ARMED security forces protecting the interest of the Anglo-Dutch oil and gas major, Shell, on Friday, opened fire on a protesting Ogoni community in the Rivers State axis of Southern Nigeria. The community, Eleme, was protesting against the presence of some Shell officials at the Ebubu Oilfield. The protest led to a clash with security forces.
AkanimoReports gathered from local sources that the oil company officials had arrived the Ebubu oilfield in the morning and began clearing the scene when the youths of the community began the protest.
Shortly after the protest began, men of the Joint Task Force, a special security outfit, arrived the scene forcing the protesters to run for safety.
It was not immediately known how many persons had been captured as a result of the military invasion.
The whereabouts of the Coordinator of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, for Eleme Kingdom, Bartholomew Oluji is still unknown as at the time of sending this report.
Eye witnesses say surveillance helicopters belonging to the Nigerian military have been deployed to Eleme and the entire area had been taken over by the military
MOSOP wishes to state that this is part of a grand plan by Shell to cause crisis in Ogoni and force a resumption of oil drilling operations against the wishes of the Ogoni people.
RELATED EMAIL RECEIVED DECEMBER 2, 2012, FROM “MOSOP MEDIA”
My assistants inspected the Ebubu site yesterday in connection with Shell’s activities in Ogoniland.
I received a confirmation that Shell used armed security forces, including its “private army” to forcefully re-occupied the site.
There are some established facts about activities leading to the forceful re-entry.
I have set up a committee to collect all the facts and do a formal report in the coming days or week.
Ogoni, given all that has transpired in the past, is like a time-bomb. The issue of self-government declaration is pending. I am deeply concerned about the possibility of a renewed unrest, worse than ever before.
I have tried to explore all nonviolent avenues to conclude the work I started with late Ken Saro-Wiwa. The signals I am getting from Ogoni is that the people are running out of patience.
I think it will not be enough for Shell to say that it was merely handing over its operational sites; without any genuine and transparent effort to resolve the dirty and bloody conflicts it had created in Ogoniland during the past 55 years.
Shell is continually setting a dangerous precedents in third world countries; doing what Shell cannot get away with in the United States of America and Europe.