The age-long face-off between the Ogonis and oil giants, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, SPDC, is entering another stage, with the move to stop the federal government from renewal the license of Shell for its operations in Ogoni land.
It was learnt that Shell has already applied to the federal government for the renewal of its license in Ogoni. Shell has not been allowed to operate in Ogoni for some years now.
Although the oil giants have always said they were not undertaking any oil exploration business in Ogoni, the umbrella body for the Ogonis, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) keeps accusing them of trying to return to their land throught eh back door.
In a statement on Monday, MOSOP's publicity secretary, Fegalo Nsuke said Shell was trying to secure the renewal of their license for operation in their land. The statement urged the federal government not to grant the request.
The state said: “MOSOP wishes to unequivocally state its opposition to the application of the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited for the renewal of its oil mining license in Ogoniland.
“We want to make clear that the conduct of Shell in Ogoniland over the past 60 years had been genocidal, racist and have seriously jeopardized the safetyisand survival of over 1million Ogoni people.
“MOSOP therefore urges the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari not to renew Shell's license to operate the Ogoni oilfields as it expires in 2019.
“We urge the Nigerian president to at least stand on the side of humanity and the suffering Ogoni masses whose lives have been rendered miserable by the operations of Shell in Ogoniland, polluting all drinking waters, destroying the Ecosystem and livelihoods.
“We call on President Muhamadu Buhari to show his disapproval of Shell's reckless and irresponsible business practices in Ogoni by not renewing the license of this massive polluter and sponsor of reckless military actions in Ogoniland.
“We urge President Buhari who supervises the petroleum ministry, to allow the Ogoni people recover from the shocks of Shell by not approving any oil mining license for the Ogoni oilfields.
Speaking on the matter, spokesperson of SPDC, Mr Bamidele Odugbesan said "like all operators in the Niger Delta, The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) as operator of the SPDC Joint Venture (SPDC JV) routinely applies for renewal of the oil mining licences of the JV. It useful to note that OML 11 straddles many assets and operational areas including Bonny Terminal, Afam Power Plant, flow stations, pipelines and many oil fields in several local government areas including some in Ogoniland”.