(By Chris K. Amadi) -The people of Ogoni ethnic nationality in Rivers State have protested the alleged forceful re-entry to their land by Shell, with the aid of Nigerian security operatives.
In a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) are therefore drawing the attention of the International Community and the Nigerians to what they refer to as “renewed plots by Shell/NPDC to unleash violence on the Ogoni people”.
MOSOP’s statement, which was issued Thursday and signed by Fegalo Nsuke, Publicity Secretary of the group was unequivocal:
“The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has this morning destroyed farmlands and forcefully commenced the laying of pipelines in Ogoni without the consent of the people.
“Communications and inspections carried out in Biara and Bera in Gokana local government area as well as Korokoro and Botem in Tai local government area reveal military-backed pipeline laying activities without the people’s consent.
“MOSOP warns that this assault by Shell is not acceptable to the Ogoni people and will be strongly resisted. We equally worry that as in the past, the current pipeline laying would only result in the killing of protesting Ogonis by soldiers attached to Shell as the people are bound to resist this invasion.
“MOSOP wants to clearly state that the resumption of oil related activities in any form within Ogoniland is not acceptable to our people at this time and urge the Nigerian authorities to immediately withdraw its soldiers from Ogoniland and caution its partners including Shell/NPDC to stop further harassment of the Ogoni people through these attempts to forcefully do business without regard to our free and informed consent”, the group lamented.
MOSOSP urged Ogoni people to prepare to peacefully defend the struggle that has cost them the life of Ken Saro-Wiwa, environmental activist and other prominent elites.
Our efforts to hear from Shell was not successful at press time.