From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has insisted that the process of national healing and reconciliation will not be complete until the Nigerian government clears the name of the Ogoni nine who were executed in their struggle for the actualisation of the dreams of the Ogoni people on November 10, 1995.
This is as MOSOP had urged President Muhammadu Bahari’s led federal government to initiate the process of judicial review of the trial and judgement that led to the killing of the Ogoni sons.
It would be recalled that 24 years ago, Ken Saro-Wiwa, John Kpuinen, Barinem Kiobel, Nordu Eawo, Saturday Doobee, Daniel Gbokoo, Paul Levura, Baribor Bera and Felix Nuate struggling for justice in Ogoni land were condemned and killed by the General Sani Abacha led administration.
The MOSOP President, Legborsi Pyagbara who spoke at the 24th Anniversary commemoration of Ogoni Martyrs Day held on Saturday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, also disclosed that the programme was dedicated to thousands of Ogoni people who are continuing being terrorised by environmental pollution in the area.
Pyagbara said “For the past six remembrance ceremonies, we have continued to highlight the need for the Nigeria government to right the wrongs committed against these fallen heros. Today, we want to reemphasize that the process of national healing and reconciliation will not be complete until the Nigeria government clears the name of the Ogoni nine.
“The executions of the Ogoni nine triggered a firestorm of condemnations across the globe. The United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution on Nigeria on December 22, 1995, in which it condemned the executions of Ken Saro-Wiwa and other members of the Ogoni nine”.
Speaking on the restoration of the Ogoni environment, Pyagbara stressed that the Ogoni environmental hazard is the worst disaster in the world, and charged the federal government to remove perceived bottleneck hampering humanitarian intervention in the area.
He appreciate the effort by the federal government to end the environmental hazard in the area, and asked that the government should speedy their efforts in the cleanup of the area, as that was the reason the Ogoni nine lost their lives.
“The environmental crisis in Ogoniland remains a huge humanitarian disaster and was one of the reasons our heros laid down their lives.
“Whilst we appreciate the efforts of the government to end the environmental nightmare in Ogoni, we hasten to add that the intervention approach must be seen from a prospective of a humanitarian response to a dying community which would require that administrative structures and bottleneck had to be removed to speed up actions and activities. The slow nature of the current efforts are not reflective of a humanitarian response and is becoming far more frustrating and have the capacity to ignite a new round of conflict in Ogoniland if nothing is done immediately”.
Also on the resumption of oil production in Ogoni, the MOSOP President said “let us reiterate MOSOP’s position, our point remains that any resumption of oil production in Ogoni must involve a broad based discussion with the Ogoni community taking into account that the oil industry and Ogoni had been in dispute and the issues surrounding those disputes have not been settled.
“We are appealing to members of Ogoni communities not to allow themselves to be deceived by any potential investors either from the state or federal government. It is our duty to learn from our past and find a united platform which will protect our interest collectively”.
Meanwhile, President of Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme (KAGOTE) Local Government Areas that make up the ethnic nationality, Peter Medee, said the event marked another milestone in the Ogoni struggle and lauded MOSOP for bringing joy to the people.
Medee described MOSOP as the pride of Ogoni people, declaring that KAGOTE MOSOP had formed a formidable front for the actualisation of the demand of the people.
According to him, things Ogoni has achieved so far were products of continuous agitation.