This was the day, the Ogoni people peacefully confronted their tormentor in quest for better future for their children and posterity. As we commemorate this occasion, I wish to crave your indulgence to reflect on our struggle since it was first launched on January 4th, 1993. For the sake of our friends here today with us, it is important to shed a little light on the genesis and cause of our problems. Since the discovery of crude oil in OgoniLand and Niger Delta region at large; the Ogoni environment have been polluted 100 times above the world recommended tolerance level...United Nations Environmental report on Ogoni land studies. Shell oil company and Chevron Oil have polluted our environment and devastated our land from reckless oil exploration and exploitation activities, as a result, our people have been robbed of their main source of livelihood: fishing and farming. To make matters worse, the federal government of Nigeria and its accomplice Shell oil company, have not done enough to compensate or alleviate the suffering of the Ogoni people by providing life enhancing infrastructure and social amenities like electricity, good water supply and adequate medical care. For this reason, our people are forced to drink polluted/contaminated water containing Benzene and other chemicals and cancer-causing agents. In summary, the activities of the government of the federal republic of Nigeria, Shell oil and other multinational oil companies was and is still tantamount to genocide. At this juncture, it is important to note that, 24 years after the launch our struggle, the environmental racism, genocidal war and same deplorable conditions we were faced with is still prevalent.
The government of Nigeria, shell oil and their accomplices have not change their disposition towards the Ogoni people and their demands. Back then in 1990, Ogoni people submitted the "Ogoni Bill of Rights" to the government and people of Nigeria demanding amongst other things: the use of a fair proportion of our resources for our development, the right to protect our environment from further ecological degradation; adequate representation as of right in all Nigerian national institutions and the right to control our political affairs. Since 1990 that this Bill was submitted, it had been treated with ignominy. Again, it's been over 5 years since the United nation environmental program (UNEP) completed an environmental impact assessment studies and submitted it to the federal government of Nigeria, as we gather here today, the recommendations for the remediation of the Ogoni environment have not been implemented. Instead, The Nigerian national petroleum corporation (NNPC)in collaboration with shell oil and chevron are using one, Robo Michael in disguise to force themselves on the Ogoni people to continue their reckless genocidal activities. As we continue to reflect on our journey so far, I am using this occasion to call on you all embrace the first love you had for the struggle;
In refreshing our memories, we will not forget that since our struggle began, more than 30 Ogoni communities have been completely sacked and flattened while inhabitants made homeless by the Arm forces of Nigeria, today Ogoni have record more than three thousand (3,000) deaths and Eighty thousand (80,000) Ogoni internal homeless refugees. Prominent Ogoni sons and daughters have been brutally murdered. People were unjustly arrested without charge and imprisoned, tortured, raped, maimed and hanged by the Nigerian government to continue oil exploitation in Ogoni, we have suffered, and the suffering is becoming unbearable
We must not fold our hands while our people are tortured and murdered daily. It is not a crime that God blessed our land with crude oil.
Poverty, greed and selfishness have forced our leaders against the wish of the people. This is one of the 204 methods the Nigerian government and Shell Oil are using in killing both the Ogoni people and our organization. It is a shameful thing for the so call leaders or chiefs of the Ogoni people to negotiate the return of Shell when the People and Government of Nigeria have not deemed it necessary to address our request as stated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights or even clean our environment which they polluted as was recommended by the united nation environmental program(UNEP) report. Neither have the government stopped the killing and marginalization of the Ogoni people.
The worst form of betrayal to my understanding is benefitting from the effort of those you persecute and lynch. The people and government of Nigeria, Ogoni chiefs, God will not take your wickedness for granted except you repent now.
As I said before, it is not only these barbarians, Ogoni greedy Chiefs, Shell, people and government of Nigeria that are guilty of betrayal and killing of the Ogoni people, but also those who are silent over all the atrocities they are committing against the Ogoni people, the Bible says: “he who knows what is right to do and refuse to do, to him it is a sin”. Keeping silent at all the wrong things that Shell, the people and government of Nigerian are doing against Ogoni, may even prevent us from entering the kingdom of God.
For those staying in their houses pointing accusing fingers or playing the blame game, be informed that in the days of manna, the Israelites still went out, each day, to gather for the day. God never prepare the Manna for them; He only provided. Stop complaining and get involve. Some of us are also good at pulling down others who desires to make positive changes, these people are the most dangerous Ogoni people. The sooner we identify them and keep away from them the better for our struggle
MOSOP is now a deride organization who have lost focus and have turned to personal aggrandizement. It is like a bitten, bartered and broken-down house that need to be rebuilt. She has lost all good friends and relationships, now experiences loneliness and hopelessness. Everyone have begun to lost hope in her, as the mouth peace in the demand for equality, peace, justice and fairness for the people of Ogoni
As it has been said, “being defeated is often a temporary condition; given up is what makes it permanent” MOSOP will never stop fighting, we must remain positive, bold, strong and courageous even as the people and government of Nigeria continued to treat our awful condition, environment and request with ignominy.
I call on all Ogoni activist to rise and fight. For us to win this cold war, we must love to fight till victory is won. You can never retire from a war that is advancing against you except you have chosen to surrender. MOSOP activist, there is no retirement, no retreat, no surrender until victory is won. Who will fight for us when we desert the struggle or If everyone find fault in one another and run away? I call on all MOSOP activists to keep faith and continue the struggle for we are not and can never be defeated if we surrender the struggle to God and do our own parts.
I therefore, call on all God-fearing person, people, government and organizations to come to the aid of the Ogoni people, as the extinction of the Ogoni people seems to be a policy in Nigeria. I also call on God Almighty who created the Ogoni land and blessed it with all the abundant blessings to come to our aid for His intended blessings for the Ogoni people has been turned into a curse. I pray that may God bless Ridgeway Assemblies of God for housing our programs. God bless MOSOP Memphis, God bless the Ogoni Nation. God bless the United States of America.