By Travis Kwent
Erstwhile Associates of Late Kenule Saro Wiwa, who have constituted themselves into a very strong pressure group known as Ken Saro-Wiwa Associates,KSA.
The group released a statement berating the impending resumption of exploration activities by Shell Petroleum Development Company, (SPDC) and it’s joint venture partner, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
The group, on Monday in Ogoni land, pleaded with the Federal Government to make good it’s promise to clean up and restore the environmentally degraded and polluted Oil rich Ogoni land before any exploration activity would take place especially on OML11.
“The Federal government should muster enough political will to be sincere and honest in dealing with the concerns and interests of the people of the area.The United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) – sponsored Ogoni cleanup exercise is no where near what it has promised to do for the people since it’s flag-off ceremony that was celebrated with so much pomp and pageantry by this present government yet it is still far from uhuru for the beleaguered people of Ogoni land” they said!
The Group through its spokes person and co-ordinator, Chief Gani Topba with utmost vehemence demanded unreserved apology from Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, for allegedly destroying Ogoni land and exposing the people of the area to suffering, hardship and pollution.
“We are asking the Federal Government to rebuild Ogoni before exploration can resume in our land. Whether they agree or not, Shell must apologize to Ogoni people. Even though they are not operating in Ogoni, they are bound to apologize to Ogoni people.”
He further stressed the fact that : “It is not the government that is the problem. The government of Nigeria has one solution to the problems. The solution is this, Shell licence expires in 2019. It has applied for renewal. Don’t renew it, let the 100 percent of the oil block come back to the Federal Government. Ogoni is looking at how to agree with a company that will give Ogoni their stake in the 40 percent.”
Theportcitynews had gathered that While Shell and it’s JV partner, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), have refused to make their contributions for the Ogoni cleanup as agreed in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)sponsored peace deal, the joint venture continues to make covert maneuvers seen as illicit to restart oil production in the area to the chagrin of the group.They are at daggers drawn and would not sheath their swords until SHELL and NPDC come clean with the Ogoni people.
Topba also riffled some missiles at the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, for playing into the hands of politicians, stressing that the current leadership of the body has turned the movement to a non-governmental organization, NGO.
He said,”MOSOP has never been an NGO, but, this current leadership has turned it to an NGO. MOSOP is a movement. MOSOP is to defend the rights of every Ogoni man, whether in business, politics, academic or in any way. It is for the common people.”
The Ogoni people have never been dealt with all the care and attention they deserved. They have become a pawn in the hands of the government and spotlight seekers that uses their trauma for personal gain. The last is yet to be heard of this resistance.