Avoid crisis over Shell’s judgment fund, MOSOP tells community

THE Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People has called on Ebubu community in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers to avoid any crisis that will frustrate the disbursement of the N45.9bn judgment money for its development.

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Ejama, a clan in Ebubu, Eleme LGA, is the beneficiary of the judgment fund.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company to, within 21 days, pay the sum awarded against the company several years ago for oil spillage in Ogoniland.

But speaking in an interview with The PUNCH, MOSOP President, Mr Fegalo Nsuke, urged Ebubu, the benefitting community, to also shun any form of legal battle over how the money should be distributed.

Nsuke said, “My fear, in the case of crisis, is within the community. I have got reports from the community that there are plans to exclude some persons because probably they (those allegedly excluded) did not contribute to the legal process like paying the bills and things like that.

“I have spoken with the chief (in the area), and I hope that I will be in touch with him to see how that matter is handled. We expect them to be able to manage it; I think they can manage it. We expect the law firm to set the modalities for the peaceful administration of this fund.

“They (community) can take a cue from what happened during Ken Saro-Wiwa time, where part of $15.5m was used to set up a foundation which is helping Ogoni people today in research and other areas.

“If I have the opportunity of advising them, I will tell them to invest heavily in education; it is fundamental. Part of the problem we are seeing is because the quality of education has actually dropped.”

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