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RE: MOSOP indicts Shell over unease in Ogoni

Ben Wuloo Ikari

It isn't cynical, as Ogoni to write under the above topic in the manner I'm doing. As an activist I have no constituency other than projecting what's  right and true. This doesn't preclude my objective position and possible misgivings, even biases I may have against those wasting words on Ogoni, and doing all within their reach to exterminate her-including the citizens of the oil-rich land. I'm a human being with emotions.


Therefore my swipe at the so-called MOSOP leadership under Mr. Ledum Mitee who has out-stayed his usefulness in the apex organisation. Anytime he's ran out of grace, as the situation at home shows he will send Mr. Bari-Ara Kpalap, the PRO to raise alarm he would ordinarily not raise, if things were going well. After Mitee's "cosmetic acquittal" at the military tribunal which sentenced his boss, Ken Saro-Wiwa and others to death and recommended their hanging until their last breath, he lured few Ogonis who didn't know better the problems he created for Saro-Wiwa in jail and his eventual betrayal to adopt him as the Acting President of MOSOP. Having achieved that, he turned himself into the president with a hope to becoming a life president, abandoning his legal profession for quick money he gets from government and donor groups without accountability.

Thirteen years today, he has nothing to show for his reign but the confiscation of the grassroots movement into his personal empire. He fought relentless to bring Shell back to Ogoni (still fighting clandestinely), but will play this kind of game on the suffering masses so they wouldn't suspect any double-dealing. Because the people are beginning to see what some of us have complained about years ago and his dirty linens are beginning to stink in the open, he's come up with a strategy that would make people feel he's doing his best.

The facts, it was reported by Mr. Celestine AkpoBari of the Ogoni Advancement group that Mitee mandated his thugs to confront him, that he may be scared and abandon the alternative Ogoni-Day celebration, which culminated into the collection of signatures from Ogonis in preparation for a possible referendum that may be conducted by the Senate as part of the process for a demand for an Ogoni State. The referendum may be necessary since the unelected but imposed representatives from the area ( except Sen. Lee Maeba) have refused to sign the referendum for state creation. I had the opportunity to talk to AkpoBari and he confirmed the story he passionately wrote to the Ogoni students' listserve on how he escaped assassination from thugs who said they had instructions from Mitee to deal with him and scatter the gathering on Jan. 4 at State School 1 Bori.


One of the reasons they wanted him dealt with was to prevent him from embarrassing them and Governor Rotimi Amaechi, who seized that occasion to insult Ogoni for not allowing the extraction of oil, yet refused to talk about the people's suffering and demand. This case has been lodged in the office of the Inspector General of Police by the Civil Liberty Organisation (Nigeria) for investigation and subsequent punishment for those behind the attack. Some newspapers carried the story. But I doubt if the police would take the matter seriously, as Mitee is in collaboration with the government and Shell Oil.

Another latest issue that was in the news is the fact that he was of the hope he would be given the Minister of Niger Delta after he rubbed mind with the Federal Government to draft the empty recommendations by the Niger Delta Technical Committee that will not end the conflict in the region even though the government were to implement them. But no implementation would be made because the committee was a stage-play to buy time. Mitee who is always willing to be used as a tool against his people was found worthy, like most others in the group to make effective government's gimmick. Although he had hoped, he wasn't considered because the government that is using him don't even trust him. Someone who can betray the person of Saro-Wiwa and the just Ogoni cause must be a green snake in the grass. The government knows that. Before the committee's work in 2007, he promised not to further run for the office of the MOSOP President, a position he's usurp for 13 bleak years. On realising the ministerial position was denied him and given to Ekaette, he hurriedly returned himself unopposed before a planned election for Jan. 19, 09 even commenced.

This crooked and undemocratic action of his made the Bishop Yobe led elections committee to go to press and a title: "Ogonis rejects Mitee" was published in the Independent Monitor or so. The group vowed to conduct the elections as planned  and lamented that Mitee has held Ogoni sway for 13 wasteful years. It's sad that the Nigerian media refused to do  follow stories on this case. No one is asking this man in devil's incarnate any tough question on the military tribunal that acquit him, his plans to seek justice for the Ogoni 9, alleged abuse of power and a bid to become the life president of a mass movement that has been reduced to his 419 outfit instead of carrying the people along and doing right by them.

Finally, Ogoni/Niger Delta supporters must understand that whatever claim Mitee's MOSOP makes against Shell or government is empty. All he wants is what next company Ogoni would allow to operate in their oilfields, and giving the government and oil companies false hope. He doesn't represent the collective interest of Ogoni as he has no belief (don't support the Ogoni State Movement so that his status quo ante wouldn't shake) in the Ogoni Bill of Rights that is the backbone of MOSOP. The public should beware of him and know that whatever business undertaken with him, in the name of Ogoni is at the person's or group's peril. This position has been severally taken (published) by the National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS Intl. USA), the Ogoni Children's Cultural and Fundamental Council (OCAFAC) and other groups that stay abreast of the inhuman games Mitee loves playing. The truth must win sooner than later.

Ben Wuloo Ikari


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