Ogoni Autonomy Okay
Doesn’t mean break-away, says a Nigerian Lawmaker
A former member of the Nigerian National Assembly, Hon. Bernard Mikko said the Ogoni self government declaration does not amount to sovereign state or secession.
Reacting to sections of Nigerian media suggesting break-up and questions from his constituency, Mikko affirmed that rights of indigenous people's all over the world, including that of the Ogoni people are guaranteed under domestic and international aspirations for peace and security in the world.
Mikko represented Khana-Gokana Constituency of Ogoni. He drew attention to the preamble of the Nigerian Constitution, which, he noted firmly and solemnly resolves that Nigeria is committed to the promotion of inter-African solidarity, world peace, international co-operation and understanding.
“Nigeria is therefore in the same boat with Ogoni, because Nigeria has obligations under the African Charter, the United Nations Charter and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), all of which permit political autonomy within a nation state such as Nigeria,” he explained.
He underscored that the Ogoni Case has over the years received overwhelming attention, requiring diligent media reporting because records of their demands were well known at the United Nations in New York and Geneva; pointing out that the recent UNEP Report outlines the gravity of the Ogoni Case.
Mikko cautioned that “any action towards the indigenous people that is inconsistent with the obligations of Nigeria under the African Charter and United Nations Charter might breach international and domestic laws.
The former lawmaker said if sovereign nations in Europe are freely integrating even while known to be fully independent, the exercise of right to self-determination cannot break-up a nation state where there is a good government committed to the welfare of all persons in our country, on the principles of freedom, equality and justice, and for the purpose of consolidating the unity of our people.”
Mikko emphasized that what brings peoples together is not force; not flag and not domination of the weaker groups, but respect for one another, and equality of all persons under the law.
On 2ndAugust 2012, MOSOP President/Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo had declared the self-government to enable the Ogoni people enforce and exercise their rights as indigenous people within Nigeria under the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.