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Shell related communications from KorneBari Nwike, President, The National Union of Ogoni Students, NUOS International USA

NATIONAL UNION OF OGONI STUDENTS
(NUOS INTL), USA
3116 W. DEVON AVE; SUITE #204
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60659
www.nuos-ogoni.org ~ [email protected] ~ 773.250.7004

LETTER TO: U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice

August 5, 2007

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
U.S Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington DC 20520

Dear Secretary Rice:

Letter of Appreciation to the Government and People of the United States of America for their Magnanimity to Ogoni People of Nigeria

The Ogoni people and Students at home and in Diaspora have been concerned about the troubling crisis in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region. Ogoni Students in the United States therefore had a thoughtful discussion on the crisis situation on July 07, 2007 at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The theme was “Resolving Nigeria’s Niger Delta Crisis” A copy of the communiqué is attached.

A point on the agenda was a discussion of the magnanimity shown to the Ogoni people of Nigeria by various peoples and governments during the Shell Oil Company and Nigerian Government Invasion of Ogoni between 1993 and 1995. Your government and people were amongst those who assisted Ogoni then and still assisting Ogoni now in resettlement.

On this note, we, the Ogoni Students under the auspices of the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS INTL), USA, do on behalf of ourselves, Ogoni refugees and the entire Ogoni nationality write to thank the United States government and people for the magnanimity shown to us from – food supplies to Ogonis who were refugees to resettlement of Ogonis in the United States during the militarization of Ogoniland by Gen. Sani Abacha.

We are particularly exhilarated and grateful to you for saving our lives from the hands of the Nigerian government and Shell Oil Company whose intent was to exterminate Ogoni after the barbaric, unjust and judicial murder by hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni compatriots on November 10, 1995.

Your gesture served as a beckon of hope. We are glad those you resettled in America are now citizens and are therefore contributing their quotas to the “American dream.” Your magnanimity has stimulated educational developments amongst us. We have striven and taken advantage of the many educational and other opportunities in America.

We would also use this medium to appeal to the United States government to intervene in the crisis in the Nigerian Delta Region. This could be approached by initiating a mission to Ogoni and the delta area. This is important because the crisis is beyond an internal crisis as it involves Nigerian government, Shell Oil Company and the local Ogoni and Delta communities. As you are aware, the struggle of the region is about self-determination which envelops environmental, economic, social and political justice.

Second, we respectfully and humbly appeal to the United States of America to resettle more Ogoni refugees numbering about 3000 in Republic of Benin, Sierra Leone, Cote de Voire and other African Countries. They have genuine fears and have no means of livelihood and no homes to return to since their total displacement by the Nigerian government between 1993 and 1996. We guarantee those resettled would demonstrate good citizenship as we have since our resettlement in the United States.

Finally, it is our hope that your leading roles on global issues particularly human rights and the environment would not slip by Nigeria and other nations that continually hold their citizens as hostages.

Once again, our heart is full of appreciation for your kind gesture towards Ogoni and its environment. We and our progenies shall ever remain appreciative of your magnanimity.

Thanks for accepting this appreciation.

Yours Sincerely,
KorneBari Nwike

Austin Lemea
President Secretary
Lambert Deebom
Director, Publicity, Mobilization and logistics

Cc: New York Times
Chicago Tribune
Kansas City Star

LETTER ENDS

LETTER TO: Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada

August 9, 2007

His Excellency Prime Minister Stephen Harper
Office of the Prime Minister
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa
K1A OA2
Canada

His Excellency Prime Minister Harper:

Letter of Appreciation to the Government and People of Canada for their magnanimity to Ogoni People of Nigeria

Ogoni people and Students and in the Diaspora bothered by the crisis in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region, held a conference on July 07, 2007 at the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The theme was “Resolving Nigeria’s Niger Delta Crisis.” A copy of the communiqué is attached. The magnanimity shown to the Ogoni people of Nigeria by various peoples and governments during the Shell Oil Company and Nigerian Government Invasion of Ogoni between 1993 and 1995 was discussed. Your government and people were amongst those who assisted Ogoni then and are still assisting Ogoni now with “third country” resettlement.

On this note, we, the Ogoni Students under the auspices of the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS INTL.), USA do on behalf of ourselves, Ogoni refugees and the entire Ogoni nationality write to thank the government and people of Canada for the humane assistance – distribution of relief materials to affected Ogoni villages, food supplies to Ogonis who were refugees, and resettlement of Ogonis to Canada during the militarization of Ogoniland by Gen. Sani Abacha.

