspora and other victims of human rights violations during the period”.
Part of its demand, is the relocation of the Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project (HYPREP) head office, to Ogoni land ”if the federal government is serious and sincere in the clean-up”.
“We demand the relocation of HYPREP headquarters to Ogoni land and UNEP should also be invited as an independent body for the monitoring of the clean-up of Ogoni land”.
“We demand the accelerated hearing of the case involving Ken Sarowiwa in 1990 and we shall not engage in any peace talk on the resumption of oil exploration, until this protracted case is finally settled”.
The document also thanked the current security chiefs in Nigeria, for the sustenance of peace in Ogoni land and urged them to remain committed to upholding the law and human rights in Ogoni land in particular and the Niger Delta in general.