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Ogonis’ Struggle, Quest For Justice Moulded My Life, Peterside

By Bekee Anyalewechi
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Governorship candidate for the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the February 28, 2015 in Rivers State, Dr. Dakuku Adol Peterside, has said that watching the Ogoni fight for justice, equality and right while growing up as a lad on the streets of Bori, the Ogoni heartland and political headquarters, helped to mold his life.

While addressing a mammoth crowd of Ogoni natives and guests during the 2015 Ogoni Day celebration organised last Sunday, January 4 at the Birabi Memorial Grammar School open field, Dr. Peterside described his visit as “homecoming”. Peterside grew up in Bori where in the cause of time, built a bond with the famous Wiwa family of Bane.

Dr. Peterside, who was the representative of Rivers State Governor and Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, NGF, at the Birabi Memorial Grammar School, praised the Ogoni for remaining resolute in the search or a better and cleaner environment. He recalled that when debate on the UNEP Report for the clean-up of Ogoni land was on the floor of the Federal House of Representatives, his voice stood in total support of the Ogoni. “I will remind you that when the issue of the clean-up of Ogoni land came up on the floor of the House (of Representatives), I was among the few voices that spoke extensively on what the Nigerian State owes Ogoni people. And I said on that occasion that we would do everything humanly possible to ensure that Ogoni land is cleaned-up and that if Ogoni land was not cleaned-up, we would not rest”.

The APC flag-bearer, who received record-breaking reception from the crowd, told the people how, with the support of Governor Chibuike Amaechi, he, for the first time, constructed every road in Bori. “The Ogoni Struggle became my life and my life became intertwined with the Ogoni Struggle. That was why when I had the opportunity to serve as Commissioner for Works of Rivers State, I, personally, with the support of the Governor, constructed for the first time all roads in Bori. Today, the roads I constructed in Bori are a living testimony of what I will do if given the opportunity (to serve as governor)”.

Recalling what it was growing up on the streets of Bori, fetching and drinking water from Ogoni rivers and streams; cultivating their farmlands made rich by natural manure, Dr. Peterside said his heart is always broken much as any Ogoni to see such once fertile lands and rivers ruined and devastated. “Mr. President, I have drunk from the waters of Kpor. I have participated in farming in the farmlands of Nyortem, of Zaakpon, of Kaani. And so, if they talk about social justice, I understand what it means.

Dr. Peterside said that peace, justice and progress of Ogoni land were uppermost in his heart and would work, if elected governor of Rivers State next month, to ensure Ogoni's environment was cleaned-up.

“This place(Ogoniland) gave me the formative days of my life. As a young boy growing up on the Streets of Bori, I admired the courage of the Ogoni people, their resilient spirit; their spirit of industry. And I can tell you those rare qualities in the Ogoni which I observed while growing up in Ogoniland inspired me to the point where I am today.

“The Ogoni Struggle became my life and my life became intertwined with the Ogoni Struggle. That was why when I had the opportunity to serve as Commissioner for Works of Rivers State, I, personally, with the support of the Governor, constructed for the first time, all roads in Bori. Today, the roads I constructed in Bori are a living testimony of what I will do if given the opportunity (to serve as governor).

“We have come in solidarity with the Ogoni people; in solidarity with Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People. If we were here for politics, I will remind you that when the issue of the clean-up of Ogoni land came up on the floor of the House (of Representatives), I was among the few voices that spoke extensively on what the Nigerian State owe Ogoni people.

And I said on that occasion that we would do everything humanly possible to ensure that Ogoni land is cleaned-up and that if Ogoni land was not cleaned-up we would not rest. You will recall that my relationship with the late Pa Chief Jim Wiwa of Bane and that I participated in most meetings that led to the birth of the Ogoni Bill of Right not as an outsider but as a son with rights. So my brothers and my sisters, I have not come for politics but I must say that this is like a home coming for me.

“To you our brothers and sisters, as we mark another Ogoni Day, please know that what is uppermost in our mind is peace, justice and progress of Ogoni land.

Mrs. Ibim Semenitari
Director of Communications




DR. DAKUKU PETERSIDE ADDRESSING THE MAMMOTH CROWD IN BORI LAST SUNDAY, JANUARY 4.


DR. DAKUKU PETERSIDE ANDSOME MOSOP LEADERS AT THE OGONI DAY CELEBRATION


DR. DAKUKU PETERSIDE GREETS PRESIDENT, MOVEMENT FOR THE SURVIVAL OF OGONI PEOPLE, MOSOP, MR. LEGBORSI TSARO PYAGBARA AT BORI LAST SUNDAY DURING THE 22ND EDITION OF OGONI DAY.


DR. DAKUKU PETERSIDE, THE RIVERS STATE APC GOVERNOSHIP CANDIDATE, IN A WARM HANDSHAKE WITH MR. EZEBUWON NYESOM WIKE OF THE PEOPLES DEMOCRATIC PARTY, PDP.