We are particularly grateful to you for saving our lives from the hands of the Nigerian government and Shell Oil Company whose intent was to exterminate Ogoni after the barbaric, unjust and judicial murder by hanging of Ken Saro Wiwa and 8 other Ogoni compatriots on November 10, 1995. Proudly, most Ogonis resettled in Canada are now citizens and are contributing meaningfully to the economy; while taking advantage of educational and other opportunities available.

We would also use this medium to appeal to the government of Canada to intervene in the crisis in the Nigerian Delta Region. This could be approached by initiating a mission to Ogoni and the delta area. This is important because the crisis is beyond an internal crisis. It involves the Nigerian government, Shell Oil Company and the local Ogoni and delta communities. As you are aware, the struggle of the region is about self- determination hinged on environment, economic, social and political justice.

Importantly, we respectfully and humbly appeal to the government of Canada to resettle more Ogoni refugees (numbering about 3,000) stranded in Republic of Benin, Sierra Leone, Cote De Voire and other African Countries. They have genuine fears and have no means of livelihood, no homes to return to since their total displacement by the Nigerian government between 1993 and 1996. These are people with diverse skills that will be of benefit to the economy of your great nation.

It is also our hope that your leading role on global issues particularly human rights and the environment will not slip by Nigeria and other nations that continually hold their citizens hostage.

Once again, our heart is full of appreciation for your kind gesture towards Ogoni and its environment. We and our progenies shall ever remain appreciative of your magnanimity.

Thank you for accepting this appreciation.

Yours Sincerely,

KorneBari Nwike

President

Austin Lemea

Secretary

Lambert Deebom
Director, Publicity and Mobilization

Cc:  Ottawa Citizen
Toronto Star
Vancouver Sun

LETTER ENDS

LETTER TO:  Dr. Boni Yayi, President du Republic of Benin

July 14, 2007

His Excellency, Dr. Boni Yayi
President du Republic of Benin
Cotonou, Republic du Benin

Throu; His Excellency, Segbe Cyrille Oguin
Embassy of the Republic of Benin
Chancery: 2124 NW Kalorama Road, Washington, DC 20008

His Excellency Dr. Boni Yayi:

LETTER OF GRATITUDE TO THE PEOPLE AND GOVERNMENT OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF BENIN FOR THEIR MAGNANIMITY TOWARDS THE PEOPLE OF OGONI, NIGERIA

The National Union of Ogoni Students International (NUOS INTL) USA held a thoughtful conference in Kansas City, Missouri, July 07, 2007 on “Resolving Nigeria’s Niger Delta conflict.” A copy of the communiqué is attached. An item on the agenda was the magnanimity of the government and people of Benin Republic towards Ogoni refugees since 1995 to date.

We hereby write to thank the government of Benin Republic and her citizens for their hospitality to Ogonis from the inception of the crisis that saw the first batch of Ogoni refugees in 1995 to the present day. The conduct of the government and people of Benin demonstrates that the African culture of hospitality and respect for humanity is still intact in some African nations.

Recall, Ogonis became refugees and asylum seekers after they broke with the status quo, stood-up non-violently in demand for an end to Shell Oil Company and Nigerian governments’ injustices and utter neglect of Ogonis and its environment. For daring to confront the hazardous business practices and double standards of Shell Oil company in Nigeria, Ken SaroWiwa was judicially murdered, 30 Ogoni villages flattened (with no thought to rebuilding any till date). Ogoni human and environmental activists were hounded like common criminals through a military operation tagged “Operation cleansing/Sanitization of Ogoniland.” This non-violent approach was cherished by civilized nations; yet negligibly few could help as much as the Republic of Benin.

Between 1993 and 1997 many Ogonis were arrested, tortured, maimed, killed and women sexually assaulted and raped by the armed forces of Nigeria. To show the world how justice is conducted in Nigeria, the military government of Gen. Sani Abacha set up a military tribunal to try Ogoni leaders for murder and obstructing the free flow of crude oil from Ogoni. Shell oil company was represented in that trial. The trial was fraudulent and condemned around the world. Information from Ogoni was censored. To conclude “Operation Sanitization” on November 10th, 1995 Mr. Kenule Saro Wiwa and eight other Ogoni leaders were hanged by the government of Nigeria and Shell Oil Company against international plea and condemnation.

If Nigeria can fraudulently hang Mr. Kenule Saro – Wiwa, a man that brought victory during the Nigerian Civil War;  a man that served the country in several capacities of government at both State and federal levels, what is the fate of the ordinary Ogonis? To prevent the complete extinction of the Ogoni race, very many Ogonis ran to neighboring countries such as yours for refuge. This noble and heroic act herald awareness amongst the Niger Delta peoples and other oppressed peoples of the world, yet the price is almost completely borne by the Ogoni people.

