May 03, 2010

Ogoni: MOSOP Mobilises for Implementation of NDTC Report

Active ImageCivil Society Organizations pressure Government to commit to International Best Practices

Below is an article published by Vanguard News Online :

MOVEMENT for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, has set up an action committee to sensitise Niger Delta communities towards ensuring that the report of the Niger-Delta Technical Committee, NDTC, headed by Mr. Ledum Mitee, was implemented by the Federal Government.
The committee was set up at the end of a one-day ethnic nationalities’ awareness conference, organised by MOSOP on the NDTC report in Warri, Delta State.
The group said modalities for a day of action on the report, scheduled to be held in Abuja, was already being worked out.
The released a statement  signed by 27 persons, including MOSOP President, Mr. Ledum Mitee; the Chairman, Ijaw National Congress, INC, Western Zone, Chief Mamamu; Dr. Sofiri Peterside of Centre for Advance Social Studies, Port Harcourt, and Chief Veronica Bamuza-Mutu, the INC National Legal Adviser, the participants regretted the non-implementation of the salient recommendations of the NDTC report by the government.
It called on each community-based organisations and ethnic groups to sensitise the grassroots on the significant aspects of the report and the need for the people to pressure their respective governments towards the implementation of the report, recognised as the most credible basis for the resolution of Niger-Delta issues.
It called on the Federal Government to reorganise the current amnesty programme for effective disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and rehabilitation to agree with international best practices.
Speaking on the occasion, MOSOP leader, Mr. Ledum Mitee, warned oil producing communities to beware of the antics of those he described as spin-doctors who were misinforming the people that the so-called 10 per cent equity participation in multi-national oil producing companies was the best thing to ever happen.
10 per cent FG’s equity
He described the Federal Government’s 10 per cent equity participation suggestion as a fraud, as the oil companies could end up not declaring profit, just as the oil producing communities would be indebted due to the loans they got to buy the equity shares in the companies.
Mitee said the best option for the oil communities was to demand that the oil companies pay two dollars per barrel of any crude oil produced from their community as well as support the Technical Committee’s recommendation for the setting up of a Community Trust Fund to be managed by the leaders of the communities.
According to him, the current focus on militant leaders by both the Federal and state governments may encourage others to aspire to become militant leaders by having their own camps.
Mitee stressed that the problems of the Niger Delta was beyond lodging militant leaders in expensive hotels and paying them millions of naira.
He warned that unless oil production impact on the lives of the people, there would be no peace in the Niger Delta, adding that it was too early to celebrate the increasing volume of oil production in the country following the Federal Government’s amnesty initiatives.