Host communities in Ogoniland oil producing area, Rivers state have warned anxious oil companies bidding to resume oil production in the area against negotiating with impostors masquerading as community representatives. Huge oil reserves in Ogoni have remained untapped since 1994 when key miner, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) abandoned its vast production assets over unresolved differences with host communities, including massive oil pollution, which resulted in federal government execution of famous activist, Ken Saro Wiwa and eight other agitators.
In the latest concerned raised by Tuka Loanyie, President, Ogoni Oil Producing Communities Youth Forum (OOPCYF), the host communities stressed that, “In spite of our earlier warnings, certain greedy elements in Ogoni have continued to negotiate with Oil Companies for resumption of oil exploration in Ogoni. “We reiterate that these desperate businessmen and commercial activists neither represent the interest of the oil producing communities and Ogoni people at large nor have their mandate to speak on their behalf.
“We sympathise with any Oil Company that deals with these dubious characters as whatever dealings they have with them will be an exercise in futility. For the umpteenth time, OOPCYF is never against resumption of oil exploration in Ogoni, but insists that any company pursuing such interest must be ready to consult and dialogue with the genuine leadership and stakeholders of the host communities and Ogoni at large.”