The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP has given reasons for rejecting Sahara Energy Limited as preferred operator for the Ogoni oilfields. MOSOP says it rejected Sahara Energy as operator of the Ogoni oilfields because the company strongly showed no willingness to accommodate the people’s interests in the oil deal it reached with the NNPC.
President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke who made this known yesterday in Abuja said MOSOP would not encourage the risks associated with allowing Sahara to operate in Ogoni at this time.
Nsuke blamed Sahara Energy for ignoring appeals to negotiate the interest of the Ogoni people despite several attempts from MOSOP to do so. He said the primary issue in Ogoni is the demand for a proportion of Ogoni resources to be committed to Ogoni development and Sahara’s disregard for Ogoni interests makes them unsuitable for Ogoni at this time.
Nsuke further said the position of the Central Committee of MOSOP is clear on Sahara Energy’s rejection and foisting the company on Ogoni will only create crises.
The MOSOP president further said any crises in Ogoni will be risking an escalation to the entire Niger Delta region who will certainly be in solidarity with the Ogoni people and that is something everyone should avoid.
“We will advise that we explore current efforts to resolve the Ogoni problem because any military invasion of Ogoni will only draw the solidarity of the Niger Delta region and escalate the conflicts” he said.
He described Sahara Energy’s moves as genocidal and accused the company of being antisocial stating that the company clearly understands the implications of an Ogoni incursion.
“Sahara Energy cannot claim ignorance to the oil conflicts which has led to the death of some 4,000 Ogonis in state-backed repression and attempting a forceful resume of oil production in Ogoni against the wishes of the people is to deliberately pitch the state against the Ogoni people which will be genocide.” he said.
“We cannot be struggling to pull out of a distress created by state repression and Sahara will be pushing the state against us and expect us to like it.”
“Sahara Energy should therefore stay away from Ogoni as an unwanted entity”, MOSOP said.
“MOSOP will hold Sahara Energy accountable by all means legally necessary should there be any breach of the peace in Ogoni occasioned by its oil resumption drive”.
“Let me make it clear that the position of MOSOP on this issue is for a negotiated settlement. In this regard, we have proposed the operation of an Ogoni Development plan and while we await government response, we demand that Sahara Energy should stay away from our land”, he said.
The MOSOP president who noted that Ogoni is not averse to oil resumption said “given the conditions of the Ogoni people and their previous experiences with the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, SPDC, it is important not to remind the people of the pains of the past.”
The urged the Nigerian government not to allow a destabilisation of the Ogoni region which is currently in a deep environmental and mental health crisis occasioned by previous state-backed repression.