Business is booming.

CSOs decry planned resumption of oil exploration in Ogoniland

By Obiabin Onukwugha

Civil society organizations (CSOs), have decried planned resumption of crude oil production in Ogoni, Rivers State.

Oil production have been shut down in Ogoni for over two decades following the agitations that culminated in the death of some Ogoni leaders.

The CSOs in joint statement made available to NatureNews on Tuesday, expressed disappointment over several moves by the federal government of Nigeria and oil companies to resume oil production in the area without addressing concerns and demands of the people.

The CSOs comprised Health of Mother Earth Foundation (HOMEF), We the People, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), African Centre for Leadership, Strategy & Development (Centre LSD), Africa Network for Environment and Economic Justice (ANEEJ), Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Policy alert, Kabetkeche Women Development and Resource Centre, Peoples Advancement Centre, Peace Point Development Foundation, Nkori Rural Women Development Initiative, and Miideekor Environmental Development Initiative (MEDI).

The statement read in part: “As Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria, we have keenly observed the scheming and unhindered contestations over the resumption of extraction of oil in the disputed oilfields of Ogoniland. Over the last decade, we have seen scheming by Shell and the Nigeria government- including resort to court processes- to resume drilling for crude oil with its attendant environmental, social and security recklessness in Ogoniland.

“The latest contestation follows the visit of some Ogonis to President Bola Tinubu ostensibly with the mandate of the Ogoni people to negotiate the resumption of oil extraction in the area.

“It is deeply concerning that 33 years after the Ogonis made their demands contained in the Ogoni Bill of Rights for which they were so brutally suppressed, none of their concerns and prayers have been conclusively addressed. It is disappointing and demonstrates insensitivity for the government to imagine that those concerns have simply withered away with time. Those of us who remain connected to the
communities know for a fact that the Ogoni people remain resolute in their resistance to any renewed hydrocarbon extraction in their domains.

“It is particularly disappointing to see that, in the fight over OML 11 and the resumption of oil extraction in Ogoniland, there has been no mention or discussion of getting the indigenous Ogoni people free, prior and informed permission. It is unclear whether any consultations have taken place with the impacted communities, or whether their rights to a safe environment and interests have been considered. We believe that these recent attempts are callous, ill-advised, and capable of inciting suspicion and conflict in an already tense and conflict-prone area.

“It is also gravely disconcerting that in the ongoing frenzy, the concerns raised by the Ogoni people 33 years ago which led to the termination of oil extraction have not been addressed. Similarly, there has been no attempt to secure justice for the countless families that lost lives, livelihoods, and properties in what is still the worst attack on a peaceful indigenous population by Nigerian security forces.”

The CSOs, who noted that the events of the 1990s remain an open and sour wound, begging for the healing of truth and justice in Ogoniland, also expressed worry that the planned oil exploratory activities is coming when the recommendations contained in the UNEP report on Ogoni is yet to be fukky implemented.

“It is worrying why the government will decide to resume oil extraction in Ogoniland when the pollution of the last decades is yet to be cleaned and the recommendations of UNEP are yet to be fully complied with. How does one explain the fact that a site supposedly being cleaned up will resume full oil extraction activities with all the pollution that comes with it?

“For the avoidance of doubt, it should be noted that the Niger Delta as a whole has become the epicentre for hydrocarbon pollution in need of immediate remediation. We are deeply concerned about the neglect of key issues around ecological and social justice in Ogoniland. The world recognizes that the people of Ogoni have suffered unprecedented pains and loses on account of oil extraction.

“Flowing from the forgoing, it is our recommendation that the government
puts a stop to any planned attempt to resume oil activities in Ogoniland. It should rather concentrate on redeeming the ecological disaster in the area, decommission aged oil infrastructure, replacing the lost livelihood of the people and securing justice for the countless
Ogonis waiting for closure.”


Quality journalism costs money. Today, we’re asking that you support us to do more. Support our work by sending in your donations.

The donation can be made directly into NatureNews Account below

Guaranty Trust Bank, Nigeria


NatureNews Online

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More

Footer Image