A Correspondent from States Media Team, Rivers State, Mazi Chibueze Uchemchukwu, conducted an Interview with the Spokesperson of Indigenous Youth Forum (IYF) Mr P. Joseph.

Question: Please can you talk about the formation of Indigenous Youth Forum - IYF?

IYF SPOKESMAN: The group cuts across the entire Niger Delta region and tasked to represent the interests of the people in the Oil industry. The IYC was born out of the failure of Movement For Ogoni People (MOSOP) to sustain its purpose of formation by Late Ken Saro Wiwa. Since the death of Saro Wiwa, there has been different break ups in MASOP, several groups with different leadership with sole purpose of making money for themselves. They have no clear objective to the pains of the depraved People. This recklessness which has led to various uprisings, has led to the death of over 400 Indigenous People Of Ogoni. This is why Ogoni is in disarray.

Question: Please, can you intimate me with the role or duty of your Office as the IYF Spokesman?

IYF Spokesman:  I am the spokesman for the Indigenous Youth Forum, which embraces the entire Niger Delta States and my primary duty is to tell the world what the People of Niger Delta agrees on, in every matter as it regards to their interests in the Oil industry.

Question: Please, tell me the true situation of things in Ogoni land with regards to the daily uprising with Shell Petroleum and Federal Government?

IYF Spokesman: The truth about the situation in Ogoni land is that there has been serious and steady crisis but there seem to be some sort of indifference by the Government and Nigerian Media.
The crisis in Ogoni land is a grand plan by Shell Petroleum and Government to kill and intimidate the people of Ogoni into submission of their Human Rights. Recall that President Buhari once announced that the drilling of OML 11 Oil field in Ogoni land was going to resume in April this year but the crisis has increased instead because there is no Truth.

Question: What is the cause of the crisis in Ogoni land?

IYF Spokesman: The crisis in Ogoni is not just the resistance of the people of Ogoni but there is a gang up or Joint forces that disguised as cultists, they invade Villages and kill the people of the Community and walk away. As it stands now, the entire People of Khana LGA are not at Home. Everybody has fled the Community and the aged and sick who could not run were killed. My observation is that there is a prime target by the assailants which is, to waste the Youths of Ogoni. This is the way Shell operates. They always target the people that will be of resistance to their exploitations, they will set war amongst them and heads would roll.

Question: Please could you elaborate more on the role of Shell Petroleum in all of these crises?

IYF SPOKESMAN: The main interest of Shell is the Oil and anything that stands against it, is targeted for elimination. From the early 90's Ogoni have lost their brilliant young men to Shell, men whose only crime is attempting to speak against the impoverishment and hazards faced by the people. Even after the United Nations (UN) ruled against further drilling of Oil in Ogoni land until Clean-Up of the Oil spillage is done, the Government of Nigeria and Shell have refused to carry out this instruction. Today, they are speaking of commencing Oil drilling and not Cleaning up of the environment, thereby igniting more flames to the already burning fire.

Question: What is the effect of the Oil spillage in the Community?

IYF SPOKESMAN: The hazards from Oil spillage to the residents of the area cannot be over emphasized. People have died from Cancer and different terminal ailments related to Benzene chemical inhalation from the hazards caused by Shell Petroleum through Pollution. The Fishes in the waters have been wiped out due to Oil spillages, this has shut down the business of Fishing which is the major industry of an average Ogoni Person.

Question: Why is there crisis amongst the people of Ogoni land?

IYF SPOKESMAN: Shell Petroleum is the major player and force in the Crisis. Their sole interest is to kill and destroy anybody that stands on their way to Oil drilling. I can authoritatively tell you that Shell is now killing the men of Ogoni using Cultism in disguise. Since the beginning of this year, there is no school in session in Khana LGA, Homes have been razed down, the people have fled their Villages in fear of the Murderous Cult Group formed by Shell.

Question: From your narration, it appears that Shell Petroleum was drilling in Ogoni, at what point did they stop and why?

IYF SPOKESMAN: Yes, Shell was drilling in Ogoni land especially the location in contention OML-11. Nigeria has special interest in the crude from this particular location because of the quality and its uniqueness compared to the Oil from other locations. The crude from here is called BURNING LIGHT, it's costlier than others in the International Market. Please also note, the People of Ogoni are not saying that the Government should not Drill Oil from here. What we are saying is, they should first Clean-up the harmful spillages and control the Pollution as agreed upon with the United Nation. But rather than go by this honourable means, they resolved to forcefully access the Oil Wells, killing and maiming the Indigenous People while causing more havoc to the environment. So, you can see that it is because of the importance of this very crude that the Government and Shell are bent on wiping out the people from this area and occupy it.

Question: We have heard the Federal Government on several occasions say, they are embarking on Clean-Up in Ogoni land. What is the true situation?

IYF SPOKESMAN: The Clean-Up of Ogoni was a resolution by the United Nations to restore a lasting Peace and fairness. Unfortunately, the Shell Petroleum and Government of Nigeria are not ready to carry out this instruction. Each time you hear them talk about Clean-Up, IT IS A SCAM. Ogoni is still polluted. What the Government is rather talking about is building Prisons Military barracks and Cemetery in Ogoni land. They have also recruited some youths of the community whom they use to cause mayhem against their People. The person of Ateke Tom for instance has been bought over by Shell to cause war amongst his people.

Question: What is the role of the State Government in all of these?

IYF SPOKESMAN: There is no Government run in Rivers State without the Ogoni having at least 4 Commissioners. We are not ignored by the State because in Ogoni we have the needed number that determines who takes which position at the State.

Question: Considering the fact that you have the largest number to effect any decision at the State level, why hasn't Ogoni achieved their demand for Clean-Up?

IYF SPOKESMAN: The people cannot come together to achieve anything because as I speak, there is no single Meeting or gathering of the people to push their demand to fruition because Shell has caused a lot of disharmony amongst the people. You can't get any form of synergy for the betterment of the community.

Question: What is the way out of this quagmire?

IYF SPOKESMAN: The only logical means out of this seeming dead-end is a total Support for the Restoration of BIAFRA through the Platform of Indigenous People Of Biafra - IPOB, under the leadership of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu. This is so because even the few surviving Leaders of Ogoni land are under subjugation, they have been so subdued by poverty and they sustain a living by picking the crumbs from the Government and Shell. So, I have tried to sound the need to join IPOB as best option today. Nigeria, can no longer be fixed. All Ogoni People should realize that IPOB is the only uniting Force, it is the only stable and reliable Group that have the capacity to resolve all the problems piled up in Ogoni. The only name that shakes Government of Nigeria is Biafra. IPOB is a big force that shakes even the Northerners.

Question: What's your advice to the people of Ogoni at this critical time?

IYF SPOKESMAN: My candid advice is, let every man and woman join IPOB Family. Those staying overseas, should join their brothers and be very active. My people must stop criticizing IPOB from a distance, they should join the struggle first and ask questions in any area that is not clear to them. They must stop criticizing from outside. Their fears can only be cleared when they are inside the family.


Reported by:
Chibueze Uchemchukwu
For: Rivers State Media

Edited by:
Ngozichukwu Ada-Dav
For: Rivers State Media

Published by:
Chibuike John Nebeokike
For: Rivers State Media

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