Posted by News Express | 1 September 2014 | 2,860 times
The Ogoni Social Democratic Network (OSDN) has alleged “a scandalous development within civil society organisations in Rivers State whose recent stock in trade had been to clamor for the implementation of the UNEP report in Ogoniland.”
OSDN said in a statement signed by its President George Kilsi Nubari that some unnamed groups in Rivers State have been induced to use the non-implementation of the Ogoni environment report published in 2011 by the UNEP as a tool to discredit the Nigerian Government and pave way for some personal political gains as the 2015 elections draw closer.
“We have it from very reliable sources that some very prominent and outstanding civil society groups (name withheld) which champions the rights of the Ogoni people have recently been paid the sum of NGN100,000,000.00 to discontinue the clamor for a popular Ogoni cause against forceful land grab in Ogoniland and to mount pressure on the government to implement the Ogoni UNEP report,” Nubari said in the statement, a copy of which was made available to News Express.
“Another group has been responsible for the sponsorship of individual campaigners who use social networks and media organisations to launch this campaign of calumny, all targeted at discrediting the federal government,” he added.
“OSDN,” according to the statement, “condemns this trend and urges all involved not to use the predicament of the Ogoni people to promote and enhance their personal gains.
“We state unequivocally that the UNEP report implementation in Ogoniland has since become a tool for political campaign.
“We are deeply concerned about recent claims by politicians who hitherto have publicly vowed to frustrate every effort of the Ogoni demand for self determination, now metamorphosing into Ogoni clean up campaigners. Of particular interest to us are recent statements credited to the Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi and an Ogoni senator, Magnus Abe, both have cited the non-implementation of the UNEP report in Ogoniland as reasons for defecting to new political parties in Nigeria. We understand that these men both seek elective positions in the 2015 poll in Nigeria.
“We note that the duo have no record to show any genuine concern for the Ogoni people and the only investment of the Amaechi’s administration in Ogoniland is a forceful takeover of land used by local farmers. The land had been handed to a Mexican farmer and local people are now dying of starvation.
“OSDN urges the Ogoni people to be weary of this design to use those with whom they have worked in the interest of Ogoni and turn them into the same people who will inadvertently destroy their struggle for survival.”
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