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Ogoni Traditional Rulers Vow To Protect Autonomy

By Mosop Media
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As Diigbo implores traditional rulers to promote equal rights for men and women.

As more traditional rulers granted autonomic recognition join the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers Association (COTRA), the Ogoni traditional rulers said they are restoring their communities to autonomous status that existed before the British colonization in 1901.

Following the declaration of political autonomy for Ogoni on the 2nd of August 2012, a total of 272 native rulers in Ogoni were granted automatic recognition.

Under the Rivers State Government, native rulers in Ogoni were handpicked on political basis without respect to the wishes of citizens of the various villages.

During a meeting to welcome new traditional rulers held today, August 22, 2102 in Teyork, President of the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers (COTRA), Dr. David Deekia said following the politics of corruption and looting that came with the newly created Nigeria, Ogoni communities were relegated and denied their autonomous status.

"Our communities have suffered from a destructive political system that had weakened any genuine traditional ruler who struggled to stay clean,” he noted.

"We are very happy with the fresh air that came with the 2nd of August 2012 formal declaration of political autonomy for our indigenous nation of Ogoni. We commit to protect this autonomy, our indigenous rights and freedoms," vowed COTRA President, Dr. David Deekia.

In a message, MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo thanked traditional rulers for standing firm and implored them to protect children and promote equal rights for men and women.

He urged the native rulers to do everything legitimate to remedy individual cases and end the dehumanization of their fellow citizens caused by the corrupt Nigerian system of government.

Diigbo said political autonomy for Ogoni should translate into actualization of fundamental human rights, dignity and worth of every Ogoni person, in the equal exercise of rights by men and women; even under a customary and traditional setting.

MOSOP President said consultation was continuing to ensure a peaceful atmosphere during the transition from the old system of government to the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA), which was created to enforce the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Tambari Deekor
Associate Editor, MOSOP Media
[email protected]