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Vanguard (Nigeria): MOSOP asks Shell to shut Trans Niger pipeline in Ogoni

By Jimitota Onoyume
Posted to the Web: Friday, July 20, 2007

Port Harcourt—AN appeal has gone to the Anglo Dutch oil giant, Shell to shut down its Trans Niger pipeline in Ogoni area in Rivers State.

In a statement the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) said the action would rescue communities hosting the facility in Gokana local government from environmental hazards and pollution that often arises from damage on the facility.

According to the statement since Shell said the facility no longer contributes to its oil production then it should be shut down for the safety of the area. Meanwhile, MOSOP has also dismissed as untrue reported allegations by the oil firm that Ogoni youths were barring its staff from putting out the inferno on theTrans Niger Pipeline.

Vanguard gathered the fire had been on for about two weeks.” The umbrella body of the Ogoni people, MOSOP, has been outraged at media reports credited to Shell, wherein its spokesperson, Precious Okolobo, accused local Ogoni communities of denying SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited) access to the sections of the Trans Niger Pipeline that has been in flames over two weeks now.”

“We submit that there is no iota of truth in Shell’s claims. Information available to MOSOP indicates that the affected communities particularly Kegbara Dere has had considerable number of meetings with Shell over the matter. We were further and impeccably told that instead of SPDC responding to the immediate need of putting out the fires; it regrettably demanded its being allowed entry into Ogoni to effect some operational activities including pigging, killing of oil wells and fencing of the manifold station in Kegbara Dere as precondition for extinguishing the fires.

All other efforts by the communities particularly Kegbara Dere to make SPDC see reason has yielded no result to date.”

The statement signed by the Information officer of the Ogoni structure, Mr Bariaria Kpalap also lamented the danger posed by the inferno.

“The environmental and health implications of the fire incidents including destruction of crops and farmlands, contamination of sources of drinking water, increasing cases of dysentery and diarrhea, skin rashes and respiratory problems are such that affected communities cannot afford to resist genuine steps directed at resolving the problem.”

“We are therefore reaffirming our earlier stance on the closure of the Trans Niger Pipeline operated by SPDC on safety grounds and since Shell has shown gross incapacity to operate the trunk line.” and its sister websites,,,,, and are all owned by John Donovan. There is also a Wikipedia article.

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