Ogoni Self-Government Verdict
“It is irrevocable, but poses critical question to Nigeria,” says Dr. Goodluck Diigbo
MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo has spoken on what he described as: “The most important question facing
Nigeria in the aftermath of the attainment of self-government by the Ogoni people through the nonviolent discipline.”
“Can Nigeria put its house in order in time enough to ensure that other groups seeking public participation in
governance; conduct their affairs peacefully as we, the Ogoni people have done on our path to self-government, even when
repeatedly faced with acts of genocide,” Diigbo asked.
Reacting to Nigerian Guardian report, captioned: “A new threat from Ogoniland” published online Friday, 10 August 2012,
Diigbo stated that: “Nigeria ought to express gratitude to the oppressed Ogoni people for their nonviolent commitment,
patience and long suffering leading to the actualization of their self-government.”
Diigbo said: “The self-government of Ogoni is irrevocable under international law and will remain self-government for
the indigenous Ogoni people, by the Ogoni people and for the Ogoni people.”
“This is why we are meeting with local politicians in order to promote policy of inclusion so that we can together
reorganize Ogoni to make it a new, unique and prosperous indigenous nation,” Diigbo remarked.
Diigbo said any act with intent to destroy a national, ethnic, racial or religious group is defined by the United
Nations as genocide, saying President Goodluck Jonathan should not be pushed to commit genocide by those proposing
military invasion of Ogoni.
“Going by international law, it is only the Ogoni people that have the right to freely determine our own political
status, which we did since August 26, 1990 through the Ogoni Bill of Rights. Then, we waited for 22 years. To let the
government of Nigeria or another ethnic group in Nigeria declare self-government for the Ogoni, would mean that the
Ogoni have abdicated their own responsibility. We have acted non-violently and lawfully for self-government within
Nigeria, and we have never made any U-turn,” Diigbo reaffirmed.
Concluding, Diigbo referred to relevant articles of the UNDRIP: Article 3: “Indigenous peoples have the right to
self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their
economic, social and cultural development.” Article 4: “Indigenous peoples, in exercising their right to
self-determination, have the right to autonomy or self-government in matters relating to their internal and local
affairs, as well as ways and means for financing their autonomous functions” Article 5: “Indigenous peoples have the
right to maintain and strengthen their distinct political, legal, economic, social and cultural institutions, while
retaining their right to participate fully, if they so choose, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of
Associate Editor, MOSOP Media