- Says Oil Production Necessary to Drive Development in Ogoni
- Call For a Review of the 1995 Ogoni Hangings
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has reiterated its commitment to Ogoni development through the implementation of the Ogoni Development Authority. A statement by the Secretary-General of MOSOP, Alex Akori says the Central Committee of MOSOP at its meeting in Giokoo, Gokana local government area on Thursday unanimously expressed the organisation's willingness and commitment to promote the implementation of the proposed development plan.
The meeting which was presided over by the president of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke was called to assess the state of the struggle and review MOSOP's position on critical issues including oil resumption and development in Ogoni.
On the state of the Ogoni struggle, Nsuke said the struggle was on course and will certainly achieve its purpose.
"We have recovered our struggle and it is strongly on course and I am confident that the people are able to keep and preserve it until our dreams are achieved" he said..
"It has been a collective, grassroots struggle and the gains should be for the people and not for some few and we will resist every attempt to crystallize our pains, sacrifices, wounds and deaths into the pockets of some few individuals" Nsuke told the Central Committee.
Shortly after addressing the Central Committee, the MOSOP President addressed a MOSOP Congress in Bera, also in Gokana local government area where he called on the Nigerian authorities to encourage true reconciliation in Ogoni by reviewing the unjust execution of nine Ogonis in 1995. He said addressing the 1995 saga will help build goodwill for the government and help Ogonis to reintegrate into the Nigerian system. Nsuke noted that till date, some Ogonis are still refugees in foreign lands due to fear of possible persecution should they return to Nigeria.
On oil resumption in Ogoni, the MOSOP President said those preaching a total no to oil production in Ogoni were not in tune with the current realities in Ogoni and the position of MOSOP on the issue. He noted that the focus of MOSOP from inception had been development and our position today favours a negotiated entry that guarantees the interest of the Ogoni people in any oil resumption deal.
"If we are talking of development, it requires money and so we can't be completely against oil production. What we should be talking about is that there should be a negotiation to guarantee the interest of the Ogoni people in any deal that is reached"
"In essence, we want development and the money from oil has to power that development so we cannot be completely opposed to oil production. We should be interested in a negotiated entry that will end decades of conflicts and killings in Ogoni over oil"
He said MOSOP launched the Ogoni campaign which has become popularly known as the Ogoni struggle in response to underdevelopment despite the huge natural resource exploitation which had strong impacts on the people and advised the government to stop attempts to cause crises in Ogoni through its current backdoor moves to fund mushroom groups who masquerade as Ogoni organisations noting that MOSOP will mobilize a strong resistance against every attempt to shortchange the interest of the Ogoni people through the creation of government sponsored versions of the movement.
The MOSOP President pledged MOSOP's commitment and willingness to continue engagement with relevant authorities to facilitate the resolution of the lingering Ogoni problem in the interest of all parties.
While urging the Ogoni people to jealously protect the costly struggle, the MOSOP President regretted that personal interest was turning Ogonis against one another and could seriously hamper progress and development efforts. He however expressed confidence in the commitment of the people as evident in the congress turnout noting that for as long as they remain committed to the cause, the dream will be achieved.
Nsuke said the Ogoni struggle was launched to benefit every Ogoni child, man, woman and not to be an avenue to enrich a few. We must therefore remain focused on programs approved by the Central Committee to drive benefits for the entire Ogoni people and not just to make a few super-rich as sole beneficiaries of our collective struggle"
He urged the Ogoni people to work for true freedom, work for their collective interests and ensure that whatever be the outcome of the struggles is in the interest of the people and not just a few.
Nsuke warned the people to be wary of divide and conquer tactics of external infiltrators noting that they have deployed this strategy successfully in the past and used it to inflict very devastating damages on the struggle and entire Ogoni society.
The MOSOP President further urged the Ogoni people to be very vigilant and wary of criminals who go to various Ogoni communities to claim they were representatives of MOSOP. He said "We have not sent anyone to speak to you on our behalf. The Central Committee takes decisions and that is communicated through your kingdom coordinators. Every other statement goes through MOSOP's official channels so be careful with people who come to you with lies".
"Nobody should come to you to say we said this or that, or that we have approved anything except you hear from your kingdom coordinators who represent you in the Central Committee"
The MOSOP President commended the Ogoni people for their peaceful disposition in the face of strong provocations and urged them to sustain the non-violent approach.