MOSOP Gives FG 30-Day Ultimatum

Dr. Legborsi Piagbara

Dr. Legborsi Piagbara

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has given the Federal Government 30 days within which to enter into discussions with Ogoni people on their demands or face mass action from the people.

 

The President of the MOSOP, Dr. Legborsi Piagbara, issued the ultimatum at Bori, Rivers State on Monday during a rally to mark the 23rd Ogoni Day, where the crowd of Ogoni people shouted down representatives of Governor Nyesom Wike and Senator Magnus Abe for trying to use the forum to pursue their political agenda.

 

Piagbara said the people of Ogoni were angry that 25 years after they presented the Ogoni Bill of Rights to the Nigerian government, the government has not responded in any way let alone open discussions with MOSOP.

 

The Ogoni Bill of Rights seeks to secure political autonomy for the Ogoni people, protect their environment and give them greater control of their economic resources.

 

The MOSOP President said at the expiration of the 30-day ultimatum, the Ogoni would mobilise themselves and sustain nonviolent street protests that would bring government to its knees.

 

“We call on the government to take this opportunity to open discussions on the very issues raised in the Ogoni Bill of Rights,” Piagbara said. He added that apart from responding with mass action, the Ogoni would bring charges of genocide against the Nigerian government through the United Nations Genocide Convention.

 

He commended the government of President Muhammadu Buhari for committing to the implementation of the United Nations Environment Report on Ogoni. But he said the “unusual delay” in starting the implementation was taking the patience of the people.

 

He promised that the Ogoni people were prepared to support the government in the implementation of the UNEP report. He, however, warned that they would not deal kindly with anyone or group that tried to subvert the implementation of the report by whatever means.

 

The federal government was not represented at the rally.

 

Piagbara lamented the resort to violent crimes by some Ogoni youths, saying their activities would work against the ideals that the founder of MOSOP, Ken Saro-Wiwa, lived and died for.

 

There was some drama at the rally when Mr. Mene Nzidee, the representative of Senator Magnus Ngei Abe of the All Progressives Congress, APC, tried to use the forum to canvass support for the senator. The crowd shouted him down. The Rivers State Commissioner for Chieftaincy Affairs, Dr, John Bazia, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, took advantage of that gaffe to hit at the APC, which he accused of trying to play politics with the interest of the Ogoni.

 

But the PDP got its own dose of rejection when the Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Emma Okah, who represented Governor Nyesom Wike, took the stage and started reeling out the state government’s achievements. The crowd soon got tired of his speech and jeered at him, while asking him to step down.

 

Okah, however, promised that the state government would dualise the Sakpenwa – Bori road, rehabilitate the Bori General Hospital and Birabi Memorial Grammar School as well as support the implementation of the UNEP report.

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