The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) wants 20 per cent of the N45 billion settlement that Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) Nigeria Limited agreed to pay Ejama-Ebubu, one of the Ogoni communities polluted due to the firm’s operations, to be set aside for the development of Ogoniland. Shell had been convicted for the devastation in the community following oil spills, but the company challenged the ruling. However, Shell finally agreed last week to pay the money. MOSOP President, Fegalo Nsuke, who spoke in a telephone interview, advised that every native of Ebubu-Ejamah should be carried along in the sharing of the money.
Nsuke said the judgement might appear new to some people but cited the case of Shell vs Wiwa lawsuit, where the oil giant paid $15 million in compensation following a court judgement. He said: “MOSOP expects 20 per cent of the N46.9 billion judgement debt to be committed to a fund that can improve the welfare of Ogoni people. “We urge the Ebubu-Ejamah people to emulate the families of the Ogoni martyrs who committed some money to a trust fund out of the $15.5million they received from the out-ofcourt settlement on the Wiwa vs Shell lawsuit.
“While we commend the plaintiffs in the case, we note that investing in the community development can encourage the brotherhood and spirit of the Ogoni struggle. “The Ogoni struggle has become successful due to the overwhelming involvement of all kingdoms and that should not be downplayed.” A few hours after the judgement that made Shell to agree to pay the money, Nsuke said there was hope for Ogoni people He said: “The judgement is a sign of hope for the rest of the Ogoni people who seek justice following years of irresponsible business practises of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell Plc.
“The judgement further reaffirms our claims of environmental devastation of the Ogoni country by Shell. “But more than that, it opens up a window of hope and relief for thousands of Ogoni whose lives have been turned miserable by state-backed repression and several others who lost their loved ones in the cause of seeking justice and redress from Shell’s genocide in Ogoni.” Meanwhile, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) through their leader, ‘Major General’ John Mark Ezonebi (aka Obama), has said they have nothing to do with the threat to resume militancy over the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB). In a WhatsApp message, Obama said: “Nothing concerns us with the threat. Whatever they signed into law does not concern us. “Whether PIB or not, Niger Delta will remain underdeveloped.”