By Oladipupo Awojobi
President Muhammadu Buhari has been urged to conduct a health impact/biometrics assessment studies in Ogoniland in Rivers State to reduce the rising mortality rate in the land.
In a letter dated September 18, 2018 and jointly signed by the President of the National Union of Ogoni Students, NUOS INTL, USA, Mr. Pius Baripkoa Nwinee; Secretary General, NOUS INTL, USA, Mr. Sampson B Npimnee; Co-ordinator, OLM INTL, Ogoni Lives Matter, USA, Mr. Cornelius J.S Dumerene; and
Secretary General (OLM INTL) Ogoni Lives Matter), USA, Mr. Tuate Ganago, President Buhari was called upon to help save the lives of the Ogoni people.
The letter is titled; “An Open Letter to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari on the Rising Mortality Rate in Ogoniland and The Need to Conduct a Health Impact/Biometrics Assessment Studies in the Area.”
NUOS said in the letter that “The National Union of Ogoni Students International, Ogoni women in the US, Never Again Movement in Diaspora, in collaboration with Ogoni Lives Matters Intl USA, are gravely dismayed at the rising mortality rate in Ogoni.
“As fears are growing over possible detection of benzene in the food chain, human blood, drinking water, aquatic life and ecosystem in Ogoni due to the Nigeria government and Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company variant non-implementation of the United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) Report.
“We demand an immediate and urgent health assessment study on the people of Ogoni to prevent, cure and cushion this deadly rising mortality rate, from excessive and long-term exposure to benzene and other benzene parasites on the Ogoni people.
“We believe it is time that the Royal Dutch Shell sees these environmental and health issues not only through the lens of politics but responsibility.”
President Buhari was called upon to disband HYPREP, which they said amplifies corruption and only serves as propaganda image laundering machine for Shell as well as enabling alleged clandestine and illegal activities of the Minister of Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, Belema and Robomichael in pressuring, manipulating and intimidating Ogoni people, using other combative capable of causing violence and economic malpractices aimed at destabilising Ogoni.
They recommended that the government should simultaneously contract the cleaning and assessment of Ogoni “devastated environment to a reputable international company with credible professional capacity and resources for public accountability.”
The association stressed in the letter that they wanted to put the Nigeria Government and the Royal Dutch Shell on notice that they were aware of the majority tribes recycled politician’s ploy to sponsor and stage the mob that took the lives of four Ogoni illustrious sons, husbands, and fathers.
According to them, “three weeks before that sad incident, there was a treacherous act, orchestrated to blackmail, intimidate, and shame, merely to showcase trump up charges against Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogonis to surrender their quest for justice.
“Besides the fact that UNEP’s scientific report passed a death sentence on our land, livelihood, and historical heritage, what happened to Ogoni people, whose lives have been impaired, minimised and marginalised under the rain and cloud of excessive and long-time exposure to benzene parasite?
“What happened to the sixteen Ogoni villages massacred and burnt down by Shell instigated intertribal wars?
“What happened to Ogoni women raped, arrested, tortured, and detained, the hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists, the four Ogoni chiefs and over 300,000 people?”
They demanded an urgent investigation of the Royal Dutch Shell “for knowingly and intentionally, refusing or delaying to immediately implement the belated UNEP report, but however, slowing the process as a vehicle to extinct Ogoni population.”
“Mr. President, losing our lives, livelihood, environment or historical heritage at the expense of the Royal Dutch Shell profits is not losing an election circle or losing a few points on the stock market, but wrongful death, slavery, genocide or earth cleansing,” they said.