Ogoni: Remarks on Reconciliation by Ledum Mitee
Mitee who spoke during the Ogoni National Day celebration in Bori, headquarters of Khana council, said a situation whereby the oil company is employing a divide and rule tactics to frustrate the reconciliation move and would later blame MOSOP if the peace move fails is not only callous but criminal.
“Shell’s comfort to operate behind a security shield’ of what in many climes would be called thugs, posed a frightening potential for conflict which would then conveniently be laid at the door of and become the excuse to repress MOSOP,” Mitee said.
He stated that some confidence building measures are actually essential to assure the people that entering into dialogue is worth embarking upon, even as he cautioned the Ogoni youths to guard against being used by the oil giant and politicians to exploit the larger Ogoni interest.
The MOSOP President reminded the authorities that the greater part of the preceding year was wasted by a lack of commitment to peace building and addressing the concerns of the people across the Niger Delta and reminded those who benefit from the Niger Delta wealth that they have an unambiguous commitment to radical improvement in the lives of the people.
Also speaking, Governor Peter Odili of Rivers urged the Ogonis to put the past behind them and look on to the future with optimism.
Odili whose presence at the Ogoni Day was his first since he assumed office in 1999 said that delving into the past misfortune which caused them heavily in terms of human and material resources would drag them decades backward, but should rather unite and better their lots.
He said his administration, apart from providing N500 million
for every council in Rivers for development projects, the Ogonis should come
up with a list of request of what they want from him during the year.
Facilitator of the Shell/Ogoni Reconciliation Committee, Rev. Mathew Kukah lauded the Ogonis for their steadfast in the peace move and urged them not to allow their individual prejudice to stand on the way of Ogoni larger interest.