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Ogoni Students Re-Affirm Commitment To Resolution of NUOS Crisis

…Support Ogoni Project 2015

Ogoni Students have expressed their deep desire to work towards resolving the succession crisis that is rocking their umbrella body, the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS) as a result of what they called the sit-tight attitude of some of their present executive members who have continued to parade themselves as leaders of the union when their tenure has elapsed.

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Clean-up of Ogoni Land Gathers Steam as Govt Set to Implement UNEP Report

 The federal government has again stated its willingness to cleanup hydrocarbon polluted Ogoniland. This time, it said that sincerity of purpose and a solution-focused political tenacity will drive home the restoration efforts. On Tuesday, the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke disclosed the renewed decision of the federal government to move the challenge of cleaning up Ogoniland of hydrocarbon pollution out of a stalemate situation. Alison-Madueke noted that the challenges of implementing the environmental impact assessment report undertaken on Ogoniland and submitted to the government for consideration by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) had been escalated by an initial break down in trust which she said was vital in such restoration effort.

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2015: MOSOP Intensifies Campaign for Ogoni governor

Determined to ensure that an Ogoni occu­pies the Rivers State Government House in 2015, the people of the eth­nic nationality have dedicated their governorship bid tagged: “Ogoni Project 2015,” to God.

The church service orga­nized by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) with the theme: “That we may be one,” at­tracted a huge crowd of Ogoni across party lines.

The event held at the Wesley Methodist Cathedral in Bori, the ancestral home of Ogoni people and Headquarters of Khana Local Government Area, witnessed prominent Ogoni leaders maintain one voice.

President of MOSOP, Leg­borsi Pyagbara, restated the po­sition of Ogoni on governorship in 2015, urging the people to form a coalition geared towards producing a successor to Gov­ernor Amaechi insisting, “the time for an Ogoni governor has come.”

He said: “Let’s culminate our struggle for justice, libera­tion and against environmental degradation with the election of  a governor in 2015 from Ogo­niland.

“Our position is clear; any party that is interested in our votes should field an Ogoni as its governorship flag bear­er in the 2015 gubernatorial election. We assure an Ogoni governorship candidate and the party he represents of our collective votes.”

On his part, President of KAGOTE, Dr. Peter Medee, said: “We cannot lose it in this generation, we must grab it now or we have to wait for an­other 24 years. Those saying no more zoning are enemies of Ogoni. They are those con­spiring against the people of Ogoni. Whether it is APC or PDP, we must unite to get the governorship position.”

In his solidarity message, the member representing Tai/ Eleme/Oyigbo federal constit­uency in the House of Repre­sentatives, Barry Mpigi, who also spoke on behalf of Sena­tor Magnus Abe of the APC, said Ogoni people were prepared to produce the next governor of the state, not minding the political plat­form, through which it was achieved.

Earlier in his admonition, the Bishop, Diocese of Bori, Methodist Church Nigeria, Rt. Revd. Innocent Ndinwii, urged the people of Ogoni to ensure they play their individual parts to achieve their desire for a governor of Ogoni extraction in 2015.

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Ogoni: Shell’s Exit Strategy Stirs Controversy

FOR International Oil Companies (IOCs), including Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), Ogoni is one big piece of cake, — full of oil deposits (currently 750million barrel reserve in OML 11 alone) and very cost effective to exploit. So, the attraction to ‘stay put’ remains irresistible, despite decades of deadly agitation by local communities whose means of livelihood and general environment, according to a United Nations agency, have been utterly compromised and would need, at least, 30 years of effective cleanup.

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Agony of oil spill in Goi community, Ogoniland

The pathetic story of oil spills in the Niger Delta region is a sad tale of neglect and lack of commitment on the part of the critical stakeholders, especially the oil companies, to do the needful. Correspondent, ALICE ONUKWUGHA, writes on the sorry state of Goi community in Ogoni land, South-South, Nigeria.

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Shell Considers Secret Sale of Ogoni Oil Fields

Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) is secretly working to sell its licences in Ogoniland, Rivers State, including its stake in the 750 million barrels Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11, New Telegraph gathered yesterday.

Shell has 30 per cent holding, its partners, Total has 10 per cent while ENI holds 5 per cent in OML 11 located in the heart of the Ogoniland.

