Ogoni: UNPO General Secretary Marino Busdachin Visits Ogoni Martyrs Day
He spoke at the weekend just as the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO) described the cause of self-determination that the Ogoni are fighting as in line with the central struggle of the member nations of the organistion.
Brown, who gave the warning in his message on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Ogoni Martyrs Day, said it is one thing to engage in struggle and another to sustain it in the face of several distractions.
“ It is one thing to engage in struggle, it is another thing to sustain the struggle. Those who despair will not last long,” he said, adding, “without hope the struggle so easily turns sour and many wounded and bitter persons will give up.”
Drawing from the South African struggle against apartheid, Brown said it was easy to give up hope as a result because of the military and economic might of the regime , saying that it was in such a situation of potential despair that people cultivated the phrase “we are prisoners of hope.”
According to him, it is not just who give up the struggle for human freedom and dignity that cause pain for the faithful in the struggle but also the neutral ones who so easily become enemies of the good.
The cleric, who was involved years ago in the resolution of the conflict in the Niger Delta, therefore, urged leaders of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) to be “prisoners of hope,” describing hope as a key ingredient to the success of the Ogoni struggle.
“Just as there was no escape from within the bars of prisons, so there was to be no escape from within the bars of hope,” he said in a clear comparison with the experience in his home country. At the event, the UNPO Secretary-General, Mr Marino Busdachin, said the underlying notion of the world body is that individuals and groups should be in control of their destinies, adding that the peaceful struggle, which Ken Saro-Wiwa and others died for, must continue in their names.