MOSOP Condemns Misrepresentation of Ogoni People at the Presidency

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) says its attention has been drawn to media reports of a State House meeting held on Wednesday, May 15, 2024 between Mr. President, Bola Ahmed Tinubu and some persons claiming to represent the Ogoni people.


The said meeting, according to a statement made available to journalists, news publishers and editors by Fegalo Nsuke, President of MOSOP was “facilitated by a key player in the oil.and gas industry in collaboration with some government-paid chiefs of Ogoni extraction is a slight on the Ogoni people in particular, and a denigration of the struggles of the entire Niger Delta people. MOSOP strongly condemns the misrepresentation of the Ogoni people at the meeting and unequivocally dissociates itself from the meeting.”


Text of the statement reads: “The meeting which was motivated by greed aimed at misrepresenting the situation on ground to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a listening president who has shown remarkable commitment in finding a lasting solution to the critical national issues and is counted upon for a fair and just solution to the Ogoni problem.


“MOSOP wants to emphatically state that these are people without any knowledge about how Shell left Ogoni; or what drives the Ogoni struggle. Also, they are completely ignorant of the painstaking efforts made by MOSOP at the village and community levels to sensitize our people on the need to revisit the oil production issue after decades of battling with selfish and divisive forces.


“The audacity to misrepresent facts on a sensitive issue like oil resumption in Ogoni is an act of economic sabotage, considering the progress so far made in resolving the Ogoni issue once and for all. That is why MOSOP sees the meeting as a failed attempt to make the Federal Government lose the Ogoni People’s confidence.


“Even though the said meeting was intended to frustrate the gains of MOSOP’s campaigns and community sensitization to permanently address the problems in Ogoni, MOSOP remains committed to its development goals and will continue to work with relevant stakeholders, especially the Federal Government to achieve them.


“MOSOP’s main objective is to achieve a peaceful settlement of this protracted conflict and to bring Ogoni on the path of growth and development. But we insist on a genuine, broad-based and transparent negotiation process that considers the interest of all parties for a mutually beneficial compromise.


“The progress recorded so far in convincing the Ogoni people to embrace the idea of development through the resumption of oil production in our area had been well thought of and anchored on mutual benefits.


“It is our wish that the gains of our community sensitization and reorientation efforts should not be destroyed by pecuniary interests of private businesses who think that 4,000 lives lost in the Ogoni struggle can be for their own benefits. God forbid.


“We therefore emphatically state as follows:


1. The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) led the struggle of the Ogoni people against the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nig. Ltd (SPDC) and eventually forced Shell’s exit from Ogoni. As a critical interest group, we note that the position of MOSOP should be taken into consideration on issues of Ogoni oil to achieve a mutually beneficial agreement in the interest of all parties.


2. MOSOP dissociates itself from the misrepresentation at the said meeting with Mr President on Wednesday, 15th May, 2024 as the chiefs did not have our mandate to engage.


3. MOSOP remains committed to pursuing its goals as the only mandated voice of the Ogoni people as expressed in the Ogoni Bill of Rights wherein it states: “Now therefore, we mandate the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) to make representations on behalf of the nationality…”


4. MOSOP demands a fair and just treatment of the Ogoni people through the operationalization of the Ogoni Development Authority (ODA) proposed to the government as an acceptable pathway to the resolution of the Ogoni problem.


5. The Ogoni people (MOSOP) lost an estimated 4,000 lives in our struggle against Shell and Abacha. We maintain that those sacrifices made the Ogoni oil available for which people are scrambling today. We therefore insist that as critical stakeholders, our position as a matter of necessity be considered in any decisions relating to the resumption of oil production in Ogoni.


6. MOSOP notes that it has taken us over five years of community sensitization and reorientation towards our proposed development programme to win the support of the Ogoni people. We will urge the Nigerian authorities not to allow a few selfish business people to flagrantly jettison our collective gains.


“We therefore urge the Federal Government under President Bola Tinubu to initiate a broad-based genuine process of negotiations to facilitate a peaceful settlement and reach an acceptable compromise.


“To this end, MOSOP calls on Mr President to appoint a negotiator with credibility and national clout to promote a broad-based engagement with the Ogoni people and facilitate a peaceful resolution.


“MOSOP further pledges to cooperate with the process and hopes to see a speedy resolution of all issues affecting the Ogoni people.


“We pledge our allegiance to our country and our president.”

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