(From the Guardian)
Amid resistance, crude oil production will commence in Ogoni area of OML 11, as the Presidency recently directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation/Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) to takeover operations from Shell.
The Ogoni re-entry plan, which the Movement of the Survival of the Ogoni Peoples, activists and elders vowed to resist, will be funded from the proposed 2019 NNPC, Shell, Agip and Total joint venture budget.
An NPDC Ogoni re-entry execution plan and first cost summary obtained by The Guardian revealed that the Federal Government and its joint venture partners intend to commence crude oil and gas production in Korokoro in Ogoni area of OML 11 by October, if the proposed contracting and procurement plan that has commenced are fast tracked.
From Korokoro, the NPDC and its joint partners will then proceed to other communities such as Yorla, Ebubu, Bodo and Bomu, among others.The Ogoni fields were producing an average of 130,000 barrels of crude oil per day as at May 1993, when community resistance, led by MOSOP forced Shell and its joint partners to quit the area. Ogoni fields are estimated to have proven reserve of over two billion stock tank barrels.
NPDC has identified Bomu with 52 oil wells, Ebubu (17 wells), Tai (13 wells), Yorla (14 wells), Bodo West (12 wells) and Korokoro (10 wells) as major fields of interest.
In the strategic plan, the 15-page document revealed that Ogoni-re-entry will proceed in a field-by-field manner, and the field with the most receptive community will be re-entered first, as incentive to other communities to accept the re-entry proposals.
Part of the palliatives planned by NPDC to gain acceptability is the construction of community access roads and well, as well as facilities access roads. Other measures are provision of security booths, fencing, surveillance and grass cutting contracts, which will be ceded to community contractors.
The NPDC said due to security challenges in the Niger Delta, the mobilisation for the re-entry will be holistic, as it intends to engage the community through the Federal Government, with assurance that crude oil production will be carried out in a responsible manner.
Ogoni elders, under the aegis of the Gbo Kaabari Ogoni, had petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari to halt planned resumption of crude oil and gas production in Ogoni without due consultation in order to avert bloodbath in the area.
Gbo Kaabari Ogoni chairman and secretary, Senator Bennett Birabi and Dr. Desmond Nbete said government must bear in mind that oil activities in Ogoni and OML 11 have a unique history that cannot be wished away by an executive fiat for a restart of oil production and production activities, without duly engaging the people in a proper and painstaking conversation.
They said: “Production activities in OML 11 stopped about 29 years ago, and in line with industries practices, such fields like OML 11 ought to be treated as green fields and not brown fields. It is thus not acceptable to summarily commission an early production facility to start oil production, without necessary procedures and approvals for a green field development.”The group accused NPDC of acting contrary to the Department of Petroleum Resources guidelines, by not carrying an environmental impact assessment requirement for oil and gas field development.ent.
The Movement for the survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has rejected the directives by President Muhammadu Buhari for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to take over Ogoni oilfield and resume oil exploration in the area.
MOSOP president, Fegalo Nsuke, in a statement made available to Journalists today in Port Harcourt said that the directive will have direct severe impact on the lives of Ogoni People.
According to the statement: “Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) wishes to express its strong rejection of the directive by the Nigerian President for the NNPD/NPDC takeover of Ogoni oilfields and the resumption of oil production in Ogoni as reflected in a communication by the Chief of Staff to the President Abba Kyari.
Indeed, it is appalling that despite the severe impact this directive will have on the lives of the Ogoni people, this decision had been taken without consultations with the Ogoni people nor were our inputs sought in such a crucial issue that affect our lives.
MOSOP considers this decision to have been taken in bad faith and in negation of the principle of free prior and informed consent which is fundamentally a requirement in dealing with issues affecting indigenous communities like the Ogoni people.
Indeed, given our past and recent experiences with the Nigerian government over oil resumption the height of which was the hanging of our compatriots and leaders in 1995 including Ken Saro-Wiwa, we expect sensitive issues of this nature to be widely discussed allowing time for proper consultations within Ogoni communities to avoid any conflicts which will jeopardize the safety and security of the lives of our people.
MOSOP is therefore deeply worried about the directive by the Nigerian government as it smacks real threats to the lives of the Ogoni people and as it has always, will likely result in state persecution and gross human rights abuses against the Ogoni people.
MOSOP wonders why the government has failed to genuinely commit itself to dialogue and a peaceful resolution of the Ogoni conflicts years after receiving Ogoni demands as clearly outlined in the Ogoni Bill of Rights and will instead choose the paths that breed conflict in order to use its military might against innocent and peace-loving Ogoni citizens whose lives have been rendered miserable by years of state repression and environmental devastation from Shell’s long years of pollution.
MOSOP rejects the insensitivity of the Nigerian government to the pitiable situation of Ogoni dwellers who still grapple with the impact of massive pollution and while the Ogoni environment is yet to be cleaned from past spillages the government is only considering actions that will ignite conflicts and lead to a more deteriorating situation.
MOSOP therefore urges the Nigerian government to rescind the decision to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoniland and to allow considerable time for broad-based consultations with Ogoni people to avoid conflicts within Ogoni communities.
MOSOP call on Ogonis all over the world to remain peaceful and steadfast It is our hope that Nigeria will not be allowed to prosecute this planned and conscious move to violate the rights of its own citizens. It is our hope that the world will not remain silent over this danger faced by over one million Ogoni people.
MOSOP urges the international community to help the Ogoni people in every way possible and prevent this impending war and persecution Ogoni people.