World Environment Day: Self Determination Will Secure the Ogoni Environment - MOSOP

Full text of a press briefing by the President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, to mark the 2019 WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY.



Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year’s World Environment Day offers us another opportunity to report the state of affairs in Ogoniland especially in relation to the environment. Although much of what is happening in Ogoni today are not entirely new to you, this moment offers another opportunity to review the present situation especially in respect of the path the government has towed in relation to the demands and expectations of the Ogoni people and the widely misrepresented retrogression in the Ogoni cleanup programme.

The Ogoni Cleanup Scam and Corruption in HYPREP

HYPREP in its usual attempts to deceive the public about its purpose and failures have always attempted to impress the people of an on-going cleanup programme.

However, the clean-up project has become a symbol of massive corruption in Nigeria, designed to deceive the Ogoni people into accepting oil resumption without broad-based discussions with the Ogoni people. HYPREPs operations have therefore only benefited the protagonists of oil resumption, political gladiators and members of its governing structures. For instance, all contracts recently awarded by HYPREP were either political patronages or had the interests of members of the governing council.

The Ogoni cleanup had been a tragedy of compromises by members of the Governing Council of HYPREP permitting massive corruption and looting of the Ogoni cleanup funds.

MOSOP calls for the dissolution of the Governing Council and Board of Trustees of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) and demand investigations into the massive corruption in HYPREP.

SELF DETERMINATION FOR THE OGONI PEOPLE

The demands of the Ogoni people have been well articulated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights. That document was the outcome of an in-depth assessment of the deprivations and exclusion of the Ogoni people from decisions that affect their future in Nigeria. It condemned the present situation where the Ogoni people generate the revenue that runs the Nigerian state while Abuja spends the money leaving Ogoni with the detrimental consequences of irresponsible oil mining operations.

MOSOP demands respect for the rights of the Ogoni people to self determination in Nigeria. We believe that this will not only allow the Ogoni people to take full responsibility for their environment, end the ecocide of Shell but also conduce to a just and fair system that will enhance equality and justice within the Nigerian state.

We therefore call on the Nigerian government to accept our proposal for a broad-based discussion involving all parties to the conflict namely the Ogoni people, the Nigerian government, Shell, and international facilitators. We believe that only a genuine commitment to peaceful settlement can facilitate the resolution of the Ogoni problem and usher in a new era of development and mutual benefits.

MOSOP remains committed to the cause of peaceful resolutions and will urge the government to accept our proposals.

AIR POLLUTION

The emission of poisonous gases from Indorama Petrochemical company into the atmosphere is a source of serious concern as it continuous unabated. MOSOP calls for new legislation and stiffer penalties to check these activities and rescue the people from the dangerous consequences of inhaling these poisons.

OIL RESUMPTION

The desperation of Shell and the Nigerian government to forcefully resume oil mining activities in Ogoniland has increasingly become a threat to the Ogoni community. While the Ogoni people are not completely averse to oil resumption, we want it negotiated and not forced. We therefore want to restate our opposition to forceful resumption of oil mining activities in Ogoni without a broad-based discussion with the Ogoni people.

We further condemn attempts by Shell and government agencies particularly the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to divide our people through pecuniary inducements and call on these companies and agencies to desist from all such activities that are currently a source of conflicts in Ogoniland.

MILITARY INVASION OF COMMUNITIES

MOSOP is deeply concerned about the security situation in Ogoniland. We however condemn the criminalization of Ogoni communities by Nigerian security forces. It is unacceptable to us that even for reports of armed robbery; soldiers will move into communities and shoot sporadically putting the safety of all inhabitants in danger rather than deploying their intelligence to crack down on criminals.

Information available to us indicates that the oil companies and their agents have sponsored criminal gangs in order to sustain conflicts in Ogoni to break the Ogoni resistance against forceful oil resumption.

MOSOP strongly condemn these moves and demand an enhancement of Police security in Ogoniland to checkmate the activities of criminal gangs.

ILLEGAL MINING IN COMMUNITIES

MOSOP strongly condemn illegal mining of crude oil in communities. We however reject government compromises on these illegal activities as information available to us indicate that the government knows these illegal mining operators and have made offers of compensation to dissuade them from illegal crude oil mining.

It is however condemnable that the same government will constantly deploy military personnel to shoot into communities putting the lives of innocent community dwellers at risk.

Credible information reaching us indicates that illegal mining in Ogoni had been conducted in sleek alliance with all security agencies in the area. This information is supported by the inability of the security agencies to crack down on illegal oil refiners given the fact that they are well known to government and the security agencies.

MOSOP calls for an end to shooting in Ogoni communities by security agencies. We further demand an immediate intervention to address the problem of unemployment among Ogoni youths.

MOSOP further call on Ogoni youths to put a stop to activities that endanger our environment such as illegal mining of crude oil.

Finally, MOSOP calls on the Ogoni people to sustain our peaceful struggle and reject every inducement that endangers our future and our environment.


Signed:

Fegalo Nsuke
President, MOSOP

June 5, 2019



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The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)
Headquarters: Peace and Freedom Center, Bori Ogoni
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