By Ignatius Chukwu
Massive oil spill is said to have occurred in Ogoni communities but the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) said it is from Shell.
Massive oil spill has been reported in Ogoni communities including Ogale, Aleto, Agbonchia, Onne, Okpaku, and Alesa, all in Eleme local government area of Rivers State.
The area is covered by Oil Mining License 11 which was shut down by Shell over 20 years ago during community crisis that led to loss of many lives and trial and killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other eight in what today is known as the ‘Ogoni-9’.
Sources said the spill is spreading through the communities and has affected residential areas, farmlands, and the surrounding waters and beyond.
No authority has claimed responsibility in the latest alleged spill but the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has said it is from the Shell Petroleum Development Company facilities.
MOSOP said SPDC, owners of the pipelines, is yet to stop the spill which will likely affect more communities beyond Ogoni.
Shell has not responded to inquiries but the oil giant has since made it known that they do not drill oil in Ogoni anymore but they have always blamed most fresh spills on what they term third party interference (pipeline breaking, oil theft, etc).
Despite this, the president of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, has called the spill another testament of Shell’s lies and revealed that Shell had secretly been operating its facilities in Ogoni.
“If Shell claims that it is not operating the oilfields secretly in Ogoni, then how come we have such massive oil spills that affect several communities and have contaminated massive lands and waters in the area?”
The MOSOP leader said the spills are another testament of sub-standards in operations management in Ogoni. He noted that by now, Shell should have decommissioned its facilities in Ogoni going by the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme on Ogoni which Shell and the government claim to have been implementing since 2016.
The MOSOP leader regretted that there had been much insincerity on the part of the oil giant in the handling of and decommissioning of its facilities in Ogoni and called on the Nigerian authorities to introduce more severe penalties for oil spill cases and environmental pollution, according to a statement by Alex Akori, the Secretary-General.