At the end of an emergency meeting yesterday, Chairman of the Forum, Frank Jonah said the issue of Ogoni oil is not just about an acceptable oil firm. “Ogoni oil has come with so much pain and the people have high expectations regarding the the issues of state creation, the standards of business as well the extent to which any oil firm will go to help address the social problems facing the people” the statement said.
“Giving that we in Ogoni have lost an entire generation of leaders because of a legitimate protest against irresponsible business practices, an attempt to impose any oil firm on Ogoni will surely be met with stiff resistance and this could lead to another era of state repression in Ogoniland” Jonah said yesterday.
The MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators urged the government to first address the fundamental demands of the Ogoni people including the right to recognition and self determination through the creation of a Bori state, the clean-up of Ogoniland and the payment of compensation to Ogoni people whose means of livelihood have been seriously damaged by years of environmental degradation by Shell’s presence in the area.
Frank Jonah urged the Nigerian government to be fair in its handling of the Ogoni problem: “Nigeria must show her commitment to justice and fairness especially in the Ogoni issue. We have lost some of our best men in the November 10, 1995 hangings, we have been extensively abused under the various Nigerian military regimes, our environment has been completely destroyed, we have no electricity, water and many more basic amenities despite being a major contributor to the Nigerian economy and so the government will be most insensitive to ignore all these issues and to be talking about any form of resuming oil activities in Ogoni”
The MOSOP Coordinators chairman urged the government to show some sense of humanity by addressing the issues of self determination for the Ogoni people before contemplating any form of negotiations regarding the Ogoni oil. He noted that failing to address these issues will mean the government has chosen to kill and repress the people to forcefully exploit their oil resources as there must be very strong resistance against such moves.
Media Assistant to the Chairman, MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators Forum