Ogoni: Ogonis to Position for Reconciliation
The Chairman of the Presidential Committee on Ogoni/Shell Reconciliation, Rev Fr Matthew Kukah, has called on the people of Ogoni to take advantage of the opportunity provided by the reconciliation process to collectively articulate their position for lasting peace in the area.
Rev Kukah said this yesterday while responding to contributions made by interest groups and stakeholders in the Ogoni/Shell crisis at a stakeholders' meeting held at the Banquet Hall of the new Government House, Port Harcourt on the lingering crisis between Shell and Ogoni people since 1993.
Rev Kukah, who was the secretary of the defunct Oputa panel and the just concluded national political reform conference, urged the Ogoni people to use the opportunity to address the agitations as the time would probably not remain with them for ever.
He described the Ogoni as a privileged people, and expressed happiness with the disposition of the people to true reconciliation, noting that their example was a challenge to other Nigerians.
The chairman of the presidential committee thanked the people, particularly the youths for their decision not to continue with the ways of the past but to work towards uniting the people for development to thrive.
The clergyman promised to deliver a letter from the Ogoni people to President Obasanjo inviting him to grace the Ogoni Day celebration on January 4, 2006, stressing that the gesture would allay fears of insincerity on the resolution of the issues as expressed by the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) President, Ledum Mitee.
He expressed satisfaction with the success of the meeting, and the understanding shown by the people, and thanked them for their disposition.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Dr Peter Odili, said the government has embarked upon some projects in Ogoniland, some completed, others on-going, and challenged the people to articulate projects the government would take up, and advised that this should be ready before the next Ogoni Day celebration.
Governor Odili assured them that their interest would be protected, and expressed confidence on Rev Matthew Kukah in handling the reconciliation process between the Ogonis and Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
He thanked the Ogonis for honouring the invitation on short notice, and commended all those that made contributions that would aid the process of reconciling the parties while lauding Rev Kukah for his brilliance in putting across issues.
Source: The Tide Online