Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has hinted of a roadmap to Ogoni development.
MOSOP leader, Fegalo Nsuke gave the hint on Sunday at a commemorative church service at the Methodist Church, Wesley Cathedral in Bori, the traditional headquarters of the Ogoni people, to mark the 24th anniversary of Ogoni martyrs day, a day set aside to honour the fallen heroes of the Ogoni struggle including renowned author and environmentalist, Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Nsuke did not give details of the roadmap but while addressing the church service hinted that “if we can have a Niger Delta Development Commission, a Niger Delta Basic Development Authority, then we can also have an Ogoni Development Authority”.
He went on to say that MOSOP will soon release a document containing the details about the proposal and hopes it will be accepted as a roadmap to resolve the Ogoni conflicts, bring peace and development to Ogoniland.
Nsuke also called for an end to Ogoni killings by Shell and the Nigerian military in efforts to force oil resumption in Ogoniland.
The MOSOP leader, Fegalo Nsuke called on the government to halt all forms of pressure on Ogoniland targeted at forcefully resuming oil production in the area.
MOSOP called for a review of the 1995 hangings of nine Ogoni activists including Ken Saro-Wiwa with a view to exonerate them given their established innocence. Nsuke said the decriminalization of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the other eight has become a key component of Ogoni demands.
He further said the Ogoni people have not endorsed any oil firm for oil resumption insisting that attempting to forcefully resume oil production in Ogoni despite the risks it offers to Ogoni lives will simply reinforce the Ogoni believes that the attitude of the government to kill the Ogoni people for oil have not changed.
“As a people, we have not endorsed any oil company, be it Belema Oil, Robo Michael, Xavon Energy, NPDC, or any other for oil exploration in Ogoni and all backdoor moves to force these guys or any other on us should be seen as the work of mischief-makers.
Nsuke further said it was unfortunate that the Nigerian government has remained silent over the murder of thousands of Ogonis by Shell and the military in desperation to crush the Ogoni resistance and struggle for basic rights.
He noted that the case of the Ogoni people was a shame on the claims of Nigeria as a decent nation that respects the rights of its own people insisting that the right way to go is to respect the rights and demands of the Ogoni people for fair treatment in Nigeria.
Nsuke called on the international community not to be silent over the Ogoni situation noting that their patronage for Nigeria’s crude oil places a moral burden on them to speak against Shell and Nigeria’s repression of the Ogonis.
He further urged the federal government to halt the Nicodemus tactics of the Rivers State Government to force oil production in Ogoni noting that oil resumption is a real threat to Ogoni lives.
According to Nsuke, oil production in Ogoni at this time will kill the Ogoni people as the people’s resistance will lead to conflicts which will, as usual, be suppressed with military force leading to massive deaths and that must be avoided.
Also speaking, former deputy president of MOSOP, Chief Dr Fortune Okwah Chujor said the Ogoni people were only demanding for basic rights and benefits from their huge natural endowments which has been recklessly exploited by Shell and the Nigerian government.
Dr. Chujor who served as deputy president under Legborsi Saro Pyagbara expressed confidence in the new leadership of MOSOP and urged them not to betray the Ogoni dream and struggles.
Speaking on behalf of the Federation of Ogoni Women’s Association, Dame Roselyn Nwigani said Ogoni is dear to God Almighty and the cries of the Ogoni people have been answered by God.
The four-day event commenced with tree planting in all Ogoni villages on Thursday, November 7, film show at the international secretariat of MOSOP in Ogoni on November 8, candlelight procession in Ogoni and Port Harcourt on November 9, and culminated in a Church service at the Methodist Church, Wesley Cathedral, Bori on Sunday, November 10.