Ogoni ethnic nationality stakeholders in Rivers State on Sunday said they would not allow the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) or another company to resume oil exploration in the town without due consultations with them.
The stakeholders lamented the visit of NPDC to the area without official notice.
Emmanuel Deeyah, the President of KAGOTE, the apex socio-cultural organisation in Ogoni comprising the four councils of Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme, flayed NPDC, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC), for visiting Ogoni without following the right channel.
He decried the recent cult-related violence that had claimed many lives in the area and called on security operatives to arrest and prosecute any cultist caught with a firearm in Ogoni.
He said: “Lately, in Ogoniland, we have had this issue of cult-related killings, so we have come to say enough is enough.
“We are talking with the relevant security agencies so that henceforth anyone caught shooting even crackers they should visit such person with the full weight of the law. They should do everything within their powers to apprehend such persons”.
Deeyah said while the people were pondering on how to tackle insecurity in the area, they were again inundated with the report of the visit of NPDC and the company’s planned resumption of oil exploration.
The Ogoni leader insisted any company that intended to explore oil in the area must meet with critical stakeholders, chiefs and opinion leaders, adding that Ogoni was not ready to make the same mistakes it made in the era of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
Deeyah said: “The truth about it is that nobody in Ogoni owns the means of the facility to mine oil. We belong to the federation, that is, Nigeria and we are also bound by the laws of the country.