Former Deputy Speaker of Rivers State House of Assembly, Leyii Kwanee, has lamented continued marginalisation in Ogoniland.
Kwanee, in a statement to mark the 2023 Ogoni Day celebration, said the people had suffered both environmental and political backwardness, which adversely affected development of the area.
He pointed out that the Ogoni cleanup recommended by United Nations since 2011 only took off without much commitment following the election of President Muhammadu Buhari in 2015.
Sadly, the President will exit office in the next few months, yet the Ogoni has not been cleaned up to 15 per cent of the hydrocarbon emissions that have destroyed the environment.
Kwanee, who is the governorship candidate of Zenith Labour Party (ZLP), described the plight of the people as very tragic.
He said: “Our cry of deprivation had reached the ears of European community. The authors of our Ogoni Bill of Rights made representations to the British Commonwealth. The Ogoni people are therefore in the mainstream of international thought.”
Similarly, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has reiterated its position on the need for the restructuring of Nigeria even as the country begins a countdown to general election that would usher in new leadership in February.
MOSOP expressed dire need for proper restructuring of the Nigerian Federation to guarantee the rights of Ogoni people and other minorities towards enabling them function within the Federation as a people and to enjoy equal right like other tribes in the country.
A statement by the factional President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, said the entire exercise of cleanup lacked transparency.