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OPEN LETTER TO THE ACTING PRESIDENT DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN ON THE PROPOSED SITTING /RELOCATION OF A MILITARY BARRACKS IN OGONI

By MOVEMENT FOR THE SURVIVAL OF OGONI PEOPLE, USA
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MOVEMENT FOR THE SURVIVAL OF OGONI PEOPLE, USA
(MOSOP-USA, SAINT LOUIS)
P.O. BOX 160093
SAINT LOUIS, MO 63116
314.762.9153
[email protected]
March 18, 2010.
Acting President, Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan
Office of the President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Aso Rock, Abuja
Nigeria.
His Excellency, Acting President Jonathan:
OPEN LETTER TO THE ACTING PRESIDENT DR. GOODLUCK EBELE JONATHAN ON THE PROPOSED SITTING /RELOCATION OF A MILITARY BARRACKS IN OGONI

We, the members of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP-USA, Saint Louis congratulate you Dr. Good luck Ebele Jonathan on your ascendancy as the Acting President and commander- in- chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and wish you a successful tenure. We also want to join other Nigerians to pray for the quick recovery of our ailing president Alhaji Umaru Musa Yaradua.

As a people who have obligation to defend and protect our native land Ogoni, we like to bring to your attention, the impending danger the proposed sitting or relocation of a military barracks in Ogoniland may cause. The initial belief that Nigeria has a window of opportunity to break from the past under the present administration has become gloomy, making it doubtful whether Ogonis can benefit through any meaningful development or project. We can no longer ignore a deliberate trend by this administration to build up security installations in Ogoniland from time to time.

As you read this letter, be aware of the fact that Ogoni houses a Naval Base, Mobile Police #56 Squadron, Police Area Command, and a Police Training College. Why is Ogoni not good enough for industries that can gainfully employ the teeming unemployed youths except for the military that has been far too happy to kill Ogonis with total ignominy?

Mr. President the Ogonis are facing a troubling time, as we witness a fatal inconsistency in our relationship with Governor Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi who is seen at MOSOP rally praising the ideals of the Ogoni struggle and few days later in a town- hall meeting shamelessly instigating communal hostilities between Ikwerre and Ogoni should the latter reject his evil project (military barracks relocation). Such attitude of the governor betrays his so called good intentions. Why should Ogonis be left to choose between an Army Cantonment and their lives?

We also know that since 1993, when Shell oil was forced out of Ogoni, all forms of cohesion and intimidation has been used by successive governments to try to bring back the oil company into direct drilling in Ogoni. The Ogoni People have lived under military occupation for far too long, where the people have to conduct their businesses under the preening eyes of this trigger-happy lot. Not even during the civil war was an enemy territory subjected to such a siege.

In retrospect, between 1994 and 1995, many Ogoni elites including Ken Saro-Wiwa, Albert Badey, Edward Kobani, S. N. Orage , T. Orage,Dr. Barinem Kiobel, John Kpuinen and others were murdered by the Nigerian State under the dictatorship of Late General Sani Abacha. Ogoni bears the scars of their just demand for their environmental rights and social justice in Nigeria and at this time are not prepared to face a fresh wave of attacks to sacrifice our wealth and people for the thriving of the Nigerian State. The pains from that part of our history that was meant to make us bow to injustice has now made us bold.

Mr. President, Ogoni cannot make any meaningful progress until her land is freed from all forms of oppression and intimidation. We also want you to fulfill the promises of human capital development, improvement in education and public health this administration made to the people of Nigeria, particularly as it relates to the cause of the Ogoni people and the Niger Delta.

In your acceptance speech to the nation, you stated: “I am fully aware of the responsibilities reposed in me and I want to reassure all Nigerians that this is a sacred trust....” in the light of this pledge, we demand that:

1. You stop the sitting or relocation of any army barracks to Ogoniland.

2. There should be a genuine clean-up operation jointly agreed upon by the Ogoni people without the use of force.

3. Hold Governor Chibuike Amaechi accountable for any mis-use of State security to create disunity in Ogoniland.

Thank you for your anticipated action. The Ogonis stand ready to assist you in your efforts to strengthen our democracy and enhance good governance.

For and on behalf of MOSOP USA, St. Louis, we are:
Ledee Deele Neeka Meneh
Chairman Secretary General
Cc:
United Nations Secretary General
Nigerian National Assembly
Rivers State House of Assembly
African Union Secretary General
European Union
US Secretary of State
US ambassador to Nigeria
British High Commissioner to Nigeria
Canadian High Commissioner to Nigeria
Civil Liberty Organization
Human Rights Watch
Amnesty International
Sierra Club
Comrade Deele, Ledee (Chairman); Comrade Meneh, Neeka (Secretary-General); Comrade Kanee, Emmanuel (Treasurer); Comrade Ika, Clement (Director Of Publicity)