A group under the aegis of Ogoni Liberation Initiative (OLI), has said Governor Nyesom Wike of Nigeria’s south-south of Rivers State, did not get his facts correctly, when he said government has acquired 45 per cent of Shell Petroleum Company in Oil Mining Lease (OML), 11 Local Government Area and other communities in Ogoni land.
President of the group, Rev. Fabeke Douglas, disclosed this to Sky News Africa recently, during the unveiling of a report that reveals the environmental damage caused by oil spillage in the four kingdom of Ogoni community.
It would be recalled that Governor Wike, had said that the State government had acquired the 45 per cent interest of Shell Petroleum Company, stating that the background for the acquisition of OML 11 was based on court judgements, which had already been recorded in the United Kingdom and Nigeria for enforcement.
Reacting to the claim, Fabeke said “Shell Petroleum did not have up to 45 per cent interest shares in Ogoni land, but only 30 per cent: so how did the governor came about the 45 per cent”, he queried.
Fabeke appealed to the Rivers State government to concentrate on compensating the people of the community for the environmental damage done to their land rather than chasing resource control with conflicting figures, adding that over 99 oil wells have been drilled from Ogoni land but no atom of development in the area which was the reason the late environmental activist, Ken Saro Wiwa and others were killed.
Demanding $13billion compensation from Shell Petroleum Development Company as revealed by the report, Fabeke explained that 26 years after the gruesome murder of Ken Saro Wiwa, Ogoni people are still begging for development and wondered why they are being marginalised, noting that the hope for their children is becoming dashed, hence the reason for the report to ascertain the level of damage done on Ogoni land.
“We did an international research where similar things have happened in the world and we discovered that what will bring peace is for the compensation to be paid and for Shell to beg for forgiveness.
“UNEP report was silent on the compensation; rather it recommended remediation and asked the government to own up that it destroyed the land and the federal government accepted by launching the cleanup exercise. What we did was to carry out an independent research and have come up with extent of the damage done.
“Ogoni have rejected the recent judgement over Shell resumption of oil in OML 11. We will appeal the judgement and institute a law suit against the Rivers State government over comment on government stand on the matter”, Fabeke said.