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Nigeria: Ogoni People Jubilate Over Sacking of Shell

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Nigeria: Ogoni People Jubilate Over Sacking of Shell

Vanguard (Lagos)
 

George Onah

Thousands of Ogoni of Rivers State took to the streets of Port Harcourt, Monday, jubilating over the sacking of Shell Petroleum Development Company by the Federal Government from their land, and the resolve to replace the oil giant with another oil prospecting company.

The people carried placards with various inscriptions, some of which read “Non violence pays, bye-bye to Shell, no more shell in Ogoni land, justice for Ogoni, justice for all, thank you President Yar’Adua, no more genocide in Ogoni land”, among others.

They sang and danced through major streets of Port Harcourt and terminated at Government House, where they delivered their solidarity message to President Yar’Adua through Governor Chibuike Amaechi.

In the message delivered on their behalf by MOSOP President, Mr. Ledum Miitee, expressed gratitude over the decision of the Federal Government to replace Shell as the oil exploiting company in Ogoniland.

Expressing delight that there have been no love lost between the Ogonis and Shell, Mitee said Ogonis were committed to playing a more positive and constructive role in the transformation process expressing the hope that the new challenges and opportunities would be addressed in such a manner that would improve the natural environment and secure a viable future for the people.

They advised prospective oil operators to break with the past and design a relationship with local people based on just treatment of communities and innovative approach to development and employment.

MOSOP was of the view that that if this was done, an inspiring message that non-violence pays would have been sent to the rest of the people of the Niger Delta region.

Receiving the people, Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, assured them that their message would be delivered to President Musa Yar’Adua, noting that what has happened was an indication that violence was no longer a viable option in the resolution of the issues of the Niger Delta.

Represented by the Secretary to the State Government Magnus Abe, the governor said people who make their case consistently and peacefully now have an opportunity under President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua to get justice without recourse to killing anybody.

“As usual the Ogonis have blazed the trail, the Niger Delta thing everybody is talking about is nothing but an extension of the Ogoni struggle, but the violence that has come with it is a bastardization of what the Ogonis struggle”, he said.

Amaechi urged Ogonis to come together and unite in fashioning their future and determine what they can get out of the present situation that God has afforded them, warning that any further misunderstanding within the ranks of the people will not do them any good.

He then congratulated the Ogoni people for remaining peaceful, principled and consistent in their quest for better treatment, and enjoined them to remember those who contributed immensely to the struggle but are not alive to witness the victory.

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