Ogoni People Reject Belema Oil, Express Fear of State Repression

An enlarged congress of the MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators and Chapter Leaders Forum has overwhelmingly rejected the take over of Ogoni oilfields by Belema oil. The decision was taken yesterday during the meeting of the representatives of the MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators and Chapter Leaders Forum from 126 communities in Ogoniland.

The congress condemned the Ogoni Supreme Council of Traditional rulers for ever contemplating the resumption of oil mining activities in Ogoniland in the midst of unresolved issues bothering on the future of the Ogoni.

The congress notes that the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers is an interest group of government-appointed traditional rulers and so cannot be taken seriously on issues like this where the government stake is high. Our conclusion is that the traditional rulers are only playing to the bidding of the Nigerian Government, their paymasters, whose pedigree in Ogoni hinges on “divide and kill for the oil”.

The MOSOP chapter leaders noted that resuming any kind of activities at the Ogoni oilfields without resolving the issues of state creation for the Ogoni people as a distinct group within the Nigerian state, a proper clean-up of Ogoniland, and adequate compensation for the destruction of our environment will lead to another era of state repression and human rights violations in Ogoniland.

“We note that the Ogoni people have lost over 10,000 persons to the repression sponsored by the Nigerian state under various military regimes and regret that the situation that led to these killings have not changed under the current civilian regime”.

“We regret the inability of the Nigerian government to address the fundamental issues raised by the Ogoni people in the Ogoni Bill of Rights over 20 years later, particularly the issues of State Creation for the Ogoni and the protection of the Ogoni environment.”

We urge the government of Nigeria and the Shell Petroleum Company to clearly understand that the Ogoni problem is like an open wound, the issues have to be resolved and no amount of coercion, blackmail, backdoor conspiracy will subject the people to give up on this very costly struggle for survival.

Frank Jonah
Chairman, MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators and Chapter Leaders Forum

Barthlomew Oluji
Secretary: MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators and Chapter Leaders Forum

February 22, 2015.

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