- Says Ogoni is Disappointed in Cleanup Exercise
- Hopes Hospital, Power Generation Initiative is Not a Reward System
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has expressed some support and a cautious welcome towards the initiative of the federal government of Nigeria to boost electricity generation and healthcare delivery for the Ogoni region. MOSOP however cautioned against the mismanagement of the projects to protect it from failing like the cleanup exercise.
MOSOP President, Fegalo Nsuke in his reaction to president Buhari’s ground breaking events yesterday for the construction of the Center of Excellence, a hospital and power projects said the power and hospital projects were part of MOSOP’s five key demands on the federal government to build trust and confidence in the Ogoni people and help facilitate a speedy resolution of the Ogoni conflicts. He said MOSOP will therefore strongly protect and monitor the performance of the project managers.
The MOSOP president who spoke from the organisation’s National Secretariat in Bori, Ogoni said although the Ogoni region has deteriorated extremely due to extreme poverty, power generation could speedily promote entrepreneurship for small startups and significantly reduce crime.
Nsuke acknowledged that power generation and the hospital were among five critical confidence building measures demanded by MOSOP from the government.
“First of all, we appreciate the initiative. Truly, they are part of five critical confidence-building measures we made on the government to gradually help the Ogoni people out of their current mental health status where the government has largely been seen as repressive. That is something we will appreciate if it can be completed and made functional” Nsuke said.
The MOSOP leader urged the government to further act on all other demands and be more engaging and less repressive in dealing with social problems.
:”In Ogoni, the Nigerian government is seen as a person that encourages genocide and these fears are justifiable given their past experiences under General Sanni Abacha. That kind of relationship is not good and does not encourage crisis resolution.”
“So It will be good to see more engagement and less repression. More open and transparent dialogue on the issues affecting our people and we can expect that such initiatives will better facilitate a resolution of our dispute with the government and the oil industry” Nsuke said.
According to the MOSOP leader, MOSOP had amongst others demanded five confidence-building measures for Ogoni including:
1. The exoneration of the nine Ogoni civil rights actors executed by the Nigerian government on November 10, 1995.
2. The operation of an Ogoni Development Authority as an agency to take responsibility for Ogoni development and restoration.
3. The establishment of a comprehensive hospital to cater for advanced health care needs of the Ogoni people.
4. The establishment of a university in Ogoni.
5. The provision of adequate security for the people of Ogoni.
He said these critical demands were to serve as building blocks for the future development of Ogoni, noting that the Ogoni people want to take responsibility for their own affairs and build a strong future for their Ogoni nation. The MOSOP President called for a speedy operation of the Ogoni Development Authority.
Nsuke Justified the Ogoni uprising as a civil reaction to gross neglect and the threat of ethnic extermination in an ecological war that was waged by Shell and called for greater government focus on addressing the needs of the people.
He noted that the power and hospital projects should not be allowed to fail like the cleanup exercise.