Ogoni: Death Toll from Attack on Nigerian Shell Confirmed
A total of 13 persons were confirmed dead Wednesday from Sunday's attack on the Shell Petroleum Development Company's 'Benisede' flow station in Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta.
A doctor at a hospital in Warri in the Niger Delta, to where victims of the attack were taken, said she had registered 13 bodies, and that other victims were being treated for serious burns.
Ethnic Ijaw youths attacked the flow station with explosives, blowing up two house boats. Shell and its contractors had 42 employees at the facility when the attack took place.
Ijaw youths last Wednesday had already attacked Shell's 'EA' oil field, also in Bayelsa State, from where they abducted four workers - a Briton, an American, a Bulgarian and a Honduran.
Meanwhile, the Ogoni General Assembly which represents the Ogoni people in Rivers State, also in the Niger Delta, excluded its people who have business relationships with Shell from being part of peace negotiations between the community and the company.
The assembly noted that the negotiation would only make headway if the Nigerian government and Shell International were included in the peace process.
Assembly spokesman Bari Kpala said the stand of the Ogoni people was irrevocable. He said the assembly had also mandated the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) to be part of the consultation process and to embark on town consultative meetings in all Ogoni council areas of Rivers State.
Late Nigerian ruler Sani Abacha's government hanged playwright and rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1995 after a face-off between Shell and the Ogoni, represented by MOSOP and led by the activist.
Last year the government appointed Catholic priest Matthew
Kuka as peace facilitator between Shell and Ogoni to enable the company to return
to oil production in the area.