The people of Ogoni ethnic nationality consisting of Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai local government areas of Rivers State have condemned in strong terms the decision of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to deny them the opportunity of producing its governorship candidate for the 2015 general elections in State.
They also called on the Inspector-General of Police (IG), Suleiman Abba to investigate and prosecute the police personnel who shot at thousands of Ogoni youths that went on a peaceful protest to Government House, Port Harcourt, over the refusal of the APC to allow Ogoni ethnic nationality produce the successor to Governor Chibuike Amaechi.
These were contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a one-day meeting at Saakpenwa, headquarters of Tai local government area of the state, attended by traditional rulers, opinion and political leaders, clergy, the academia and women from all the four local government areas that make up Ogoni land.
The communiqué, which was signed by King Godwin Gininwa, President, Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers (SCOTR), the Gbenemene Nyokana Kingdom, King Williams Nzidee, Gbenemene Babbe Kingdom, King Melford Noryaa, President of KAGOTE, Dr. Peter Medee and retired judge of the Rivers State High Court, Justice Peter Akere, appealed to other political parties that are yet to pick their standard bearers to consider Ogoni sons and daughters as their governorship candidates for the 2015 general elections.
It also appealed to the senator representing Rivers South-East senatorial district in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe, to consider retaining his seat at the National Assembly, so as to guarantee the people of Ogoni continuous quality representation at the highest level of legislation in the country.
The communiqué read in part, “In view of the persistent rejection and political neglect the Ogoni people have suffered in the political equation in Rivers State, despite its capacity and contributions to the well-being of the State and Nigeria, the congress consisting of chiefs, elders, religious leaders, the political class, academia, women and youths amongst others, met today, 7th of December, 2014, and resolved as follows.
“Congress condemned in strong terms the fragrant disregard for the aspiration and agitation of Ogoni people in relation to gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the shooting of Ogoni youths for expressing disapproval through a peaceful protest to Government House, Port Harcourt and called on the Inspector-General of Police, to investigate and prosecute police personnel involved in the act.
“Congress frowns at the continuous marginalization of Ogoni people politically in a state they co-founded and appealed to political parties that have not decided on standard bearers to field Ogoni sons and daughters as their candidates.
“Congress being conscious of the effect of the absence of representation at the highest level of legislation, join in the call on our son, Senator Magnus Ngei Abe to consider retaining his seat as senator representing South-East senatorial district of Rivers State and direct our sons and daughters aspiring for other elective positions to continue and be assured of our support.”
Meanwhile, the people of Ogoni ethnic nationality who spoke with our correspondent on Monday said that they have lost confidence in the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP). They made this known shortly after the emergence of Chief Barr. Ezebunwo Nyesom Wike as the flagbearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Monday.
Comrade Lekia John, a youth activist in Gokana Local Government Area, said that as PDP and APC failed to field governorship candidates from the Ogoni land, it means that the leadership of the two political parties (PDP & APC) hate the Ogoni ethnic nationality.
According to him, the Ogonis have decided not to cast their votes for PDP or APC during the next year’s general elections.