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Shell Oil Company remains persona non grata in Ogoni

NATIONAL UNION OF OGONI STUDENTS, USA
(NUOS INTL, USA)
3116 W.Devon Ave, Suite # 204
Chicago, Illinois 60659
Ph. 773.250.7004~ Fax. 773.572.4544
www.nuos-international.org  email: [email protected]

January 04, 2008

UNITED NATIONS DAY FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’

PRESS RELEASE

This January 04, 2008, Ogoni people around the world celebrate a day declared by the United Nations as “United Nations Day for the rights of the indigenous peoples.” In recognition of Ogoni cultural values and environment, the National Union of Ogoni Student’s, USA celebrate today with our parent body – The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), and over 300 other indigenous groups around the world.

In marking today, we send this message to various governments, peoples and supporters around the world: that,

1. The indigenous peoples are the most vulnerable. Justice and equity are denied them in every society they found themselves. We therefore thank the United Nations General Assembly for adopting the declaration on the rights of the Indigenous peoples in 2007. We urge the Nigerian government to develop framework to protect and promote the rights of    Ogonis without exclusion and discrimination as declared by the United Nations.

2. In line with the above framework, we urge Nigerian parliament and President Musa Yar-Adua to accede to the demand of a State by the Ogoni People within Nigeria. This would help reverse the egregious Cultural, environmental extinction the Ogonis are now facing.

3. Realizing that true federalism is the bedrock of any strong democracy, we urge the Nigerian parliament to embrace justice (as practiced in other parts of the world), by granting the rights of self-determination, resource control (land, territories and resources) to the people of Ogoni and other Niger Delta communities. Senate’s last visit to the Niger Delta cannot be enough without concrete actions to amend the laws that envelop the Niger delta people.

4. We urge the Nigerian government to urgently determine the impact of oil contamination on Ogoni land, water, agriculture, fisheries, air and its effects on the biodiversity and human health. We demand a comprehensive social and health assessment studies of Ogoniland and people with immediate effect.

5. We condemn the dumping of ebullient and vibrant Rivers State Students by the Rivers State government in an unaccredited college – University College Sedaya, International, Malaysia. Their presence is used to siphon millions of naira from Rivers State when courses they are sent to pursue could be strengthened in Nigeria. We demand an investigation into why the students are made to cater for their welfare even when they 
are said to be on government scholarship.

6. We appeal to the Niger Delta people to be more involved in the struggle of emancipation of the Niger Delta not through the barrel of guns but by pressurizing their respective representatives in Nigerian parliament to initiate legislation in Nigerian assemblies to change the status quo.

7. We’ve watched the slow pace of the development of the Niger Delta region with dismay. If such delay is tied around any bureaucratic bottle-neck, we urge President Yar-Adua to speedify action on the development of the region because we see this as an acid-test for his administration.   

8. President Yar-Adua should urgently implement the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR) and the recommendation of the United Nations mission to Ogoni in 1996.

9. We reiterate and stand by the over 300,000 Ogoni people declaration on January 04, 1993, that Shell Oil Company remains persona non grata in Ogoni.

10. We demand of President Musa Yar – Adua and the Nigerian government (as a matter of priority) the exoneration of Africa’s foremost Indigenous Rights crusader – Ken saro Wiwa of flimsy changes that led to the Judicial hanging of the Ogoni nine.

Again, we, the Ogoni people are vulnerable and we demand an Ogoni State for preservation of our cultural heritage; control of our resources. We strongly demand of the Nigerian government and Shell Oil Company a transparent social and health assessment studies in Ogoni and the exoneration of Ken saro Wiwa.

Signed:

KorneBari Nwike                                                         Austin Lemea
President                                                                          Secretary

                                          Lambert Deebom
                               (Director of Publicity and Mobilization)

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