Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers in Rivers State has waded into the deep-seated disturbances that have been rocking the homeland of the famous Ogoni leader, the late Ken Saro-Wiwa.
To all the parties in the Ogoni conflict, the monarchs are saying, ‘’enough is enough’’, pointing out that the rancour, bitterness and division in that axis of Rivers, ‘’have no doubt adversely affected our progress and stability.’’
Spokesman of the Ogoni monarchs, the Paramount Ruler of Kpite Tai (Gbenemene Tua Tua Tai), Samuel Nnee, who made this known in a statement said, ‘’it is undeniable that they are no less ill wind that has blown no one of us any good hence the need for us to eschew intolerance and acrimony if we must move forward.
‘’The need for us to come together as one is now since the task ahead is enormous. Please enough is enough!’’
The supreme council of Ogoni traditional rulers spoke while distancing the Council from the confusion in the area, and accordingly urged their subjects and residents to discountenance a declaration by Ogoni Liberation Initiative (OLI), authorising Nigerian Petroleum Development Company Limited (NPDC) to commence oil production in Ogoni without the consent and approval of the people.
On Monday, August 23, 2021, the Ogoni group allegedly brought NPDC into Bori-Ogoni and authorised the oil company to resume extraction activities in oil-bearing communities there, apparently ignoring consultation and endorsement of the people.
In a swift response, President of Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers of Ogoni and Gbenemene Tai Kingdom, Godwin Gininwa, OFR, JP said, “on behalf of the entire traditional institution in Ogoni, we wish to state that we are unaware of the purported development.
‘’As a result, we are frowning at the activities and assertion of the pseudo body, Ogoni Liberation Initiative. Insofar as we are concerned, the Ogoni people especially the Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers of Ogoni, Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), KAGOTE, Political Class and the elites had not met and permitted that oil mining either by NPDC or any other investor should commence in Ogoni now.
‘’We are therefore, warning OLI against actions that would throw Ogoni into crisis. For any company to be qualified for our social licence, it must qualify in all ramifications, including ability to meet our conditions spelt out in the Ogoni template regarding investment in Ogoni; technical competence, environmental protection and management, respect for our rights including acceptable corporate social responsibility amongst others”.
Continuing from there, spokesman for the royal fathers said, “we are using this medium to call on all sons and daughters of Ogoni to be calm and cautious and resist all lures or temptations to rush into any engagement with any company or individual with regards to oil production resumption or any other investment in Ogoni.
‘’At an appropriate time an all-inclusive meeting of the people shall be convened to deliberate on this sensitive matter and a resolution representing the common interest of the people reached and made public.
‘’We will also like to warn prospective investors including NPDC to avoid passing through the back door as that would not yield any valuable result. We would likewise caution the indigenous corporation and other potential investors to beware of quasi groups and commercial activists that are just out to dupe unsuspecting investors. ‘’
They have accordingly counsel the NNPC subsidiary to desist from under hand tendencies that would rather than accord it encomiums would decimate its reputation while her desires remain unmet, adding, ‘’we wish to use this opportunity to reaffirm for the umpteenth time that MOSOP is not divided but united under the leadership of Prince Biira as its President.
‘’Ogoni has an apex elitist social-cultural organisation led by its President, Emmanuel Deeyah and a political class led by Senator Barinada Mpigi, alongside the Supreme Council of Traditional Rulers of Ogoni headed by our father and Paramount Ruler of Ogoniland, Godwin Gininwa, the Gbenemene Tai Kingdom, are all recognised leadership organizations working together for the total emancipation and development of the people and we call on the people to support and cooperate with the leadership. ‘’