The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), has called on the Federal Government to accept its proposals for the resolution of the Ogoni conflicts through the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority (ODA).
MOSOP said it was optimistic that the ODA will not only drive development in Ogoni but will resolve the 30 years’ conflicts over oil which had led to the death of thousands of people.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt on Sunday, MOSOP further urged the Federal Government to embrace the people’s initiatives towards a negotiated settlement expressing strong confidence in its proposals for the operation of ODA.
A statement signed by Alex Akori, Secretary-General of the group and president of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, gave the charge in Taabaa, Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State where he met with community leaders and coordinators of MOSOP.
Nsuke told the community leaders that it was important to focus on the solution to the problem at this time having established a case of systemic injustice, discrimination and underdevelopment against the Ogoni people by Shell and others.
While commending the people for their resilience and peaceful disposition, Nsuke called for commitment on the part of the community leaders to deepen grassroots education on the contents and benefits of operating an ODA.
He noted that MOSOP was optimistic on the ODA proposals as acceptable in addressing the problem at Ogoni.
“We really look forward to development in Ogoni through the operation of the proposed Ogoni Development Authority. It will finally address the concerns of the Ogoni people and work to achieve the fundamental goals of our struggle which is to address the issues of underdevelopment that has wrecked our potential and future as a people,” Nsuke said.
He commended the coordinators of MOSOP for their selfless efforts, noting that they had given life and hope to the people and ensured that the sacrifices of over 4,000 martyrs in the struggle do not end in vain.
“Your resilience has given us life and hope with assurances that the pains and sacrifices of our people will not go in vain. You have given your best to this cause and as a movement, have helped organise one of the most peaceful agitations in Africa. We must as well be ready to translate our pains and sacrifices into real good by pursuing an end that is in the best interest of our people and our country.
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“For us in MOSOP who led the struggle against Shell, we have committed to pursue a common interest and work for the operation of the ODA. We are convinced that this path will lead us to achieve the development envisaged by our founding fathers and secure a greater future for the people,” he said.
Nsuke urged every MOSOP coordinator to intensify community education on the benefits of the ODA, noting the ODA guarantees a fair treatment for the Ogoni people in resource allocation, projects our common interests and remains our best option to address our concerns for underdevelopment as expressed in the Ogoni Bill of Rights (OBR).
Nsuke maintained that MOSOP would continue to pursue its primary goals to address the issues of underdevelopment in Ogoni.
He said that challenges were normal and thanked the Ogoni people for their confidence in MOSOP assuring them that the organisation will not be distracted from its goals.
He urged the Ogoni people to resist every provocation and to sustain the peaceful methods as it remains the most potent strategy.