The company has shut down 23 producing fields on the OML 11 block, particularly Bomu and Ohuru. These fields have remained idle since clashes between the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) headed by the late Saro-Wiwa and the Nigerian Army between 1992 and 1995.

For over 20 years, some of the assets have been lying unused and are becoming rusty as Shell and its host community in the area have been at loggerheads over the high level of oil leaks that have polluted the Ogoniland. An industry source familiar with the deals, however, said the planned sale is a part of the bigger scheme for the company’s total exit from Ogoniland. The major assets’ auction will, however, be executed only if the local Ogoni community agrees to it.

A news agency, StreamNG, had earlier reported that the Shell group wanted to kickstart the disposal process before Nigeria’s presidential election scheduled for next February “but it won’t complete a deal with a buyer until Goodluck Jonathan’s successor has been elected.”

“The future buyer will need to find a partner with particularly deep pockets. After 20 years of lying unused and damaged from sporadic clashes, oil infrastructure, and particularly pipelines, are in a disastrous state, and oil leaks have polluted the entire region,” the report said.

As in the case of other transactions, the decision to sell came only after several attempts by Shell to safeguard its interests in OML 11. In the early 2000s, following a decade of conflict and court cases with local communities, Shell ended the last legal wrangles in 2009 by forking out $15.5 million to the community.

It also agreed to allow two of the marginal fields – Oza and Asaramatoru – be carved out of the block and sold to local groups. Millennium Oil and Gas, which got Oza, has since joined forces with Britain’s Hardy, while Suffolk Petroleum, headed by Henry Macpepple, acquired Asaramatoru. But that failed to improve Shell’s relations with the Ogoni people as none of the two companies did the least work on the fields.

“The company is yet to secure Minister’s Consent for the sale of its stakes in OML 18, 24, 25 and 29 in the Niger Delta (AEI 728), as well as the major crude pipeline. “What is more interesting in this new and even bigger auction, is that some prominent indigenes of Ogoniland who are active in the Nigeria’s oil industry are on the top cadre of preference for the transactions.

“This is because the group perceives this as a major plan to put an end to the seeming intractable challenges it had at Ogoniland,” the source said Ogoniland was the theatre of violent clashes between residents and Nigeria’s security forces in the 1990s.

The Nigerian Content Act prescribes that Shell can only sell to a Nigerian group and, if possible, one that is controlled by prominent Ogoni figures, who alone can restore good relations with the local population. Following stormy negotiations 10 years ago, the Anglo-Dutch giant agreed to secretly transfer its operating role in OML 11 to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the exploration and production unit of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Spokesperson for the NPDC, Mr. Ugo Atugbokoh could not be reached for comments on the new plans to sell the assets. His cell phone was switched off when New Telegraph called him.

It was learnt that some prominent businessmen that had served for years as intermediaries between the Ogonis and the Federal Government could be called back for the transactions. One of those who the source said could be involved in the renewed talks is Special Adviser, Research and Document to the president, Mr. Oronto Douglas, who was a former lawyer to the executed Ogoni leader, Mr. Saro-Wiwa. Douglas is the author of the fiery anti-Shell book titled: “Where Vultures Feast.”

Another prominent Niger Deltan, who could also get an offer, is the former Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Ms. Ama Pepple, a native of Rivers State. Pepple and her son, Osamede Okhomina, CEO of Energy Equity Resources, are directors of a trust fund in favour of the Ogoni community that was financed by the $15.5 million damages that Shell paid following judgment in a suit filed against the oil company in 2009.

Spokesperson for Shell in Nigeria, Mr. Precious Okolobo, declined to comment on the new transactions, which is coming before the close of other assets sale worth $5 billion in Nigeria by the company. “No comment,” he said by telephone in response to enquiries from New Telegraph yesterday.

Source: New Telegraph

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Restoring Ogoni Environment Through UNEP Report

When federal government of Nigeria commissioned the United Nations Environmental Progress, UNEP, in 2006 to carry out an environmental assessment of oil exploration in Ogoni land Rivers state of Nigeria, many stakeholders believed that it would mark the end of yearnings and agitation of the people of Ogoniland, who have always used any given opportunity to cry out over the degradation of their environment due to activities of international Oil Companies.

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