The story making the rounds that $300 million has just been paid out as compensation to Ogoni people has been declared a lie.
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) which declared it a lie said that it has uncovered plans to set the Ogonis against one other and pave way for military invasion or clampdown.
The rumour had claimed that the funds were paid into the accounts of some prominent Ogoni persons for onward distribution but feared that the money may never be shared.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt by the MOSOP President, Fegalo Nsuke, the grassroots movement called on the government-backed oil company to desist from inciting fresh conflicts in Ogoni, but the statement did not show how the oil corporation was implicated.
MOSOP however, said the call became necessary following rumours that some monies had been paid by the corporation accounts of some private individuals to facilitate oil production in the Ogoni area.
MOSOP said it carried out investigations and stated that its findings did not suggest any truth in the rumours.
Moreover, the statement went on, “We have contacted all our allies and affiliates globally and confirmed that no monies have been approved by any agency or government for compensation to the Ogoni people at this time.
“We can also state that to the best of our knowledge, no monies have been paid to any individual on behalf of the Ogoni people amounting to the tune of $300million.”
The statement made negative aspersions on the Ogoni cleanup funds and $200m in private pockets, but that in respect of compensation, “MOSOP wants to state that to the best of our knowledge, the current fraudulent cleanup has not made any provision for compensation.
“MOSOP wishes to reemphasize the need for the NNPC Limited to clarify these rumours while we urge the Ogoni people, particularly, the youths, to disregard rumours which clearly are designed to cause crises against some unnamed individuals and incite an unprecedented crisis to justify another military crackdown in Ogoni.”
MOSOP warns against unfounded allegations to incite the people against themselves and strongly urged Ogoni youths not to fall for what they called deadly weapon set by enemies.
The movement said they were aware of plans to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoni by sponsoring some individuals and politicians to achieve the objective but urged Ogonis not to fall for cheap blackmails.
MOSOP said their enemies were fond of using divide-and-conquer tactics but warned that incitements against individuals would suggest a hidden plan to cause crises in Ogoni and unleash another military crackdown to eliminate more civil rights actors in Ogoni.
“Let us further state that MOSOP is at the moment, primarily committed to pursue the implementation of the Ogoni Development Authority as an acceptable proposal to resolve the Ogoni issues. We are also pursuing the decriminalisation of the nine Ogonis executed by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995, and will not be distracted by cheap blackmails that are clearly intended to kill the Ogoni people.”
MOSOP thus urged all Ogonis to always check with their local chapter leaders or visit the MOSOP secretariat in Bori for clarifications and direction of the Ogoni struggle at any time.
MOSOP has continued to view the Ogoni Clean Up as a ploy that makes some persons rich, but the failure of the clean up agency to use the media for transparency disclosure seems to help fuel the accusations.