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Ogoni Deserves the Humane Treatment it Seeks

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By Fegalo Nsuke

The struggles of people all over the world to protect their rights and dignity have been the subject of conflicts especially when few individuals privileged to control the powers and authority of state turn these privileges into an instrument of repression and will want to surpress agitations that favour greater social freedom.

Quite often, state repression arises from the failure or inability of state actors to articulately defend their actions. The fear of a more superior idea and the desperation to cover their emptiness, many times, turn them repressive.

In Nigeria, the Ogoni people have been victims of a bitter repression. After 35 years of reckless oil mining by The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell PLC, the Ogoni people saw that the wealth of the land made no impact in their lives. This prompted an awakening spiralling into an unprecedented civil consciousness in Nigeria’s Niger Delta region and forcing Shell to shut down its Ogoni operations in mid 1993.

With a verifiable oil production capacity of 500,000 barrels a day, Nigeria lost a very conservative estimate of  $375 Billion to Shell’s exit from the Ogoni oilfields in the past 30+ years. With recent drilling technology, the production capacity is put at over 500,000 barrels per day.

Shell’s failure to respond to community concerns had  become intolerable due to accumulated environmental and economic disaster and had ignited a huge civil uprising against the company. The company’s response to the protests was to back a brutal state repression which left some 4,000 Ogonis dead including Mr Ken Saro-Wiwa and eight others that were hanged on November 10, 1995.

Today, the stench of Shell still remain profound in Ogoni but Nigeria’s unfriendly environmental laws have made it extremely difficult to seek redress for the Ogoni people. A very sad narrative is that Nigeria’s laws do not punish for crimes like that of Shell in the Ogoni area.

The good news is that despite the persecutions, killings, torture and the painful situation in which our people live, the Ogoni people still show some strong patriotism and willingness to move on with hopes for a change that will undo the wrongs of the past.

One of these expectations is the right of the Ogoni people to function within Nigeria as a distinct ethnic nationality, secured from political and economic deprivations as is currently the case. The right to be protected from the prejudices of dominant ethnic groups in Nigeria and to optimize its potentials for the good of the people.

The Ogoni people should not be left vulnerable to the exploitation of Nigeria’s dominant ethnic groups, nor should the pollution and murders of Shell be further tolerated and allowed to flourish without consequences.

The government cannot only be interested in exploiting the enormous natural endowments of the Ogoni people while they are left to grapple with the negative consequences of natural resource extraction. The pride, dignity, and future of the Ogoni people should also be secured and not be sacrificed for businesses and profits.

That is the basis we have proposed the operationalization of the Ogoni Development Authority (ODA) as an acceptable pathway to resolve the three decade oil conflicts in Ogoni. The ODA is an expression of our desire for self respect, fairness and the humane treatment we seek. A desire that doesn’t threaten any other nationality in Nigeria. In fact, our proposal is in the best interest of our country and will only conduce to greater peace and development for Nigeria.

We all need to unlock the huge natural resource potentials of Ogoni for national development and also for the benefit of the Ogoni people. We need to break the limitations which has kept these resources stranded in the ground, untapped, not benefiting anyone, while the Ogoni people walk that same grounds in difficult conditions.

These expectations require strong decisions and compromises which we must make. Going forward, that will be a right path to take.

Ogoni Must Survive.

Fegalo Nsuke is president of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP).

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Ekunrawo Visits Makoko Slum in Lagos, Extends Ramadan Kareem Gesture

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Nigerian music sensation Ekunrawo, renowned for his chart-topping hit “For My Head” featuring
Perruzi, has once again demonstrated his commitment to philanthropy and community
development.

In the spirit of Ramadan Kareem, Ekunrawo visited the Makoko slum, Africa’s largest
floating slum, located in Lagos, to extend a helping hand and spread love to the less privileged.
The visit to Makoko was part of Ekunrawo’s ongoing Show Some Love project, which aims to make a
positive impact in communities across Nigeria.

