Let us not forget Ken Saro-Wiwa or the struggle of the Ogoni people in Nigeria

Publié le par hort

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People
(MOSOP) UK

P.O. BOX 22067,
LONDON SW2 5WR, UK
TEL: +44 (0) 181 678 9605
FAX/PHONE: +44 (0) 171 737 1550
E-MAIL:
moso-@aol.com, moso-@hotmail.com

PRESS RELEASE

OGONI DAY SPEECH BY MRS. GBENEWA PHIDO – PRESIDENT MOSOP
UNITED KINGDOM


Greetings of the New Year and new millennium to everyone. We once more thank every Ogoni friend for the support you continue to render to our struggles.

As we enter a new millennium, we wish to remind the world of the unresolved problems facing the Ogoni people of Nigeria. While Ogonis have suffered untold hardship in Nigeria, nothing has been done to change our predicament five years after the murders of our leader Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight other activists.    Ogoni people remain neglected and abandoned in the present day Nigeria. While it is a well established fact that we have been subjected to the worst inhumane treatment ever given by the Nigerian Government to her

citizens, nothing has been done to alleviate the sufferings of the Ogoni masses. We note with regret that since Ogonis were forced to suffer the outright cases of human rights abuses with peak period from 1993 – 1996, not one Ogoni family has either been compensated or apologised to by both the

Nigerian Government and their allies - the Oil producing companies. These entities which completely destroyed Ogoni villages and abused her citizens with reckless abandon have not changed their arrogant attitude towards the peasant Ogonis who still suffer from the burden of environmental devastation and economic strangulation.

While on the one hand, Ogoni provided wealth of over $60billion to the Nigerian economy and the oil companies, on the other hand, Ogoni is yet to benefit from one positive developmental project from these entities. In  place of a fulfilling life, Ogonis have been murdered and raped in  uncountable numbers. In place of health, we have pollution and poverty  related illnesses and diseases; in place of clean healthy and green  vegetation; we have a devastated, battered and polluted environment. In  place of wealth, our villages have been burnt and our property of  inestimable value looted and destroyed. In place of education, we have illiteracy and ignorance lurking in our society; in place of development and progress, we have been thrown into dark ages.

OGONI FACES THE NEW MILLENNIUM

Ogonis are no longer ignorant of their environment. We are no longer second class citizens in our own homes. We vow to maintain our non-violent demands for our rights. We have chosen not to let the pains and sufferings of our people go unresolved. We have chosen to stand up to our oppressors by  continuing in the footsteps of our past leaders: the late Ken Saro-Wiwa and late Hon. T. N Paul Birabi. The legacy and success of these men who were worthy ambassadors to the Ogoni people reminds us daily of the task that is  required of us which among others include discipline, commitment and  sacrifice.   The long road to achieving justice and self pride for the  Ogonis, which these men initiated, will be upheld by  generations. To their memory, we owe our contribution. While we look back with pride for having such great men in our society, we look forward to encouraging such qualities in present and future Ogonis. 

We note with appreciation the efforts of all true Ogonis. We use this opportunity to commend the efforts of everyone  that daily offer self service to encourage the growth of Ogoni. We also commend all Ogonis who have in the face of current trials and tribulations exhibited self-discipline and survival instincts. They have been able to show exemplary qualities by shunning vices such as bribery, corruption, betrayal etc. in order to maintain the honour of our motherland. They have refused to let intimidation and oppression distract them from the cause of the Ogoni struggle. To these men and women of Ogoni community, we say keep up the good work. To all human and environmental rights activist across the world, we send our love and appreciation for all the efforts they continue to display to the Ogoni people and their struggle. We urge you to maintain your support to all the various communities of the Niger Delta of Nigeria and indeed all downtrodden people of the world who suffer from similar fate as the Ogonis.

We march forward into the new millennium with zeal and promise.   While  maintaining our demands for our rights in Nigeria, we have chosen as part of our individual and group effort, to embark on series of projects and  programmes to alleviate the sufferings of our masses.

MOSOP intend to bring her slain heroes home to our ancestors by burying them according to our tradition. Thereafter, we intend on intensifying the  grassroots enlightenment and education of our children, women and youths.

