OML 11: Controversies trial visit by Ogoni leaders to President Buhari
The visit to President Muhammadu Buhari by leaders of Ogoniland appears to be generating controversies among leaders of the ethnic nationality.
The operation of OML 11 which is located in some parts of Ogoniland is at the heat of the controversies.
The President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni people, Prince Bira, who briefed newsmen after a steering committee meeting of the group in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, said the visit was meant to “hoodwink unsuspecting Ogoni leaders” into facilitating the handover of the OML 11 to an indigenous oil firm which he said represents their business interest.
Reading the communique after the meeting, Bira said “the central Committee condemned and described the visit which was shrouded in secrecy as a sham, designed and executed to hoodwink unsuspecting Ogoni leaders on the delegation to give credit to and legitimize the masked criminal intent of advancing the political and economic interest of those behind the visit”.
The committee also hailed the position taken by the President of MOSOP “who upon confirmation of the ploy by some Abuja-based politicians and their collaborators to use the visit to facilitate the handover of OML 11 to an indigenous oil firm that represents their business interest, protested and refused to join the delegation to the state House”.
MOSOP further explained that they were not opposed to the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoniland but insisted that the move must be “preceded by abroad based consultation and agreements reached with the people”.
Reports gathered show that a meeting in which the OML11 operator-ship was to be handed over to the said oil firm after the meeting with the president could not go on in Abuja due to the disagreement among Ogoni leaders.
The MOSOP president also announced the rejection by Ogoni people the “proposed pardon” of late environmental activist Ken Sarowiwa and eight other Ogoni leaders, who he said should be exonerated instead.