Breaking developments from Nigeria about the oil company Shell returning to Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Ogoni region.
Yesterday’s Nigerian Vanguard newspaper ran the headline “Shell Resumes Operations In Ogoni”. The paper reported how “fifteen years after it was chased out of Ogoni communities in the wake of agitation on the Ogoni Bill of Rights Shell Petroleum Development Company, says it has eventually resumed operations in Eleme and Tai councils of the state.
Shell said it was directed by the state government to commence operations there. In an online statement entitled “SPDC seures wells in Ogoniland,” the company said it has started work in 15 wells and that the “exercise is set to be implemented in Khana and Gokana local governments.”
Now the Rivers State Government has issued a statement saying that it is “shocked” about SPDC’s statement and that “At no time , did the Rivers state government direct SPDC to resume operations in Ogoniland. On the contrary, we have as a responsible and impartial government committed to the economic prosperity of the nation offered to assist in helping to assist in helping to end the disagreement between the company and the Ogoni people which have dragged for so long.”
“This cannot translate to a unilateral order to the SPDC on our part, and without reference to the Federal Government which oversees oil matters, to re-commence operations in Ogoniland, especially when areas of differences between the Ogoni people and the company have not been fully resolved.”
Contacts say the mood in Ogoni is “boiling” at Shell attempts to go back in to Ogoni. Watch this space for further developments…