We intend on teaching these sections of our society about our devastated environment, our plight in the face of economic strangulation and political marginalisation. We acknowledge that these groups form a most fundamental part of our society, as they are the backbone of our future. To sustain the challenges the new millennium presents, we must empower them to recognise available opportunities that may arise.   Our first programe in 2000 is the Ogoni women leadership conference scheduled for March, in St. Louis,  Missouri, USA. The conference, which will attract women activists across the world, will further enhance and encourage the suppressed leadership  traits inherent in Ogoni women.

We also plan to embark on Projects that will help to alleviate the sufferings of our people. MOSOP members have started making financial  contributions towards initiating several projects in Ogoniland. However, support will be sought and welcome from non-Ogonis and organisations. MOSOP promises to be accountable on every project and to maintain transparency in her activities.We will maintain contacts with our numerous supporters and continue to call on them to lend their voices to the demands for justice for the Ogonis.

DEMANDS TO THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT AND OIL COMPANIES

While seeking ways of helping our struggle, we maintain our calls to the Nigerian Government to visit our Bill of Rights and implement our demands as stated therein.We also call on the government to urgently put in process an independent  review of the trial of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the eight other Ogoni activists.

This is because justice has not yet been done to these men who were judicially murdered by late dictator Sani Abacha and his henchmen on  November 10, 1995 under trumped up charges. While the remains of these men are yet to be laid to rest, men like Paul Okuntimu, Obi Umahi, Dauda Komo, Justice Auta etc. who severally and individually contributed to their  untimely death continue to work the streets of Nigeria as free men. We maintain our demand for the independent review of their trial, which will grant them full exoneration, and restore their reputation and names.

We call on the oil companies, which range among others Shell, Texaco, Chevron, Mobil, Saipem, Wilbros etc to stay out of Ogoniland. As has been unambiguously stated by the Ogoni people, these companies remain “persona non-grata in Ogoniland”. This fact has been re-echoed by Ogoni leaders past and present. Ogoni masses have maintained this demand and we vow not to let the oil companies that cheated, exploited and devastated our land to continue to strangulate our past, present and future populace. Shell and its colleagues of destruction owe the Niger Delta people. They owe us among other requirements the cleaning of our environment, the  environmental and social impact assessment of our environment, the payment of royalty to our lands etc. It is our right to decide what is good for our land and we demand a clean and healthy environment, which obviously does not tie with the practices of these oil companies. OGONIS MAINTAIN AND CONTINUE TO SAY NO TO OIL COMPANIES.

I conclude by calling on all Niger Delta communities to remain steadfast in their demands for justice. This is the time for all the communities to unite in our resolve for a better life today and for our future generations.

Long live MOSOP. Long live Ogoni. Long live the Niger Delta of Nigeria.

CONTACTS
HARRISON NEENWI 0181 678 9605
MRS GBENEWA PHIDO   0171 737 1550



In memory of our beloved brothers and heroes who laid down their lives that we might live.
At 11.30 a.m Nigerian time on 10/11/95 , KEN SARO WIWA, DR. BARINEM KIOBEL, SATURDAY DORBEE, PAUL LEVURA, NORDU EAWO, FELIX NUATE, DANIEL GBOKO, JOHN

KPUINEN AND BARIBOR BERA were hanged by the Nigerian dictatorship in coalition with Shell. This killing of innocent souls was perpetrated because they fought for justice for the Ogoni People.May your loving souls rest in peace. 'The struggle continues'.MOSOP-UK

The Ogonis are 500,000 in number and Ogoniland is in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. MOSOP is a developmental and cultural organisation of the Ogoni people. It is a non-governmental and non-political organisation and its aim is to promote democratic awareness among Ogoni people, protect the Ogoni environment and to struggle non-violently for the rights of the indigenous people of Ogoni.People fo Khana, Gokana and Eleme, we appeal to you to show more readiness to face the times ahead. The world is looking on at you. The men who have died in the current crisis are watching you. We must make sure that they have not died in vain. Ours is the future. We shall succeed.
 
BEE OGONI NAA LEE PE!
Ken Saro-Wiwa (The Ogoni Nation Today and Tomorrow
)
 

Publié dans contemporary africa

Commenter cet article