Despite previous documents showing the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, NNPC has granted Operatorship Licence to a company known as RoboMichael to begin exploration on OML II (Ogoni oil Fields) under questionable circumstances that is already leading to serious crisis in Ogoni, recent investigations by IFN TV has revealed Shell, which previously had licence to the oil fields before being pushed out by the Ogoni people in 1993, have reapplied for the renewal of its license which it had before now relinquished to the NNPC.
The recent revelation contained in a letter dated 16th October 2017 and signed by its Managing Director/Country Chair Mr. Osagie Okunbor is a sharp shift from the contents of a previous letter dated July 31, 2017 addressed to the Managing Director of RoboMichael to begin engagement on the exploration of OML II (Ogoni oil Fields).
From the foregoing, it is difficult to now point what is Shell’s actual motive in previously relinquishing its Operatorship Licence to the NNPC and then RoboMichael; and turning around to reapply for same licence over the fields which expires next year.
Several attempts to get to a response from Shell before this publication did not yield any result.
On December 20, 2017, Ogoni people numbering over two thousands led by Chief Gani Topba of the Ken Saro Wiwa Associates, an organisation championing the legacies of slain writer and environmentalist Ken Saro-Wiwa besieged the Port Harcourt Zonal Office of the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission, NNPC and shot it down over plans to resume oil exploration on their lands.
Shell had been chased out of Ogoni and declared a Persona non grata in 1993. The action was coordinated by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People under the leadership of Ken Saro Wiwa who was murdered on November 10, 1995.
There are also serious plans by the same group which organized the December 20 march against oil resumption in Ogoni and shut down business at the NNPC Zonal Office in Port Harcourt to take same protest to the NNPC Towers in Abuja in early January.