Ogoni had been politically orphaned following the death of Hon T. N. Paul Birabi in 1953. The absence of an articulate political leadership encouraged a shortchange and the reckless economic exploitation which came with the discovery of oil in Ogoni in 1958.
Ogoni became a cash cow under very poor managers and overtime had been threatened with possible extinction.
The marginalization of the Ogoni people is unimaginable. The resources that has made our country a regional power, made Nigeria great and beautiful come from Ogoni, yet, Ogoni today has become synonymous with poverty and epitomizes the injustices for which our country has become widely known.
Lately, I realized that the only member of the 1953 delegation to the London Constitutional Conference to which I could not trace any street in his honor within the Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria is Hon T. N. Paul Birabi, the Ogoni man.
The emergence of Ken Saro-Wiwa rekindled the hope of every Ogoni person for a better future. Ken Saro-Wiwa restored our pride as a people.
Ken's most outstanding legacy to the Ogoni, MOSOP (Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People) became the vehicle to drive home a new vision and change the narrative for the better.
Expectedly, MOSOP was overwhelmingly embraced just as it attracted the persecution of Shell and those who will rather have us die in poverty and sustain the inequality and unfair distribution of the wealth generated out of Ogoni.
MOSOP set forth to protest the injustices done to the Ogoni people and was mandated to protest these injustices for as long as they continue. So, our primary goal in MOSOP is to end the injustice and give Ogoni a new song, a new hope, a sense of belonging, a feeling of equality with other citizens of Nigeria. MOSOP seeks to end the present enslavement which allows the resources of the Ogoni people to be taken for the benefit of the rest of Nigeria leaving Ogoni with the painful consequences of generating those revenue. MOSOP seeks to end the genocide against the Ogoni people in Nigeria.
As a country, our nationhood had been lost to the pains and deprivations suffered by indigenous communities like the Ogoni whose lands provide the resources that bring honor to our country, yet they have been terribly neglected and left to die.
We must change this narrative. The solution is a dialogue. One that is willing to accommodate our pains and the disappointments we feel about our country. A dialogue that is willing to end the bloodbath and encourage the integration of the Ogoni as a key financial contributor to national income.
Our country cannot fend ignorance to the Ogoni repression. We cannot pretend we do not feel the deplorable conditions in which the Ogoni people live.
We must work to change the situation and bring joy to our land. That was Ken Saro-Wiwa's dream and wish. We must sustain the non-violent approach by continuing to encourage peaceful methods.
In MOSOP lives the dreams of Ken Saro-Wiwa and in the struggles of MOSOP lives in Ken Saro-Wiwa. MOSOP is an idea and cannot die. It Should live in every one of you. The idea is to non-violently win justice for the Ogoni people and the entire Nigeria at large. The idea is to usher in a new system that upholds justice for every Nigerian no matter his or her descent. To bring prosperity and opportunities available for our people and make Nigeria a place of envy and the pride of Africa.
In Ken Saro-Wiwa's ideas lie a solution model for Nigeria, an opportunity to redeem our country.and in the words of our president, Muhammadu Buhari, "let us take it"
Fegalo Nsuke is president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP.