As reactions continue to trail the acquisition of 45 per cent stake of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in OML 11 by the Rivers state government, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, has said that Shell cannot transfer OML 11 to the Rivers State Government.
MOSOP in a statement by its factional president, Fegalo Nsuke, said the oil in Ogoni land does not belong to Shell.
Governor Nyesom Wike had on Monday during a statewide broadcast, announced the acquisition of the SPDC’s stake in the OML.
Shell was declared persona non-granta in Ogoni Land following the hanging of the environmental rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others by the Sani Abacha military junta in 1996.
Wike said that the acquisition became necessary as a way of widening the revenue of the state, a move criticised by many Ogoni activists.
MOSOP there is a media misconception implied in the statement credited to the Rivers State Government, adding that its position unequivocally clear that the oil in Ogoniland does not belong to the SPDC and therefore the company cannot transfer title to assets not owned by it to anybody, group, institution, community, organization or government.
“We note that even judging by the highly discriminatory Nigerian laws, the oil in Ogoni legally does not belong to Shell (SPDC) and therefore Shell could not and cannot transfer title to the Ogoni oilfields to any interested party,”
Nsuke explained that considering the role of the Rivers State Government which led to the eventual murder of 9 Ogonis including its leader Ken Saro-Wiwa 24years ago, “this move is regrettable as it raises serious concerns about our people’s safety, stifles our hopes of a peaceful resolution of the Ogoni conflicts, disregards the concerns of the Ogoni people as documented in the Ogoni Bill of Rights and threatens the peace of Ogoniland.”
MOSOP noted that the move could lead to further militarization and killing of the Ogoni people and raises serious concerns about the safety and protection of the Ogoni people in Nigeria.
MOSOP declared that the said takeover at best could be considered diversionary and an attempt by Shell to elude its liabilities in Ogoniland.
“MOSOP will call on all Ogonis not to be apprehensive about Shell’s desperate efforts to escape liability and depreciate the intensity of its crimes in Ogoniland.
” We urge Ogonis to remain peaceful and law-abiding and assure that the crimes of Shell in Ogoniland will certainly be punished,”.