The Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) has called on the Federal Government not to renew the the lease for Oil Mining Lease (OML) 11 for Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Ogoniland, which expired will expire in June 2019.
The youths are alleging that the multinational oil giant had already sent a request to the Federal Government so as to enable it operate the oilfields in Ogoniland.
OYF, in a statement made available to LEADERSHIP in Port Harcourt Monday, also demanded the termination of the ongoing pipeline replacement job in Ogoniland.
The statement, which was signed by the group’s President, Comrade Yamaabana Legborsi, reads in part; “It is worrisome that while Ogoni communities are still battling with the hazards that the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) caused and the inability of the Federal Government to quickly remediate and restore the already over-polluted Ogoni environment as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
“It would be inhumane for Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, who is also the substantive Minister of Petroleum Resources, to contemplate renewing SPDC Lease to operate in Ogoniland. OYF therefore, urges president, Muhammadu Buhari, not to try it.
“It is imperative to reiterate that SPDC remains persona non grata in Ogoniland and renewing it lease for Ogoni oil fields is capable of igniting fresh crisis in the area.
“SPDC’s subsisting lease over OML 11, which will expire in June 2019, should be revoked upon expiration, to create room for discussions with Ogoni people, as postulated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR) presented to the Federal Government of Nigeria in October 1990, before it would be renewed for any Oil Prospecting Company that will win the free, prior and informed consent of the Ogoni people, as guaranteed by international law.
“OYF is shock that against the backdrop of protest and articles, SPDC is still bulldozing Ogoni farmlands and continuing with the laying of pipeline without carrying out Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Social Impact Assessment (SIA) on these areas before the pipelines are laid.
“This is a crass display of impunity against the extant laws of the country. We have it on good authority that SPDC is currently arming some Ogoni youth with sophisticated weapons as a means of causing divid-and-rule, to enable the company carry out it evil bidding in land.”