Belema Oil, the new oil company that wants to assume the position of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Ogoni land had been enjoying the support of some individuals and groups in the area. But seem that the company may witness a hitch from Ogoni Youth Foundation which has refused to endorse the company’s interest to take over from SPDC in Ogoni land.
Oil once flowed in Ogoniland, as it does from wells throughout the creeks and swamps of Nigeria's Niger Delta region. But in 1993, the Ogoni people said enough. Leaking pipelines were polluting the fields they farmed and the waterways they fished.
The MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators and Chapter Leaders Forum says it has uncovered a plan by The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria to use the Belema Oil Producing Nigeria Limited to execute an already laid down plain to encourage conflicts in Ogoni to pave way for the resumption of oil operations.
In a bid to fully commence oil operations in Ogoni land, the people have demanded 10-15 per cent equity and not profit sharing. The Coordinator of Ogonis Elites and Elders, Dr. Eddie Wikina, speaking with our reporter Friday in Port Harcourt, said equity based arrangement was the best way to follow in the matter.
Yet to be identified gunmen have shot a local farmer in Ogoniland. The victim, Cecilia Micheal Nwako, a native of Kpaa, Lueku was shot in her farm. Reports say she was rushed to a nearby hospital, some 30 minutes drive from the community.
The president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Legborsi Saro Pyagbara has in compliance with the resolution of the Ogoni National Congress convoked at the Peace and Freedom Centre, Bori-Ogoni on February 7, 2015, approved the setting up of a 15-member consultative committee on the above subject matter with Professor Johnson Nnaah and Barrister Mike Karikpo as Chairman and Secretary respectively. The other representatives of the people serving on the committee are:
The planned handing over of an indigenous Oil Company, Belema Oil Producing Ltd, by the Dutch petroleum giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in Ogoniland, has heigthened tension in the area, as the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), traditional rulers and other stakeholders have disagreed on the modalities for the arrangement.
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People said it has uncovered a devious plot by some promoters of immediate oil production resumption in Ogoniland to raise yet another spurious allegation against its President, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara.
MOSOP said with previous plots having failed to implicate Pyagbara in controversies surrounding minority clamour for oil exploitation commencement in the area and endorsement of Belema Oil, those behind it are coming up with fresh ideas.
MOSOP said reports available to it have shown that these unscrupulous elements plan to forge the signature of the President of MOSOP and superimpose it on a fake document aiming to link him with supporting a particular company and pecuniary inducements from oil concerns and related sources and set him up for the people’s wrath.
MOSOP said already, the falsehood accusing Pyagbara of standing against employment and development opportunities for Ogoni youths have been circulated.
A statement on Tuesday by Bari-ara Kpalap, Media/Public Affairs Advisors to the MOSOP President, added: Although we are not surprised at the plot, we note with dismay the desperation that has regrettably characterized their campaign for the endorsement of Belema Oil and commencement of oil production in the area. As it stands, we would not be surprised if the situation degenerates past the present tendency in view of the claim by some of the actors that the MOSOP president was blocking their opportunity to become multi-billionaires. It is saddening that these characters seem unbothered about the peculiar circumstance of the Ogoni people but their parochial interests only. However, since the stance of MOSOP and her president promotes and protects the interest of the community, no degree of evil machinations would sway our genuine efforts for a better Ogoni.
“Nevertheless, we would like to warn the executioners and the masterminds to desist from carrying out the uncovered plot as they would be held responsible for whatever happens since they are known. To us, the time requires all Ogonis coming together and working concertedly if we must achieve our communal goals for which our compatriots paid the supreme price.”
In the statement, MOSOP also condemned in strong terms the increasing wave of politically motivated violence in Ogoniland, including the recent kidnapping of Freddie Ndigbara.
It said: “We consider this sustained tendency as most unnecessary and unfortunate as it in no way help to resolve our peculiar disadvantaged circumstance but painted Ogoni in bad light. On several occasions, MOSOP has advised our people against allowing Ogoni to be a theatre of violence, whether political or otherwise as the implications and effects are borne by Ogoni and Ogoni alone. We thus passionately call on the abductors to unconditionally release Mr. Ndigbara. We as well urged the police to investigate the incident with a view to bringing the culprits and their sponsors to justice.”
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) says Nigeria's disposition towards human rights and justice is the root cause of the closure of oil exploration operations in Ogoniland.