Nigeria: MOSOP Sticking Point for Self-determination


As MOSOP President/ Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo calls for an open debate on indigenous rights in Nigeria, he also reaffirms that Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA), which was recently announced, is now irreversible, and forms the sticking point for the Ogoni Struggle under MOSOP.

MOSOP is the Movement for Survival of Ogoni People founded by the author, playwright and environmentalist, late Ken Saro-Wiwa, who was hanged along eight fellow Ogoni activists for speaking against injustice suffered by the Ogoni people, including environmental devastation through reckless oil operations supervised by the Nigerian government and Royal Dutch/Shell.

On November 10, 2011 during the 16th Memorial of the hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa and others that took place in Port Harcourt Nigeria on November 10, 1995, Dr. Diigbo had announced the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority in response to a previous announcement by Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan prioritizing the setting up of local authorities, which Diigbo said is a good concept; within the Ogoni demand for political autonomy as contained in the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR, 1990/91). The primary functions of the Ogoni Authority include: To promote peace, security, planning and development partnership, as well as the effective management of the Ogoni environment throughout Ogoniland.

Reacting today to an online report by The Nigerian Tribune newspaper of Sunday edition, 13th November 2011suggesting that the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority is deepening crisis in MOSOP, Diigbo said OCIA has rather rekindled a new spirit of unity in MOSOP among the Ogoni people, instead of deepening crisis as reported by The Tribune, and no one is objecting to an authority, which the Ogoni people have sacrificed so much.

Dr. Diigbo said that MOSOP needs the media to educate the public on the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority, its grassroots origin and overwhelming support, and to provide an open, and objective view of the Ogoni situation for the public, particularly, including genuine Environmental Impacts Assessment Study (EIAS), not to clamor for the disputed UNEP Environmental Assessment Report on Ogoniland that violated international standards of EIAS. He said the debate should now focus on Nigeria's failure to enforce the indigenous rights of the Ogoni people as provided in the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

On September 13, 2007, Nigeria endorsed UNDRIP thus granting the Ogoni people the right to self-determination as represented by the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority, being legitimate right contained in UNDRIP adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. On 16thDecember, 2010, United States President Barack Obama has said at the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Interior Department in Washington D.C. said that the U.S. is lending its support to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples for the “aspirations it affirms, including respect for the institutions and rich cultures of native peoples, are ones the U.S. must always seek to fulfill.”

MOSOP President Diigbo said in exercising the right to use Ogoni wealth, that the Ogoni wealth, natural and human resources would be applied to indigenous development of Ogoniland, with Ogoni determining its structures of OCIA, as it is totally indigenous and truly natural to Ogoni ways of life, and fundamentally explains why 3200 Ogoni children, men and women were murdered in cold blood between supporting MOSOP demands Ogoni indigenous rights. Diigbo said that the authority now forms the sticking point for MOSOP struggle.”