Ogoni: Congress Resolutions on UNEP Report
Press Statement: Ogoni Congress Resolution urges commitment to clean up Shell’s oil spill and solidarity of the Ogoni people to fight for the realization of their rights.
A Special Ogoni Congress was called under the aegis of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, to review recent developments in the Ogoni struggle for justice especially, the developments in the case brought by the Bodo Community in the United Kingdom Courts against Shell, as well as the UNEP Report of the Environmental Assessment of Ogoniland.
The Congress, which was attended by over 5,000 Ogonis met at the Peace and Freedom Centre, Bori on Saturday, the 13th of August 2011, and passed the following Resolutions:
The Congress, noting that these developments vindicate our position, resolves to salute the vision of our heroes and forebears, and applauds all Ogonis, their friends, and supporters for their steadfastness in spite of all odds.
The Congress decides that these developments mark an important watershed in the struggle to actualize the demands in the Ogoni Bill of Rights and calls on all Ogonis to unite to ensure the realization of the full potential benefits from these latest developments.
To this end, Congress further decides to set up a Technical Committee to do a detailed analysis and review of the UNEP Report with a view to highlighting obvious gaps, especially, the public health implications, and making recommendations of possible steps to be taken by the Ogoni people, including but not limited to legal action in appropriate jurisdictions. The Committee has 30 days to submit its Report and all Ogonis of relevant competences are enjoined to input into the Work of the Committee.
Noting that the recent spill in the Gulf of Mexico was cleaned within a record time and not within 20 to 30 years, Congress insists that similar initiative, expertise and commitment has to be put into the Ogoni clean up in order to save future generations of Ogoni people from another 30 years of exposure to the stated health hazards of oil pollution.
Considering the highlighted emergency of the situation of environmental devastation in Ogoni and the health hazards to which Ogonis are exposed on a daily basis, Congress expresses disappointment at the responses so far from the Government, and calls on the federal Government to immediately implement the key recommendations of the UNEP Report to demonstrably show that it is not only the violent option that can attract reward in Nigeria.
Congress mandates MOSOP to immediately embark on mass mobilization of the Ogoni people towards an eventual non-violent mass action if after 30 days no action is taken towards the implementation of the recommendations.
Congress, similarly, mandates MOSOP to report the dire situation to all our national and international partners and friends and to seek their continued support.
Congress condemns as callous and inhuman Shell’s response so far to the UNEP Report which dwells mainly on their hackneyed blame game and calls for an immediate apology for the deaths and health hazards their activities have caused and still cause in Ogoniland.
President: Ledum Mitee; Deputy President: Dr. Olua Kamalu;
Secretary-General: Moses Damgbor; Assistant-General Secretary: Maxwell B. Nwigogbor; Publicity Secretary: Chief Gbaranor Deebari Keeper; Financial Secretary: Rose Zoranen-Michael; Treasurer: Daniel Nsanee; Legal Adviser: Samuel Igbara