The last has not been heard of the Belema Oil controversy in Ogoniland. Latest reports has it that the Chief Executive Officer of the company, Mr Tein Jackrich was in Ogoni, Wednesday February 18 to seek the support of Ogoni Youth Leader, Chief Solomon Ndigbara, alias “Osama Bin Ladin” to enable the company gain unhindered access to the oilfields.
Mr. Jackrich is believed to have offered some prominent Ogoni chiefs and elders money to back his bid to buy over the Ogoni oilfields from Shell. This suspicion was confirmed by the ruling party in Nigeria who named some key Ogoni personalities in the bribe-for-oil saga.
Mr Jackrich, at the meeting with Ndigbara said his company will work to implement the UNEP report in Ogoniland. Jackrich said as part of the implementation, process the company would mobilize resources to ensure total clean up of polluted sites before resumption of oil exploration stressing that in all of these, the youths and elders of Ogoni will be made to participate in the clean up of their areas.
He said that apart from the implementation of the UNEP report, the management would also introduce scholarship programmes for youths in the area, while farmers will be empowered with 24 million naira grant.
Mr Jackrich said that Belema Oil which is an indigenous oil firm will work towards the restoration of the Ogoni environment and called for their support. Responding, an ex-militant in the area who is also an Ogoni youth leader, Mr Solomon Ndiigbara said that the youths of Ogoni are ready to work with Belema Oil but on conditions that all its promises would be kept. Mr Ndiigbara also commended the company for its promised to assist in the clean up of polluted sites in Ogoni.
Recall that the MOSOP Chapter Leaders and Kingdom Coordinators have last Saturday at a congress in Bori declared their rejection of Belema Oil Producing Nigeria Limited as an alternative to Shell in Ogoniland and urged the government of Nigeria to address the fundamental demands of the Ogoni before discussing the issue of resuming oil production in the area.
The MOSOP leaders noted that the government should address the issues of state creation for the Ogoni, environmental cleanup and compensation for environmental degradation in Ogoniland.
– Additional information obtained from online sources.