Feb 03, 2017

Ogoni: MOSOP Warns Illegal Oil Bunkering May Lead to Further Pollution

Photo courtesy of Ann Godwin/The Guardian Nigeria

Mr Legborsi Pyagbara, President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), has urged the residents of Ogoniland to prevent the illegal bunkering of oil in the area. The warning comes in the context of a large-scale clean-up programme that is currently under way in the region to combat hydrocarbon pollution. Pyagbara stresses that the clean-up programme benefits “every Ogoni man, woman and child” and that continuing bunkering activities would render it a useless exercise. The Ogoniland region has suffered a great loss of farmland and streams over the years due to the production of hydrocarbon.

The article below was published by The Guardian Nigeria:

The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has urged the indigenes to guard against illegal bunkering in the area. MOSOP warned that bunkering would lead to further pollution of Ogoniland and render the clean-up exercise useless.

The group’s President, Legborsi Pyagbara, stated this at the 2017 celebration of Ogoni Day with the theme, “Peace and Unity for Sustainable Development in Ogoniland”.

Pyagbara, while thanking the people for their endurance towards the clean-up, stated that with continuous bunkering activities, the project would not yield the needed result.

Also at a town hall meeting in Kegbera Dere yesterday, the MOSOP president assured the people of fair treatment in the exercise. According to him, the leaders have visited more than 10 other communities that would be affected by the clean-up.

“Every Ogoni man, woman and child would benefit from the exercise. From clean environment to job creation, small business development and infrastructural development, the Ogoni cleanup would benefit us all,” he said.

He stressed that the Federal Government was committed to implementing the clean-up as contained in the United Nations Environment (UNEP) report on Ogoniland.

Similarly, the Director-General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside, has commended the resilience of the people and their non-violent position.

Peterside told newsmen in Port Harcourt that the Ogoni struggle was for all. “I am calling on Ogoni to unite and work with other ethnic groups to accelerate the aspirations and the accomplishment of the dream of the founding-fathers of the struggle,” he said.

He, therefore, urged the government to empower the people whose farmland and streams were destroyed due to the prospecting and production of hydrocarbons over the years.

Also, Senator Magnus Abe, representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, urged the people to come together to find a lasting solution to the recurring communal crisis in the area.