By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT—Ogoni ethnic group in Rivers State has backed the people of Kula Kingdom, Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state, in their bid to quit Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, from Operating Oil Mining Lease, OML25, threatening to mobilise 7,000 Ogoni women to support their counterparts in Kula to sustain the occupation of the oil field.
The Conscience of Ogoni People, COGP, which disclosed this in Port Harcourt, yesterday, also cautioned the state government to steer clear of OML25, adding that the issue of ownership of the oil field was still pending before the Supreme Court.
It will be recalled that hundreds of women from Kula have for two years occupied the OML25 platform operated by Shell over injustice and marginalization, insisting that Shell must leave the area.
Speaking, the leader of COGP, Chief Gani Topba, noted that the move was a show of solidarity, explaining that Ogoni was also facing marginalisation in the hands of SPDC.
Topba, who described the attitude of Shell to the people of Kula as unjust, said the body would start international campaign against SPDC to ensure justice.
He said: “We looked at the issue of Ken Saro-Wiwa, when he launched a peace protest against SPDC. He had told the tribunal that Shell would have issue with all the communities in Niger Delta if they continue with their attitude.
“We are mobilising 7,000 women of Ogoni to join the women of Kula to continue the occupation and protest at the OML25 platform. If Ken Saro-Wiwa was alive, he would have supported the Kula people.
“The Kula environment has been destroyed. Shell has destroyed that place. I am calling on all supporters of Ogoni people to come out. We are throwing our support behind the Kula people.”
Everybody who believes in Ken Saro-Wiwa and Isaac Boro struggle will join in this struggle against injustice.”
Topba noted that the Rivers State Government does not have the legal right to look into the issues of OML25, adding that the case on the ownership of the oil field between Rivers and Bayelsa was still pending before the Supreme Court.