The Ogoni people have once again kicked the federal government to a tight corner on the Ogoni Clean up Project.
The Ogoni indigenous contractors have successfully barred every contractor from mobilizing to site for the commencement of the Ogoni clean up.
Their grievance is that the federal government sidelined them and awarded all twenty contracts for the clean up to ‘strangers’ despite the fact that Ogoni owned indigenous contractors scaled through the procurement requirements and even submitted better and most responsive bids in some cases.
They are insisting that if the federal government does not consider indigenous Ogoni contractors as qualified to participate in the clean-up of Ogoniland, then everybody can as well forget about the project.
The federal government, after seeing the logic and sense of their (Ogoni) argument (while admitting to their own foolishness and the fatal flaw in their action) has agreed to ‘arrange’ ten more contracts strictly for Ogoni contractors.
The Ogoni contractors are insisting that until their contracts are signed, nobody will move to site to commence work.
The federal government in their usual nepotistic and prebendal tradition awarded 20 out of the 21 contracts to their cronies. Many of the contractors whom the federal government awarded the contracts to had zero experience on soil remediation. Others had no remediation technology.
Many of them got the contracts simply because they had contacts in Abuja and in the Presidency. It was obviously not about competency. For if it was, many Niger Delta contractors would have scaled through.
A lot of the Niger Delta contractors who have had decades of experience in soil remediation and oil spill clean up were sidelined because they had no contact in the presidency.
The federal government has once again observed that sending in the military to Ogoni as a prelude will not stop the Ogoni people from obstructing the work. They have finally succumbed.
This is umpteenth time the Ogonis have beaten the federal government in their Own game of intimidation.
Ogoni people are the only ethnic group in Nigeria that have successfully barred the federal government and the oil companies from drilling crude oil and gas from their land. It is over three decades now that the Ogoni people chased Shell from Ogoniland and barred the federal government from issuing exploration license for any oil bloc in Ogoniland. This they did without firing a shot.
I like their resilience and will to fight and defend their rights.
The federal government just shot itself in the foot by making this mistake.
Hopefully, the Ogoni clean up will not be commencing anytime soon, not until this brewing crisis is resolved.
A minus for the APC in the 2019 election.
May the federal government have sense in dealing with the ethnic nationalities that make up Nigeria.