MOSOP-SA Backs Peace Move By Ogoni Leaders

Following the move by some Ogoni leaders to end the crisis and factions rocking the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, the South African chapter of the body has thrown its weight behind the action.

MOSOP-SA came up with this in a statement by it interim committee chairman and secretary, Comrade Barigbome Promise Gibson and Comrade Keenam Akina after a meeting.

The group which stated that it has been following everything that has transpired in MOSOP-Nigeria, being the umbrella body commended the MOSOP Peace Committee and urged all factions to cooperate with them in achieving peace in the body.

The statement reads thus: 1. That MOSOP is the embodiment of the collective dignity of every Ogoni person, as it encompasses the intrinsic value of our being, the sociopolitical aspiration of our tribe, and the determination to assert our ethnocentric footprint in the sands of the Nigerian federation in particularly and the world at large.

2. That we recognized that while it is the right of any individual or group of Ogoni persons to belong to any sociopolitical organization, social movement, Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) or partisan group of their choice, MOSOP remains the vessel that captured our historical past and propelled the resilience which has become part of the Ogoni identity all over the world.

3. Bearing the aforementioned in mind, it is our stand that any Ogoni man or woman who truly appreciate the role that MOSOP played in carving out a platform that has given us the strength to address our depressing experiences must give peace a chance, and support all processes of unity as a matter of respect for the blood of our leaders and countless number of Ogoni people.

4. Therefore, we commend the members of the MOSOP Peace Committee (MPC) and those who turned out on the 13th of November 2021 to attend the Peace Congress at the Peace and Freedom Centre in Bori, headquarter of the Ogoni nation.

5. We appeal to all factions to give MPC and the Ogoni people at large a chance for peace to reign. Thus, we commend those who have indicated interest to work with the MPC to restore peace in Ogoni just as we appeal to those rejecting the MPC procedure to kindly place Ogoni over and above their ambitions, anger or pain.

6. MOSOP-SA have listened to and followed various writings and media statements, some of such media statements casting aspersions on members of the MPC individually and collectively.

While we do not deny anyone the rights to their opinion, we disagree with the method deployed in the current situation.

7. We are particularly worried that the approach of rushing to the media to make bogus claims and castigation of those seeking to restore unity in the movement might translate to a dangerous precedent.

We therefore encourage our comrades to kindly withdraw from such actions for the sake of our struggle, especially in honor of those who sacrificed their lives for the Ogoniland to be free.

8. MOSOP-SA wishes to state, and unambiguously so, that the use of ‘court decisions’ and ‘constitution’ to justify the prosecution of internal crises is counter-revolutionary and antithetical to the progressive politics which Ogoni struggle encapsulates.

This position is accentuated by the lessons we have learned from the South African struggle, wherein activists took blames and even went to prison for crimes they never committed just for the ultimate goal of their struggle.

9. It is not a mark of activism for comrades to submit our struggle at foot of Nigerian judiciary and to the whims and caprices of Nigerian partisan politics, because Nigerian nation-state has been the main architect of the subjugation of the Ogoni ethnicity.

We are forced to state that we shall doubt any Ogoni activists who want to fight for the liberation of Ogoniland at the expense of a UNITED MOVEMENT and internal peace.
If people gave their lives for the struggle, those of who are living should be willing and able to give away our ‘perceived rights’ for sake of Ogoniland.

10. We find it contradictory for any MOSOP activist to lay claim to being a champion of Ogoni INDIGENOUSNESS and yet refuse to understand that in Ogoni culture, there is no court that supersedes the power vested in the collective decision reached in a town square – Eete Bue – the congress of the masses is the equivalent of modern Eete Bue Ogoni, and in our struggle for the manifestation of our indigenousness.

11. Finally, while we respect the decision taken on the 13th November 2021, we make the following suggestions:

a. We suggest that the peace process should still open a window to all the parties (Fegalo Nsuke, Prince Biira and Lazarus Tamana) to be invited.

There should be another chance for the issues that have caused dissension amongst them to be holistically addressed.

b. We further suggest that it is time for MOSOP to have a reliable and non-partisan Board of Trustees or Board of Elders or Consultative Council that can always term leadership crises; we make this suggestion against the backdrop that this crisis lingered because there is no clear crises management structure within and for the movement.

c. We also suggest that the constitution of MOSOP should review to allow for one broken term of 5-7 years to avoid constant leadership crises.

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