By Oladipupo Awojobi
The National Union of Ogoni Students International USA, and Ogoni Lives Matter Intl., USA, have condemned in strong terms, an Abuja High Court judgment that reportedly granted a 20 -year licence to Royal Dutch Shell in Ogoniland, Rivers State.
This was contained in a statement released to the media by the group.
The statement was jointly signed by the President of NUOS Intl., USA, Mr. Pius Baripkoa Nwinee, Secretary General, Mr. Sampson B Npimnee, Coordinator (OLM Intl., Ogoni Lives Matter), USA, Mr. Cornelius J.S Dumerene, and Secretary General (OLM Intl, Ogoni Lives Matter), USA, Mr. Toate Ganago.
“The attention of National Union of Ogoni Students NUOS INTL, USA and, Ogoni Lives Matter INTL USA have been pinched to a decision handed down by an Abuja High Court, granting 20 years’ license to the Royal Dutch Shell, which had been criticized and forced out of Ogoni for non-payments of rent, royalty and other matters, as she found herself on a desperate ground to access its old colony, the Ogoniland, through the back door.
“Although we consider the decision as a huge blow to the Nigerian government, Mr. president and Minister of petroleum; the outcome is a testament that Nigerian government has no sovereign rights or control over OML 11 oil, but the Ogoni people,” the statement read.
They reiterated that just as an “untrustworthy tenant” who refused to pay his/her rent and was consequently evicted 26 years ago, has no claim over his old apartment or landlord, so is “Shell corruption and their insensitivity to Ogoniland, laughable.”
The groups pointed out that they hoped Shell understood that we live in an era when information travel like speed, adding that they were watching “to see how Shell will resume oil production in Ogoniland to kill one million Ogonis.”
“We have repeatedly stated; Ogoni does not oppose oil resumption in Ogoniland. But Ogoni vehemently oppose oil theft and therefore reaffirm that Shell remains persona non grata in Ogoniland.
“An Ogoni indigenous company will be requesting the Ogoni mining license so as to create job for its youths and pay taxes to the federal government,” they said.
They also called on the Netherlands and the British government to stop pushing Shell into Ogoniland until such a time both governments are able to investigate Shell’s alleged involvement in the killing of over 300,000 Ogonis.
“Ogoni oil is not for sale nor transfer and Ogoni 4 must be immortalized from the indignity of death they never deserved and Ken Saro Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists exonerated from the indignity of crime they never committed,” the statement read.