The people of Ogoniland have been asked to ensure a proper involvement of the people in terms of community ownership and equity shares, in the planned resumption of oil exploration activities in OML11, Ogoni oilfield.
A stakeholder in the Niger Delta region, Dr. Eddie Wikina, said any company coming to Ogoniland must have the technical and financial capability, as well as experience in social performance and social contract.
Speaking to newsmen, Dr Wikina explained that the planned resumption of oil exploration activities in Ogoniland would remain elusive until proper negotiations have been made with every Ogoni stakeholders.
He added that the proliferation of interest groups in Ogoni was a disincentive to the proper resolution of the issues bordering on oil politics in Ogoni while calling for the unity of purpose among the groups.
According to him, “No single group has the sole mandate to talk for the people of Ogoni. The emergence of splinter groups in Ogoni would be taken advantage of the prospecting oil companies to further balkanize the people and cause a crisis.
“Every Ogoni stakeholders and groups, such as KAGOTE, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, among others, should work in one accord to address the issues of oil and the development of Ogoni.”
Wikina, who is a former Managing Director of the defunct Treasure Energy Resources, said the restoration of the Ogoni environment and the building of the Ogoni economy was more paramount at the moment and warned against endorsement of companies re-entering into Ogoniland for exploration activities.
He pointed out that the People of Ogoni started the Niger Delta struggle and agitation against poor environmental policies by the oil multinationals, regretting that Ogoni People are the worst recipients of the struggle in terms of benefits.
“Ogoni has lost a lot of its leaders in the past as a result of oil politics, and yet there is nothing to show for these palpable losses of human and natural resources,” he said.