Prison And Cemetery Have Come To Represent Symbols Of  Our People’s Sufferings- Former Mosop President

Gladys Nweke

Mr Ledum Mitte, the former president of Movement Of Survival Of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has protested the economic strangulation and political marginalization of the Ogoni People.

In his speech, he said that the federal government of Nigeria and Shell responded with one of the worst cases of repression in the Nation’s history that saw no less than 1,200 Ogonis killed including the whole generation of Ogoni leadership.

He said that 10 communities were completely destroyed, 10,000 people rendered homeless while several others were maimed and imprisoned, saying that the whole Ogoni land was almost literally turned to a prison and Cemetery as the world was shocked and screamed and Nigeria was almost turned to a pariah State.

Mr Ledum Mitee noted that years after the rational thinking that a Democratic Nigeria would take steps to redress these ills of the recent past, the publication of the report by the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) on the environmental restoration of Ogoniland provided some source of hope.

He also regretted that after the show event of the ‘ flag off’ of the implementation of the said report, indeed very little of the publicly stated initiatives by the government towards the implementation of the report bears any relationship with the actual recommendations by UNEP.

Mr Mitee during the press interview with said that the people are still battling with the non-implementation of the UNEP report.

“We are now being confronted with plots by the Federal government to resume oil exploitation in Ogoniland through some companies of doubtful pedigree and credibility without the needed painstaking engagement with the long suffering Ogonis”

Still stressing that actions taken so far are reminiscent of their profoundly painful past, the federal government response is reported to be a plan to build a prison and a Cemetery in Ogoniland.

He noted that the government ought to be a listening government, a government that listens and responds to consequences of its actions and inactions, a government that must explain why it responds to the threats posed to our lives by an uncleaned and poisoned environment by proposing a Cemetery for our eventual deaths and prison for would-be survivors.


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