Romanus Ugwu, Abuja
Ogoni Peoples Assembly (OPA) has threatened to ground exploration activities in the Niger Delta if the Federal Government failed to allow XAVON Energy operate OML 11.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja yesterday, OPA leader, Probel Williams, warned that the outcome of their action will attract world attention.
He said OPA is a coalition of Ogoni people drawn from all strata of society youths, academia, elders and chiefs
“As we speak, we don’t even have water to drink. Our fathers survived on fishing but we don’t even have the rivers to fish. The ecosystem has been completely devastated and destroyed.
“We can no longer continue to mobilise ourselves and members and pay transport to Abuja to brief the media. Next time we are going to address newsmen, we would have shaken the whole would. Our action will attract the attention of the world.
“What this means is that if the Federal Government fails to heed our advice to award the exploration to XAVON Energy, we will make exploration in Niger Delta impossible,” Williams said.
He warned that Ogoni nationalities were facing serious existential threats resulting from “extreme youth unemployment, hitting over 80 percent and the security challenges arising thereof.
“The total collapse of the school system and the fall of educational standards in the land for example, out of 10 secondary schools in Khana Local Government Area, only one is open as we speak.
“The dearth of industrial infrastructure in the land despite the abundance of oil/gas resources and indeed the threat of extinction of the ogoni race if nothing is done.
“It will be recalled that on January 4, 1993, Ogoni people started a campaign against Shell Petroleum Development Company the then operators of the OML11 for the total destruction of our environment, neglect of the people, and the refusal to address the economic needs of the people by way of industrial development and employment.
“Ogoni people have not been and are still not opposed to oil exploration but shall never allow further exploration on the terms and modus operandi of Shell PDC.
“We are of the view that much as it is the responsibility of government to address the above situations, it is our own responsibility to assist the government by supporting the utilisation of the resources in our land for the desired goal,” OPA said.