Reacting to President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation should take over OML 11 from Shell, the civil right organisation warns that no exploration will allowed without involving people of Ogoniland
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has said that whilst it is not opposed to the issue of resumption of oil production in Ogoniland, it warned that “resumption of oil production can only take place after an acceptable and genuine broad-based discussion and consultation amongst the Ogoni people had taken place and agreements reached on issues that border on benefit-sharing arrangements for the Ogoni community; community participation in the industry and proper environmental management plan for Ogoniland.” The movement said only all these had been done that resumption of oil production could be undertaken in Ogoniland.
Reacting to a purported leaked memo in which President Muhammadu Buhari had given a directive through Abba Kyari, his chief of staff, that NNPC/NPDC should take over the operatorship of the entire OML 11 from the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, the MOSOP said it would have not reacted, but for the huge consequences of such exploration in its area.
Besides, the MOSOP statement by Legborsi Saro Pyagbara, its president, claimed that the president’s purported letter was strewed with so much impunity as it failed to take into cognisance the history of the Ogoni Oilfields in the OML 11, which has rendered the entire question of successful resumption of oil production in a month’s time impossible and unacceptable.
“Second, it would be recalled that since 2012, NPDC has had the operatorship of the Ogoni oilfields under the Joint Venture Agreement. So, this new announcement makes no difference. The question would have been why was NPDC unable to enter Ogoni these years,” the statement said.
Consequently, the MOSOP warned anyone, group or institutions pushing the cause of resumption of oil production in Ogoniland, without taking the proper and acceptable process of consultation, to consider the implications of such undertakings.
It said that the MOSOP remained commitment in ensuring that the Ogoni community does not go down in crisis in the cause of oil resumption aspiration of any group, government or individuals.
The group, nevertheless, appealed to members of the Ogoni community not to be distracted by the government announcement, even though it could cause further crisis in the land, by putting people against one another and “to give a semblance that the government was interested in the genuine resolution of the Ogoni crisis.”
“It is our belief that whenever the government is interested and genuinely committed in resolving the Ogoni oil crisis, MOSOP will be ready to join them in finding solutions to ending the oil crisis in the area. “At the moment, we would advice that Ogoni should not be brought in the crossfire of Shell and Nigeria government oil politics,” the MOPSOP statement said.