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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@...> 
To: president.obasanjo@... 
 
OGONI CHILDREN IN SOLIDARITY (OCIS) 
email:  ogoni_children@... 
 
 
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 
future? 
 
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 
valued. 
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 
following issues: 
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. 
 
Signed: 
 
OGONI CHILDREN IN SOLIDARITY (OCIS) 
 
 
 
 
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