Stresses Proposed Development Authority as the Solution to Ogoni’s Environmental and Economic Problems
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) says the United Nations Environment Programme UNEP) made compromises to protect The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) in its report on the study on the Ogoni environment.
MOSOP president, Fegalo Nsuke, made this known in his address to a gathering of MOSOP grassroots coordinators in Bera, Gokana kingdom of Ogoni on Saturday (yesterday). The MOSOP president who was represented by the Coordinator of MOSOP in Gokana kingdom, Snr. Apostle Celestine Viura said the UNEP report deliberately protected Shell by covering up most of Shell’s massive oil spills and not capturing over 70 percent of Shell’s pollution sites in Ogoni.
“The corruption in HYPREP did not start today. You will see compromises in the UNEP report which tried to downplay the monumental damage Shell did to the Ogoni environment by not capturing at least 150 pollution sites which represented over 70 percent of polluted sites i nOgoni
Nsuke said the UNEP report therefore has credibility problems as it deliberately downplayed the damage Shell did to the Ogoni environment.
The MOSOP president held that since the study itself was compromised, there is already an integrity question and not much can be expected of the implementation process. He said Shell, who is represented on the management of HYPREP is only there to protect its interests and would want it publicly declared that the Ogoni environment is free of pollution.
The MOSOP president regretted that greed, emboldened by corruption and the non-representation of MOSOP on the HYPREP team has eroded the credibility of the cleanup program and is aiding the plot to mislead the public on the true situation in Ogoni.
He however urged the people to remain unshaken in the quest for Ogoni development emphasising on the proposal of MOSOP which prescribed some set of actions to drive development and permanently address the problems.
“The future of Ogoni does not lie in HYPREP, it does not lie in individual political goals, it lies in a sustainable and dedicated flow of resources to drive development in Ogoni, create jobs, build infrastructure and more and that is the focus of our proposed Ogoni Development Authority” he said yesterday.
He urged the people, especially the youths to rise for development, to rise for the future because there lies the security of Ogoni.
“Your future, those of your children and your children’s children lie in the implementation of that document you are all holding in your hands. That document is designed to drive development and create jobs and empower you. You must stand for development and make it work.” he concluded.
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has led a three-decade struggle against discrimination, economic deprivations and denial of basic rights against the Ogoni people in Nigeria. The struggle has led to the death of some 4,000 people in state-backed military repression since 1993.
On September 27, 2020, the Central Committee of MOSOP approved a set of steps which when implemented will lead to a resolution of the conflicts and called for the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority.
The proposal has been submitted to the federal government but yet to receive any tangible response.