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Int’l agency tasks Shell on Ogoni environment clean up

By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—AN international body, Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO), has called on Shell to ensure it cleaned up Ogoni before resuming oil exploration activities in the area.

Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt at the office of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Programme Officer of the group, Maggie Murphy, who was in the country to interact with the Ogoni, said Shell totally neglected Ogoni environment while it went about its business in the area.

She called on the multinational to clean up the mess its operations caused the environment.

On efforts by the federal government to ensure the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoni, she advised that organisations such as MOSOP and the people should be brought into the process.  Murphy enjoined those concernd to strengthen the educational and health systems in Ogoni area. According to her, interactions with different groups in Ogoni, including youths and women bodies, showed that the area had the capability to produce credible leadership in all sectors of the economy.

At the level of the Niger Delta, Murphy urged the government to make communities and the people part of the healing process.

According to her, even if improvements were being made, there was need for such improvements to be seen.
“It is not all about what has been done but we have to be part of the processes,” she said, adding that Ogoni remained the only ethnic nationality that is part of UNPO.

UNPO, she added, is an organization which provides a voice for minorities not represented at the international scene, noting that the late Ken Saro Wiwa was a former president of the group.

Earlier, the current president of the international body, Mr. Ledum Mitee, who also heads MOSOP, said  Ogoni struggle had enjoyed much support from the international group and the media in the country.

He said Murphy had been in the state for about five days and would be leaving at the end of the briefing.


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