National Union of Ogoni Students

Dedicated to the memory of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the Ogoni people, and all indigenous students around the world

August 20, 2001

Shell Not Wanted in Ogoniland

Filed under: Press Release @ 11:27 am
Shell Not Wanted in Ogoniland
from The PUNCH Newspaper of Monday, August 20, 2001, Page 4.
 
SHELL NOT WANTED IN OGONILAND - Lawmaker
 
The Minority Leader in the Rivers State House of Assembly, Mr. Ngei
Magnus Abe who represents Gokana constituency, had declared that Dutch oil
giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), is not wanted in Ogoniland
owing to the fact that, its activities had caused environmental degradation,
pollution and oil spillages, which had led to the loss of many lives in
the area, without any meaningful development projects.
 
Abe made the declaration on Saturday at Kpor, the headquarters of
Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State and an Ogoni town, while
Conducting journalists who had come to the area to ascertain the extent of
destruction,as a result of the recent clash between youths of Kpor and Mogho, round
the two towns.
 
Kpor and Mogho are two inter woven towns, and it would be difficult to
Make a distinction between the two towns, if not for various signposts that
Adorn the area.
 
The youths of the two towns had a bloody clash last Monday, with
Seventy houses razed, while vehicles and farmlands with other valuables worth
millions of naira destroyed.
 
Abe raised the issue on the floor of the House during the riot and
pointed out that seventy houses were burnt over pipeline vandalisation and
movement,while alleging that it was caused by Shell.
 
The minority leader explained that because Shell was barred from
Operating in Ogoniland since 1993, the company waas then trying to move its oil
pipelines from Ogoniland, by paying the youths to dig out the pipes,
which were then moved to Port Harcourt and sold to Shell.  Claiming that if
not for connivance, the pipes should not be moved from Ogoniland without
the police arresting those involved, as they were very big pipes, being
conveyed by trailers.
 
In view of the farmlands being destroyed, bloody clashes among youths
Groups over pipes and environmental pollution, resulting from crude oil that
Had been burning along the vandalised pipeline for more than two months,
Without anything being done about it, the minority leader said and declared
that Shell is no longer wanted in Ogoiland.
 
Said he: "We want the Federal Government to establish industries here
And bring in projects that would help to empower the Ogoni.  We need to be
Able to encourage investors to come in here.  I mean meaningful investors,
Not people like Shell, who would take your life and give you nothing in
return.
Shell is the most inhuman gathering of people I have ever seen, so they
Are not wanted in Ogoniland."
 
The allegation of Shell being behind the dug out and moved pipes, was
Denied by the External Relations Manager, East, Mr. Donald Sotoimi Bohman.  He
said: "I don't see now we can buy our stolen pipes.  I can't see the
logic in Shell buying these pipes.
 
Abe said the Ogoni have a high level of poverty and suffering in the
midst of plenty, noting that the biggest problem in the area is unemployment.
 
He stated that if the youths are employed, there would be peace in
Ogoni because farming is not feasible in the area.
 
The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Gokana, Mr. Daniel Lar (a Deputy
Superintendent of Police), who was not at Kpor on Saurday, noted that
since he was posted to the area about  two weeks ago, the problem of oil
pipes being dug out and moved out of Ogoniland had stopped, adding that his
men had been patrolling the entire area.
 
On the allegation that police was aiding and abetting pipeline
Vandalisation in the area, he said he would not know what was happening before he
came in, but since he took over, there had been nothing like that and that no
single pipe had left Ogoniland since he came to Gokana.
 
Reported: Bisi Olaniyi,
(Port Harcourt)
 
 

1 Comment

  1. testing - do I hvae to log in? seems not

    Comment by any person — April 7, 2006 @ 11:42 am

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