Joy Olekanma: 14 August 2011
Port Harcourt Government for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has on Thursday accused oil giant, Shell of sponsoring the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on the oil spills in Ogoniland.
MEND frowned at the acceptance of the report by President Goodluck Jonathan, adding that the claim by UNEP that it would take 30 years to clean up Ogoni environment was an attempt to reclaim the area for Shell.
The statement, which was signed by MEND spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo said; “The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) views the Shell Petroleum sponsored, U.N report on the degradation of the environment of the Niger Delta and its inhabitants by the deliberately irresponsible activities of western oil companies as a pathetic attempt at trivializing the wave of destruction wrought on the ecology of the Niger delta, the lifestyle and dignity of its people by criminal oil companies occupying the Niger delta forcibly for the sole purpose of plundering the resources of its people.
“In accepting the results of the dubious investigation Goodluck Jonathan has again proven himself to be complicit, powerless or simply the village idiot of the Niger delta. All this drama is an attempt to reclaim Ogoniland for Shell.”
Describing Ogoniland as a minuscule past of the Niger Delta region, the group said reckless exploitation of the resources in the region was widespread, stressing that it would take centuries for the ecology of the region to near restoration while its people remained scarred.
“This will cost hundreds of billions of US dollars; after all how much did just one spillage in the United States cost British Petroleum? The ecology of the Niger Delta has persistently borne the brunt of numerous spillages of catastrophic proportions yet our moron of a president has the audacity to publicly embrace the levity with which the concerns of the people of the Niger Delta are treated by western oil companies.
“The traditional sources of livelihood of the people of this region; fishing and farming have been obliterated by the activities of western oil companies. Young men of the Niger Delta are reduced to menial labourers while their sisters attend to the concupiscence of expatriate workers just for food and daily survival,” the statement said.
Insisting that it would not be deceived by the pretence of concern by Shell on the environmental degradation in Ogoniland, MEND warned the oil giant and other multinationals operating in the Nigerian oil industry not to waste their booty on irrelevant studies of the Niger Delta environment.
“We are not deceived by Shell’s pretense of concern and MEND, forewarns all oil companies in Nigeria of the battle that is to come. Shell and its counterparts in the oil industry should not waste their booty on irrelevant studies of an environment they chose to destroy.
“Oil companies in Nigeria should save as much as they can for the days of darkness which are not afar”.