Ogoni: Protest for Political and Environmental Justice
On the 2 January 2015, supporters of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) gathered to protest at the capital of Rivers State, Port Harcourt, to demand political and environmental justice, equality and freedom. Legborsi Pzagbara, the President of MOSOP, stated that addressing Ogoni issues must have high priority, including the request for key political positions for Ogoni representatives in the Nigerian Government.
Below is an article published by Nigeria The Guardian:
The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has demonstrated in the streets of Port Harcourt, in Rivers State, in protest of what it described as ‘political enslavement and environmental injustice’.
The protesters, from the four Local Government Areas that make up Ogoni ethnic nationality; (Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai) arrived at the state capital as early as 6am with placards and banners of different inscriptions, demanding for political justice in their land.
President of MOSOP, Legborsi Pyagbara, while addressing the protesters at the Isaac Boro Park, where the protest march terminated from Rumuola, Port Harcourt, said it was disheartening that the various political parties and the State government failed to consider the request by the Ogoni for a governorship slot, and other key political positions since the creation of the state.
He lamented that the political system in Nigeria, particularly, in Rivers State, has defaulted their promises to the people, to build on justice, freedom and equity.
The MOSOP President said the demonstration was a show of their displeasure over the perceived injustice, of what the Federal and State Government had done to them.
Pyagbara said: “My brothers and sisters, from all indication, it is obvious today, that the political system in Nigeria, particularly, in Rivers State, has defaulted their promises to Rivers people, to regain a build on justice, freedom and equity.
“Instead of honouring the obligation, they have all deceived us. We have also come to the point to protest, to remind all the Nigerian stakeholders of this protest and Rivers State in particular, of the urgency in addressing the Ogoni issue.”
He continued: “This is not time to engage in luxury or promises of pretense of gradual process. Now, is time to make justice in Nigeria of undoing the wrong that has been done to the Ogoni people.”
While calling on the Federal and State governments to rethink on the Ogoni 2015 project, Pyagbara said, it would be unfair for the Ogoni people to now be subjected to another four years of political slavery with the injustice done to them by the state government and the political parties.
Some of the placards read: ‘Ogoni people say no to political slavery’, ‘Ogoni beware of political traitors’, ‘political slavery is a crime. NYCOP (National Youth Council of Ogoni People) insists’, ‘we want political freedom in Ogoni’, ‘Ogoni wants political justice’ and ‘NYCOP say no to political slavery’.
It would recall that the two major political parties in the state, PDP and APC, did not adopt the Ogoni governorship aspirants in their just concluded party primaries in state.
Meanwhile, the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in the state has assured that the political dream of the Ogoni people would be realized under its administration, with Nyesom Wike as governor.