Group deplores insecurity, unemployment, others in Ogoniland

[FILE] Devastated farms, water in Ogoniland
By Kelvin Ebiri, Port Harcourt

•Vows to end violence, disunity in the area

A socio-cultural organisation, KAGOTE, the precursor of Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), has deplored the insecurity, disunity, unemployment and lack of investment and business opportunities in the area.KAGOTE, an acronym for the four council areas of Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme, said the needless but deep political divides that exist in the polity were adversely affecting the development of the oil-rich settlement and its people.

The concerns were expressed in a statement signed yesterday in Port Harcourt by Emmanuel Deeyah as president.But in another statement signed by Dr. Innocent Barikor as new president, the group vowed to end violence and disunity among Ogoni leaders and communities this year through concerted efforts.He commended the people for choosing him as their leader and promised to engender peace and harmony in the area.

Deeyah added: “We have assumed the leadership of KAGOTE knowing fully well the enormous challenges facing our ethnic nationality which include but not limited to lack of unity and cohesion, insecurity, lack of investment and business opportunities and unemployment. We are calling on all who are aggrieved, disenchanted, even disillusioned by or with the way things have been done in the past to sheathe their swords and join hands with us. Collectively, we shall make Ogoni great again.” He said the new KAGOTE leadership under his watch has hereby extended an olive branch to all aggrieved persons.

According to him, the body seeks for genuine peace and unity in Ogoniland.But Barikor said KAGOTE would this year commence consultation and engagement of stakeholders in the area, pledging that the interest of the Ogoni founding fathers would be upheld.His words: “Our people have been in a state of agitation for some time now and I want to assure you on behalf of the executive of KAGOTE that we would do everything possible to continue to pursue the interest and aspirations of the founding fathers of KAGOTE.“KAGOTE would pursue the spirit that the founding fathers invested when they decided that they needed to found an organisation of this nature. “As a people, we cannot continue to be divided over things that are supposed to bring us together, this is a new dawn and we are here to serve the people despite what the challenges are.”

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