Expert Tasks Ogonis On Oil Resumption Talks


An Ogoni stakeholder and expert in the oil and gas sector, Dr Eddie Wikina has said that the planned resumption of oil exploration activities in Ogoni will remain elusive until proper negotiations have been made with all Ogoni stakeholders.
Wikina who spoke with The Tide in an exclusive interview in Port Harcourt, recently said the proliferation of interest groups in Ogoni was a disincentive to the proper resolution of the issues bordering on oil politics in Ogoni.
He said, “no single group has the sole mandate to talk for Ogonis”, as the emergence of splinter groups would be taken advantage of the prospecting oil companies to further backanise the Ogoni people and cause crisis in the area.
He urged all Ogoni stakeholders and groups, such as KAGOTE, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), among others, to work in one accord to address the issues of oil and the development of Ogoni. Wikinia said the restoration of the Ogoni environment and the building of the Ogoni economy was more paramount at the moment and cautioned against the endorsement of companies’ re-entering into Ogoni for exploration activities.
“Ogoni has lost a lot of its leaders in the past as a result of oil politics, and yet there is nothing to show for these palpable losses of human and natural resources”.
He pointed out that the Ogonis started the Niger Delta Struggle and agitation against poor environmental policies by the oil and gas companies, but they are the worst recipients of the struggle in terms of benefits.
Wikina said any company coming to Ogoni must have the technical capability, financial capability, experience in social performance and social contract.
The former managing director of Rivers State-owned Treasure Energy Resources also called for proper involvement of the people in terms of community ownership and equity Shares.