Jan 20, 2017

Ogoni: MOSOP Strongly Believes in Peaceful Solution of Niger Delta Conflict

Photo courtesy of Luca Tomac/Friends of the Earth International @flickr.com

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), a mass-based umbrella social movement of the indigenous Ogoni people in the Niger Delta, defend vehemently their strictly non-violent course in the realisation of the Ogoni’s environmental rights. Furthermore, they reiterate their commitment to cooperation with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), despite death threats from the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders to the NDDC Executive Director. Although Ogoni remain – despite great contributions – severely underrepresented in the commission, MOSOP has successfully gathered support among different indigenous groups for the peaceful Niger Delta clean-up programme implemented by the NDDC.

Below is an article published by The Tide:

The umbrella organisation of the Ogoni people, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), has vehemently condemned, in strong terms, threats to the life of the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Hon. Derrick Mene and his family by a masked group, the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC).
In a statement by the Media and Public Affairs Advisor, Bari-ara Kpalap, MOSOP said it “considers the threat as a clear demonstration of hatred and an affront against the Ogoni people,” and called on the group and their sponsors to have a rethink, warning that Ogoni will not take the threat lightly.
“Whilst we are aware of citizens’ right to freedom of expression, we do not think that such freedom includes threat to life, hence it undoubtedly amounted to lawlessness. The current threat coming on the heels of other similar threats, and at a time when the officer has not even settled down in office and regrettably based on frivolous grounds, we are forced to believe that there are more to the threats than they are painted in the media.

“We are convinced that with his very enviable professional records and experience, Mene will not disappoint the Niger Delta peoples by involving himself in activities that would undermine the confidence reposed in him.

“MOSOP believes that there are peaceful and non-violent options in dealing with issues of grievance, where it exist, rather than the resort to threat to life and violence,” the group added.
It recalled that “since the NDDC was established over a decade ago, no Ogoni has been appointed into any office of significance, yet we have, in the spirit of one Niger Delta, supported all officials of the agency without any tribal consideration.

“It is, therefore, most unfair that now that an Ogoni son has been appointed, that gesture is not reciprocated. It appears to us that there are those in the Niger Delta whose love for Ogoni is hate, and we have painfully observed this sort of situation over the years.

“We recall that it was the similar approach in the past that occasioned the public declaration by a former Rivers State Government representative on the board of the NDDC that Ogoni will not benefit from the commission, if it failed to allow Shell’s re-entry into Ogoni. And up till today, there is no tangible NDDC presence in Ogoni.

“Since there seems to be some conspiracy against Ogoni, we call on the security agencies to take every lawful step to protect the life of the NDDC Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Hon. Derrick Mene, and his family, and ensure no lapses.

“Ogoni, is an important part of the Niger Delta, and without dispute, contributed immensely to the formation of the commission. It is thus our position that other communities in the region must treat us with love and unwavering support just as we have been doing to citizens of other communities of the zone,” MOSOP argued.