Activists Kick Against Tinubu’s Appointment Of Ex-MOSOP Leader, Ledum Mitee Into NNPCL Board

Activists Kick Against Tinubu’s Appointment Of Ex-MOSOP Leader, Ledum Mitee Into NNPCL Board, Lament Damage To Ken Saro-Wiwa’s Legacy, Ogoni Agitations  

The appointment of Ledum Mitee, a former President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), by President Bola Tinubu has left many activists disappointed, SaharaReporters has learnt.

In November 2023, President Tinubu approved the appointment of a new board and management team for the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) with effect from December 1, 2023.

A statement from the Special Adviser to the President on media and publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale said it was in compliance with Section 59 (2) of the Petroleum Industry Act, 2021.

Mitee, an Ogoni rights activist, was appointed as a Non-Executive Director.

Other appointees announced by the Presidency into the NNPCL board and management team were Chief Pius Akinyelure — Non-Executive Board Chairman; Mallam Mele Kolo Kyari — Group Chief Executive Officer; Alhaji Umar Isa Ajiya — Chief Financial Officer; Mr. Musa Tumsa — Non-Executive Director; Mr. Ghali Muhammad — Non-Executive Director; Prof. Mustapha Aliyu — Non-Executive Director; Mr. David Ogbodo — Non-Executive Director and Ms. Eunice Thomas — Non-Executive Director.

However, some activists have described Mitee’s appointment as an attempt by President Tinubu’s administration to bribe individuals for oil drilling in the Niger Delta area.

According to the activists, such appointments will destroy the legitimacy of MOSOP and the agitations of the Ogoni people.

They told SaharaReporters that it would also damage the legacy of the late Ken Saro-Wiwa.

Nine Ogoni civil rights activists including Ken Saro-Wiwa were killed on November 10, 1995, by the military regime of Sani Abacha.

Saro-Wiwa, a writer and activist, had constantly heavily condemned the Nigerian military regime and the Anglo-Dutch petroleum company Royal Dutch/Shell for causing environmental damage to Ogoni land in his native Rivers State.

He was arrested in 1994 after four Ogoni chiefs were killed at a political rally. A special tribunal denounced by foreign human rights groups found Saro-Wiwa and others guilty of alleged complicity in the murders. He and eight fellow activists known as Ogoni 9 were executed by hanging, arousing international condemnation.

Regarding Mitee’s appointment, an activist told SaharaReporters on Sunday, “If this is Tinubu’s attempt to bribe individuals for oil drilling in Ogoni, it will fail.”

“He cannot destroy the legitimacy of MOSOP or the Ogoni people or the legacy of Ken Saro-Wiwa,” an activist said.

“Many other activists are furious,” another activist told SaharaReporters.

When contacted for comment regarding the alleged betrayal of the activism struggle, Mitee pointed the attention of the reporter to the Ogoni Bill of Rights, insisting that his appointment was not against the struggle.

Part of the bill reads, “Now, therefore, while reaffirming our wish to remain a part of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, we make demand upon the Republic as follows: That the Ogoni people be granted political autonomy to participate in the affairs of the Republic as a distinct and separate unit by whatever name called, provided that this Autonomy guarantees the following: (i) Political control of Ogoni affairs by Ogoni people; (ii) The right to the control and use of a fair proportion of Ogoni economic resources for Ogoni development;

(iii) Adequate and direct representation as of right in all Nigerian national institutions; (iv) The use and development of Ogoni languages in all Nigerian territory; (v) The full development of Ogoni culture; (vi) The right to religious freedom; and (vii)The right to protect the Ogoni environment and ecology from further degradation.”

Responding, he asked, “Does what you are asking me require an answer? What is the Ogoni struggle that you know about? Have you read Ogoni Bills of Rights, read it and tell me what are the four demands?”

“Who is saying that (betrayal), who is the activist? Who is the person?” he also asked before ending the call.

Subsequent efforts to reach him on his mobile line failed as he did not answer again. He also did not reply to a message sent to him.

Credit: Sahara Reporters

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