NGOs want FG to withdraw order for oil exploitation in Ogoni
Two Non-governmental organisations (NGOs), Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF) and We the People have joined forces with Ogoni people in Rivers State to call on the Federal Government to immediately withdraw the order for resumption of oil exploitation in Ogoni land.
A memo from the Presidency addressed to the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and signed by Chief of Staff to the President, Mr. Abba Kyari, directed “NNPC/NPDC to take over the operatorship from Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) of the entire OML 11 not later than April 30 2019, and ensure smooth re-entry given the delicate situation in Ogoni Land…NNPC/NPDC to confirm by May 2, 2019 the assumption of the operatorship.”
But a statement signed by the Executive Director HOMEF, Comrade Nnimmo Bassey and the Executive Director of We the People, Mr. Ken Henshaw noted with “alarm and unease the recent memo originating from the Presidency…we consider this instruction by the Presidency insensitive, ill-advised and capable of inflaming suspicions and conflict in an area that is already very fragile and prone to crisis.
“It is important to note that the fears of ecological damage, which the Ogonis expressed was confirmed in 2011, when the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) released its assessment report of soil and water samples from Ogoni land. The report confirmed massive soil and water contamination, which has significantly compromised sources of livelihood and was slowly poisoning the inhabitants of the area.”
The NGOs said: “It is worrying why government would decide to resume oil extraction in Ogoni land, when the pollution of the last decades is yet to be cleaned and UNEP’s recommendations have not been fully complied with. Government’s action at this time gives the impression that it only flagged off the Ogoni Cleanup through HYPREP to purchase the goodwill to resume oil extraction in the area…”
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