Ugochukwu Iwuchukwu, Port Harcourt
The Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF) an umbrella body of all Ogoni youths has frowned at the move by Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), to enter into Ogoniland for oil exploration and consequently cause further damage to the environment.
The National Coordinator of OYF Comrade Yamaabana Legborsi after an emergency meeting of the body stated 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 environment as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), NPDC is planning to increase the woes of the people.
The statement also revealed the OYC demands after an emergency meeting in Port Harcourt.
The demands are as follows:
a) That the Federal Government should go beyond rhetoric and immediately start there implementation of the recommendations of UNEP report on Ogoniland.
b) That NPDC should stop encouraging crisis in Ogoniland by allegedly arming the youths.
c) That SPDC is 90% liable for the environmental misfortune that has befallen Ogoniland and should be prosecuted for the damage done.
d) That SPDC should provide alternative source of portable drinking water to Ogoni communities that are drinking water comfirmed by UNEP to contained hydrocarbon and benzene, a substance that causes cancer.
e) That the re-introduction of restarting oil exploration in Ogoniland buy NPDC is a deliberate ploy by SPDC both of whom are joint venture partners, to cause crisis in the area with a view of derailing the remediation process.
d) That NPDC should stop employing divide-and-rule tactics in Ogoniland.
The OYC said their demands are irrevocable.