• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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BusinessDay

Ogonis reject NPDC oil production resumption

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Hundreds of Ogoni youths under the aegis of National Youth Council of Ogoni People, which is the youth wing of Ogoni umbrella group, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), at the weekend, protested in front of Novotel Hotel, Port Harcourt, the Nigeria subsidiary of French hotel group.

The hotel was the venue of a workshop organised by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), the production arm of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

The workshop the MOSOP youths protested against was a negotiation meeting between the NPDC and Ogoni stakeholders, apparently to clear grey areas ahead of presumed oil production resumption in Ogoni land.

According to the Ogonis, they are venting their utter rejection of an alleged “covert negotiations for the immediate commencement of oil extraction in Ogoni between the NPDC and some bribed Ogoni natives.”

Young Nkpah, president of NYCOP, said “their rejection of NPDC Ogoni oil production resumption emanates from the realisation that hardly had the Federal Government commenced the clean up of more than half a century oil polluted environment, than they to see another cycle of oil production activity.

“When we are talking about revival of our hydrocarbon polluted environment, they (NPDC and stakeholders) are canvassing for commencement of oil production in Ogoni, a matter that had caused the death of a generation of the Ogoni leadership, including sung and unsung Ogoni citizens.

“If this is not the case, how would one explain the situation where the Federal Government has flagged-off implementation of the Ogoni environmental rejuvenation exercise and the NPDC is on the other hand luring gullible Ogonis to sanction its intent of resuming oil production in Ogoni land.”

The protest is coming three weeks after the Federal Government unveiled a $1 billion Ogoni clean-up exercise in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

But, while the Mohammadu Buhari administration is yet to be afoot with any real clean-up exercise, amid new Ogoni demands for inclusion into the exercise, the locals are equally rejecting any resumption of oil production in their land 23 years since the forced exit of Anglo Dutch Shell.

Bari-ara Kpalap, MOSOP media advisor, said they were warning that NPDC would be held responsible for any crisis that might engulf the Ogoni community, adding that the company should steer clear of Ogoni land.

MOSOP is also deeply miffed that some of its kinsmen have embraced NPDC’s entry into Ogoni land, and is dissociating itself from the negotiation workshop between NPDC and Ogoni stakeholders.