PRESS RELEASE BY The National Union of Ogoni Students: 8 October 2006
The National Union of Ogoni Students in her meeting in St. Louis, Missouri on September 30th 2006 deliberated on the state of affairs in Ogoni and Nigeria.
We resolved as follows: That:
1. We noticed there was an oil spillage followed by ravaging fire outbreak in Yorla flow station, Kpean, Nigeria in July 2006. For more than two months the fire continued, releasing poisonous gases (soot) to the Ogoni environment. This incidence has added to the already destroyed Ogoni environment, traditional holy places, farmlands, crops and lives of the people. There is also an outbreak of epidemic (cancer of the skin, respiratory and lung disorder). We view the lack of attention to the incidence as an attempt by Shell oil/Nigerian government to extinct the Ogoni race for oil.
2. Shell oil should put out the fire and clean up the spill to an internationally
acceptable standard by October 31, 2006 or face legal actions in both local and
International court of law.
3. Shell should immediately conduct a social and health impact assessment studies to ascertain the risk suffered by the people exposed to these poisonous gases.
4. We view the statements by Mrs. Bamidele Ogedengbe (Assistant Director at the Department of Petroleum Resources), and that of Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and OPEC President Edmund Dankoru published in “This Day” Sept.24, 2006, “FG to revoke Shell oil license in Ogoni” as an attempt either to return Shell to Ogoni in disguise or force oil exploration/exploitation activities on Ogoni without addressing the “Ogoni question.” Concerned by Shell/Government tendencies, we cannot continue to fold our arms and watch Shell or other pseudo companies being imposed on us by the government. Therefore, the students will resist such attempt(s) by all civilized means.
5. We also analyzed Shell Oil “Position Paper” on the cleaning of the Ogoni
environment. We posit that although it is a right step in the right direction, we
insist that an Ogoni environmental expert must lead the team. Also, the cost of
hiring such expert must be borne by Shell oil.
6. We agreed and wish to pass on to the Nigerian government that the withdrawal of mining licenses from Shell oil does not exonerate Shell oil or the Nigerian government from payment of accumulated royalties and interest worth over $50 billion to the Ogoni people.
7. We see the establishment and arming of Ogoni Youth Council (OYC) headed by one Mr. Marvin Nyobana as another calculated attempt by Shell oil, the Rivers State government and the Nigerian authorities to cause dissention, disorder and breach of peace in Ogoni and terrorized innocent civilians. We condemn and strongly advise the Rivers State government, Shell oil and the Nigerian authorities to disband this notorious armed group immediately. Also, we are fully aware that Mr. Marvin Nyobana and his cohorts are on the payroll of Rivers State government and Shell oil. We abhor a repeat of state and corporate sponsored violence that characterized the 1990s’ which led to the killing of prominent Ogoni leaders and over 4000 Ogoni indigenes by the government of Nigeria.
8. Ogoni students view all secret oil activities by Shell oil in Yorla and the entire
Ogoni as a direct attack on Ogoni people. We shall be force to take civilized
action(s) against Shell oil after October 31, 2006 to protect Ogoni lives and its heritage before we are driven into extinction.
We therefore advise Shell oil to clean-up the environment, shut all well-heads and leave Ogoni immediately.
(Public Relations Officer)
NATIONAL UNION OF OGONI STUDENTS
2517 W. DEVON AVE. STE. #5, CHIGACO, ILLINIOS 60659