By Jolly Adjevwe – Port Harcourt
A group known as Oil and Gas Environmental Professional of Ogoni (OGEPO) has advised Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) to deal directly with them in the discussion of OML 11 licensing and acquisition so as to forge ahead in its business transaction.
The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the professional body, Mr. Dumbari John gave the advice while speaking with newsmen at the end of a 3day retreat held in Port Harcourt.
Mr. John Dumbari disclosed that the group and Ogonis are aware of plan to involve unwanted agent, claiming to be acting on behalf of the Ogoni people in the discussion and negotiation on OML 11 licensing and acquisition, adding that the Ogoni people had not mandated the purported agent to act on their behalf, and that the group took this position at the end of their meeting in Port Harcourt.
He admonished the multinational oil company not to transact any business with the said agent and stressed that contrary, the exercise would be in futility, recalling that they learnt that the aid agent, who is an ex-staff of Shell, had a closed door meeting with the leadership of the multinational oil giant on behalf of Ogoni people and the land owners of the Ogoni oil block.
The group affirmed that the said agent played a negative role in the Ogoni struggle when their leader, Ken Saro-Wiwa was alive and therefore should not reap from here he did not sow.
Mr. John Dumbari said that they support stakeholders’ engagement in the planned acquisition of OML 11 and encouraged Ogonis to be players and not just onlookers. His words: “we condemn the purported meeting between the multi-national companies, operator of the OML 11 on September 28, 2015 in the morning hours with the said agent. We distance ourselves from the purported meeting.
“We welcome the drive by the present Buhari administration towards the implementation of the UNEP report. We ask that plan be expedited while the proposed $1billion be reviewed to reflect current realities similar to the $2.7billion for North East habilitation”.
“We also appeal to all Ogoni sons and daughters at home and in Diaspora, interested in operating the OML 11 to come out for bidding. We also call concerted efforts from the Ogoni environmental consultants /contractors to move to the next level in bringing to bear international best practices in restoring the environment for sustainable development”, the group stated.
They declared that Ogoni professionals must chart the road map for successful implementation of UNEP report so as to bring about even development to all parts of Ogoni land.