Senator Seeks Resumption Of Oil Exploration In Ogoni
The Senator representing Rivers South East in the Natural Assembly, Senator Barinada Mpigi has declared his support for the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoni land.
Speaking during Ogoni stakeholders meeting held at Sakpenwa in Tai local government area of the state, Senator Mpigi attributed the crises of killings and wanton hunger among the people of Ogoni.
The senator said, “We can’t have wealth beneath us and our people continue to suffer hunger poverty and frustration”.
He said a thorough analysis of the position of the people show that Ogonis are no longer opposed to resumption of oil exploration in the area but is more concerned with the modalities and to be adopted by any oil company chosen for the project.
The senator said to reduce poverty and hunger in the area, Ogoni people must ensure that any company resuming oil activities in the area uses a sustainable people oriented template.
Senator Mpigi emphasized the need for Ogoni people to collectively negotiate how to use their God given resources to put food on the table and create opportunities for sustainable growth and development of the people.
He stated the need for continued and wider consultation among the people in order to create rooms for a more open and transparent process that would engender mutual understanding needed for peace and confidence building among the generality of Ogoni people.
This he declared will earn the collective trust of the people and also help doing negotiations with any oil company and the usual going out for the interest of the people.
On the issue of clean up of Ogoni land, the Senator said he was yet to be convinced that the implementation of the process was being carried out in line with the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) report, adding that he has embarked on consultations with relevant stakeholders involved in the clean up implementation process.
He expressed his resolve to take up the issue of cultism and killings as a project and assured that the evil will be a thing of past within his first year in the senate.
He expressed sadness over the spate of killings, being perpetrated by youth in the area, and called on the people to put aside their personal interests and unite for the development of Ogoni land.
Senator Mpigi expressed dismay that almost all the organized leadership structure in Ogoni has been Balkanized along political and pecuniary interests.
He described the trend as disturbing and shameful warning that it was capable of evoking another phase of leadership crises.