The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has expressed deep disappointment at the anti-Ogoni stance of Senator Magnus Ngei Abe and the erstwhile KAGOTE president, Dr Peter Medee regarding the Ogoni position slamming a 30-day ultimatum on the federal government to constitute announced structures for the commencement of the planned Ogoni clean-up project. Senator Abe and Dr Medee have in media reports today (January 7) dissociated themselves from the collective position of the Ogoni people.
Whilst we do not intend to joining issues with Abe and co, we consider their positions as emotionally and improperly thought through. We recall that Senator Ngei Abe represented by the National Deputy President of the Nigerian Civil Service Union, Comrade Menele Nziidee supported the ultimatum at BMGS, Bori during the Ogoni Day celebration on January 4. It is therefore most appalling that 3 days thereafter he dissociates himself from the same Ogoni stance he has earlier endorsed. We recall also that Abe had in 2013 not only supported similar Ogoni ultimatum slammed on the Jonathan administration but also warned that the then PDP federal government would be rejected by the Ogoni people if it failed to implement the UNEP report on Ogoniland. Coming now to distance himself from similar legitimate Ogoni position means double standard, insensitivity and unfortunate.
We want to state clearly that several factors were considered before the position was taken. The Ogoni people had been saddened that over five (5) months ago, fast-track structures for the implementation of the UNEP report was announced yet there is nothing to show that government is interested in restoring our hydrocarbon ruined environment except worrisome silence. We would accept nothing now other than immediate commencement of the clean-up exercise.
It is disappointing that these Ogoni sons seem not to realise the implications of their anti-Ogoni positions. We would thus inform that any person seeking to represent the Ogoni people but failed to support, protect and defend the legitimate yearnings of our people because of sentimental considerations will undoubtedly be rejected by the Ogoni people.
However, we are neither surprised nor bothered about the comments of the former KAGOTE president, Dr Medee who has no mandate to speak on behalf of KAGOTE. We recall that when President Buhari approved wide ranging fast-track mechanisms for the Ogoni clean-up exercise, he dissociated himself and his so-called KAGOTE from it but later retracted the report hence MOSOP will not lose any sleep as his opinion is inconsequential.
MOSOP, we must say, has led the Ogoni people from grass to grace and this has endeared her to the citizens who have mandated her to speak and act on her behalf. The thunderous response that greeted the ultimatum on Ogoni Day not only meant overwhelming support but also the popularity of MOSOP. Therefore, the reactions of these individuals, in our view, is most unwarranted and infantile.
We would like to warn for the umpteenth time that the proposed Ogoni environmental remediation and restoration exercise is not a political issue but an environmental matter. We would thus warn those who may not be interested in our just cause to stay clear of the matter. Ogoni is bigger than any particular individual no matter his/her height in the society. We would as well reiterate that nobody can seize the destiny of Ogoni especially for private and sectional reasons.
We therefore call on the Ogoni people and the general public to discountenance the inconsequential stance.
07 January, 2015