 

Accompanied by his team, Ekunrawo distributed relief materials, including food items, clothing, and essential supplies, to residents of the slum.

Speaking during the visit, Ekunrawo expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to give back to
society, especially during the Holy month of Ramadan. He emphasized the importance of showing
compassion and solidarity with those in need, noting that small acts of kindness can make a
significant difference in people’s lives.

In addition to the relief materials, Ekunrawo also donated funds to support education and
healthcare initiatives in the Makoko community. He reiterated his commitment to supporting
sustainable development projects that will improve the living conditions of residents in the slum and
empower them to build a better future.

Ekunrawo’s visit to Makoko and his generous donations have been warmly received by the
community, with residents expressing their appreciation for his kindness and support. His actions
serve as a shining example of how artists can use their platform and influence to make a positive
impact in society.

As Ramadan continues, Ekunrawo encourages everyone to show love, kindness, and generosity to
those in need, not just during the Holy month but throughout the year. His dedication to
humanitarian causes serves as an inspiration to many, reminding us all of the true spirit of Ramadan
Kareem

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The Ogoni Lessons of the Past 30 Years

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By Fegalo Nsuke

Ogoni is one of the world’s most celebrated cases of state-sponsored repression. Against all odds, the people have persevered in the search for justice, equity and basic freedoms deserving of all humanity. Indeed, it has been a painful account that in our own country, our government ordered a military crackdown that left some 4,000 people dead, thousands of others went through torture, rape, brutal detentions which were supervised by Major Paul Okuntimo, the commander of the military task force at the time.

Trouble started in 1958 when the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, commenced commercial crude oil exploration in the area. By the 1990s, the situation in Ogoni had become unbearable as the consequences had become far devastating on the environment and the people.

A UN report released in 2011 stated that benzene contamination in underground water was 800 times more than the UN tolerant levels. Shell, the company responsible for the pollution, had compromised its standards and actually encouraged an ecological disaster in Ogoni, violating ethical business practices and global standards acceptable in the industry.

In 2017, a report by the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland found that of the 16,000 infants killed within their first month of life, 11,000 infants would have survived their first year if it weren’t for the pollution caused by the oil spills. The Ogoni people have certainly become endangered by the corporate irresponsibility of Shell. These are the very difficult conditions in which the Ogoni people live.

In 1993, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) led a series of protests which forced Shell to exit the area. The company consciously understood that it was no longer wanted by the people. In response, the Nigerian government deployed its military against Ogoni civilians who were only protesting neglect and demanding greater attention to deal with the social problems they faced.

The military repression left some 4,000 people dead, nine of whom were hanged on November 10, 1995 –  including,  Baribor Bera, Saturday Doobee, Nordu Eawo, Daniel Gbokoo, Felix Nuate, John Kpuinen, Dr. Nubari Kiobel and Ken Saro-Wiwa.

These deep injuries ruptured the relationship of the Ogoni people with Shell and made reconciliation not worth considering. Understandably, the fact that Shell funded the repression was extremely painful and eroded every possibility of trust. MOSOP eventually decided that never in Ogoni history should Shell Petroleum be given another opportunity to unleash their ruthlessness on Ogoni.

Rather than submit to the repressive tactics of Shell, the protests intensified and In mid 1993,  Shell suspended its Ogoni operations, practically exiting the area.

The company was however not deterred. It later launched an Ogoni reentry program causing a shift in the focus of our struggle towards resisting Shell’s reentry. The success of the resistance against Shell made Ogoni celebrated and successive leaders of MOSOP were measured by how much they could sustain the resistance against the resumption of oil production.

Unfortunately, MOSOP got carried away by the euphoria of its successes against Shell’s reentry schemes which became an emerging philosophy of the struggle. Its leadership became too scared to discuss what should be done with the oil as “no to oil resumption” became the new maxim of our struggle.

