The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has warned that there will be no shortcut for Shell and the NPDC to gain access to the Ogoni oil. MOSOP urged the Nigerian Government to accept its proposed path to the resolution of the Ogoni problem to allow for development and full economic activities in the area. MOSOP says the NPDC was attempting to use some divide and conquer tactics and hopes to create internal crises in Ogoni to weaken the Ogoni demands for fairness and equity.
President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke speaking in Port Harcourt on Thursday said the situation in Ogoni has become very complicated and requires genuine discussions deliberately aimed at addressing all areas of dispute and bringing about the needed compromises noting that there can be no shortcut access to the Ogoni oil.
"MOSOP has proposed the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority as an acceptable path that addresses the concerns of all parties. We believe that a dialogue would drive the process successfully and not the divide and conquer tactics of the NPDC which are obviously against the spirit of our non-violent struggle" Nsuke said.
Nsuke further said the situation in Ogoni is very complicated with pervasive poverty, the difficulty of recovering from years of repression launched by Shell and the government which caused the death of some 4,000 people. He urged Nigeria not to repeat the genocide under any guise stating that MOSOP expects the government to accept its proposals for the operation of the Ogoni Development Authority to give room for a new era of cooperation and development.
"The situation in Ogoni is very complicated. Poverty is extreme and deaths are on the increase. Any move to force oil production without assurances on the people's interest could lead to conflicts and more Ogonis will be killed and we do not want that '' Nsuke said on Thursday.
He noted that the Ogoni struggle was launched by MOSOP in response to the painful state the Ogoni people found themselves in and advised the government to take advantage of MOSOP's commitment to a negotiated settlement so that all issues can be permanently resolved.
Nsuke further said avoiding the proposals of MOSOP will amount to engendering a resistance with the usual repressive response of government security forces and MOSOP do not want that to happen.
"We (MOSOP) led the protests that forced Shell out of Ogoni and we have not changed our position on the issue. We are strongly committed to our struggle because we believe it is just without which the Ogoni people may go extinct and we have lost some 4,000 lives in the process. Now, we have put forward a fine proposal and are willing to discuss the way forward. We expect the Nigerian government to accept these initiatives and discourage the NPDC from its divide and conquer tactics which have potential to create conflicts" Nsuke said.
The MOSOP president admitted that all sides must be willing to make compromises to move forward. He however blamed the government for not taking advantage of MOSOP's initiatives, both home and foreign, that have been intended to resolve the conflicts.
Nsuke expressed hopes that the proposed Ogoni Development Authority will pave the way for a negotiated and permanent resolution of the problem.. He pledged MOSOP's commitment to the process and hoped that the government would equally show similar commitment with the seriousness the situation demands.