The sale of OML 11 has been received with dismay by Ogoni people of Rivers State, saying the development is inadequate and dead on arrival.
On Monday, Nyseom Wike, the state governor said the state had purchased 45 percent of Royal Dutch Shell’s stake in a contested oil mining licence in Ogoni, the centre of protests in the 1990s over the distribution of oil wealth.
Celestine Akpbori, an Ogoni activist, said Ogoni land was laced with blood.
He said, “There was a struggle in Ogoni that led to a loss of over 2,000 innocent lives including Ken Saro Wiwa’s.
“Ogoni oil is not like any other oil in Nigeria, there is blood laced all over it.”
He added, “There was a hearing in at an Ikoyi High Court, Lagos on the confiscation of an artwork (The Bus) that was seized by Nigeria Customs. This is part of the Ogoni struggle.”
In his reaction, Fyneface Dumnamene said Rivers could not manage the problem associated with OML 11.
“The news that the Rivers State government has acquired Shell’s stake in OML 11 as disclosed by Governor Nyesom Wike is not a surprise to me because both the governor and the general manager of external relations of Shell, are from Rivers State, Ikwere, to be specific, and this is the time to do business.“
“However, I doubt that the government can manage the said 45 percent shares and handle the liabilities of Shell in Ogoniland. In asmuch as we value the need for a state government to invest, I doubt that they can handle the challenges associated with OML 11, mine in that field and make any headway in business,” he said.
OML 11 has been undeveloped for nearly 25 years since the execution of Saro-Wiwa by the military dictator, Gen. Sani Abacha.