From Tony John, Port Harcourt
Former president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, and other prominent sons and daughters of Ogoniland, have expressed concerns about the leadership crisis rocking the movement.
They also appealed to aggrieved MOSOP members and supporters to sheathe their swords and not allow the pan-Ogoni group to die.
Mitee, in a statement he signed alongside 21 other signatories, who included Owen Wiwa, Kenneth Kobani, Ben Naanen, Vincent Idemyor, Olungwe Abraham, Don Baridam, Comfort Giadom, Rose Nwigani and Evelyn Senewo, said MOSOP could not achieve anything, if divided.
According to them, MOSOP became known globally because it opposed the repressive activities of the Nigerian state and Shell Petroleum Development Company (Shell) that almost drove them (Ogoni) to extinction.
“In the last couple of days, we have been inundated with calls by well-meaning people within and outside Ogoni, expressing grave concerns about the happenings in MOSOP: the multiple law suits, multiple factions with corresponding claims of multiple elections and proclamations of victories, all of which culminated in the inability to host Ogoni Day for the first time this year since we launched the event in 1993.
“We would commence a process of reconciliation in the coming days to reset the organisation by putting in place a process leading to an all-embracing election that would produce a credible MOSOP leadership and a transparent good governance structure and management.
“We hereby call on the disputing parties and their supporters to sheathe their swords, discontinue all pending court cases and desist from further press statements capable of further putting MOSOP and our people in disrepute.”