Tension is brewing in Ogoni ethnic nationality of Rivers State following the insistence by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, that the people of Ogoni have not endorsed any company to resume oil exploration on their land, as it called on Federal Government to monitor the activities of oil firms in the area.
This came as some royal fathers in Ogoni, under the aegis of Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers of Ogoni, endorsed RoboMichael Nigeria Limited to explore oil in OML 11.
It will be recalled that Shell Petroleum Development Company had 25 years ago abandoned OML 11 after a face-off with the host communities over environment degradations caused by oil exploration.
Meanwhile, the leader of Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates, KSA, Chief Gani Topba, has described the royal fathers’ endorsement of RoboMichael Nigeria Limited to explore oil in OML 11, as a mere joke, adding that the resolution of the chiefs will not stand.
Spokesman of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, in a statement in Port Harcourt, yesterday, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to avert a possible breakdown of peace in Ogoniland by putting a check on the activities of Belema Oil Producing Limited and RoboMichael Limited, adding that their desperation for Ogoni oil has created local groups sharply divided against one another.
Nsuke said: “The way forward is a peaceful settlement through dialogue taking into consideration the interests of Ogoni people as articulated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights.
“MOSOP, therefore, expresses its displeasure with the Nigerian government feigning ignorance while companies representing its interests notably Belema Oil and RoboMicheal, continue to sponsor local actors who have turned themselves into rival groups projecting the various interests of their sponsors and representing real threats to the peace of Ogoniland.”
On its part, reading a communiqué on behalf of the royal fathers, its spokesman, HRH King Samuel Nnee, Gbene-mene Tuatua, Tai, the paramount ruler of Kpite Communities, said the chiefs had resolved after due consultations to allow the firm operate the wells in the area.
Nnee said; “We in consultation with our people, resolve and endorse RoboMichael Limited as our preferred company to operate the assets situated in our land in line with the decision of the Federal Government.”