The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has dismissed views that the body found in 1990 is now divided and has lost focus of its founding principles.
The body will clock 25 years this year, and is poised to commemorate the death of the Ogoni 13, including environmental activist and writer, Kenule Saro-Wiwa, according to MOSOP President, Legborsi Piagbara, in phone-in programme organised by Silverbird Communications at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
Piagbara also stated that the umbrella body of all Ogoni people worldwide has continued to sustain its international and local advocacy for a better environment and deal for the people of Ogoniland.
In his words, “MOSOP is the only group in Nigeria that has sustained its non-violent agitation for 25 years. Even though there have been disagreements, yet, the Ogoni people have not disagreed on the principles of the struggle.”
One of its major achievements, he submitted, is the recent approval of the implementation of the UNEP Report by President Muhammadu Buhari, adding that,”what is holding us now has been the announcement on the composition of the different institutions and the gazette to guide the whole process.”
Once that is done, according to Piagbara, a governing council for the implementation of the report will be appointed, and the recruitment of people who will design the framework will commence.
On his part, an Ogoni activist, Celestine Akpobari, maintained that the Ogonis will not relent in demanding for their rights, while lamenting the plight of those who fled the country during the crisis in 1994, and have not been pardoned by government to return home.
On the state of the clean-up of the environment, Akpobari stated that there have been constant engagements from the past administration to the present one, but said the elections set the implementation back, as he lauded President Buhari for agreeing to implement the report on assuming office.
He also disagreed that the Ogonis are no longer united in the agitation, adding that “when it comes to the Ogoni struggle, we all forget about our various affiliations and join forces.”
Meanwhile, activities to mark the 25th anniversary of the body and hanging of Kenule Saro-Wiwa commenced last weekend with the Ogoni National Congress, a thanksgiving service, and will be capped with an Ogoni Day celebrations next January.