BY GABRIEL OKECHUKWU, PORT HARCOURT
Ogoni people have been enjoined to avoid divisive tendencies rather unite and move forward.
The former President of Movement for Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, Mr. Ledum Mitee who made the call during a Peace Committee Congress, convoked to chart a way forward for MOSOP, in Bori, Rivers state, announced the dissolution of all existing factions of the group forthwith.
According to Mr. Mite, MOSOP should be united in their struggles and move with one accord.
“I also hear you people say that MOSOP and Ogoni People should be United, if we are United we can deal with our enemies, if we are united we can deal with the issues of violence, and MOSOP can champion the move against those who want to exploit us.
And that MOSOP will carry our collective support. This is the time to move forward.”
The former MOSOP President who is also a lawyer, noted with displeasure that some members of the body have not been faithful in their financial contributions to the progress of the pressure group, which he stated was a prerequisite to stand for elections.
“In the course of our consultations with the grassroots of MOSOP, the Chapter leaders and the Kingdom coordinators, they indicated to us that even some who claim to be heads of MOSOP and its organs don’t even have their names in MOSOP register in their respective chapters.”
Mr. Mitee who asked the communities to go back to their clans and solidify their commitment to Ogoni struggle, told them that an electoral committee will be set up to midwife a new leadership for the group.
Similarly, two other stakeholders Professor Ben Nani and Dr. Owens Wiwa while expressing sadness over balkanization of MOSOP, stressed need to have a common front by all Ogonis.
According to them, the disintegration that hit the socio-cultural organization has watered down its advocacy for economic liberation of Ogoni Land.
“Over the years, our entire efforts have been overtaken by personal ambition and so, we all are committed to the belief that MOSOP will never die. That MOSOP shall rise again.”
“We can only have our place in Rivers State if we are united, we can only have our worth in Ogoni if we are united, if we stay divided, we are not going to get it.”
“And we are going to continue to fight for our rights, peacefully and nonviolently and we shall win.”
Professor Nani and Dr. Wiwa reminded the participants that if they continue to be divided among themselves, strangers would take advantage of their treasures.
Adding their voices for the female folk, Gbene Joi Nunieh encouraged Ogoni people to make good, the sacrifices of their Heroes past by being courageous in the principles they stood for, such as love for one another, integrity and truth.
She stressed the need for inclusiveness, especially for the women.
In the same vein, Dr. Mrs. Patience Osaroejiji, while telling the participants to be united and sacrifice for the peace of Ogoni, decried the environmental degradation of Ogoni Land; adding that progress can only be achieved in a peaceful environment.
The event was attended by Elders, youths and women from the four Local government Areas that make up Ogoni land.
The following is the communiqué issued at the end of the congress.
RESOLUTIONS OF THE MOSOP CONGRESS HELD AT THE PEACE AND FREEDOM CENTRE, BORI, ON NOVEMBER 13, 2021
1. Concerned by the leadership crisis which has led to the formation of factions which is tending to destroy MOSOP, the cherished symbol of the Ogoni struggle, and inspired by the strong desire of the Ogoni people to sustain their voice in Nigeria’s multi-ethnic nation-state, this Congress reaffirms the dissolution of all factions of MOSOP as announced by MOSOP Elders in January 2021.
2. Any of the dissolved factions which after this Congress continue to undertake anti MOSOP activities that are inimical to the corporate and collective interest of the Ogoni people shall be summarily expelled from MOSOP.
3. This Congress authorises the MOSOP Peace Committee to set up an electoral Committee that will, according to the constitution of MOSOP, conduct free and fair elections into the central executive Committee of MOSOP and its affiliates except the National Union of Ogoni Students whose election is annual
4. Congress calls on the traditional institutions and political leadership of the Ogoni people to sustain their efforts to unite Ogoni and contribute their quota to the development of Ogoni.
5. Congress observes with utmost concern the deplorable security situation in Ogoni and mandates the MPCC to work with all and the security agents to ensure sustainable peace in Ogoni.
6. Congress mandates the MPC and MPCC to continue to oversee the affairs of MOSOP until a new executive is inaugurated.
Barr Ledum Mitee
Dr Owens Wiwa
Engr Olu Andah Wai-Ogosu
Chief Kenneth Kobani
Prof Ben Naanen
Mr Legborsi Pyagbara
Barr Joi Nunieh
Queen Georgina Tenalo
Evangelist Caroline Nagbo
Dr Abraham Olungwe
Chief Otua Nakwasa
Chief Monday Abue
Mr Miigbara Tanee