Diaspora groups, the National Union of Ogoni Student International and Ogoni Lives Matter INTL have petitioned the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) on the activities of Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP) and Shell Petroleum in Ogoniland, Rivers State.
The petition titled: ‘Withdraw Support with HYPREP/Shell’s Remediation Hoax in Ogoni. Re-recommend a Capable International Company’ was dated December 10, 2018.
It was addressed to the Deputy Executive Director of the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP), Joyce Msuya, in Nairobi, Kenya.
The petition, which was co-signed by the President of NUOS International USA, Mr. Pius Baripkoa Nwinee, Secretary General, Mr. Sampson Npimnee, Coordinator OLM INTL USA, Mr. Cornelius Dumerene and Secretary General OLM INTL USA, Mr. Tuate Ganago, alleged that Shell Petroleum paid UNEP $10 million to conduct and evaluate the impact assessment of Ogoni environment.
The groups condemned the oil spillage in the land and the alleged criminal conspiracy that “took the lives of Ken Saro Wiwa and eight Ogoni activists, and a gross human rights abuse in Ogoniland.”
They alleged that Ogoni was a place that the Royal Dutch Shell discovered and maintained oil theft without payment of rent, loyalty or lease for decades.
“Not surprisingly, your findings indicated high presence of benzene in the environment.
“Your report also included a recommendation for an extensive clean-up of the Ogoni land for the next 30 years with a projected cost of $1 billion.
“Sadly, several years later, the much-required clean-up is yet to be conducted. The Nigerian government presented an attempt to implement the recommendations and inaugurated the “Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HYPREP),” they alleged.
According to the petition, till date, the board has only succeeded in “Mobilising Belema and Robo-Michael to play quasi-companies for the Royal Dutch Shell Petroleum, in an effort to buy OML 11 (Ogoni Oilfield), cutting corners into Ogoni oilfield for illegal oil resumption.
“Launching millions of dollars to disburse fat bonuses and exotic vacation overseas to its board of trustees to get support for coming election and gain access into Ogoni oil field.
“Assembling local companies owned by corrupt recycled politicians across the country to bid and give themselves fat contracts from HYPREP to benefit them and disadvantage Ogoni in the name of cleaning Ogoni land.
“Organising dishonest and fake clinical exercise across Ogoni land where HPREP later used as a propaganda machine to deceive the world that they care about the health and welfare of Ogonis.
“Hiring of recalcitrant youths to sow discord and unleash mayhem in the area, either to say Ogoni youths are not responsible people or as a vehicle to invite federal security to clampdown on Ogoni to access Ogoni oilfield.”
The groups further stated that beyond the non-implementation of the report, what is more disturbing is the Royal Dutch Shell relentless deployment of its parent government, dark money and special interests in soliciting Nigeria government to use force to invade Ogoni against their will rather than cleaning their land.
Reiterating further, the groups said that given the rising mortality rate in the area from benzene and benzene parasite related diseases and the time that has elapsed since the findings, they felt that it was highly probable that benzene is not only killing Ogoni people, destroying their livelihood and historical heritage, but has spread to their food chain, human blood, water, aquatic life and the ecosystem.
“To this end, on September 18th, 2018, the National Union of Ogoni Students International, Ogoni Women in the US, in collaboration with Ogoni Lives Matter INTL, USA, in an open letter, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to conduct a comprehensive health impact/biometrics assessment study on the Ogoni people, disband HYPREP, and investigate the Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company for knowingly and intentionally refusing to implement your recommendations in a timely manner so as to extinct Ogoni population.
“What has changed that you have suddenly become hand in gloves with HYPREP’s incendiary approach to use violence in forcing the Royal Dutch Shell, Belema and Robomichael into Ogoni through the back door for illegal and clandestine oil resumption. What has happened that you have now eaten your words by supporting HYPREP fraud scheme, parading 21 companies with no professional and technical skills for such environmental and health emergency?
“We distance ourselves from any clandestine and improper discussion without the consent of Ogoni people led by Mr. Ibe Ikachikwu, HYPREP, HYPREP BOTS, SHELL or its agents, associates or quasi companies, and those involved, do that at their peril,” they said.