After the blowing of the wooden flute, with its flow of air across an opening that sounded a traditional alert; the anniversary turned its festive wheels. Ogonis in joyful voices tore at the calmness of the homeland. Celebrants in processions sang and danced the roads; visiting every street in the capital, Bori.
August 2, 2016 marked the 4th anniversary of the Ogoni Self-Government Declaration. On the 2nd of August, 2012, Ogoni had declared self-government within Nigeria; in order to enforce the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
The President of the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority, Dr. Goodluck Diigbo said 33 district security units were established leading to the anniversary; and tasked with the duty to help rebuild peace and security in the homeland.
He praised Ogonis for show of faith as individuals and groups, who worked hard to nurse the self-government. Diigbo reminded them of the sacrifices of their heroes, saying: “Self-government is part of our humanity, and will remain a big part of our internal strength.”
The anniversary’s theme was “Security First”. When the central government got inaugurated in 2015, the president indicated that “homeland security”, and “agriculture” topped his primary priorities.
Each district security unit has the district elected representative as the chief security officer. The units are jointly funded by the central, provincial and district arms.
Celebrants traveled to the capital from the eight provinces of: Babbe, Ban Ogoi, Bori, Eleme, Gokana, KenKhana, Nyokhana, and Tai; many screaming “it feels good to be Ogoni.”
The Deputy President of the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority, Hon. Mrs. Alice Nwine, who is also the head of the Presidential Agency for Women Empowerment, said more women volunteers would participate in future security training courses.
The President of the Council of Ogoni Churches, Rev. Sir Mike Ibira, said the Ogoni self-government was steady on course, with the blessings of the almighty.
The administrator of the Indigenous Youth Leadership Council, Hon. Beabubari Gospel Ndorbu, appealed for a special and separate representative status for the council at the Ogoni Central District Assembly as well as the Ogoni National Legislative Assembly. The youth council comprises of city, town, and village associations of young boys and girls across Ogoniland.