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Ogoni Denies Media Secession Claims, But Not Self Government

By Mosop Media
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Ogoni Self Government Remains Valid, says Diigbo
I want to categorically state that MOSOP Media is not competent to confirm, whether or not MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo had any discussion with the Ogoni native rulers and politicians before they visited President Goodluck Jonathan in Abuja on September 3, 2012.

All that MOSOP Media can confirm is that the Ogoni leaders said the right thing and acted wisely, by not contradicting the August 2, 2012 Ogoni Declaration of Self Government.

Sections of the Media are trying to play Ogonis against Ogonis. Many have called me, and I have said that only Dr. Diigbo can speak on the matter. He is the competent spokesman on this issue and he has already reacted, said President of the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers Association (COTRA), Dr. David Deekia.

Shortly after meeting, Diigbo already said that he was satisfied by the outcome and reaffirmed that the Ogoni Self Government wasn't disowned.

The day before, Diigbo had released a statement confirming that President Jonathan was already notified about the self government and implementation strategies in a 3,829 word communication sent to his office on August 7, 2012, which five days after the Ogoni Declaration of Self Government.

Some people are questioning why the revelation was made shortly before the visit.

The denial of secession claim by King Gininwa and Senator Magnus Abe is not the first time Ogonis have denied that it was not secession, but self government within Nigeria in line with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) of September 13, 2007 and other international laws.

“If they had disassociated themselves from the Ogoni right to political autonomy as was declared; their meeting with President Goodluck Jonathan would have been irrelevant and considered a betrayal,” Diigbo pointed out.

Diigbo who is currently in New York exploring opportunities to consolidate the Ogoni self government as authorized by the United Nations Declaration said the visit to Jonathan by his fellow Ogoni leaders enabled President Jonathan to understand the commitment of Ogonis to take their own destiny in their own hands and not to be treated as third class citizens in Nigeria.

“All I can say unequivocally, is that August 2, 2012 declaration of political autonomy for the Ogoni people is irrevocable and it remains valid,” Diigbo reaffirmed.

Just before the visit, a former member of the National Assembly and active leader of PDP, Hon. Bernard Mikko had cautioned the media to stop characterizing the Ogoni Self Government as secession.

A former member of the Nigerian National Assembly, Hon. Bernard Mikko said the Ogoni self government declaration does not amount to sovereign state or secession.

Reacting to sections of Nigerian media suggesting break-up and questions from his constituency, Mikko affirmed that rights of indigenous people's all over the world, including that of the Ogoni people are guaranteed under domestic and international aspirations for peace and security in the world.

Mikko represented Khana-Gokana Federal Constituency of Ogoni. He drew attention to the preamble of the Nigerian Constitution, which, he noted firmly and solemnly resolves that Nigeria is committed to the promotion of inter-African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding.

“Nigeria is therefore in the same boat with Ogoni, because Nigeria has obligations under the African Charter, the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), all of which permit political autonomy within a nation state such as Nigeria,” he explained.

He underscored that the Ogoni Case has over the years received overwhelming attention, requiring diligent media reporting because records of their demands were well known at the United Nations in New York and Geneva; pointing out that the recent UNEP Report outlines the gravity of the Ogoni Case.

Mikko cautioned that “any action towards the indigenous people that is inconsistent with the obligations of Nigeria under the African Charter and United Nations Charter might breach international and domestic laws.

The former lawmaker said if sovereign nations in Europe are freely integrating even while known to be fully independent, the exercise of right to self-determination cannot break-up a nation state where there is a good government committed to the welfare of all persons in our country, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people.”

Mikko emphasized that what brings peoples together is not force; not flag and not domination of the weaker groups, but respect for one another, and equality of all persons under the law.

On 2ndAugust 2012, MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo had declared the self-government to enable the Ogoni people enforce and exercise their rights as indigenous people within Nigeria under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Tambari Deekor
Associate Editor, MOSOP Media
[email protected]