The Ogoni people are peace-loving and have committed themselves to non-violence. The mandate to speak for and advocate their collective interests which are summed up in the Ogoni Bill of Rights have been delivered to The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). It will be important to state clearly that MOSOP will not surrender any aspect of its mandate as contained in the Ogoni Bill of Rights to the wishes of any one, group or interest be it KAGOTE or any anything so called.
On Saturday July 16, 2016, Dr Peter Medee, president of the a faction of KAGOTE. attempted to ridicule the collective wish of the Ogoni people for a better life by making insinuations in semblance to the strategy adopted by some government sponsored leaders in 1994 which eventually created division in MOSOP and lead to the death of a generation of Ogoni leaders. Medee spoke in favour of oil resumption in Ogoni without considering the plethora of unresolved issues surrounding our polluted land and our future in the oil extraction business which runs contrary to MOSOP’s opposition to oil mining resumption at this time.
Peter Medee spoke on Port Harcourt radio, Rhythm 93.7FM cajoling the Ogoni people and their costly struggle. In his naivety, he claims his KAGOTE is the apex political, social and cultural organisation of the Ogoni people. Though he could not support his claim with any fact about who gave him or his organisation the mandate,I will urge him to provide us with more clue on how he got his mandate as an apex Ogoni organisation.
For MOSOP, the mandate to make representations on behalf of Ogoni to the Nigerian government and the international community is clearly stated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights signed by the entire Ogoni people in 1990.
KAGOTE had been a politically inclined organisation driving the interest of its members. Because it lacked the massive support base and without any mandate from the people, the Ogoni people had to consider the formation of a mass movement with specific mandate from the people. That informed the formation of The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People )MOSOP).
Eventually, KAGOTE was dissolved and the then president of KAGOTE, Dr. Garrick Leton became the president of MOSOP, its vice president, Chief Edward Kobani, became the Vice President of MOSOP, its PRO, Ken Saro-Wiwa, became the spokesman of the Ogoni people. And so we saw the death of KAGOTE.
MOSOP became the umbrella organisation of the Ogoni people with very clear mandate to speak on its behalf. These were spelt out in the Ogoni Bill of Rights, signed by all sections of Ogoni and presented to the people of Nigeria and the international community in 1990.
I wouldn’t want to spend time on KAGOTE. An organisation without any support base, no mandate of the people, factionalized along political party lines with Peter Medee leading the APC faction and Chief Greg Nwidam leading the PDP faction. The new KAGOTEs particularly the Peter Medee’s faction prefers to be deceptive, devising fraudulent means to mislead the public.
One interesting aspect of Peter Medee’s radio interview was that there were only two callers into the programme – Elvis Ikoma and Legborsi Esaen. The two had been suspended by MOSOP for unacceptable behaviour on the recommendations of an investigation committee. Peter Medee will always be found among people with questionable character. His inclination towards deceit, backdoor moves and lies will not associate him with honest people.
It is not coincidental that Esaen was the same person who claimed to have chaired a fraudulent electoral committee that brought in the impostor, Mike Lube Nwidobie, the fake MOSOP leader in January 2016. These are the crop of people with whom Peter Medee will form alliances and this will buttress the character of Peter Medee himself.
My advice to Peter Medee is that a thousand KAGOTEs cannot equal one MOSOP. Our fore-bearers have resolved to speak in one voice and disbanded KAGOTE because it was unprofitable and useless for the new Ogoni whose focus was anchored on democratic principles and human rights, an Ogoni that whose future was to be based on a collective decision and not on the thinking of the elites alone. KAGOTE will continue to be Peter Medee’s affairs and its activities will continue to be dictated by its current sponsor. I predict that KAGOTE will never gain relevance outside those who struggle to make sense out of it.
The second group which earned lots of accolades from Peter Medee during his interview on radio was G.N.K Gininwa’s Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers.
Chief G.N.K Gininwa had been favoured by fate. He served as a houseboy to late Uriah Diginee Bake from Yeghe who introduced him to basic education. Following the discovery of oil in his home town, Koro-Koro, he started small business with Shell and became Shell’s biggest ally in the Tai Kingdom. Money and wealth earned him recognition and he was elevated by the Rivers State Government as Gbenemene Tua-Tua. Following the death of the king of Tai kingdom, King Mballey, Gininwa was appointed by the Rivers State Government as the Gbenemene of Tai.
The establishment of the Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers(COTRA) as an affiliate of MOSOP which is currently headed by HRH Mene Suanu T.Y. Baridam saw Gninwa hurriedly announcing the formation of a Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers.
Chief Gininwa began to see MOSOP as threatening his business empire when the Ogoni people gave Shell a 30 day ultimatum to comply with their demands or vacate the land. Gininwa then began the plot against Saro-Wiwa which eventually led him into forced exile
Chief Gininwa has publicly admitted his hatred for Saro-Wiwa during the presidential flag-off for the Ogoni cleanup. Gininwa acknowledged being driven from Ogoniland by his people for his opposition against Ken Saro-Wiwa’s led MOSOP.
Gininwa’s actions ridiculously portrays him to reflect Nigeria;s decaying value system. In January 2016, Gininwa sat in his private home to swear-in one Mike Lube-Nwidobie as MOSOP president. The same actors who called in to commend Peter Medee during his radio interview, Legborsi Esaen and Elvis Ikoma were the key actors in that episode. Following the failure of the plot, Gininwa sent emissaries to plead with the MOSOP president, Legborsi Saro Pyagbara for forgiveness. Clearly, Medee and Gininwa are two very ugly representation of the Ogoni nationhood.
Gininwa and Peter Medee are two sides of the same coin,desperate to earn credibility through falsehood and forgetting that the Ogoni people know them and their damaging antecedents and cannot confuse the darkness they represent with the hope of a better life through our collective demand for the enforcement of the Ogoni Bill of Rights.
History has been on the side of the Ogonis against politically sponsored groups like KAGOTE and Gininwa’s Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers. As a people, we have chosen to take our destiny into our hands and fight for our freedom. The era of groups like KAGOTE who mismanaged our collective future and allowed our resources to be carted away leaving us in pain and misery is gone. Now, we have a chance to contribute and be part of decisions affecting our future.
Long Live MOSOP. Long live Ogoniland. The struggle continues!!!
This piece had been contributed by:
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People(MOSOP)
9 Justice Mary Odili Street
off Ken Saro-Wiwa Road(formerly Liberation Stadium Road)
500101 Port Harcourt