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No Going Back on Our Self-Govt, Says Ogoni Farmers

No Going Back on Our Self-Govt, Says Ogoni Farmers

OGONI farmers on Sunday, rose in stout support of their quest for self-rule, saying they are not prepared to beat a retreat.

In an online statement to AkanimoReports, they said, ''we expect that the Ogoni Self-Government can end further attempt to subject Ogoni culture to forced assimilation and destruction of our means of livelihood without any replacement''. A native chief in Bori, Chief Samuel Asongho, who is also the President of Ogoni Farmers Council (OFA) said this.

Ashongo who is equally the Vice President of Ogoni Traditional Rulers Council, implored their kinsmen to reject any action which effect will be to deny the Ogoni people their ''integrity, means of livelihood, forests, lands, rivers and cultural heritage''.

He said in the statement that was wired to us by Dum Ade John Budam, the Secretary General of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), that the Ogoni people did not deserve to be murdered for speaking out for their own rights.

Continuing, the chief said, ''those who fear that allowing Ogoni rights will affect theirs, should let Ogonis know that, instead of murdering innocent people, as was done to Ken Saro-Wiwa and others. We don't want them to shed blood on sacred lands''.

Asongho called on all Ogoni people to continue in the peaceful manner they have conducted themselves since the declaration of self-government, and not allow those ''who have become slaves and want to remain slaves to tempt or provoke them into violence''.

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The traditional chief dismissed the ongoing ''propaganda'' that the Ogoni people are divided, saying there is always some people who often feel threatened by change and the common good, because they are selfish and have no love for their fellow human beings.

The Ogoni chief spoke after he led a peaceful procession and followed by a customary libation in support of the declaration of self-government at Ken Saro-Wiwa Peace and Freedom Center. The procession took him to Birabi Memorial Grammar School (BMGS) in Bori, the traditional headquarters of the Ogoni.

At BMGS last Thursday, August 2, he paid a glowing tribute to the memory and legacy of Paul Naakuu Timothy Birabi, the foremost Ogoni political nationalist, and Ken Saro-Wiwa, the founder of MOSOP, for the pioneering role they played for Ogoni freedom.

Asongho pledged that the Ogoni Farmers Council (OFA) as well as their traditional rulers council will stand with Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, the MOSOP President, and that they will contribute whatever they can, to make sure that their self-government works for the benefit of the entire Ogoni people. ENDS

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