The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has raised alarm over the plan by the Nigerian Government to commence oil drilling activities in Ogoniland.
A statement by Sunny Zorvah, Acting Publicity Secretary of MOSOP said the government has perfected plan to use security agencies and other criminally minded non-state actors to shield operations of the oil company.
“The said oil operation, with military cover, is billed to commence in the coming months, as parties involved have been instructed on their respective roles. Each of the security agencies listed in the plan has been tasked with specific roles and responsibilities, particularly, in tackling voices of dissent in the Ogoni community.
“MOSOP is particularly disturbed about this latest development and actions of the Government, considering its possible negative implications and the crisis it might cause among the people, in the communities and with the company involved.
“It is unfortunate and disappointing that rather than going through the proper and legitimate means and process, the government chooses to ignore the people of Ogoni and prefers to engage and impose an oil prospecting company on them, even with intent to intimidate, suppress and kill the people more with the use of heavily armed security forces.
As part of this plan, we are aware that some companies have also commenced some clandestine discussions with agents in and outside Ogoni on how to facilitate the success of such operation.
We appeal to all those involved to discontinue the unholy and selfish alliance and allow the people decide on this matter and make their choice, without being forced to do so.
The statement said MOSOP has consistently stressed that whilst it is not opposed to discussions relating to resumption of oil production in Ogoniland, the federal government and its agents must engage in a broad-based discussion with the Ogoni people that addresses the issues of benefits- sharing, community participation and the proper environmental management of the Ogoni ecosystem, including legacy issues arising from the over four decades of reckless oil operations in the land.
“This is not about the deceit enveloped as corporate social responsibility(CSR) activities but about sustainable outcomes that can take the Ogoni people into the foreseeable future. This is the only way the government can gain the confidence and acceptance of the Ogoni people that we are not going back to the same inglorious past of reckless oil exploration and zero benefit to the people and their land.
“MOSOP is ready and will continue to engage and cooperate with any process that respects and recognizes the rights of the people and the community, but will vehemently oppose any form of injustice and intimidation of our people.
“MOSOP stands ready to support any genuine economic activity that will benefit and is in the overall interest of our people, but we will not allow a process that undermines our natural existence and subdues our rights as a people.
“We, therefore, reiterate our avowed position to resist any attempt by the government and any company or their agents to re-enter any Ogoni community for the purpose of carrying out oil exploration activities by FORCE without due consultation and broad-based discussion and agreement with genuine and competent representatives of the people and key stakeholders in Ogoniland.
“We are prepared to resist them with the last drop of our blood’.
MOSOP further charged Ogoni people to remain resolute and resilient in the days ahead and be prepared.
“We also extend our call to our teeming supporters and members of the international community to take notice of the proposed devilish and genocidal plan of the Nigerian government against the Ogoni people and continue to offer your support to us, especially in the time of this genocidal conspiracy against us and our land”, the statement concluded.