By Egufe Yafugborhi
MOVEMENT for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has said that the oil pollution in Ogoniland, Rivers State has become too complicated to allow for any shortcut by Federal Government and oil and gas operators to force resumption of production in the area.
MOSOP, in a warning to Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, Shell and other key stakeholders, said any re-entry intervention, which undermines the proposed path of resolving all lingering issues in dispute to allow for meaningful development and economic revival in the area would instigate a repeat of the resistance that induced Federal Government’s brutal repression, including infamous execution of the Ogoni Nine.
MOSOP President, Fegalo Nsuke, in the statement, yesterday, said: “We have proposed the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority as an acceptable path that addresses the concerns of all parties, believing dialogue would drive the process successfully and not the divide and conquer tactics which are obviously against the spirit of our non violent struggle.
“The situation in Ogoni is very complicated. Poverty is extreme and deaths are on the increase. Any move to force oil production without assurances on the people’s interest could lead to conflicts and more Ogonis will be killed and we do not want that.
“MOSOP led the protests that forced Shell out of Ogoni and we have not changed our position on the issue. We are strongly committed to our struggle because we believe it is just, without which the Ogoni people may go extinct and we have lost some 4,000 lives in the process.
“Now, we have put forward proposal grounded on mutual respect and are willing to discuss the way forward. We expect the Nigerian government to key into these initiatives and discourage NPDC from taking a divide and conquer pact, which have potential to create conflicts.”
Nsuke expressed hope that the proposed Ogoni Development Authority would pave way for a negotiated permanent resolution of the Ogoni question, pledging MOSOP’s commitment to the process in corresponding due diligence by Federal Government.