The people of Ogoni in Rivers State have demanded for compensation from the federal government and oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) as a result of the irreversible devastation done to the environment, health, and livelihood of the Ogoni.
This was part of their position during a visit to President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja.
The visit was sequel to a letter by Senator Abe, representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, requesting President Jonathan to grant the people audience with a view to chart ways of addressing issues concerning them.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, the senator said; “Considering the irreversible devastation done to the environment, health, and livelihood of the Ogoni by the petroleum industry as scientifically demonstrated in the UNEP report, the Ogoni people hereby ask for compensation from the Federal Government and Shell without delay.”
He solicited support of the Presidency and National Assembly in the quest for the creation of Bori State, saying that Ogonis see the creation of the state as a necessity, since according to him “the people are economically viable with abundant natural resources”.
Senator Abe maintained that, “State creation has been a major tool for enhancing a sense of belonging and promoting development by groups that feel marginalized. It is an important means of strengthening federalism, though; economic viability should also be an important criterion.”
“Such a state will include other ethnic groups in the South-East Senatorial District in Rivers State and will also complement the national economy as the oil and gas resources of the area will enhance the national budget.”
The senator called on the federal government to engage Ogoni youths in the surveillance of petroleum pipelines and other oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta region.
This, according to him, represents another opportunity for productive engagement of Ogoni youths adding that Ogoni people should be made to protect the pipeline and other oil installations located in their territory.