On assuming office in January 2019, I began a process of reorientation. I very well understood the sensitivity of the matter but I also knew that as a leader my primary task is to solve problems and not escalate them. I needed to lead the people into attaining the development goals they sought and disabuse their minds against an absolute “no to oil resumption” which was anti-developmental.

So our initial engagement took us to every Ogoni community where we presented and discussed the proposal for the operation of an Ogoni Development Authority. We moved further to the various kingdoms and to the national executive committee of MOSOP. Finally, on the 27th day of September,  2020, the Central Committee approved the operationalization of the Ogoni Development Authority (ODA) as an acceptable pathway which when implemented will permanently resolve the Ogoni problem.

I should admit that it has not been an easy task and it is no surprise that in the history of our struggle, no president of MOSOP took the risk of calling for the resumption of oil production in Ogoni.

The Central Committee’s approval of the ODA provided an actionable framework, within the context of Nigerian laws, to pursue the Ogoni development goals which motivated and justified the launch of the Ogoni struggle.

Amongst others, the ODA primarily prescribes a fair allocation of the profits from natural resource extraction in Ogoni to be set aside for Ogoni development. This guarantees that the Ogoni people can solve critical social problems like job creation, water provision, electricity, road construction, education, healthcare services, security, and more.

The ODA is a win-win for all parties, namely the Nigerian government, the Ogoni people and the oil industry as it will unlock a proven daily oil production capacity of 500,000 barrels into the Nigerian economy. Estimated at $40 Million per day, that will increase government funding and guarantee a sustainable flow of funds into the development of Ogoni.

This is the path we have chosen. We are convinced that it is in the best interest of all parties to embrace this initiative as an acceptable path to a permanent resolution of this very costly three decade conflict. We are committed to it, we will vehemently defend it because It is our life and our hope to rescue Ogoni from the strangulating pains of the past.

I urge all parties to demonstrate their commitment to peace by accepting this modest proposal. The successes we have made in pushing community acceptance for this development initiative is an opportunity we must all take..

Ogoni Must Survive!

Written by Fegalo Nsuke,

President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP).

February 24, 2024

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Fair and White Launches New Product Range, Unveils Bbnaija Housemate As Brand Ambassador

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By Ingram Osigwe

The upscale White Pearl NG Event Centre,  Lekki Phase1, Lagos, Friday played host to an array of beauty enthusiasts, celebrities,  brand journalists, marketing communication gurus, advert executives, distributors, cosmetologists, and industry stakeholders as Fair and White Nigeria launched the latest range in its stable,  Fair and White Original Glutathion.

It was a twin event that also featured the unveiling of a former Big Brother Naija Housemate,  Cynthia Nwadiora, popular as C-Cee as the brand Ambassador for the new product range.

The twin event was not only colorful and grand, but it was also an evening of glamour, panache, and glitz.

The ambiance of the Event center erupted in an electrifying ovation as C-Cee walked in with her team to the warm welcome by Fair and White Directors and senior members of staff.

Speaking shortly after she was formally unveiled, C-Cee who was the runner-up in the 2018 edition of the Bbnaija reality show, dubbed “Double Wahala”, expressed gratitude to Fair and White Nig Ltd, holders of the Fair and White Franchise in Nigeria,  “for inviting me to be part of the family”

“By my role as the brand Ambassador for Fair and White Original Glutathione,  I’m now an integral part of the Fair and White Nigeria family and I’m very very excited about it.

“My word is my bond and my word is this:  I shall not fail and the company will never regret making me a brand Ambassador; indeed,  the company will have value for its money”,  she said.

The 31- year-old former Bbnaija Housemate who is also a lawyer and actress noted that Fair and White is renowned for quality,  pointing out that she was not a new convert to the brand. “My affinity with Fair and White did not start today;  it may interest you to know that my late mother was a loyal consumer of Fair and White beauty products, I’m therefore, on a familiar terrain”, she added.

Earlier, Chairman of Fair and White Nig Ltd, Patrick Chibueze,  stressed that Fair and White beauty brands which are made in France for people of color by Labo Derma France, have been in the Nigerian market for over two decades and have been consistent in giving Nigerians quality brands.

