Ogoni Autonomy – A Path to Justice

>> press release <<

NUOS International, USA at its conference on August 20th, 2012 deliberated on the welfare of Ogoni as a minority ethnic group, its survival in the present polity of Nigeria, and resolved as follows:

That Ogoni is fed up with Nigeria’s political system that continues to ignore minority demands, integration, and development. We are disappointed that Nigeria up till this 21st century hasn’t realized that there are over 250 ethnic groups that constitute the Nigeria confederation. Nigeria must think and plan beyond, Hausa-Fulani, Yoruba,Igbo, ijaw majority syndrome if its plan to be a “significant player in global economy”as conceptualized in her 2020 vision is worth beholding.

That NUOS International,USA stand by Ogoni autonomy and the solemn declaration by Mr. Goodluck Diigbo on August 02, 2012. NUOS Intl view this peaceful declaration as a way forward and path to freedom and development of Ogoni culture, its people and willingness to protect its devastated environment. In a failed state, groups must wake up to the task of upholding its sacred creeds, protect its peoples, and further advance them to the challenges of the future. Ogoni must protect itself from further exploitation by corrupt Nigerian system and the multi-national Oil Companies particularly Shell Oil Company.

That Ogoni people under MOSOP submitted the Ogoni Bill of Rights to the Federal Government of Nigeria in 1990 but were ignored even by successive administrations. They also put forward a demand for Ogoni State in the1990’s; although the said state was favored by the government appointed committee on state creation, it was over-shadowed and ignored by the government of the day.

Rivers State Government under Gov. Rotimi Amaechi have continued to threaten lives, killed unarmed civilians that have protested forceful seizure of lands, surveyed Ogoni farmlands with military surveyors and driven thousands in Sogho community from their homes and poised on implementing a plantain plantation in spite of its huge health and environmental consequences. We stand against this threat and call on all well-meaning Nigerians to advise Gov. Amaechi to leave Ogoni in peace. Further military occupation may spark violence in the area and if that happens, Mr.Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi would be held accountable.

That NUOS Intl further reiterates its demand for Bori State to enable the Ogoni people handle their affairs. Bori State will provide gainful employment to over 75% of Ogoni people currently unemployed in Rivers State. Also, resources from the State would significantly move Nigeria toward her 2020 vision of becoming a major world economy.

That the UNEP report exonerates our slain leaders (Ken Saro Wiwa and others) as their campaign against environmental devastation led to their executions. We further ask for compensation for the damages as rivers and farmlands which was a source for livelihood has been completely destroyed. The UNEP report estimates a thirty year period for remediation and possible restoration of Ogoni environment. During the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spills, clean up was done, as well indigenes compensated. Ogoni will not be an exception. We are therefore demanding adequate compensation to atone for 55 years of reckless oil spillages onto Ogoni ecosystem.

NUOS International believes that the Hydrocarbon Pollution Restoration Program was hurriedly set up by the government to benefit select individuals. We reject the HYPREP and demand that Ogonis should be consulted and involved in setting up guidelines/blue print for the project as well as sorting for reputable international environmental companies that has technical knowledge in oil clean-up. Imposed guidelines may not be in the interest of the Ogoni people; and awarding contracts for Ogoni clean-up to Ogonis or Nigerian group(s) that has no technical know-how will be resisted.

Ogoni Students supports a transparent program with specificity that encourages community participation and development. Also, NUOS warns that all funds directed towards this remediation be utilized for Ogoni only, not the whole Niger Delta as rumored. We encourage all groups to draw the attention of prospecting oil firms to undertake similar study and clean up accordingly.

NUOS warns Shell Oil to desist from threatening a come back to Ogoni. Shell remains persona non grata in Ogoni. All those negotiating with Shell Oil Company in the name of Ogoni does so at their own peril.

On a final note, we, members of the National Union of Ogoni Student’s USA call on all Ogonis to be united in embracing Ogoni political autonomy because it guarantees freedom and freedom is entrenched in the Nigerian constitution and it is the bedrock of International law on which Ogoni autonomy is deeply-rooted. Also, it is a path way to justice for the Ogoni people as spelt out in the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR).

We thank you all. Long live Ogoni!

Signed on behalf of National Union of Ogoni Students’ USA, we are:

Mr. Pius Barikpoa Nwinee (President)

Mr. Sampson Npimnee (Secretary)

NATIONAL UNION OF OGONI STUDENTS, USA (NUOS INTL. USA)
4737 W. 138th Street (STE W.), Crestwood, Illinois 60445.
Ph. 888-610-5590 – Email: nuos.intl@gmail.com – Fax. 402-742-6126 – Website: http://nuos-international.org

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