The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has expressed its rejection of the moves by the Nigerian Government through the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, to force oil production in Ogoni against the wishes of the people. In a press statement signed by MOSOP President, Fegalo Nsuke, MOSOP said the move threatened the lives of human rights advocates seeing justice in the way the Ogoni people were treated in Nigeria.
The statement reads:
MOSOP strongly holds that the Ogoni demands for basic rights to survival including environmental rights, political and economic rights are justifiable and should not be repressed with the force of state. It is our position that the Ogoni conflicts which has cost an estimated 4,000 lives cannot be resolved through the use of force.
While MOSOP has not been completely against oil production in Ogoni, we have demanded that the issue be properly negotiated to forestall any further killing of Ogoni people which the present moves are clearly directed at achieving.
MOSOP is outraged by the deception witnessed yesterday in Bori where Ogoni people were invited to a Police station playground for a compensation briefing from Mr President only to be addressed by the Managing Director of the NPDC notifying them of plans to resume oil production in Ogoni.
We are deeply concerned that these deceptions are not in good faith and speak very badly of the intentions of the government. We reject these approaches and call for a genuine process of negotiations to resolve all pending issues and usher in an era of mutual understanding.
We urge Ogonis to reject the divide and conquer tactics and call for concerted efforts to check and prevent the likely return to 1995 which is the only outcome of present moves to force oil production in Ogoni.
MOSOP is particularly very concerned that this recent move endangers the lives of the Ogoni people who will certainly resist the forceful resumption of oil production against the people's consent without consultations with the critical stakeholders in the land.
MOSOP condemns this repressive approach of the government represented by the NPDC which has the semblance of the 1990s. We strongly condemn the action of the NPDC and call on Ogonis to resist this move representing an obvious abuse of the rights of the people to free, fair and informed consent in any dealings affecting the future of the people.
MOSOP urges all our allies to be aware of the latest moves which is a clear plot to prosecute the genocide against the Ogoni people leaving them in perpetual deprivation with death as the ultimate outcome.
Today's pronouncement by the Nigerian Government to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoni against the wishes of the Ogoni people and without consulting with all critical stakeholders in Ogoni remains unacceptable to the Ogoni people.
We have noted that attempting to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoni will be a clear indication to cause serious crises in the region and this will endanger the lives of the people if the issue is not properly negotiated.
MOSOP demands a retraction of these steps as they are unacceptable and urge vigilance and global pressure on Nigeria to avert the coming massacre.
The Ogoni people demand and deserve a fair deal in Nigeria. We believe that fair dealings only lead to peace and national development and it is not out of place to seek negotiations to resolve a conflict of over 30 years which has consumed an estimated 4,000 lives in state sponsored repression.
We urge Ogonis to remain peaceful as usual while we pursue these issues legitimately and assure them of our commitment to work for a peaceful and fair resolution of these issues.