Ogoni Demand Unconditional Implementation of the Ogoni Bill of Rights

Recent activities of the Nigerian under Secretary (Minister of State) for Petroleum, Ibe Ikachiku, who has made several attempts to go through the back door to return Shell and its surrogates into Ogoni has provoked anger and distrust among Ogonis who feel cheated and insulted at best by the Buhari Administration, who Ogonis now see as manipulative and has betrayed all his (Buhari’s) 2015 campaign promises.

Sun Africa International (SAI)  newspapers had an exclusive interview with Mr. DineBari Augustine Kpuinen, the current Vice President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) USA and a younger brother to late John Kpuinen, one of the Ogoni 9 Environmentalists who were hanged by the army General Sani Abacha junta along with Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995 against all national and international pleas. Mr. DineBari Augustine Kpuinen  literally spat fire as he warns the Federal Government and Shell to desist from their “genocidal mission “ in Ogoni.

Ogoni people understand that Heirs Holdings Ltd and Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc are owned by the Nigerian, tycoon Tony Elumelu, who is said to be discussing the buying of Oil block 11 and 17. We advise Mr. Tony Elumelu to withdraw from such negotiations as Ogoni people have a lot at stake over the matter with Shell, Mr. DineBari Kpuinen observed.

We also understand that the OML 11 is smaller than what it was because the Nigerian government had split it into three parts in April this year. This was after Shell had sought to renew its oil production license in Ogoni. The splitting of OML11 into three by the Nigerian Government is illegal. Also Shell’s plan to mortgage its license over OML11 is not acceptable to Ogonis because Shell has nothing but liabilities in Ogoni, he said.

“Ogoni people are dismayed that all these tactics by both Shell and the Federal government of Nigeria are but attempts to use collateral fraud against us, the Ogoni people. Instead of owning up their colossal mess they had caused in Ogoni. Shell and its agents are bent on insulting the Ogoni people. This is barbaric, inhuman and oppressive,” he further noted.

“The OML11 Operational license or Ogoni oil is not for sale, nor is it transferable. This is because, Shell does not own any assets in Ogoni but liabilities. We therefore warn Heirs Holdings and any other oil company, in that Shell remains Persona non-Grata in Ogoni. Shell or other companies are barred from operating in Ogoni, be it on-shore or off-shore drilling,” he stressed.

“This warning is also applicable to any Ogoni person or group of persons who want to satisfy their greed by mortgaging Ogoni oil, land and opportunities and the rights of the Ogoni people. “No person or company, internal or external with the right frame of mind would want to inherit the huge damages in Ogoni caused by Shell. Most importantly, Ogoni Oil will not be open for discussion until all demands in the Ogoni Bill of Rights have been properly addressed,” Mr. Kpuinen pointed out.

Adding that Shell’s Obligations to the Ogoni people are to clean our environment, pay royalties, pay land and mining rents from 1958, rehabilitate Ogoni people, rebuild the 22 villages that were destroyed on Shell’s orders between 1993 and 1996 as well as rehabilitate Ogonis who were rendered homeless refugees.

According to the UNEP 2011 Report, it will take 30 years to clean, remediate and rehabilitate Ogoni. By the report, the Ogoni environment has been destroyed 300 times above world tolerance level. After six years (2011-2018) of Shell/Nigeria treating this report with ignominy, Nigeria/Shell want to tie the cleanup of Ogoni to Oil resumption. We see this as a slap on the face of our dead heroes and a humiliation of the Ogoni people. This is not acceptable. Ogonis whose oil have made Nigeria a rich nation deserve better, he lamented.

Ogoni people call for Justice ,Freedom and Equality in the Nigerian Federation. We call on the people and government of Nigeria to address all the issues as enshrined in the Ogoni Bill of Rights with the urgency needed. The same rule of justice that was recently visited on the victims of June 12 is what the Ogoni people deserve. The Ogoni 9 Environmentalists who were illegally and viciously hanged by the army General Sani Abacha junta be equally exonerated and declared innocent. Nigeria/Shell should commence the clean up unconditionally as there were no pre-conditions when they destroyed our environment. We demand that all genocidal actions and political marginalization of Ogoni people be stopped forthwith, Mr. Kpuinen further stressed.
> “The use of the military in killing and victimizing the Ogoni people while laying of Oil pipelines is a clear indication that Shell and Nigeria are not prepared to come to terms with Ogoni people. Therefore, we demand that Robo Michael, Belema Oil, NNPC, Shell and Heirs Holdings should stop all their operations in Ogoni and vacate our land,” he warned.