Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has accused the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of plotting to kill the Ogoni people by forcefully attempting to resume operations in Ogoniland.
In a statement by the Publicity Secretary of the organization, Fegalo Nsuke, MOSOP said oil production in Ogoniland can only resume with the people’s free and informed consent.
The MOSOP statement alerted the international community and the Nigerian people of renewed plots by Shell/NPDC to unleash violence on the Ogoni people.
It reported that Shell had this morning, October 19 destroyed farmlands and forcefully commenced the laying of pipelines in Ogoni without the consent of the people.
”Communications and inspections carried out in Biara and Bera in Gokana local government area as well as Korokoro and Botem in Tai local government area reveal military-backed pipeline laying activities without the people’s consent.
”MOSOP warns that this assault by Shell is not acceptable to the Ogoni people and will be strongly resisted. We equally worry that as in the past, the current pipeline laying would only result in the killing of protesting Ogonis by soldiers attached to Shell as the people are bound to resist this invasion.
”MOSOP wants to clearly state that the resumption of oil related activities in any form within Ogoniland is not acceptable to our people at this time and urge the Nigerian authorities to immediately withdraw its soldiers from Ogoniland and caution its partners including Shell/NPDC to stop further harassment of the Ogoni people through these attempts to forcefully do business without regard to our free and informed consent.
While calling on the government to stop further assault on our people, we urge the Ogoni people to get prepared to peacefully and non-violently defend our very costly struggle for survival within the Nigerian nation-state.
Shell was yet to react to the MOSOP statement at press time.
However, based on the frosty relationship between the company and Ogonis over the decades it would be surprising if it would own up the grievous allegations of wanting to kill some Ogonis and secret resumption of crude oil production.”