Mr. Lgborsi Pygbara of MOSOP

The purported acquisition of oil block OML 11 by the Rivers state government as announced by the Rivers state governor Nyesom wike has been described as a joke by the influential Ogoni group, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People MOSOP.

The group, therefore, has declared such interest acquired by the Rivers state in the said oil block as null and void and of no effect.

MOSOP came to this decision during its national executive council meeting presided over by its president Legborsi Pygbara at the state secretariat of the organization in Port Harcourt.

In a 14 point communiqué issued by the group, it insisted that the acquisitions, divestments or licensure of the Ogoni oilfields without broad consultation and agreement with the Ogoni people remained null and void and cannot stand, adding that, Ogoniland is not for sale.

According to the group, “all these are done without the slightest consultation with the Ogoni people or their free, prior and informed consent sought as guaranteed under international human rights law.”

Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State

Pygbara, who noted that the transaction by the state government failed to respect Ogoni rights of ownership added that Ogoniland cannot be expropriated by private interests masquerading as the public interest.

It would be recalled that Governor Nyesom Wike, during a broadcast last week announced that the State Government had acquired Shell Petroleum Development Company’s (SPDC’s) 45 percent stake in OML 11.

The meeting recalled that MOSOP had called on Governor Wike in the past to demonstrate statesmanship and inclusivity by supporting the Ogoni cause for justice and contributing to finding a lasting solution to the Ogoni crisis.  The governor, according to them, failed to do so.

The group said, “the governor’s U-turn and his latest declaration of interest in acquiring the Ogoni Fields is a big surprise; and if the governor was trying to dance on the misery and penury of our fellow compatriots from Ejama, Ebubu community who have endured a long struggle against the multinational giant, Shell since 1992 without any government support, then the dance steps are indeed faulty and the drummers living in fairyland.”

They, however, called on the Ogoni people to remain peaceful, united, vigilant and be their brothers’ keepers as there are challenging days ahead.