The following information was received by the UNPO General Secretariat on November 22, 1995 from The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP)
Following the startling murder of Ken Saro-Wiwa, the spokesman of the Ogoni people and the President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), by the Abacha Military Junta on Friday, November 10, 1995 at exactly 11.30 a.m., precisely one month after the solidarity celebrations of the 54th birthday of Ken, a summit of MOSOP and all its affiliates was held in Ibadan, Oye State in the night of November 10, 1995, which continued by noon of Saturday, November 11, 1995. The first session of the meeting was presided over by Captain N. Deekor, Acting Secretary of MOSOP, and the concluding session by Mr. N. Nwibani, Chairman of the MOSOP Crisis Management Committee.
Acknowledging that the Ogoni People face very real economic, social and political problems emanating from gross abuses and denials of our indigenous rights, human rights and fundamental freedoms, which bear strong parallels to practices of apartheid policy, a number of positions were carefully considered and viable options were adopted for immediate pursuit and actualisation. Acknowledging that the two presiding members were mandated to endorse the resulting communiqu from the summit and that MOSOP s Acting Secretary would consult with certain Ogoni-elders we therefore release the following statement.
1. That MOSOP reformulates alternative strategies in order to respond to the upcoming challenges.
2. That MOSOP s non-violent struggle must be stepped up at all levels and its non- violent capabilities strengthened.
3. That the Abacha Military Regime be reminded that the chapter on the execution of nine Ogoni activists will not be closed until justice is seen to be done to all those who planned it and carried it out. Those executed were:
1. Ken Saro-Wiwa
2. Dr. Barinem Kiobel
3. Mr. John Kpuinen
4. Mr. Baribo Bera
5. Mr. Saturday Dobee
6. Mr. Felix Nwate
7. Mr. Nordu Eawo
8. Mr. Paul Levura
9. Mr. Daniel Gbokoo
4. We condemn the fact that certain traditional rulers in Rivers State insisted on the killing of Ken Saro-Wiwa during a secret meeting at Elele Army Camp near Port Harcourt with Rivers State Security Council headed by Lt. Col. Dauda Musa Komo.
5. We are saddened but strengthened by the fact that our leaders and brothers paid the supreme sacrifice to defend the rights of the minorities in the whole of Africa, particularly Nigeria, where our natural resources have become the main weapons for perpetuating internal And indigenous colonialism.
6. We consider the entire episode a slap in the face of those who sought to play a collaborative role with a military junta.
7. We, the Ogoni people, having been mercilessly oppressed and deliberately provoked, do not regret our demand for a decent environment, basic human rights and fundamental freedoms, especially concerning our indigenous rights which we view as sacred.
8. We are concerned about these rights; we are anxious about our fundamental freedoms; we are troubled by the persistent abuses and denials; and will not therefore give up the struggle, even if that struggle be in grave defiance of the Abacha dictatorship and its continuous resistance to democratic change.
9. As our preliminary response to the official murders of Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others, the following measures are to be pursued by all Ogoni activists with the utmost vigour in consistence with internationally accepted human rights standards.
(a) Continued non-violent resistance to oppose exploitative economic activities in the Ogoni territory.
(b) Defence and protection of individual and community land rights of the Ogoni people.
(c) Total and indefinite isolation of Shell Petroleum Development Company Limited.
(d) Immediate process of restoring Ogoni environment beginning from January 1st, 1996, which is hereby set aside for tree planting throughout Ogoniland, especially around areas devastated by the ecological war. This is to mark the 1996 Ogoni Day, and the third anniversary of the 1993 International Year for Indigenous Peoples.
(e) The naming of all major roads leading into each Ogoni Community after our murdered leaders as a mark of honour for the supreme sacrifice paid.
(f) The filling of vacant positions in MOSOP and its affiliates created by the murders on Friday, November 10, 1995.
10. In the meantime, we make the following demands to the International Community, particularly the United Nations: to thoroughly investigate the systematic pattern of human rights violations which have been nothing short of genocide against the Ogoni people in Nigeria.
11. We further demand comprehensive reparations from the Government of Nigeria and t he multinational oil companies on account of the destruction of the Ogoni ecosystem and the killing of over 2,000 Ogonis since April 1993.
12. In the strongest terms, we appeal for immediate and special protection from the International Community, especially the United Nations.
We view it as grossly absurd for any person or group of persons in or out of government who may believe that the Ogoni Movement is now dead after the killing by a criminal junta of Ken Saro-Wiwa, whose virtue has been exalted, both locally and internationally. We insist the Ogoni struggle has been strengthened and renewed by Ken Saro-Wiwa s death.To say that MOSOP is dead or that it will not gather more momentum, while our rights and freedoms are still being denied, is like predicting that once there is night, darkness will not go away again. This is not the case. We want to re-emphasise what the Nigerian Nation has done to the Ogoni loses claim to independence and to freedom from outside influence. Ogoni therefore needs autonomy.
1. The Ogoni People have been wronged and therefore unequivocally protest and outright condemn the swift murders of Ken Saro-Wiwa, Spokesman of the Ogoni People and President of MOSOP, and eight other Ogoni environmentalists by the bloodthirsty Abacha regime.
2. We consider the execution of the nine Ogoni on Friday November 10, 1995, a premeditated murder , planned as a final push to crush the Ogoni and to subject the people of the Niger Delta to another decade of darkness.
3. We lay the blame on General Sani Abacha whose personal attitude and hatred of Ogoni people have exposed his delight in the spilling of blood of innocent and unarmed Ogonis ever since he was Secretary of Defence in the illegal interim government.
(signed)Capt. N. Deekor Nwibani Nwako Acting Secretary MOSOP Chairman, Crisis Management Committee
NB All gatherings, including church services in Ogoniland, have been banned by the Nigerian government. Over 1,000 bibles have been destroyed by soldiers and over 60 Bishops, Pastors and Ministers were arrested on November 29, 1995. They are still being detained in army camps. Furthermore, a great number of teachers were arrested during a PTA meeting, and have been detained for a week.
FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT KATHY VOYLES, MEDIA AND INFORMATION CENTRE OR ERICA ZWAAN, AFRICA DESK, AT THE UNPO OFFICE THE HAGUE, THE NETHERLANDS. TEL: 31-70-3603318, FAX: 31-70-3603346, EMAIL: UNPONL@ANTENNA.NL.
Copyright: The Ogoni Community Association - UK, 1995.