- Accuses NPDC, Shell of Plot to Destabilize Niger Delta
- Says Ogoni Will Strongly Resist Move
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has kicked against what it described as a secret plot of Shell and the NPDC to forcefully re-enter the Ogoni oilfields for oil production calling it a backdoor attempt to bully the Ogoni people with the powers of state. MOSOP says a secret meeting between officials of Shell Petroleum (a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC), the NPDC (Nigeria Petroleum Development Company), a subsidiary of state owned NNPC Ltd, and some government paid chiefs held in Port Harcourt exposed a plot to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoni against the wishes of the people.
Reacting to the move, president of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke said it is unfortunate that while MOSOP was seeking solutions to the problem which has lasted for over three decades, Shell and the NPDC were desperate to trigger a conflict that endangers the safety of the Ogoni people in their land. He said Shell and the NPDC by these moves were constituting serious threats to the peace and stability of the entire Niger Delta region noting that the Ogoni people will resist the move very strongly and non-violently.
"It is unfortunate that while we are seeking avenues to amicably resolve the decades of conflicts with Shell and the government, Shell and the NPDC were toeing a path that can worsen the situation and ignite another state repression of the Ogoni people" Nsuke said.
"A conflict is something that has an unpredictable outcome and repressing the Ogoni people can draw the sympathy of the Niger Delta region and create a complicated situation that can be difficult to manage and we do not want that" he said.
Nsuke urged the government to discard any desperation to evade a peaceful initiative already put forward by MOSOP for the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority noting that the preference for brutal means over dialogue will only cause more resistance. He said the Ogoni people have lost over 4,000 lives in state sponsored repression and do not want any more lives lost over a simple demand for basic rights.
"The Nigerian state has killed over 4,000 Ogonis in state repression and all we have asked for are fundamentally basic rights. It is disheartening and unfortunate that at a time we are pushing for dialogue on the issue, Shell and the NPDC are desperately trying to evade our offers for peaceful dialogue intended to permanently resolve the issues and instead preferring the brutal means to repress the Ogoni people with the powers of state" Nsuke said.
He further noted that while the situation in Ogoni is very delicate and Ogoni was grappling with a very high death rate, the land restoration is not accomplished and the government was yet to respond to proposals from MOSOP on how best to address the situation, it should be clear that any attempt to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoni will trigger an uprising and Ogoni will not give up on its demands for basic rights.
MOSOP urged the Nigerian government to change its repressive posture and to respect the people's wishes for inclusiveness as this was a basic expectation of the Ogoni people from the Nigerian federation.