28
Fri, Apr
0 New Articles

Ogoni Star Editorials
Tools
Typography

Looking at the level of devastation and environmental degradation caused by Shell activities in their over 35 years of oil exploitation in Ogoni, there will be no need to resume oil production if the Ogoni people will survive as an ethnic group and an indigenous people on the surface of the earth.

Looking at the level of devastation and environmental degradation caused by Shell activities in their over 35 years of oil exploitation in Ogoni, there will be no need to resume oil production if the Ogoni people will survive as an ethnic group and an indigenous people on the surface of the earth.

The federal government of Nigeria under the leadership of Late President Umaru Yar-adua after much protest and international campaign against Shell and government commissioned the United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) to do an assessment of the Ogoni environment. UNEP has done a thorough assessment on the Ogoni environment and came up with a report containing numerous recommendations and environmental clean-up. The UNEP report proposed or recommended that the environmental restoration of Ogoniland is possible but it may take about 25-30 years.

The UNEP report is seen by many as a document that support and should direct our actions on the Ogoni and the entire Niger Delta environment struggle. The report talks about some emergency measures that need to be done in order to reduce the effect of hydrocarbons intake by the people. My dear compatriots (both Ogonis and other part of the Delta) has any thing been done on the UNEP report recommendations? My answer is NO!

The UNEP report is still unattended to and we have started again with Belema Oil, TENOIL and the likes both secretly and openly to begin oil production in an already contaminated environment. What will be the future of Ogoni environment if we continue to devastate the environment without some sort of remedy? If we allow oil production in Ogoni, will Shell continue with the plans to implement the UNEP report? Who will be responsible for further environmental degradation, is it shell or the new company? Or should we take it that the resources invested on the study was a sheer waste? The Ogoni environment is in complete shambles and all we could do is to welcome a briefcase company that does not have the capacity for oil production let alone meeting up international standards and best practices to begin oil production. Oh what a shame!

There is relative poverty of the pocket in Ogoni, no doubt. But I am sure that the Ogoni people have grown beyond poverty of the brain. We should be able to put aside greed, sentiment and the quest to acquire wealth at the expense of the Ogoni environment. We should not mortgage our environment for a plate of porridge today at the same time risking the future of our children. There is need to have a clean environment that will grantee our future and the generation yet unborn than endangering the lives of the people and the environment for a selfish gain.

At the moment we are at a cross road in the history of the Ogoni people, looking at the political, economic and the environmental situation of the Ogonis. We should be careful of our actions, considering its impact on the environment and the people of Ogoni. In my own view, we should be focusing on how to engage the federal government and Shell on the smooth implementation of the UNEP report in Ogoni rather than endorsing a briefcase company for resumption of oil production that will further endanger the environment and the people of Ogoni.

Basically, the federal government is sluggish in the implementation of the report because of its lack of political will to carry out the cleanup of the land. If the Ogonis were in the United States of America or the United Kingdom would the both countries ask an ethnic group to sit on a keg of gunpowder?
Furthermore, it is important to note that some members of the International Community has pleaded with the sorry situation in Ogoni and suggested how to come out of the quagmire yet it has not been adhered to.

I therefore, wholeheartedly suggest that the way out of this ugly trend is to better concentrate on the clean up rather than rushing for another time bomb resumption of oil production in the region.

Anthony Kadubabari Aalo
08035491457
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Sign up via our free email subscription service to receive notifications when new information is available.