A foremost youths organisation in Ogoniland, the Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) has demanded the outright stoppage of the ongoing pipeline replacement project in Ogoniland by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
President and National Coordinator of the body, Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana made the demand during a press briefing organised in Port Harcourt at the weekend.
The body said the pipeline replacement project being embarked upon by SPDC was a distraction from the implementation of the Ogoni environmental cleanup exercise.
The group also accused the Federal Government of plans to award three billion naira contract to some consulting firms to monitor the Ogoni clean-up exercise, noting that, “it would be outrageous to expend N3 bn on consultancy alone in the face of glaring environmental nightmare in Ogoniland, when the basic emergency measures recommended by United Nations Evironment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoni have not been met”.
The youths also cautioned against the emergence of splinter groups operating under various appellations in Ogoni, with the objective of causing confusion and crisis in the land.
The body warned groups such as Ken Saro Wiwa Associates, led by one Gani Topba to stop “rabble rousing and meddling incautiously into Ogoni issues, as only the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has the statutory mandate to speak for Ogoni, as explicitly stated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights.
The youth who accused Gani Topba of trailing the reputable name of the late Ogoni environmentalist in the dust, also frowned at the activities of groups such as, Ogoni Oil Bearing Communities, Traditional Rulers Council among others over their incisive comments and attempt to polarise Ogonis on self serving groud.
The youths stated that; “It is imperative that Ogoni people had all been involved in the Ogoni struggle and every community in Ogoni had been affected in one way or the other by the negative effect of oil pollution, and as such the issue of dichotomy does not arise”.