Ogoniland: Shell applying divide and rule to perpetually suppress us - Tamana

Anger-laden controversy is currently engulfing the ancient oil community of Ogoni, in Rivers State of Nigeria. This is coming from the disturbing discovery of yet a fresh oil spill in the traumatized community at a time the government and Shell are yet to demonstrate reality in cleaning up oil spill sites in line with the UNEP recommendation.

In an interview with the European coordinator of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Professor Lazarus Tamana, he averred that “There is no genuine program to cleanup Ogoni both by Shell and the Nigerian government,” recalling that during a stakeholders meeting with Shell in June, 2014 which held in Geneva, “Shell made it clear that it was not ready to pay any money for cleanup of Ogoni. HYPREP has no presence in Ogoni. It is a system set up to deceive the world”.

He said he flew into the country to have a first-hand assessment of the situation in Ogoni, noting that he was shocked to hear that there was yet another spill from Shell even when the massive pollution it caused Ogoni is yet to be cleaned up.

According to him, “A highly responsible company like Shell should be worried about this kind of negative development. But it is going to two months now since the spill occurred and the company is not showing any interest of what to do to avert danger in the community. This is a way of exterminating the Ogoni people”
With Ogoni currently being militarised, the Ogoni activist said the last resort is to undertake litigation against Shell. “We will take Shell to court. The court can be anywhere.

That is the last resort. Government will not listen to us. We will not allow any oil company to enter Ogoni. “We are ready to collaborate with all genuine international organisations like amnesty international and the rest to fight our case. They are waiting patiently for us. They are ready for us. We will do all that we can legally the moment I return back to Europe”.

Prof Tamana decried that “I don’t think that the situation in Ogoni will improve for good. The Nigerian authority is not interested in the welfare of the Ogonis. The oil companies are not interested because the oil keeps flowing back to them. On February 17 or 18, 2019, a spill was noticed in the community. Shell has always been playing tricks with the community.

On the allegations and counter allegations flying around on an oil company bribing a section of the community to deepen ‘Divide and Rule’, the European based don disclosed that “I don’t have much information about that. Shell should be held responsible for all these atrocities against the Ogoni people.

“I have heard N300million, N400million. Like I said, I don’t know how true it is. There is a strong possibility that money was paid by Shell,” he alleged.