|Asunto:||THE FATE OF OGONI CHILDREN|
|Fecha:||Viernes, 29 de Septiembre, 2000 16:37:57 (-0300)|
|Autor:||OGONI" (by way of amigrans <"MOSOP>
OGONI CHILDREN <ogoni_children@...>
OGONI CHILDREN IN SOLIDARITY (OCIS)
21st September, 2000
An open letter to President Obasanjo on his visit to
Ogoniland ñ September 2000.
CONSIDER THE FATE OF OGONI CHILDREN
Children we believe are blessings from God. Children
we believe are the future of every Society because
they are the leaders of tomorrow. A Society that
protects and invests in her children provides a solid
foundation for her future. African tradition also
believes that a manís wealth is based on his children
as they provide for him in his old age.
It is with this premise that we are compelled to write
to you as you visit Ogoniland. Take a good look
around you and consider the fate of every Ogoni child.
We find ourselves in a predicament that was not
orchestrated by our parents or us. We find ourselves
in this situation that we consider beyond
comprehension. A situation that has been confirmed by
all as a case of ìmanís inhumanity to manî. As you
begin your tour of our land, you are going to see for
yourself a land that is devastated and deprived. A
land that has produced so much wealth to the nation
yet begs for attention. The oil spills, the gas
flares, destroyed landscape, the polluted environment
etc are going to leap themselves in your face. (This
is hoping that you will be allowed to see the reality
that is our land.)
Yet this desolate land is the place that has produced
billions of barrels of oil. This land has produced so
much revenue to Nigeria. This revenue has been used
to develop other parts of Nigeria as well as keep some
greedy and selfish Nigerians in untold wealth. But
Ogoni children live in abject poverty. It is not due
to some act of omission or commission on our part or
the part of our parents. The problem lies with the
Nigerian Government and the Oil Companies who are bent
on drilling the last drop of oil in our land. Shell,
Chevron, Agip etc and the Nigerian Government are
responsible for this poor state of our community. We
want to believe that the people that work for these
companies have children. What is beyond imagination
is the fact that the treatment Ogoni children receive
cannot be compared with the way they treat their
children. But Ogoni children are flesh and blood as
well and are supposed to have same rights as children
everywhere else in the world. We want to imagine that
the wealth and luxury your children enjoy as a result
of the resources from Ogoniland and the Niger Delta is
ordained by nature and not for your sole use. For
this reason we want you to know that Ogoni children
are suffering under the weight of the laws you enact.
We want you to know that we are not peasants and
therefore were not born to inherit poverty, pains and
sufferings. Ogoni children are entitled to same
rights as other children in the world and so deserve
the good things of life. Yet we lack educational,
medical and social facilities that make for decent and
healthy living. Our community has been neglected for
decades while we the children suffered untold
hardship. What future do we have? What hope in the
While it will take volumes to enumerate the various
forms of our human rights that have been violated,
economic exploitation and physical maltreatment to
which we have been subjected, we would like to remind
the present Nigerian Government that our situation has
become unbearable. We hereby wish to refer your
Government to The Childrenís Act and UN statement on
the Rights of Children November 1991. Here are some
excerpts we have chosen to state our case:
Every Ogoni child has the right to grow as a child.
Every Ogoni child has the right to be safe and happy.
Every Ogoni child has the right to receive the
broadest and highest quality education possible.
Every Ogoni child has the right to be respected and
Every Ogoni child has the right to develop the
knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to
participate and contribute to a rich, complex and
socially diverse society. Etc etcÖ.
>From above, we are aware that our rights have been and
are continuously trampled upon in our country Nigeria.
This is the situation we wish to change.
We want the Nigerian Government to consider the
Ogoniland is our land. The proceeds on this land are
ours. The oil you drill on this land is our rightful
possession. This oil is the only inheritance we can
get from our poverty stricken parents at this time.
While other children look up to their parents for
inheritance, we look up to our land for our survival.
We do not intend to remain in poverty. Our rights
must be restored and we hope you will heed our demands
by restoring the glory of our land. Mutual respect
for our rights and sustainable development is the way
forward for our future.
OGONI CHILDREN IN SOLIDARITY (OCIS)
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