According to the Fair & White boss who was represented by a Director in the company,  Mr Kene Chibueze,  Fair and White believes so much in the natural beauty of the African woman hence its choice of Nigerian models and celebrities as brand Ambassadors.

He described the Fair and White range of beauty products as made for all people of color and not for all fair-skinned people.

“Today we are adding to our stable another range,  Fair and White Orginal Glutathion.

The launching of our new range today presents us with yet another opportunity to correct a misconception about Fair and White.

“The impression out there is that Fair and White is exclusively for fair-skinned people. This is, however, a false assumption.

Let me therefore use this opportunity to reiterate that Fair and White is for all people of color”,  he said.

Continuing, Chibueze said:  “We thank Nigerians for their unwavering loyalty to our brands despite the harsh economic realities. On our part,  we do pledge that quality will continue to be our watchword despite the current difficult business and manufacturing environment in Nigeria. The quality and standard of our brands will continue to remain top-notch.

“Today,  we are unveiling the brand ambassador for Fair and White Original Glutathione. She is a quintessentially beautiful young Nigerian lady who has made her mark in the beauty and entertainment industry.

The thespian is a lawyer, an almagan of beauty and brain who has featured as an Ambassador for big brands

“Her choice as our brand ambassador is synonymous with our belief that the natural beauty of the African woman needs to be protected and celebrated. This explains why we have continued to feature young Nigerian models as brand Ambassadors.

Ladies and gentlemen, on this note, I have the pleasure to introduce to you, Miss Cynthia Nwadiorah (Cee-C) of Big Brother Nigerian fame as the brand ambassador for Fair and White Original Glutathione range.

“We are optimistic that our relationship with her will be a symbiotic one and will bring tremendous mutual benefits to both parties”

He announced the company’s intention to begin new advert strategies aimed at bringing Fair and White brands close to the desired target audience.

On his part,  Sunday Adekoya,  Fair and White sales manager assured consumers that with the company’s latest product range,  Fair and White Glutathion Original, their skins will enjoy endless freshness and glow.

In their votes of thanks,  Fair & White Nigeria Media Adviser,  Ingram Osigwe;  and a Director in the company,  Lady Chinyere Chibueze expressed delight at the turnout at the colorful event and reiterated the commitment to ensure that Fair and White range of beauty products remain the flagship of beauty brands in Nigeria.

“As market leaders in the beauty industry, we are committed to maintaining quality and standard and my assurance is that we will not waver or falter in our resolve to ensure that Fair and White remains the flagship of beauty products in Nigeria”,  Ingram said.

Some of the dignitaries who graced the product launch and unveiling of a brand ambassador include Lady Chinyere Chibueze, Director, of Fair & White Nigeria, Mr. Kenne Chibueze, Director of Fair & white Nigeria Ltd, Mr. Sunday Adekoya, Sales Manager of Fair & White Nig Ltd, Ingram Osigwe, Media Adviser, Fair & white Nig Ltd, Mr. Mike Effiong, SSA, to Akwa Ibom state Governor, Chidiebere Levi Onyemaizu, External Media Relations Manager, Fullpage Communications Ltd;  Big Brothers Housemates, Ike, and Venita.

Others are Dr Chizubelu Ejiogu,  MD, Eyespec Opticals Ltd, Nnenna Onyegbado Human Resources Manager

Oriental Energy Resources Ltd, Miss Chiamaka Chibueze,

Brand manager, Fair & White Nig Ltd, Lady Clara Okoro, MD, Brandworld TV, Lady Mercy Ikoro of Sun Newspapers,  Mrs. Onyebuchi Offia, Fair and White Sales representatives, Blessing Okagbue, Amable Nig Ltd and Adeola Adenike Oladejo of Irawocastle who anchored the event.

Ingram Osigwe is the Media Adviser to Fair & White Nigeria Ltd

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