24 years (1993) after the Ogoni people declared Royal Dutch Shell a persona non grata in Ogoniland following decades of oil exploration and degradation of their environment which the united Nations have confirmed will take over 30 years to clean at the cost of 1 billion dollars, a Pan-Ogoni advocacy group known as the Ken Saro Wiwa Associates are accusing Shell of scheming to pass through the backdoor and resuming oil exploration in Ogoniland.
In backing up their claims, the group led by its National Coordinator, Chief Gani Topba which had previously petitioned Nigeria’s House of Representative on the said issue, has presented exclusive documents, showing prove of a grant of Operatorship licence for the resumption of oil exploration by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC to a company known as RoboMichael Limited.
The said RoboMichael Limited based on investigation does not have a face. They are known to operate from the private residence of its founder and Managing Director, Mrs. Arobo Egirani located at number 1 Tigris Close, Opposite Shell Quarters off Meridien Street, Maitama Abuja from where they carry out operations, some of them clandestine. Mrs. Arobo Egirani is known to be an ally of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Unconfirmed investigations have shown that the owner of the said company have managed to also penetrate the government of President Muhammadu Buhari by bribing some of his allies to manipulate the NNPC and prepare grounds for oil resumption in Ogoni for Shell but using an unsuspecting name in the form of a firm like RoboMichael Limited to avoid renewed agitation if it is known to be a direct Shell operation.
RoboMichael Limited has without any background check by the NNPC been granted licence to resume operations on the OML II (Ogoni Fields), ignoring stringent industry assessment or negotiation with the Ogoni people. There are also confirmed documents indicating that RoboMichael Limited has also adopted the strategy of its alleged parent company, Shell; as they have began a divide and rule strategy to stir up bad blood between the Ogoni people, anchored on bribery and corruption.
For example, apart from closed door visits to selected Ogoni traditional rulers; while an aide to Legborsi Pyagbara, President of the apex Pan-Ogoni group, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) one Bariala Kpalap on December 10, 2017 issued an unauthorized press statement claiming the organisation was in support of the said Operatorship Lience granted RoboMichael Limited, the body has issued a communiqué distancing itself from the said endorsement and denied knowledge of any negotiation to resume oil exploration in Ogoni in a separate statement released from its headquarters in Port Harcourt on December 13, 2017.
The Ken Saro Wiwa Associates had before now in a letter dated August 7th 2017 already petitioned the Presidency through the then Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
“We are not against the resumption of oil exploration in Ogoni”, a furious Gani Topba said in an interview. “What we are against is to allow a Shell-related company to come and drill oil in Ogoni. The said RoboMichael Limited has no single experience as an oil exploration company to begin with. But what is most shocking is that the NNPC has gone ahead without any single consideration of the company’s experience in exploration to give them licence for operatorship. This to me stinks and raises a lot of dust”.
A visit to the company’s website at www.robomichael.com shows clearly the company is not an oil exploration firm, raising further question as to why they should be granted Operatorship Licence to such critical fields as OML II. Under their bar for services, it is clearly written that they are into Power Generation, Equipment Supply Services, Operation and Maintenance, Project Management and Engineering with its only oil business stated as follows:
“Presently our Oil & Gas sector services are in the down stream sector, – supply of petroleum products – which cuts across a wide range of industries- power, oil & gas, telecommunication, e.t.c. Aspects of this product line includes, importation of petroleum products, Export/evacuation of products and marketing & distribution(onhsore & offshore) of petroleum products”.
“There is something we are not getting in this whole issue”, Coordinator of Ken Saro Wiwa Associates Chief Gani Topba said. “What we are not getting is that Ken Saro Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni people were brutally murdered for the oil in Ogoni. So the oil in Ogoni is not an ordinary one. It is oil that flows with the blood of innocent people running into thousands. And we will not allow it being manipulated as it is the case now for greedy few”.