Fresh crisis looms in Ogoni over planned resumption of oil activities
Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has accused multinational oil companies of fuelling insecurity through the award of multi-million naira surveillance jobs to cultists.
He said the over-politicisation of security in the country had become the bane of the widespread insecurity across the country.
The governor made this assertion when the Charge D’Affairs, Embassy of The Netherlands in Nigeria, Mrs. Marian Van De Cappello, met with him at the Government House in Port Harcourt yesterday.
He said the multinational oil firms were by their actions encouraging insecurity by patronising cultists for surveillance jobs.
“Shell is part of the major culprits. Shell divides communities to make sure that the people don’t work together. Shell don’t want to implement memorandum of understanding signed with communities,” he said.
He, therefore, solicited the support of The Netherlands to tackle insecurity and also to attract agricultural investors to the state for the purpose of job creation.
Van De Cappello, who lauded the governor for extending olive branch to his political adversaries, said with reconciliation, the state would experience peace and development.
However, Shell’s spokesperson in Port Harcourt, Michael Adande, could not be reached as text message sent to him was not be replied as at press time.
Meanwhile, fresh crisis is looming as the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has vowed to resist any attempt by the Federal Government or any company to re-enter any Ogoni community for oil exploration activities by force.
MOSOP, which declared in Port Harcourt yesterday that Ogoni people would resist the clandestine move by the government with their last blood, said that they would not allow resumption of crude and gas production without due consultation, broad-based discussion and agreement with competent key stakeholders in Ogoniland.
Acting Publicity Secretary of the movement, Sunny Zorvah, said there had been concerted plan by the Federal Government to commence oil drilling activities in Ogoniland using security agencies and other criminally-minded non-state actors to shield operations of a preferred oil company.
“The said oil operation, with military cover, is billed to commence in the coming months as parties involved have been instructed on their respective roles. Each of the security agencies listed in the plan has been tasked with specific roles and responsibilities, particularly in tackling voices of dissent in the Ogoni community,” he said.
Zorvah said that MOSOP was particularly disturbed about this latest development and actions of the government considering its possible negative implications and the crisis it might cause among the people in the communities and with the company involved.
He said that it was unfortunate and disappointing that rather than going through the proper and legitimate means and process, the government chooses to ignore the people of Ogoni and prefers to engage and impose an oil prospecting company on them, even with an intent to intimidate, suppress and kill the people more with the use of heavily armed security forces.
“As part of this plan, we are aware that some firms have also commenced some clandestine discussions with agents in and outside Ogoni on how to facilitate the success of such operation.
We appeal to all those involved to discontinue the unholy and selfish alliance and allow the people to decide on this matter and make their choice without being forced to do so,” he further said.