The Civil Liberties Organisation(CLO) said it has learnt with shock, the attack on Eleme, a community in Ogoni area of Rivers state on Friday, September 30, 2012 by the officials of the Joint TaskForce and the Nigerian Army working for the Anglo-Dutch oil company Shell.
In a statement,Comrade, Ibuchukwu Ohabuenyi Ezike, executive director CLO said CLO sources in Rivers state reported that in the early hours of Friday, September 30, officials of Shell arrived the Ebubu oilfield in the oil rich Ogoniland and began to clear the field when the youth of the area were alerted who organised and began a protest against the action. But not long after the protest started, angry looking members of the Joint TaskForce, stormed the place and commenced attacks on the protesting youth.
Helicopters belonging to the Nigerian Army are said to have arrived Eleme as well as soldiers from the Bori Military Cantonment in Port-Harcourt both of which have become colossal nightmare to the people,a CLO statement said .
Although, no estimate of missing or arrested persons in the community has been established, but sources close to the CLO confirm that the whereabouts of Coordinator, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Eleme kingdom, Bartholomew Oluji, is unknown at the time of this report.
MOSOP sources have accused Shell of being responsible for this dastardly act meant to cause it relaunch its operations in Ogoniland since 1995 its wicked actions in collaboration with the infamous Abacha junta caused the criminal hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight other kinsmen.
“CLO condemns, in a very strong term, the secret plot of Shell to start oil operations in Ogoniland even when it has refused to respect and implement the UNEP Report on Ogoni. We also condemn the use of military and police personnel to attack the innocent citizens of Ogoniland by Shell and its allies”,Ezike said.
“Similarly, CLO seriously frowns at the Federal Government of Nigeria’s criminal silence and conspiracy with Shell and other interests to violate the rights of oil host and other communities in Nigeria. While government has supported Shell’s impunities in Ogoni and other areas in the Niger Delta, including its (Shell’s) refusal to implement the UNEP report, the government has allowed its security agents to be used by Shell to torment the Ogoni people. It is important to note that this is happening even when the President of the Federal Republic, the Minister of Petroleum Resources and chairpersons of the Petroleum committees of both Chambers of the National Assembly are from the Niger Delta.”
CLO has also called on President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Assembly to urgently intervene in the crisis and stop Shell’s undue interference in Ogoniland. In any a clime where government takes the welfare and happiness of its citizens serious and where the rights of same are respected, neither Shell nor any group that infringes on the rights of the people should be allowed to operate the Shell and other groups and individuals operate in Nigeria, the statement said.
CLO recalled that in 1992, same ugly experience took place in Umuechem in Etche local government area of Rivers state when 120 mobile policemen sacked the community in Shell’s interest. The civil liberties organization said it has joined “the Ogoni people to cry to God and the international community for justice.”