The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, (MOSOP) has warned of an imminent famine in Ogoniland in the next few years.
MOSOP said the warning became necessary following the placement of the trans Niger pipelines by oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC in the area.
MOSOP had in a statement issued in Port Harcourt on July 16, accused Shell of using soldiers to violate the rights of the Ogoni people by preventing women and farmers from accessing their farmlands.
The statement which was signed by Publicity Secretary of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke read, “The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) wishes to strongly condemn the continual violation of the rights of the Ogoni people by Nigerian soldiers attached to the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC).
“We are deeply saddened that the repression of our people continue unabated as soldiers attached to SPDC continue to harass our women and farmers and prevent them from accessing their farmlands, destroying crops and forcefully laying pipelines through Ogoni farms.
“It is disheartening that despite the precarious conditions of the Ogoni people consequent upon the massive pollution of farmlands, streams and rivers, Shell continues to inflict monumental pains on our people by preventing them from entering their farms, while using Nigerian soldiers to lay pipelines in Ogoni without our consent.
“Furthermore, the prevention of peasant farmers from entering their farms portends serious threat to food supplies to families who rely on subsistence farming for survival, the statement said.
In a chat with The Tide, weekend, MOSOP President, Mr Legborsi Pyagbara, confirmed the growing fears against the pipes replacement exercise by Shell.
Pyagbara stated that pipelines replacement was currently ongoing in the area by SPDC with the use of soldiers, urging the appropriate authorities to call Shell to order.
He said, “late December last year, they (Shell) continued from Tai to lay the pipelines. As far as MOSOP is concern, we are not in support of any pipeline replacement without an Environmental Impact Assessment, (EIA), done . . . Along those lines they created a band of community youths and people they used and paid to attack people.
“Infact, the people they were using to guard the pipelines; from the Biara axis, they recruited boys and gave them knives and were paying people,” the MOSOP President alleges.
Some of the strong agitations against the pipelines replacement exercise had led to an agreement for an Ogoni stakeholders meeting with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, scheduled for Monday July 9, 2018, at the palace of prominent Ogoni monarch, King Godwin Giniwa, but that meeting did not hold.
Our correspondent gathered that the non-constitution of a committee to work out modalities for the meeting stalled the stakeholders parley.
Clarifying this development to our correspondent in his office at the University of Port Harcourt recently, President of KAGOTE, an elite sociocultural body of the Ogoni people, Dr. Peter Medee, explained that “the meeting was put off because the logistics for the meeting was not properly finetuned by the ministry.”
Dennis Naku, Port Harcourt