The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, says the Ogoni people will resist any coercion into Ibo Biafra. Speaking in Eeken in Khana Local Government Area, rivers State on Sunday, where he met with the Kingdom coordinators and chapter leaders of MOSOP in Babbe Kingdom, president of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, said the Ogoni people will resist any force of coercion into an exclusive Ibo nation whose design is to advance the powers and domination of the Ibo people over the Ogonis of the Niger Delta region.
A release signed to that effect by Alex Akori, secretary-general, MOSOP dated June 7, 2021, stated that the MOSOP president who was in Eeken as part of his Ogoni tour to monitor the ongoing membership revalidation exercise of the apex Ogoni body noted that while the Ogoni people have no issues with Ibo people pursuing their legitimate causes, to enforce their desired freedoms, Ogoni people should not be coerced into the struggles of the Ibos.
He said Ogoni people have pursued the cause of justice in Nigeria without coercing any sections of Nigeria into their struggles. “We will likewise resist any attempt to impose Biafra or anything like it on us”, he stated.
The MOSOP leader acknowledged that Ogoni people were grappling with serious abuses threatening their very existence in Nigeria but acknowledged that the people still feel better in a multi-ethnic Nigeria than in an Ibo dominated Biafra where experiences prove they could completely go extinct.
He asserted that Ibo interest in Ogoni is no more than a target on the enormous natural endowments of the people and called on his people to protect their dignity and integrity by preserving the Ogoni nationality from enslavement.
He further warned against land grabbing, murders and other crimes being perpetrated by agents of secession and coercion against Ogonis in border communities with the Ibos including Ban-Ogoi in Tai Local Government Area.
Nsuke said forcing Ogonis into Biafra will be a nightmare. He said documented evidence shows an estimated 30,000 Ogonis died in the Biafran civil war between 1967 and 1970,pointing out that more painful is the fact that more Ogonis died being deliberately murdered by Ibos than from gun shots, diseases and hunger.
He warned, “Ogonis are not Ibos; we are not Biafrans. Ogonis are Ogonis and we settled in the South Eastern parts of Nigeria before the Ibos arrived. We want an end to the discrimination against the Ogoni people, we demand to be respected and allowed our political space to function within Nigeria but we definitely do not and will not be a part of Biafra.”
“MOSOP denounces any inclusion of Ogoni in Biafra and we will resist any attempt to force us into an un-negotiated union. While we are dealing with the present discrimination in Nigeria, we do not want to move from the frying pan into the fire itself.
“Biafra is a bigger threat to the protection of our identity, a bigger threat to our very existence, a bigger threat to our security and there is no reason we should be more comfortable in Biafra than Nigeria,” Nsuke stated.
The MOSOP leader urged Ogoni people to be very vigilant to protect the land in this difficult period, defend their territories, work closely with intelligence and resist any attempt to enslave them.
He added, “The United Nations recognizes our rights as an indigenous ethnic nationality and while we strive to realize those rights, we completely reject Ibo enslavement in the form of Biafra.”
He called on the Nigerian people to stem the tide of retrogression in the country by addressing the structural and political imbalances in the country, adding that Ogoni people consider it very unfair for their resources to be used to run the Nigerian State while they do not have any representation within the structural framework of Nigeria.
The MOSOP leader further called for the creation of a Bori state for the Ogonis to guarantee “our rights to self- determination” and assured that Ogoni people will deploy every legitimate means to end the discrimination against the people within Nigeria insisting that Biafra was out of the context.