May 31, 2008

Ogoni: MOSOP Calls For Prosecutions Over Gas Flaring

Sample ImageMOSOP President, Ledum Mitee, has issued a statement calling on Abuja to end gas flaring once and for all and begin enforcing penalties for illegal flaring.

Below is an article published by The Tide:

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), has called on the federal government to prosecute oil companies for the deaths and health hazards occasioned by the poisonous effects of gas flaring in the Niger Delta.

MOSOP also deplored the shifting policy of the federal government on ending gas flaring in Niger Delta, noting that the situation does not augur well in the lives of people of oil-bearing communities.

In a statement in Port Harcourt and signed by its President, Ledum Mitee, MOSOP expressed worry that the people of Niger Delta are suffering untold hardship as a result of continuous gas flaring in the region.

It said: “Worried as we are about the continuing shifting of the target date for end of gas flaring in the Niger Delta, MOSOP deeply deplores the situation where peoples and communities are continually being poisoned by flares from carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide while penalties for the crimes are appropriated by a government that hardly cares for the victims of the crime.

“MOSOP believes that increasing the penalty by the Department of Petroleum Resources, (DPR) of the federal government to a paltry $3.50 per thousand standard cubic feet (SCF) of flared gas on defaulting companies in Nigeria would have meaning if it serves to provide some benefit to the affected communities as well as affect the pocket books of the offending companies.”

The group reiterated its resentment over the DPR and the federal government’s deliberate exclusion of the communities from the benefits which accrue from the resources of their land including the practice conceding to the whims and caprices of the oil firms.

“If the government lacks the will to prosecute these companies for the deaths […] then, any punishment for the poisoning should be for the benefit of the afflicted communities,” MOSOP added.