Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has said that contrary to popular notion in the region, the Niger Delta is not marginalised by anyone.
The governor who was speaking at the 2022 Ogoni Day celebration at Bori said rather it was the people of the region that had been marginalising themselves by selling out to enemies of the region.
He also accused the Ijaw ethnic nationality of falsely thinking that Niger Delta belonged only to the Ijaw
Wike said it was wrong of the Ijaw to think that other nationalities in the region had no right to hold offices in key agencies like the Niger Delta Development Commission dedicated to the Niger Delta. “I must tell you the truth,” the governor said as he condemned protests by Ijaw people against appointment of people from the Niger Delta into such agencies.
The governor denied having any personal interest in the case the Rivers State Government filed against the Federal Government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited at the Supreme Court over Oil Mining Licence 11 for the exploration and exploitation of oil and gas in Ogoniland. He said by the time the case is decided, he would have left office as governor.
The governor, who called up all political and traditional rulers from Ogoni at the occasion to the platform, told the gathering that the problem of Ogoni people was their political leaders.
He said for Ogoni to make progress, all their leaders must unite and shun divisiveness, which most of them use to enrich themselves to the detriment of the the area.
Earlier, a former President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People, Mr. Ledum Miter, had said he came out of retirement from MOSOP leadership to ensure that MOSOP was reunited to achieve the dreams of their founding fathers.
He said that though the Ogoni struggle had achieved a lot, the current disunity and factions in the organisations were going to be counterproductive if the people do not come together.
He urged Rivers State Governor to ensure that Ogoni area is favoured as he begins the process of handing over the reins of power in Rivers State. Ogoni people have been agitating to produce the next governor of Rivers State.
President of Ijaw National Congress, Prof. Benjamin Ogaba, in a goodwill message condemned former President Olusegun Obasanjo for saying the oil in the Niger Delta belonged to the whole of Nigeria.
He said international convention and trite law has it settled that resources on and under the land of indigenous people belonged to the people and they must enjoy the proceeds of such resources. He urged contending factions of MOSOP to come together to move their people forward.
Other speakers at the event were Chief Joi Nunieh, a former Chairman of NDDC, Senator Barry Mpigi and Prof Emenike Wami, the President General of Ogbakor Ikwerre Convention.
The theme of this year’s Ogoni Day celebration is Leaving No One Behind. It’s the 30th Ogoni Day since 1993 when 300,000 Ogoni people marched through the streets of Bori to celebrate the first Ogoni Day.
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