June 10, 2009

Compensation of late Ogoni 9 families: MOSOP hails Shell

By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURT—The Movement for the Survival of  Ogoni People (MOSOP)  has expressed satisfaction with the resolve of Shell to compensate families of late Ken Sarowiwa and the others that were hung with him after a bungled judicial trial which sentenced them to death by hanging.

The statement signed by Information officer of the group, Mr. Bariaria Kpalep, also urged that the gesture be extended  to other families that were consumed by similar agitation for better welfare for the region

According to the group “ we welcomes the news of the agreement by Shell to compensate families of some of the victims of the company’s atrocities in Ogoni.

Whilst MOSOP welcomes this as victory for the Ogoni people and the non-violent tactics we employ, we do hope that this would be extended to the rest of the families of the Ogoni 13 and other victims across Ogoni and other parts of the Niger Delta.

Whilst MOSOP insists that no monetary compensation would be enough for the loss of lives and limbs, it has always been our position that such recompense would help but should be comprehensive enough to assuage the pains of the people including repair of the region’s acknowledged degraded environment.

We would thus call on the oil company to reform its attitude to reflect repentance.

It is MOSOP’s hope that the settlement of this claim should act as a tonic for the federal government to immediately engage on the resolution of the outstanding fundamental issues on the Ogoni question as well as follow up on an accelerated development of not only Ogoni but also the rest of the Niger Delta.

It is our view that significant dividend could be reaped from the undoubted national and international visibility of the Ogoni cause if a  positive precedent could be set for its just and credible resolution.

However, our welcoming the settlement of this claim in no way means the ushering in of a new era of understanding between Shell and the Ogoni people.

We thus urge the transnational oil corporation to respect its sack from Ogoni by the Federal Government of Nigeria and stop undermining the national government’s hailed position as its social and moral licenses with the Ogoni people have completely collapsed.”