Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
A group of young professionals of Ogoni extraction under the auspices of Ogoni Generation Next Project (OGNP) has described as condemnable the high level of political marginalisation against the Ogoni people in Rivers State since the creation of the state 50years ago.
OGNP which has been at the forefront of environmental and political advocacy for the Ogoni kingdom, said it will not rest on its hoarse until the total emancipation of Ogoniland has been achieved.
Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the President of the group, Mr. Kadillo Kabari, decried that since the creation of the state, no person from Ogoni extraction has ever occupied the office of the governor or Speaker of the State House of Assembly.
Kabari also commended the people of Ogoni for successfully electing their sons in the December 10th rerun election as well as the federal government for the steps taken for the implementation of UNEP cleanup of Ogoniland.
According to him, “The OGNP applauds the Ogoni people for coming out en-masse to elect representatives for themselves at the last December 10 legislative re-run poll thereby filling the lacuna in representation that threatened Ogoni interests.
“The OGNP resolved to further pursue vigorously the political emancipation of Ogoni people as enshrined in the Ogoni Bill of Rights noting that 2017 marks 50years of the existence of Rivers State and yet Ogoni is still politically marginalized.
“Since the creation of the state we never produced a governor, deputy governor, speaker or chief judge in a state. Yet Ogoni is second largest ethnic group in Rivers State.
“We commend the Federal Government for the steps taken so far to address the age long environmental injustice meted on the Ogoni people. It is believed that the expected appointment of an indigenous project manager for the Ogoni cleanup will kick start the implementation of the UNEP report..”
Kadillo Kabari also charged the Rivers State Government to rise up to its primary responsibility of protecting lives and property in the state.
The group also urged the people of Ogoni to embrace peace as insecurity could endanger the forthcoming cleanup exercise.
“The OGNP bemoans the current spate of insecurity in Ogoniland. The senseless killings from political murders, cult related clashes to communal crises have become an embarrassment to the Ogoni people and an indictment on the recent amnesty programme of the Rivers State Government.
“We want Government to rise up to its primary responsibility of protecting lives and property while urging our people to embrace peace as insecurity could endanger the forthcoming cleanup exercise.”