This is serious..the Ogoni people in southern Nigeria, Thursday, 2nd of August declared political autonomy. “We are acting with legitimacy to reclaim all of our rights, without exception,” says Goodluck Diigbo. This brought about jubilations throughout Ogoniland.
In a live broadcast on a newly established radio station: Voice of Ogoni, MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo vowed that:“By this declaration of political autonomy, we, the Ogoni people are determined to enforce the United Nations Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples, without fear or retreat,” Diigbo said.
Diigbo affirmed that self-government within Nigeria will secure for the Ogoni people, their indigenous rights, enable them to meet their needs and interests and finally end internal colonialism.
Diigbo said self-government became urgent recognizing the need to arrive at a consensus to collectively review the disputed UNEP Ogoniland Oil Assessment report, because any dialogue must be with the genuinely elected representatives of the people expected to enforce indigenous rights without dictation.
In the broadcast, Diigbo further underscored the reason for the urgency of self-government for Ogoni: “Concerned that in the absence of a responsive government that the indigenous people of Ogoni will continue to suffer from historic injustices.”
Diigbo stated: “In order to make indigenous rights practicable in Ogoni, we have through a very transparent electoral college process, beginning with community by community elections, set up 272 village councils, while the village councils in turn elected representatives for 33 district councils and the district representatives went on to elect representatives to serve at the center as custodians of customs and traditions, otherwise called lawmakers.”
“The law makers in turn elected the executive arm of the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA) with checks and balances inbuilt to ensure corruption-free, effective, efficient and answerable system of grassroots self-government instead of the old, corrupt and mismanaged local government system endured by the Ogoni for decades,” Diigbo explained.
“In taking these measures, we are quite aware of the discomfort to about 56 local politicians that control local government politics in Ogoni, however, we care more about the 1.2 million people that have for too long been excluded,” he stated.
He announced that a Transitional Committee was already set up to facilitate dialogue to ensure peaceful transition, within 30 days, while consultation with the national government and international community begins without delay.
Diigbo emphasized the need for Ogonis to remain law-abiding and act nonviolently; saying “we are acting with legitimacy to reclaim all of our rights, without exception, and for the sake of peace and security; let no one test the collective will of the Ogoni people, because we will not surrender our indigenous rights anymore.”
Nna Mehn...I have to leave this country ASAP. Fire on the mountain.
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