From Tony John, Port Harcourt
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has vowed to stage a peaceful protest, if political parties adopt consensus governorship candidates in the 2023 election in Rivers State, without giving the slot to the Ogoni ethnic nationality.
It has also rejected any secondary status, warning those canvassing for an Ogoni deputy governor to desist from that, stressing that the ethnic nationality would not settle for such an office.
MOSOP’s decisions were contained in a statement signed by its President and Secretary-General, Prince Biira and Festus Legbara, respectively.
Biira, who briefed journalists in Port Harcourt, on the political injustice meted out to Ogoni people, disclosed that the Central Committee of MOSOP observed that Rivers South-East senatorial district has been grossly marginalised since the creation of the state.
He observed: “For the 55 years of the existence of the state, Ogoni has not occupied its proper place in terms of appropriate and adequate political representation in Rivers State, especially regarding holding the office of governor, deputy governor, speaker (House of Assembly) and chief judge.
“For over half a century of the existence of Rivers State, Ogoni had been supporting other communities in the state to achieve their political, social and economic dreams and desires; aware that citizens of these nationalities have occupied the office of governor, deputy governor, speaker (House of Assembly) and chief judge of the state.
“Out of the three senatorial districts in Rivers State, it is only Rivers South-East senatorial district, which accommodates Ogoni, that has not produced a governor of the state.”
MOSOP commended and identified with five of Ogoni sons ( senators Lee Maeba, Magnus Abe and Olaka Nwogu, as well as Gabriel Pidomson and Isaac Kamalu) for courageously declaring their interest in vying for the office of governor of Rivers State.
It cautioned aspirants against being swayed by temptations or lures, assuring them of its backing. It urged on the natives to close ranks and concertedly with the sense of community for victory.
Also, MOSOP warned that only the political party that offers its platform for the actualisation of Ogoni gubernatorial ambition that would enjoy electoral goodness and benevolence of the senatorial district.
“That MOSOP will mobilise the Ogoni people to resist any political party and its collaborators that fail to respect our stance with the same vigour and relentlessness that we have adopted in our resistance against the state and its slick ally, the oil industry. That, enough is enough.”