Indigenous oil companies operating in and having interest in Ogoni land are responsible for the crisis currently rocking the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, says the president, Mr Legborsi Pyagbara.
The president told TNN over the telephone that the indigenous companies were funding some Ogoni people and encouraging them to foment trouble with the aim of disorganising the MOSOP, so that they could have their way.
At the moment, there are clear indications that all is not well with MOSOP. After the MOSOP leadership suspended three of its executive members, the affected people seem to be fighting back, seeking vengeance.
Those who were suspended, according to Pyagbara, were the deputy vice president, the organisation's spokesman and one of the vice presidents
Penultimate week, Pyagbara had said that Fegalo Nsuke, MOSOP's spokesman had been suspended alongside two others. But Nsuke has continued to issue public statements on behalf of MOSOP. In his latest statement, he countered the deputy president who recently issued a statement on the constitution of an electoral committee for the conduct of fresh election in MOSOP.
In the statement, Nsuke said “the attention of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has been drawn to a statement alleging the formation of an electoral committee headed by Prince Biira. MOSOP dissociates itself from this group and urge the general public to discountenance the report as they are borne out of deception and falsehood.
“We are well aware that the group led by Prince Biira is an initiative of Robo Michael Limited, the same company that sponsored these very actors in a failed attempt to force oil resumption in Ogoniland last year.
“Having failed in their last attempt, Robo Michael is currently using these actors again in a bid to take control of MOSOP with the hope of an express endorsement of Robo Michael Limited for Ogoni oilfields.
“We will however note that the sponsorship of groups such as these to cause distractions in MOSOP and Ogoniland is not new and we will not be perturbed by whatever antics they will deploy.
“It is instructive to also state that we have since moved forward on elections in MOSOP with the guidelines and time table released by the electoral committee chaired by Chief Emmanuel Nkala and we will not be distracted in the slightest by sponsored groups such as this one headed by Prince Biira.
“We will however advise Robo Michael Limited and its collaborators to note that Ogoniland will not fall to their deception and we will continue to stand for the truth and build on the democratic tenets of MOSOP which the Chief Emmanuel Nkala led electoral committee represents.”
During the interview, Pyagbara had said that Nsukke remained suspended with the others. but he was to add that those fanning the embers of crisis in MOSOP were being sponsored by indigenous oil firms in the state who were interested in exploration business in their land.
Last week, oil giants, the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, had declared that they do not have any interest in Ogoni oil any longer. SPDC spokesman, Bamidele Odugbesan had told TNN that “SPDC has completed an inventory and physical verification of assets for decommissioning and continues to work with its joint venture partners and the federal government of Nigeria to develop a decommissioning plan for these assets.”
Meanwhile, Fortune Chujor, MOSOP's deputy president who was among those suspended, has come up with what he called a communiqué, based on a meeting he claimed took place at the Port Harcourt office of MOSOP, a claim that has been punctured by Pyagbara.
In the document, Chujor said the communiqué “expressed disappointment at the unconstitutional and anti-MOSOP conducts of some members of the organization, which has brought the organization to disrepute. It particularly frowned at the illegal setting up of a purported electoral committee and the consequent suspension and counter suspension of members. The meeting thus declared that the power to form electoral committee or discipline erring members or affiliates is vested in the Steering Committee only.
“It therefore declared the claimed formation of an electoral committee and the suspensions unconstitutional, null and void and referred the parties to the MOSOP Disciplinary Committee headed by HRH Mene Suanu Baridam, JP. And advised the Disciplinary Committee to report back to the Steering Committee (also known and called Central Committee) within seven (7) days.”
Pyagbara who spoke on the development said Chujor remained suspended and could not have summoned a meeting of MOSOP's steering committee.
He said he was the only one empowered to call a steering committee meeting and that he never summoned the meeting as he was away in Abuja for an official engagement