The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), on Saturday moved against the court judgement on twenty-year renewal of operatorship of Oil Mining Lease (OML)-11 in Ogoniland by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC).
MOSOP president, Chief Legborsi Pyagbara, while speaking in Port Harcourt on Saturday said that MOSOP had over the years consistently and non-violently drawn the attention of all institutions, successive governments, fellow Nigerian citizens and the international community to the persistent injustice and plight of the Ogoni people as host to SPDC.
Recall that the Federal High Court (FHC) in Abuja on Friday had ordered the Minister of Petroleum Resources (President Muhammadu Buhari) to grant the renewal of OML-11 to SPDC for 20 years.
FHC Abuja’s Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his judgment delivered on Shell’s suit, ruled that the renewal would be for 20 years and not 30 years, as requested by the Anglo/Dutch oil giant.
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SPDC was sent packing in 1993 from Ogoniland’s four local government areas of Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme, while a renowned environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa, and eight other Ogoni chiefs were hanged on November 10, 1995 at the Port Harcourt Prisons, during the regime of the late Gen. Sani Abacha.
MOSOP president said: “The abuses and injustice have continued unabated for over 60 years, from 1957, when oil was discovered in Ogoniland. Our peaceful and defenceless people have been killed in thousands, communities sacked, means of subsistence destroyed through reckless oil mining activities, polluting our environment, including farmlands, aquatic life and forest resources, without redress by the government or change of attitude by the oil companies, particularly SPDC.
“The judgment (of FHC Abuja) came at a time that we have said consistently that the attempt to deal with the oil mining, extraction or in any other way, that the three parties must be brought in or carried along in discussing issues relating to oil licence. The community, as a critical stakeholder, must be carried along with the federal government and the oil company, in discussion relating to anything about licensing of any oil company to operate in Ogoniland, particularly in discussing issues of externalities associated with oil extraction and even the question of benefits’ sharing.”
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