National Union of Ogoni Students

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

September 12, 2001

Ogoni youths fault reconciliatory moves by Shell

Filed under: Press Release @ 11:21 am
The Guardian, Wednesday, September 12, 2001Ogoni youths fault reconciliatory moves by ShellBy Malachy Ezema

YOUTH and student bodies of Ogoni origin in the United States and other parts of the world have faulted today’s planned reconciliatory meetings between Ogoni people and Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) in Abuja.

The dialogue brokered by the Justice Chukwudifu Oputa-led Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (HRVIC) was described by National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS) based in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A and Consolidated Ogoni Youths Movement in the Diaspora (COYID), as “premature”.

NUOS and COYID in a statement on Monday said although they were not opposed to reconciliation, “the proposed meeting is premature, its venue and representation choice and methodology are not acceptable…”

The statement insinuated that the desire for the return of Shell to Ogoniland to continue oil drilling activities should not be the main focus of the reconciliation efforts when other issues affecting Ogoni people have not been addressed.

The bodies insisted that unless the root cause of the problem was addressed, attempts to broker peace would not be all-embracing, saying, “the (Oputa) panel is, therefore, strongly advised to re-order its priority, by prevailing on both Shell and Nigerian government to view” their submissions.

They stated that “the case of Ogoni people is that of the right to exist as any ethnic group within Nigeria and anywhere else in the world, in an environment devoid of any form of pollution or harm attributable to human factor(s).

“Thus, our right to willingly make economic, social and political decisions as they affect the born and unborn generations of Ogoni are non-negotiable.”

On Ogoni Bill of Rights, they stated that despite the fact that it was presented on two occasions, the government refused to address any item in it.

The Youths also decried the Federal Government’s court action against the state governments over resource control.

They recalled that the payments of compensation and royalties for petroleum ‘mining,’ environmental pollution and ecological degradation, as well as cessation of gas flaring and burying of all high-pressure pipelines as directed by the Rivers State House of Assembly on April 6, 1993 on SPDC, Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), have not been heeded.

Similarly, a United Nations Fact-Finding team that visited Ogoni in April 1996 submitted its findings and recommendations to the government, which was published, while “not a single item has been addressed.”

According to them, “Youth organizations of Ogoni, as partners in progress, have made these submissions in good faith and implore the solidarity of all suffering form the aftermath of oil exploration and exploitation…

“We call on the Justice Oputa Human Rights Panel to re-order its priority by focussing on logical reconciliation prerequisites.

“Ogoni youths are well able and willing to work with all parties in this direction, and hope that conducts perceived to perpetually enslave Ogoni people will stop forthwith as such shall be resisted.”

Powered by WordPress
Theme based on Ron and Andrea's pumpkin theme.