As we mark the 30th Ogoni Day, the Ogoni Youths are honored to be beacons of hope for our people and our assurances are that the Ogoni Nation shall emerge not only from political, environmental, and economic enslavement but also from the hands of unpatriotic elements both within and outside us. The suffering of Ogoni people can no longer be exploited by some opportunists and experts in strategic deception whose prime interest is to commercialize Ogoni struggle to satisfy their whims and caprices.
Recall that in August 1990, (33 Years ago) our fathers led by Ken Saro-Wiwa after taking stock of the deplorable condition of the Ogoni people, in the Federal Republic of Nigeria, in spite of stupendous oil and gas wealth, articulated the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR), which dealt with matters ranging from social, political, economic to environmental injustice in Ogoniland, and presented it to the Federal Military Government. One of the cardinal demands of the OBR was “The right to protect the Ogoni environment and ecology from further degradation.”
The neglect of these demands led to the massive protest of January 4, 1993 (OGONI DAY), shut-in of oil and gas exploration and production in Ogoniland by the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria and its Joint Venture Partners, the consequent military clamp-down of Ogoniland which resulted to the murder of over 2000 Ogoni people and leaders including Ken Saro Wiwa and 12 others – May the soul of all Ogoni martyrs for this course of freedom REST IN PEACE!
ON REQUEST FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA:
We urge President Buhari to urgently implement the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR) and the recommendation of the United Nations mission to Ogoni in 1996.
We urge the Nigerian government to develop frameworks to protect and promote the rights of Ogonis without exclusion and discrimination as declared by the United Nations.
Ogoni youths are sending a strong note of appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to clear the name of the renowned human/environmental rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and his eight lieutenants who were extra-judiciary executed by the Sani Abacha led military junta and bestow posthumous national honours on them. We are shocked that in 2018, national recognition was conferred by the presidency on M.K.O. Abiola, Babagana Kingibe, Gani Fawehinmi and no accolade whatsoever was given to the Ogoni nine despite their roles in enthroning democracy in the country with their lives. The process of national healing and reconciliation will not be complete until the Nigerian Government clears the names of the Ogoni nine.
ON THE BALKANIZATION OF MOSOP:
We wish to state it clearly that MOSOP remains the soul of the Ogoni struggle for social, economic and environmental justice and any attempt to destroy or hijack it for the pecuniary interest of few jobbers at this point when the youths, elders of and leaders of thought have called for a truce in the leadership tussle of the organization will amount to insulting the collective sensibilities of the Ogoni people and spitting on the graves of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Chief A.T. Badey, the Orages and thousands of Ogoni unsung heroes, who paid the supreme price for the struggle.
Also, it has been noted with dismay that the current leaders of MOSOP and KAGOTE are doing nothing to better the lot of Ogoni people in recent times, but are busy pursuing their selfish interests at the detriment of Ogoni people. We urge leaders of MOSOP and KAGOTE to desist from acts tantamount to ridiculing the costly struggle and dignity of the Ogoni people but work in synergy with other pan Ogoni organizations to bring Ogoni people from the Egypt of economic strangulation into the Canaan of economic liberation.
Whilst we commend President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR for his unparalleled commitment to the success of the Ogoni cleanup project. Ogoni youth pass a vote of confidence on the Honourable Minister for Environment, Abdullahi Mohammed and the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) management team under the able leadership of Dr. Ferdinand Giadom, for steps taken so far to ensure the success of the ongoing Ogoni clean-up project, especially the recent approval of funds for the electrification of Ogoniland. This is unprecedented!
We call on the project management team to fully integrate Ogoni youth in the cleanup and power projects and urge youths to support and rally round the project team to ensure that we achieve it essence, so that the blood of our fallen heroes will not go in vain
ON RESUMPTION OF OIL PRODUCTION:
We wish to reiterate that Ogoni Youths are not opposed to the resumption of oil and gas operations in OML 11 (Ogoni Fields). We are committed to the resolution of the decades of stalemate between the Ogoni people, IOCs and the Federal Government of Nigeria over social, economic and environmental injustice, which till date have generated a lot of international concerns, leading to the shut-in of oil and gas operations in Ogoniland over 29 years since the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) was declared persona non grata in 1993.
We have noted with consternation that Ogoni has continued to suffer denigrating poverty, despite the stupendous oil and gas wealth and Ogoni youth are the most affected, in the non-exploration of oil are gas in Ogoni today, as they are completely displaced out of economic activities and made vulnerable to social vices as a result of boredom and inactivity.
In the coming months, Ogoni Youths would convoke a Pan Ogoni Oil and Gas Summit, where we shall discuss workable, practical and realistic solutions to pave way for a smooth re-entry into Ogoniland for the purpose of resumption of oil and gas production.
We call on the political leaders in Ogoni to reminiscence the speech by the Governor of Rivers State at the 29th Ogoni day on January 4th 2022 where the Governor berated them for their divisive style of politics. We urge them to eschew politics of bitterness and exclusion and embrace the politics of development, unity and peaceful coexistence.
OYF enjoined those who took part in the registration of the Permanent Voters Card to come out en-masse to collect their PVCs and get ready for the general elections. Our quest for pollical emancipation can only be achieved through our PVC and fraternizing with other ethnic nationalities. We cannot do it alone.
Comrade Legborsi Yamaabana
Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF)
January 04, 2023.