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UNEP OGONILAND ASSESSMENT REPORT IS SOWING SEEDS OF CONFLICTS AND WAR

STATEMENT ISSUED BY MOSOP: 12 August 2011 21:46:01 GMT+01:00

The Movement for Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, speaking through its President /Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo has said that UNEP Ogoniland Assessment Report was already building up tension in Ogoniland and sowing seeds of inter and intra communal conflicts and war.

Diigbo said that the two Bodo oil spills reported in The Guardian, London published on August 3, 2011 for which Shell was said to have  admitted responsibility for (involving hundreds of millions of dollars), are in Gokana of Ogoniland, but the UNEP Ogoni Report states that the two oil spills are in Bolo and Ogu local government area, which is outside Ogoniland.

“Bodo West is officially mapped as belonging to Ogu/Bolo LGA but since there are no local settlements, it has been regarded by both SPDC and the Ogoni people as part of the Ogoniland oil facilities. Bodo West was therefore included in the scope of UNEP’s work,” says the report.

Dr. Goodluck Diigbo points out: “This is a tricky clause in the report, which can create confusion and grounds for the usual excuse by Shell not to fulfill its obligation to the Bodo people. I think this is why a critical review of the report is imperative because it is already sowing seeds of conflicts within and between the Ogoni people and their neighbors. I hope that others would not claim what is not theirs, but an early intervention by the United Nations and other NGOs that are interested in conducting an independent review can be helpful. Although there are six kingdoms and two administrative units and over 200 villages in Ogoniland, yet, the UNEP report names one traditional ruler as the overall paramount ruler of Ogoniland. Other traditional rulers believe the report is troublesome. A careful review will prove to the United Nations and the rest of the world that the UNEP Ogoniland Report was not handled with due diligence, but that it still can provide a way forward. At the moment, Shell has not refuted that our statement that it paid for the report. Why is it so difficult to hold those that paid for the UNEP report accountable for oil damages in Ogoniland, since it is the practice that the polluter pays for EIAS?”

On Wednesday, August 10, 2011 at a General Assembly Meeting in Bori, Ogoniland which was addressed by the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers Association, COTRA, which is an affiliate of MOSOP, the Vice Chairman, Chief Letam Teenwi explained that after three days of study of the UNEP report, COTRA resolved to uphold the MOSOP Statement earlier signed by MOSOP President /Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo calling for urgent review.

Teenwi called for international support to avert tragedy alluded to by the report, adding that a review would provide a unique opportunity to discuss the full spectrum of international law relating to indigenous peoples rights as they affect the report, including environmental, economic, political and social rights.

The native rulers briefing was attended by representatives of all Federation of Ogoni Women Association, National Youth Council of Ogoni People, Ogoni Teachers Union, Council of Ogoni Churches, Farmers Association of Ogoni, Ogoni Technical Association, National Union of Ogoni Students, Ogoni Students Union (drawn from primary and secondary schools), Council of Ogoni Professionals and others.

Signed by:

Dum Ade John Budam
MOSOP Secretary-General

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