Ogoni: Farm Destroyed While Self-Determination Still In The Pipeline
With Nigeria yet to recognise the Ogoni Self-Government Declaration of August 2012, the destruction of a banana plantation gave way to new clashes in Ogoniland.
Below is an article published by Ogoninews:
A high-risk intensive Banana plantation in Ogoniland jointly owned by Rivers State Government and the Mexican company Union De Iniciativa S.A De C.V, has been wiped out. A staff of the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture estimated the cost of destruction at six million dollars. Entire banana plants were uprooted and destroyed. Villagers said that the company behind the banana plantation was an agent of the Anglo-Royal Dutch/Shell, combining banana plantation with the armed search for sweet crude oil and natural gas. The villagers said that their communities have lost more than ten persons while resisting the land-grab of the plantation that affected thousands of farmers, including victims from other villages.
Apart from dangers posed to the local environment, the plantation had maintained slave labour. Some of the workers said that they had become sick because of chemicals they were given to apply in densely planting and fertilising the crops. There have been more than three bomb explosions on the site shielded by Nigerian security forces.
A journalist in Port Harcourt said his colleagues belonging to Outside Correspondent Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) were prevented by military forces from visiting the site of the destroyed plantation on the instruction of the Rivers State Government. His colleagues had been denied access to write the story, he added.
Another newsman with the African International Television (AIT) said his editor could not be stopped and that AIT was the only news organisation that had carried the story without fear or favour.