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Ogoni National Legislative Assembly inaugurated

By Tambari Deekor

The highlight of the ceremony was the hoisting of the Ogoni Flag and repeated singing of the Ogoni national anthem, accompanied by dancing and jubilations, and masquerade display. See pix attached.

Ogoni National Legislative Assembly inaugurated today, June 12, 2014 at the government council conference hall in Bori, headquarters of the Ogoni nation.

The MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, explained that the Assembly, which is part of the process to enforce the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, would take up immediately to function in line with the Ogoni self-government declared August 2, 2012.

Diigbo who performed the ceremony, said the Ogoni self-government declaration resolution grants the Ogoni National Legislative Assembly (ONLA) the sole authority to consider and enact legislation, approve fiscal measures, confirm cabinet appointees and customary court nominees, critical for the self-government. He charged the elected members saying: 'We must work extremely hard to promote peace, security and development in our land.'

He said the indigenous congress, which he referred to as the 'People's Parliament' is open to all Ogonis interested in proposing legislation, in accordance with stipulated procedure and presented through their elected representatives, who would in turn introduce any such proposal on the floor for debate, adoption and approval.

After the ceremony, the first legislative business session commenced. The members considered and adopted three pieces of legislation relating to the Environment, Revenue, and Parliamentary Inauguration Notification meant to inform other Nigerians and the government of President Goodluck Jonathan.

The event was chaired by the administrator of the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority, Hon. Christiana Wiko and facilitated by the Chair of the Assembly, Hon. Felix Keneh

The Assembly is made up of 33 elected members of the three political parties, serving for three years. It is divided among the 33 districts and 272 village councils in proportion to the population of the administrative units. In addition, there are eight special representatives reserved for customary and traditional interests, civil society institutions, and special groups, including women, youth, traditional rulers, farmers, fisher men and women, traders and unions.

The eight special members are drawn from the Ogoni eight administrative units of Babbe, Ban Goi, Bori national territory, Eleme, Gokana, KenKhana, Nyokhana and Tai.