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MOSOP Rejects Prof Shokwolo As Acting Project Coordinator Of HYPREP

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has warned the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) that Ogoni will resist all attempts to appoint Professor Philip Shokwolo as Acting Project Coordinator of the agency. MOSOP said it is aware of desperate and intensive moves by the commission's departmental heads especially Professor Shokwolo supported by some powerful internal and external officials to replace the current Project Coordinator (PC), Dr. Marvin Dekil.

According to MOSOP, the Project Co-ordinator would be proceeding on compulsory leave following his alleged inadequacies occasioning growing concerns. While welcoming the development, MOSOP said it would resist the choice o f Prof. Shokwolo as a replacement on account of alleged glaring conflict of interest with that of the Ogoni people.

Professor Philip Shokwolo was a staff of Shell and team head for all the clean-up and remediation programmes of the oil mogul for over 15 years. He supervised all clean-up or remediation projects of Shell during the period. He also certified the sites with the connivance of NOSDRA as being properly cleaned up or remediated.

“But during the UNEP environmental assessment of Ogoniland, it found the sites Prof. Shokwolo had certified to have been properly cleaned up or remediated to be heavily polluted and recommended for remediation. Today, HYPREP is remediating the same sites he has approved as properly cleaned up or remediated. Today, Professor Philip Shokwolo as head of the technical/operations organ of the Project Coordination Office (PCO) of HYPREP, supervises the Ogoni clean-up exercise. And the question mark on the project is linked albeit regrettably to Prof. Shokwolo. Thus, allowing him achieve a higher elevation in HYPREP would jeopardize efforts at finding enduring remedy to the saddening state of the Ogoni clean-up project.

“In fact the case of the site known and called Shell well 2 in Kegbara Dere in Gokana Local Government Area has been very obvious. Professor Shokwolo had supported DEXCOM Solutions Limited owned by his longtime friend and current project coordinator of HYPREP, Dr. Marvin Dekil and the firm was contracted by Shell to clean-up/remediate its impacted sites including the said well 2 in 2006 or thereabout. The company executed the contract and was supervised by Prof. Shokwolo and even if DEXCOM Solutions Limited did substandard job that could not pass an elementary test, Prof. Shokwolo certified the site to have been properly cleaned up or remediated by the company.

“HYPREP has contracted Centennial Development and Investment Limited and Navante Oil and Gas Company Limited to remediate the same site, well 2, hosting lots 13 and 14 respectively. And Prof. Shokwolo is the one supervising the exercise at the said lots.

“Coming at a time when Ogoni and her friends around the world are still mourning and remembering our fallen heroes murdered by the Nigerian state some 25 years ago for campaigning for social and environmental justice for the Ogoni and other minorities, we consider the Prof. Shokwolo's matter as not only insensitive and provocative but also smack of desperation by his sponsors, Shell and other enemies of Ogoni to seize control of the Project in an attempt to undermine the global tilt for environmental justice for the Ogoni. And for Abuja's trumpeted overhaul of HYPREP to reposition the Ogoni clean-up exercise to make meaning, Prof. Philip Shokwolo has to be stopped. We maintain that allowing him to be the acting project coordinator will do more harm to the project than good.

As a product of the Ogoni struggle, and after over 4 years in existence, Ogoni had expected HYPREP to use the occasion of the 25th remembrance of Ogoni martyrs to release reports of achievements rather than insult our sensibilities with the provocative reports about Prof. Philip Shokwolo's pursuits.   

We vehemently reject both of them”.