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Self-Government for Ogoni Overdue, Says Goodluck Diigbo

MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo has been speaking on the reason for the urgency behind the Ogoni declaration of self-government to enforce the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
“The urgency behind the declaration is that self-government for Ogoni was overdue in view of many important issues bordering on indigenous rights of the Ogoni people being tampered with now. The UNEP Ogoni Report is one out of many,” Diigbo explained.
Diigbo stated that:“The Ogoni declaration of self-government now guarantees the Ogoni people the right to participate in decision-making in all matters which would affect their rights, through representatives chosen by Ogonis in accordance with own procedures, as well as to maintain and develop all our own indigenous decision-making institutions, which we started to set up since 2011.”
“It is my hope that this self-government will help to provide just and fair redress to decades of deprivation of our indigenous rights,” Diigbo said.
On Friday, August 4, 2012 Diigbo was addressing Ogonis who took their celebration of the declaration of self-government to Bane, hometown of Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was Diigbo’s closest associate before he was murdered for demanding for environmental impact assessment study of Ogoni. On August 4, 2011 UNEP issued an inconclusive report that Ogoniland will take 25-30 years to restore.
Diigbo reminded the world that Ogoni has for decades, been devastated by petroleum operations by the Nigerian Government operating through NNPC and the Anglo-Royal Dutch/Shell in corrupt alliance with other multinational oil corporations.
“Importantly, Ogoni can no longer accept dictation, any institution, government and corporation interested in investment in Ogoni will enjoy transparent partnership, because we will end corruption and irresponsive governance in Ogoni. This means partnership will be based on free, prior and informed consent before any of our partners adopt and implement any project, and before the national government adopt any legislative or administrative measures that may affect Ogoni people,” Diigbo maintained.
Meanwhile, Ogoni farmers’ council says Ogoni self-government must revive local economy.
“We expect that the Ogoni Self-Government can end further attempt to subject Ogoni culture to forced assimilation and destruction of our means of livelihood without any replacement,” said a native chief in Bori, Chief Samuel Asongho who is also the President, Ogoni Farmers Council (OFA).
Chief Ashongo who holds the vice presidency of Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers Council (COTRA) implored the Ogoni people to reject any action which effect would be to deny the Ogoni people their integrity, means of livelihood, forests, lands, rivers and cultural heritage.
He said the Ogoni people did not deserve to be murdered for speaking out for their own rights and that those who fear that allowing Ogoni rights would affect theirs should let Ogonis know that instead to murder innocent people, as was done to Ken Saro-Wiwa and others, and not shed blood on sacred lands.
Chief Asongho called on all Ogoni people to continue in the peaceful manner they have conducted themselves since the declaration of Self-Government, and not allow those who have become slaves and want to remain slaves to tempt or provoke them into violence.
The traditional chief dismissed propaganda that the Ogoni people are divided, saying there is always some people who often feel threatened by change and the common good, because they are selfish and have no love for their fellow human beings.
Chief Asongho spoke after he led a peaceful procession and followed by a customary libation in support of the declaration of self-government at Ken Saro-Wiwa Peace and Freedom Center, from the procession took him to Birabi Memorial Grammar School (BMGS), Bori. At BMGS on August 2, 2012, he paid a glowing tribute to the memory and legacy of Paul Naakuu Timothy Birabi – the Ogoni foremost political nationalist and Ken Saro-Wiwa – founder of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) for the pioneering role they played for Ogoni freedom.
Asongho pledged that the Ogoni Farmers Council (OFA) and Council of Traditional Rulers Association (COTRA) will stand with Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, MOSOP President /Spokesman and will contribute whatever they can to make sure that the self-government work for the benefit of the entire Ogoni people.

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