OGONI INAUGURATES A NEW ELECTORAL COMMISSION
The inauguration was part of activities to mark the 19th Anniversary of Ogoni 9, on Monday, November 10, 2014.
65 aspirants are vying for various positions, including the president of Ogoni, provincial governors, Ogoni national legislative assembly leadership and president and judges of customary courts. While over 200 local leaders are aspiring to lead village councils under the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority, which was established to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Reverend Sir Mike Ibirah, President of Council of Ogoni Churches was sworn-in as the new Chairman of the Commission. Performing the ceremony, MOSOP President and Spokesman, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo, said the significance of the hanging of the Ogoni 9 cannot be clearly understood, unless the people of Ogoni taste the fruits of self-government.
The Commission is to conduct elections before the end of 2014 to elect leaders into various offices under the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority. The ceremony was the highlight of the 19th anniversary of the hanging of the Ogoni 9 held at Ken Saro-Wiwa Peace and Freedom Center, Bori, Capital City of Ogoni Nation on Monday, November 10, 2014.
Diigbo who narrowly escaped the hanging, explained that the sacrifice of the heroes has guaranteed self-government as a birthright to the Ogoni people, and that no one can take it away from them. He said to embrace self-government means acceptance of responsibility and accountability in the service of the people.
Diigbo said the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples would be fully implemented in Ogoniland, while coming elections of leaders represent the final step to a full fledge self-government. He noted that since 1993, over 3,000 Ogonis have paid the price for freedom, and that self-government was the prize for the Ogoni nation.