As a young Ogoni in the 90s and at the peak of the State and sHELL’s persecution of Ogoni people and their environment, it was that name “ORONTO” that we started hearing as the new “driver” of our legitimate struggle, especially as every active Ogoni at the time, has either been driven into the bush by then Col Paul Okuntimo, sent on forced exile or to their early graves.
Last week, democracy won a handsome victory in Nigeria. An election that had everybody on edge for fear of internecine killings involving militants from the two main competing parties, against a backcloth of the war of attrition waged by the nihilist, extremist, Islamist movement Boko Haram, led pundits to fear the worst. It did not happen. Nigeria gave of its best. Indeed, the real winner was the loser, the present president, Goodluck Jonathan. He graciously phoned the winner, Muhammadu Buhari, to concede the election. His attitude to his defeat kept the peace.
When President Jonathan was elected (?) the President of Nigeria the Ogoni people gushed about his presidency. They thought that hAbachae was their human messiah that was coming to walk on water, turn their water into wine and make old things new again.
The Niger Delta region occupies a central position in the political economy of Nigeria. The oil and gas sector in Nigeria has assumed an increasing significance since the late 1950s when oil was discovered in the Niger Delta. The volume and importance of oil has increased over the years.
Whenever Ogoni is in the news one is tempted to fret and be nervous. Ogoni has been more of a news item than what it’s originally made to be. Ogoni is not always in the news for any good reason. Ogoni has for the past couple of decades been converted into a killing field by the Nigerian Government and the Monstrous Shell international.
ON January 4, 1993, the Ogoni protest movement was launched under the leadership of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) with massive demonstrations in designated centres in Ogoni. Following the protests, Shell suspended operations in Ogoni three months later. Shell and the Nigerian government were held accountable by MOSOP for the environmental degradation and marginalisation of Ogoni.
The above subject matter has in the past few days, generated quite a storm as more details regarding the issue raised have started flooding in from different concerned stakeholders who completely agreed with us that indeed, there is a deception in the whole game plan. As regards this issue, many have noted, it is a calculated conspiracy to deny Ogoni people their rights to participation in E&P activities and access to means to end the many years of economic deprivation.
It is a true affirmation to aver that the degree of ecological devastation of Ogoni through oil and gas mining is beyond human understanding (it's also beyond the scope of UNEP's assessment;but no alternative for now),especially, the Ogoni wetland and atmosphere. Using the phrase 'environmental degradation' to describe the damage to Ogoni environment is an under-statement! It is 'ecological disaster.'
With more (investigated) revelations coming in as regards the subject matter, we are greatly appalled to find out that it is actually true that Shell (SPDC) is said to be the main brain behind the push for Belema Oil Ltd to buy over and operate the Ogoni oil fields.