By Michael Eboh & Ezra Ukanwa
Oil producing communities, under the auspices of Host Communities of Nigeria, Producing Oil and Gas, HOSCON, yesterday, called for the suspension of the planned transfer of operatorship of Oil Mining Lease, OML, 11 in Ogoniland, to the upstream subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Nigerian Petroleum Development Corporation, NPDC.
National Chairman of HOSCON, Mr. Mike Emuh told Vanguard in Abuja, that the transfer should be suspended until the Federal Government, NNPC, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, enter into a dialogue with the people of Ogoniland and meet all the demands of the communities.
He warned that oil producing communities in the Niger Delta would not tolerate any imposition or attempt to resume crude oil production in Ogoniland without due consultations with the community.
Emuh, further disclosed that Shell had given the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, $10 million for the Ogoniland cleanup project.
The HOSCON boss, who is also representing oil-producing communities on the board of HYPREP, noted that Ogoni people had on several occasions stated that the cleanup should get to an advanced stage, before oil exploration and production would commence in the community.
He said: “HYPREP is working assiduously to make sure the Ogoni cleanup succeeds. The oil company, SPDC, gave $10 million to HYPREP. The Ogoni cleanup is an international project; it has to do with the Federal Government of Nigeria, International Oil Companies, IOCs and the European Union, EU.
“Ogoni people are saying that the cleaning exercise should be carried out before Shell will resume work.