FG APPROVES NEW TOWN FOR OGONI
The Federal Government has approved the construction of a new town in Ogoniland. Already, the perimeter survey for the acquisition of land for the new town is in the works.
President of the Pan-Ogoni organization, the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Mr. Ledum Mitee, announced the official approval for the new town on Wednesday in a statement to mark the 15th Ogoni Heroes Day.
Ledum, a lawyer and chairman of the Presidential Technical Committee on the Niger Delta, said the new Ogoni town was a fall-out from his committee's recommendations that a new town be built in each of the Niger Delta states.
He said the new Ogoni town would be located between Nyokuru and Beeri communities.
Looking back at the Ogoni struggle, the MOSOP leader said the people's preference for non-violence was due to their firm belief in its ultimate triumph. 'We need to remind ourselves and this generation of our youths that our heroes and us squarely considered and rejected other options in preference for non-violence. 'Our preference for non-violence was not an act of cowardice or weakness but consciously driven by the Ogoni belief that spilling blood contaminates a struggle and our firm belief in the ultimate triumph of non-violence.
'Today, 20 years after the launch of the Ogoni Bill of Rights and 15 years after our non-violent leaders were violently murdered, even those who yesterday were advocates of the violent approach including those who derided our methods, have now come to accept that non-violence works after all. The gains of non-violence may be slow but they are certain and enduring.'
Mitee was, however, quick to add that while the Ogonis, 'savour in our little victories, they must continue to be vigilant over their rights.' Referring to what he described as, 'Shell's intrigues', the MOSOP president said the Ogoni would not be blinded by their determination to see to the successful remediation of their polluted environment.
On the proposed Bori State for the Ogonis, he said three out of the six constitutional hurdles required for the exercise had been satisfied. 'By the time the next parliament is in place, we shall embark on the next more crucial stages for the realization of this vision. It is my belief that if we muster the same courage and resources marshalled against the military for this Bori State venture, we certainly will succeed.'
On 2011 elections, the MOSOP leader urged Ogoni people to, 'reject any candidate who does not come home and explain comprehensively what he or she will do to represent our people.' Paying glowing tributes to Ogoni heroes, Mitee said the lesson of the MOSOP struggle; 'is that we must call a spade by its real name by distinguishing between genuine community agitations on the one hand and criminality, and even terrorism on the other hand, and respond to them as they respectively deserve.'