MOSOP to take FG, Rivers government to AU, UN over OML II

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has concluded plans to take the Federal Government and Rivers State to the African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) over the acquisition of Oil Mining Lease II.

MOSOP said it was considering legal action against the federal and state governments outside the country, just as Ogoni activists, who found the country’s justice system inadequate for their case, did by filing lawsuits in the United States (U.S.) and Europe.

MOSOP President, Legoborsi Pyagbara, told The Guardian that the acquisition of the OML II by the Rivers government was not in the interest of the Ogoni people who have nothing to show for over 50 years uninterrupted exploration of crude oil from their land by multinational oil firms and the Nigerian State.

Pyagbara said that the Ogoni people had mobilised and would be appearing at the AU Human Rights Commission this month as part of a global campaign against the expropriation of their natural resources by the state without due negotiation that would have spelt out the benefit sharing arrangement.

He said that the Ogoni community would also appear before the UN forum on business and human rights to pressure for a reversal of the acquisition of OML II.

“We are intensifying international campaign over the issue of OML II. This month, we will be at the African Union Commission and the United Nations forum on business and human rights. There is this general understanding in our area that something like this can happen. But it must be on a note that the community is engaged to define what our relationship has to be, that is the benefit sharing.

“The first time you people came to drill oil when our people were ignorant is different from now. We must talk, but the government is being dismissive. Look at the issue of gas flaring. There is a bill that the company pays to the government for flaring. That money goes into the government account. It does not go to the community that should naturally feel the adverse impact of gas flaring. This is why we need to talk,” he said.

Pyagbara said that the Ogoni people would soon release the template for engagement between them and any prospecting oil company that wants to explore oil and gas in their area, adding that government and its joint venture partners should not assume that their attitude in the last century would still be tolerated by the people in this 21 Century.

Besides, he disclosed that activist organisations under the aegis of Strategic Mitigation Working Group, comprising Amnesty International, would deploy legal resources to file lawsuits across the world against the planned resumption of oil production when the Ogoni’s quest for environmental justice have not been addressed.

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Legoborsi PyagbaraMOSOP
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