-Ogonis urged to be united in their struggle
By Michael Oche
To commemorate the 31st Ogoni Day celebration, President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been urged to urgently look into the unaddressed issues canvassed by the Ogoni people in their nonviolent struggle against.
In a statement by Celestine AkpoBari
Team Leader of the Peoples Advancement Centre (PAC), the celebration of day is a call to the Ogoni people to soberly reflect on their journey, their well-being and the numerous painful sacrifices made so far.
AkpoBari also asked Governor of River of Rivers State Sim Fubara to immediately set up a panel of inquiry to look into claims concerning payment of $300, 000,000 meant for Ogoni development and establish who received the money on behalf of Ogoni people.
He said, “Today is another day I will like the Ogoni people to soberly reflect on their journey, their well-being and the numerous painful sacrifices made so far. I will like the Ogoni to ask themselves why they embarked on this costly struggle? Why the uncountable arrests, harassments, torture, denials and even deaths? Why was Ken Saro=Wiwa and other leaders of Ogoni murdered by the Federal Government of Nigeria in collaboration with the oil companies? What have we achieved as a people from the sacrifices made so far? Of all the legitimate demands enshrined in the Ogoni Bill of Rights and submitted to the Government of Nigeria in 1990, which one has been acceded to?
“Looking back at recent developments and happenings in Ogoni, we seem to be like a people looking forward but walking backward. On the political, economic and socio-cultural fronts, we are more divided, unorganized and very uncoordinated than any period in our history. How do we go forward and make progress having five different factions of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), a vehicle that is supposed to take us to our Eldorado? How do we expect any government, groups and organizations to take us seriously when we are not united. How many Presidents preside over a country? How many drivers control a vehicle?”
He said going forward, the Ogonis must as a people resolve the issue of leadership, and must do it now, noting that they cannot make any meaningful progress in a situation where five different persons lay claim to being the President of MOSOP.
“We have to start from here and every other thing will fall in place including the most important decision of selecting who leads us politically and by extension, traditionally,” he said.
AkpoBari also said of recent, Ogoni has been in news on claims that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) released three hundred million United States dollar to yet to be identified person for Ogoni development.
He said, “Another, is a report where few persons from one of the five different factions of MOSOP were seeing begging the oil companies and the Government to come and resume oil production in Ogoniland. My question is, who should be begging who on resumption of oil production?
“Looking at what the government of Nigeria and the oil companies did and continue to do to Ogoni people, is it not shameful for any Ogoni to go out there and beg a system that destroyed your environment and murdered the very people you claim you represent to return to your land without any discussion on the ongoing struggle and the legitimate demands? Why look so cheap and beggarly before the oppressors? This is surely not the Ogoni I know, where is our dignity that people all over the world respect Ogoni for?”
He therefore called on Barrister Ledum Mitee who was recent appointment into the Board of the NNPCL to find out why the sum of $300,000,000 was given to Ogoni people and who received the money on behalf of Ogoni;
He said, “I once again call upon the Executive Governor of River of Rivers State to immediately set up a panel of inquiry to look into that issue concerning payment of $300, 000,000 meant for Ogoni development and establish who received the money on behalf of Ogoni people.”