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Vanguard (Nigeria): Obasanjo meets Shell, Ogoni leaders over crisis,

Posted to the Web: Thursday, January 18, 2007

ABUJA—PRESIDENT   Olusegu Obasanjo yesterday convened a meeting between the Ogoni community and Shell Petroleum Development Company over the stalled peace talks that has resulted in the suspension of oil exploration in the area.

The President at the meeting, which was attended by the representatives of Ogoni, Shell, United Nations Environmental Programmes as well as Father Matthew Kukah, emphasized the need to ensure peace, harmony, reconciliation and sustainable development in the area.

The meeting, also discussed the environmental problems in the community as a result of oil exploration and resolved that the UN body would assist in the efforts to clean up the environment.

It also discussed the relationship between the community and Shell which had stopped oil exploration activities since the beginning of the Ogoni crisis.

The Minister of Environment and Housing, Helen Esuene, also attended the meeting.
Shell had Tuesday appealed to leaders in K-Dere community to allow its technical team properly secure two wellheads in Bomu that has caused oil and gas leakages into the environment which it said could ignite another fire that will be difficult to control and which could destroy the environment and harm people living in the area.

The latest fire in Bomu brings to six the number of such incidents in Ogoni land in less than a year, as fires had been reported previously in Yorla 13, Bomu 15, 12, and 6.

Shell had in a statement Tuesday appealed “to leaders of the K-Dere community to allow its technical team proprerly secure the well heads to prevent any danger to lives and property”.

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