Apr 23, 2008

Ogoni: Reports of Shell Moving in on Ogoni Oil Again

Sample Image Reports of Shell seeking to re-open abandoned oil wells in Ogoni without Ogoni authority have lead to increased tension in the area.

Below is an article published by the Nigerian Tribune:

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has raised the alarm over moves of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to return to Ogoniland through the back door.

MOSOP, in a statement in Port Harcourt by its Information Officer, Bari'ara Kpalap, said SPDC's subterranean moves had resulted in two persons getting shot and wounded, which development had started causing serious concern in the Ogoni area.


Citing a few instances of the efforts of the company to re-enter the area without the peoples' consent, MOSOP called on the oil giant not to test the will of the Ogoni people it shall be held responsible for break down of peace in the area.


According to the statement, SPDC had been using the Joint Task Force (JTF) and recruited thugs to protect its activities in the area, just as it had been pitching the people against themselves.

"The MOSOP is outraged by confirmed reports of renewed attempts by SPDC to commence oil activities without any agreement with the Ogoni people.


“Their actions have already led to two activists, Mr. Amebeobari Dabo and Mr. Ollorwi Dabo, being shot at Ebubu-Eleme and an increase in tension across the whole region. The victims were treated at Braithwaite Memorial Hospital, Port Harcourt,”the group said.


However, SPDC, in an online response, denied using any subversive method or planning to return to Ogoni without authorisation.


It said recent activities around the area had been carried out with the permission of the state government for the purpose of securing its facilities in the area, which had been abandoned since 1993.


According to the company, the reported activities had only been carried out in Eleme and Tai, adding that the more than 15 oil wells to be secured would take the exercise into Khana and Gokana soon.


“Following a directive by the Rivers State government, the SPDC has commenced a programme to secure its wells in Ogoni land which have remained dormant since it suspended operations in the area in 1993.


“Fifteen wells in Eleme and Tai local government areas have been secured in an exercise that is set to be implemented in Khana and Gokana local government areas,” the company said.