We have not forgotten that your people and government saved Ogoni from total extinction. You accommodated us at great political and personal risk to your country and people. When the enemies infiltrated our camps, you were there to give us security. We, in most cases, out of ignorance trampled upon your cherished culture; yet you forgave our ignorance. We and our progenies shall ever be thankful to the good people of the Republic of Benin for being our refuge and shelter during a period of travail. Much as we thank you, we pray, this relationship should transcend beyond refugees and asylum level.

We may not be able to conclude this word of gratitude without reference to the thousands of Ogoni people still seeking political asylum in your country. They still have well founded fears that require the attention of the international community. For instance, over thirty Ogoni villages that were flattened by the Abacha military between 1993 and 1996 remain unbuilt. Threats to their lives in Ogoni and the Niger Delta region still exist. The Shell Oil company sponsored war against opponents of its methods of operation is not over yet. For the aforementioned reasons and others, we use this opportunity to implore your government to grant asylum status to Ogonis who are scattered in villages in your country. As we appeal to the United States of America, and Canada to assist in resettling these persecuted Ogonis, we count on your support and of your government with the issuance of status.

On behalf of the people of Ogoni and Students, we thank you earnestly for your patience with our people, your protection and magnaminity.We shall ever live to remember your contributions to the Ogoni survival.

Thank you.

Yours truly,

KorneBari Nwike        Austin Lemea    (President)        (Secretary)Â

Lambert Deebom
(Director of Publicity & Mobilization)

LETTER ENDS

COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF THE NATIONAL UNION OF OGONI- STUDENTS’ ANNUAL  CONFERENCE HELD AT UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI, KANSAS CITY, SATURDAY, JULY 7, 2007

The state of affairs in Ogoni and Niger Delta were discussed. The theme of the conference was “Resolving Nigeria’s Niger Delta Conflict”. The following resolutions were reached:

We strongly oppose the criminal negligence of the Niger Delta by successive Nigerian governments. We therefore demand an end to the conflict. We are calling on President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and the National Assembly to enact laws that will allow the oil bearing communities of the Niger Delta to control their environment and economic resources. These laws if enacted will go along way to ameliorate the tension in the region and conduce to peace, security, and economic development.

We appeal to the United States government to reconsider its military options (the donation of military gunboats and other hardware to the Nigerian government) against Niger Delta people who have suffered in the hands of the federal government of Nigeria and multinational oil companies. It should instead pressure the Nigerian government to accede to the Niger Deltas’ demand for resource control and self-determination.

We humbly appeal to the United States government to be more involved in diffusing conflicts in African continent, particularly in the Nigeria’s Niger Delta. They could do this through creating favorable trade opportunities, investment relations, and change of its foreign policies toward Africa by involving in meaningful dialogue

The National Union of Ogoni Students condemns the kidnapping of a three-year-old baby by unknown individual (s) or group, and demands her immediate and unconditional release.

We welcome any genuine step taken by Shell and the Nigerian government to clean-up our devastated land, however, we reject the present United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) team because its transparency is questionable-some of the members are ex-Shell employees-indicating conflict of interest. We demand that the government, Shell and the United Nations Environmental Program should work with Ogoni people so as to produce a credible team.  Importantly, we demand that Ogoni environmental experts should be involved in the assessment and cleaning process.
We also call on the federal government to upgrade the Rivers State Polytechnic Bori to a university status to care for the educational needs of over 2.3 million Ogonis.

NUOS resolve that the federal government rebuild all the thirty Ogoni villages flattened by the Nigerian military since the beginning of the Ogoni struggle in 1993.

We also appeal to the United States, and Canadian governments to resettle the about three thousand Ogoni refugees in Benin Republic, and other West African countries.

The National Union of Ogoni Students NUOS Intl. USA, condemn in strong terms the barbaric activities of cult groups in Rivers State and Ogoni in particular. NUOS also call on the Federal and state authorities to investigate and bring to book those involved in these acts, (collaborating Chiefs, politicians, or any other persons involved).

We re-iterate our urge to President Umaru Musa Yar’dua to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others who were judicially murdered.

Signed:

KorneBari Nwike
President

Austin Lemea
Secretary

1 Comment on “Shell related communications from KorneBari Nwike, President, The National Union of Ogoni Students, NUOS International USA”

  1. #1 Awobi Linus Deme
    on Feb 22nd, 2008 at 06:40

    please, i am a student of NDU Bayelsa State. I am so interested in the story of How Social Justice was Denied and The Violation of Human Right in Ogoniland. Pls provide me with relevant informations.

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