Native oath-of-office ceremony for 3,000 representatives
STATEMENT ISSUED BY MOSOP MEDIA: 30 November 2011 13:15 GMT
As Native Authority is sworn-in with 3,000 villagers under oath to provide grassroots leadership to enforce the United Nations Universal Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), the President/Spokesman of the Movement for Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), MOSOP President /Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, has said that as ordinary Ogoni peasants often despised and exploited take over local governance from the corrupt Nigerian local government system, it will confirm that no sacrifice for freedom, is ever in vain.
Dr. Diigbo spoke today, Tuesday, 29th November, 2011, at the Ken Saro-Wiwa Peace and Freedom Center, Bori, during a native oath-of-office ceremony for 3,000 representatives, voted into village councils by villagers throughout Ogoniland, according to each village electoral process. The Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA), represents a big pro-active investment to address petroleum-related conflicts that threaten international peace from within Nigeria, and other acts of aggression directed at the non-violent Ogoni people by Nigerian rulers, Diigbo remarked.
Dr. Diigbo vowed that Ogoni people under MOSOP are fully prepared to back the OCIA in order to restore and save Ogoniland, as Ogonis cannot wait for 25 30 years, which the disputed UNEP Ogoniland Environmental Assessment Report says will take to restore Ogoniland, already, devastated by 55 years of irresponsible petroleum operations.
This authority is not new because Ogoni was merely returning to its original Native Authority status, which was operational in 1948, but forcefully dismantled by the new Nigerian nation state in 1960. We are taking lawful native and international approach; nonviolently and peacefully, but firmly poised to not giving up, MOSOP President declared. Our greatest concern is the NNPC steady conspiracy with Royal Dutch/Shell, Chevron and other oil companies, to continually commit environmental crimes and engage in persistent violations of the indigenous rights of the Ogoni people, Diigbo stated.
On the institutional framework, Diigbo explained that OCIA has reactivated and consolidated sixteen old structures from its original 96 political native sub-sets of 1948, and that the elected representatives from villages throughout Babbe, Eleme, Gokana, Kenkhana, Nyokana and Tai Kingdoms as well as Bori and Ban Ogoni administrative units are to prepare grounds to replace the imposed local government system which has so far existed as channels for looting of public funds and organized crime. Elected village representatives will now elect members of the kingdom management teams in an electoral college, while those elected to the kingdoms; will in turn, elect members of the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA), in which any Ogoni person, at home or abroad, will be free to vie for position, but through nomination filed by the village of origin.
Explaining how the system works, Dr. said that the power to elect or remove any elected representative rests with each village electoral process, which will define change and nurture effective grassroots leadership that is accountable to the people. On why Nigeria ignores the demands of the Ogoni people, Diigbo explained that Nigeria has conflict of interest with the Charter of the United Nations, which guided the September 13, 2007 Universal Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).
Diigbo said that Nigeria as a multi-ethnic nation state, without a formal Sovereign National Conference, has continued to survive because of the rights and privileges it enjoys from the United Nations Charter, but for Nigeria to persistently violate the same Charter, which it has previously signed; is to shoot itself in the foot. On what he described as local government embedded corruption, Dr. Diigbo explained that influential politicians at the national and state levels often plant stooges in the local system, and in turn use them as pressure points to get money from State and National coffers; while they get back such monies from their stooges and paid contractors without any job done. The politicians will have to return to their villages to seek fresh mandate under the OCIA, while local government employees will be retained to play vital role in City Hall or Village Council administration, Diigbo added.
UNEP Ogoniland Environmental Assessment Report, is ship without a rudder, says MOSOP President Goodluck Diigbo
In an interview on why Dutch Cabinet has asked Nigeria and not Royal Dutch/Shell to clean up oil spills and restore devastated lands in Ogoniland, MOSOP President Diigbo said: “I can’t speak for Dutch parliament or cabinet, but the UNEP Ogoniland Assessment Report is a like ship without a rudder, it can be tossed back and forth, because it did not follow due process that plugs loopholes. Nigeria’s responsibility is very obvious to me, but this was why I called for joint stakeholders’ review, while others continue to shout implement, as if you can fetch water with a basket. No foreign oil company can do what has been done in Ogoniland without the consent of the home government. The Nigerian government and oil companies are partners in crime. “
Hon. Dum Ade John Budam
Secretary General, Movement for Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP