Oil Drilling: Ogoni Demands N4.7tn Compensation

Oil Drilling: Ogoni Demands N4.7tn Compensation

THE people of Ogoni have called on the Federal Government and Shell Petroleum Development Company to pay them the sum of $30bn (N4.7tn) as part of the conditions that will pave the way for the resumption of oil exploration and exploitation in Ogoniland.

Oil Drilling: Ogoni Demands N4.7tn Compensation

The indigenes of the area, who spoke under the auspices of Ogoni Solidarity Forum, vowed to resist any attempt to commence oil exploitation in Ogoniland until their conditions were met.

OSF National Coordinator, Mr. Celestine Akpobari, explained that the Federal Government and Shell had made over $100bn within the 30 years of oil exploitation in the area, hence the need to pay $30bn as compensation for the environmental degradation suffered by the people.

Pointing out that the people of the area still had unfinished business with the Federal Government, Akpobari said government should also ask for forgiveness over the murder of the late environmentalist and activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni leaders in 1995.

Speaking in a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH, Akpobari stated that it was imperative for government to respond to the demands of Ogoni people as stipulated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights.

He also expressed the need for government to begin the clean-up of Ogoniland, of oil spills and other forms of environmental pollution caused by years of oil exploitation.

Akpobari said, “We already have an unfinished business with the Federal Government. We have the Ogoni Bill of Rights, which has not been responded to.

“The Federal Government and Shell should pay $30bn for the 30 years they have been operating in Ogoniland. Again, government and Shell must apologise for the murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight other Ogoni people.”

 “Within the 30 years of their stay in Ogoniland, they have made over $100bn. We also demand that rent and royalties should directly go to oil-producing communities.”

The OSF national coordinator further stated that the people of Ogoni should not be marginalised in the scheme of things in the country. “We want to see our people appointed ministers. Our people should also be managers in big companies,” he said.

On the clamour for the creation of Bori State, Akpobari explained that the state creation might not be necessary and added that the people of Ogoni were only demanding their recognition as a people with special culture and tradition.

 “But if at the end of the day, we are given a state, there is no problem with that. All we want is that we should be recognised as indigenous people with special culture and tradition,” he noted.

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