Ogoni Youths To Wike: We Can’t Be Slaves In Our Own Home.

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Ogoni People Cannot Become Slaves In Their Own Home
I want to state that as an Ogoni son, who have seen the sufferings of my people, I am completely in support of the resumption of oil exploitation in Ogoniland. We can’t be this blessed with so much oil under our soil and yet continue to watch our people die everyday in poverty, that’s foolishness. Whether the exploitation wants to happen today or tomorrow or next tomorrow is not the issue, my position is that it should happen and happen fast because the area is in urgent need of economic revival.
That said, one thing I will never support is for the State Government or any other government for that matter to become owners of Ogoni well. It is bad enough that the federal government already owns 55% of the asset, we can’t compound that headache by handing the other 45% to the State Government because Government is bad business. They won’t run the business well, they won’t meet up their own side of the bargain, and the moment they get what they want they won’t listen to you again.
We’ve seen the way the federal government that owns 55% of the oil well is running it already. Nobody can hold them accountable for anything, even when they make mistakes and you sue them and get judgment, they won’t obey court order. Government is the last thing to do business with because they’re bad handlers of business. Governments are regulators of businesses, but when they become the owners of the business then nobody can hold them accountable for anything, and this is quite dangerous for society. Ogoni people does not have the strength to fight government and so cannot afford to take any further chance on them. If it were possible to take the other 55% from the federal government we would’ve done that already, but since it’s not possible, we can’t become more foolish by allowing the State government own any of the remaining 45%.
Another reason why we can’t hand our oil well to the Rivers State government is that it will cause a needless controversy in project execution. Any company that operates in your community is suppose to carry out its corporate social responsibilities, but when that company becomes government, then those responsibilities won’t be done. It would then become impossible to separate government duty to the people from its social responsibilities as a company.
Another reason why Wike’s wish to own Ogoni oil is a pipedream is because if Ogoni State is created tomorrow, it will not be fair for Rivers State to own an oil well belonging to Ogoni State. So imagine a situation where the federal government is ready to create an Ogoni State, would Rivers State not use the immense wealth and power at its disposal to fight such a move if they already own Ogoni oil? Wike is just allowing his greed to push him into doing something that has never been done anywhere in the country.
What Ogoni people needs to do now is to form for themselves a company (Ogoni Oil) and bid for the oil well, or look for a company that will exploit the oil and negotiate for themselves a good deal. There is nothing the Rivers State government can give to us that any company cannot give double. If we form our own Ogoni Oil or partner with a company then Ogoni people can begin to have the type of billionaires that other parts of the oil-producing Niger Delta have. We will then have greater say, we can compete with others to become anything including the number one citizen of the State. This is the deal that Ogoni people are looking for and not for them to become slaves in their own house.

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By Baridam Ben

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