Nigeria News: Traditional Rulers Increase Momentum for 2011 Deadline Set for Ogoni Autonomy
This is no time for traditional rulers in the oil and gas rich Ogoniland in Nigeria to sit idly by as the Movement for Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP implements its Plan of Action to secure greater political autonomy for the Ogoni people. To actualize the United Nations Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples adopted on September 13, 2007; MOSOP is bringing traditional rulers across Ogoniland together to build support for an Ogoni referendum and to meet the May 22, 2011 deadline set for the Ogoni autonomy.
An outspoken prisoner of conscience – the King of Eleme and Paramount Ruler of Onne Clan, His Royal Majesty, Emere J. E. Nkpornwi, says Ogonis are suffering historic injustice; and wants full restoration of indigenous rights for them. The Ogoni had lost their autonomy in 1901, as a result of British colonialism.
Dr. David Deekia, President of the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers' Association (COTRA) and other natural rulers had joined MOSOP President / Spokesman Goodluck Diigbo to meet the King of Eleme Kingdom Emere J. E. Nkpornwi at his palace at Onne on Thursday, November 25, 2010. Diigbo said it was one of planned meetings to strengthen the traditional fabric to move Ogoniland toward full restoration of all indigenous rights and freedoms. Nkpornwi as the current Patron of MOSOP and Paramount Ruler of Onne, spoke out for Ogoni justice and accused some 150 companies as lawless as they continue to violate catchment area employment policy and the indigenous economic rights at the Onne Seaport.
Nkpornwi said the offensive companies were depriving Ogonis, including Elemes of equal economic opportunities in manners that grossly defile democratic values and principles. Reflecting on the 15th remembrance of the hanging of the Ogoni Nine, including his late friend Ken Saro-Wiwa, Nkpornwi said the sacrifice by Saro-Wiwa made the rejection of injustice in Nigeria more effective. In 1994, the military rulers of Nigeria had imprisoned Nkpornwi for one month for lending support to late Saro-Wiwa's campaign for human rights, environmental protection and demand for autonomy.
“We are coming together to disperse the clouds. Action is replacing grumbling. I believe that Ogoni people acting together would change our world and rewrite our history,” said Diigbo.