MOSOP USA will apply all available resources to support Ogoni Autonomy for it is our core philosophy, declares MOSOP USA Congress
The attention of members of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People resident in the USA has been drawn to the criticisms following the declaration of Ogoni autonomy by Dr. Gooddluck Diigbo on August 2nd, 2012. Some of the critics went further to assert that the people of Ogoni cannot be asking of a state and at the same time be asking of autonomy”. To this group of antics, they have seen another era of 1995 when Ogonis will be chased to the bush and some of them will be arrested and tried on presumptive treason and treasonable charges.
The paradox that seems to resonate with Ogoni autonomy after twenty two years the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR) was written and given to the Government of Nigeria to be addressed, but failed to do so supposed to draw substantial criticisms not the legitimacy of Ogoni autonomy itself, which has been around for so long. At this point of our non-violent struggle, Ogoni people will not accept any level of social intellectual dishonesty, threat, or lethal actions that may bridle or impinge upon the good work our martyrs have left for us to follow until justice is done.
Thus, the Ogoni autonomy is not about who declares it (the messenger), if that has given its critics any platitude to associate the declaration with negative utterances, but it is about the message, whether or not it portrays and represents the core ideal or philosophy of MOSOP. And let no one be deceived that the declaration calls for secession from Nigeria as some people who may not be acquainted with the OBR have purportedly presented.
The political autonomy of Ogoni people as prescribed in OBR simply states that while participating in the affairs of the Republic of Nigeria as a distinct and separate unit by whatever name called, provided the autonomy guarantees the following:
A. Political control of Ogoni affairs by Ogoni people.
B. The right to the control and use of a fair proportion of Ogoni economic resources for Ogoni development.
C. Adequate and direct representation as of right in All Nigeria national institutions.
D. The use and development of Ogoni languages in Ogoni territory.
E. The full development of Ogoni culture.
F. The right to religious freedom.
G. The right to protect the Ogoni environment and ecology from further degradation.
It is based on the conflicting information regarding Ogoni autonomy that the Ogoni people here in the United States convened an emergency general congress meeting on Saturday, August 11th, 2012 under the umbrella organization of MOSOP-USA and took a stand in affirmation of the declaration made by Dr. Diigbo. And as a people, we are committed to using all available non-violent methods, international conventions or apparatus, including legal tools for the sustenance and protection of our heritage as a minority in a country where bribery and corruption, moral decadence, and even the size of the population continue to be therapeutic milieu for all the social problems plaguing the nation Nigeria.
In his book titled ‘Path to Nigerian Freedom’ Obafemi Awolowo had warned … “Certainly these minority groups are at a considerable disadvantage when they are forced to be in the midst of other peoples who differ from them in language, culture, and historical background”. And he added, “Under a true federal constitution, each group, however small, is entitled to the same treatment as any other group, however large.”
If Awolowo was wrong, his aforementioned quotes would have disappeared into the wind and the present situation in which the minority groups found themselves today would not exist. Ken Saro Wiwa fought this same battle but unfortunately he was hung barbarically on trumped up charges. But each passing day, his ideology and philosophy are not going away. It continues to stare up in the faces of both Nigerian government and Shell Multinational Oil Company at home and abroad.
And Ogoni people are tired of watching episodes of theatrical drama of both Nigerian government and Shell Multinational Oil Company. It is exactly one year the United Nation Environmental Program (UNEP) report was released to restore Ogoni environment, but the implementation of the report is still a mirage. What the Ogoni people has observed lately is that the Nigerian government has violated the terms of the report by creating the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Project (HyPREP) as a default mechanism to forestall the program.
The UNEP report has specifically mentioned that an Ogoni Authority be created that will oversee the implementation of the program. It becomes an irony that a program both Nigerian government and Shell Multinational Oil Company sponsored has taken longer than necessary to implement the result of the same program. Is Nigerian government trying to tell the world that Nigeria is better off to produce a better refined scientific report than the one produced by the United Nation?
The organization of MOSOP-USA calls on all Ogoni people to demand justice because it is better we are judged by the content of our heart and not by the size of our population. We stand on the implementation of UNEP report and we stand on Ogoni autonomy.
Dumle Kunenu is the P.R.O of MOSOP