Ogoni oil cleanup causes crisis in MOSOP leadership

*Oil spill devastation in Ogoni land.

*Oil spill devastation in Ogoni land.

Oscarline Onwuemenyi

15 September 2016, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The leadership of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) is currently engulfed in crisis over the role of its President, Comrade Legborsi Saro Pyagbara in the processes leading to the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoniland.

The MOSOP deputy president, Dr. Fortune Okwah Chujor, had written to Pyagbara demanding the resignation of Pyagbara as MOSOP President for breaching the Constitution of the socio-cultural pressure group.

Chujor, in a letter dated September 2, 2016, titled, “Gross Administrative Misconduct, Fundamental Breaches of MOSOP Constitution and High Handedness”, insisted that the embattled Ogoni leader must explain the huge amount he collected from the Federal Ministry of Environment on behalf of the MOSOP for the launching of the clean up exercise.

He accused Pyagbara of single-handedly nominated himself into the Governing Council of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Programme (HYPREP), which was recently inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari, saying that the MOSOP president’s nomination was just for his personal gains and not for the interest of the Ogoni struggle.

According to the letter, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, Chujor noted that, “I hate to say funds for our organization are misappropriated, but we are fully convinced that until and unless Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara is ready to honour MOSOP Constitution which is a proper theoretical basis for our organisation, I will be forced to talk about the noxious cycle of unapproved expenditures, deceit and sleight of hand especially on the huge amount of money collected by Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara on behalf of MOSOP the from Federal Ministry of Environment for launching of Ogoni UNEP Report on 2nd June, 2016 and other undisclosed funds collected by him on behalf of MOSOP.

“I demand that M. Legborsi Pyagbara should explain to MOSOP how and where he gets funding for all international and local travels made by him on behalf of MOSOP. Let it be known to Ogoni people that Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara single-handedly nominated himself into the Governing Council of HYPREP just for his personal gains and not for the interest of the Ogoni struggle.

“I make bold to say so because MOSOP is suppose to nominate any credible and respected Ogoni son or daughter into the HYPREP Governing Council, while Mr. Legborsi Pyagbara as MOSOP President is supposed to lead MOSOP as the watchdog on the implementation of the Ogoni UNEP Report. I therefore, call for the immediate resignation of his position as MOSOP President since he is now a member of the HYPREP Governing Council.

“I maintain in clear terms that the leadership (Executive Committee) of MOSOP must remain the Alter Ego of the Ogoni struggle and its President must not and should not accept any political appointment from government institutions or agencies.”

When contacted, Media Adviser to the MOSOP President, Bari-ara Kpalap, however, denied knowledge of such disagreement between Pyagbara and his deputy, insisting that the development must have been the handiwork of suspended officials of the organization.

Kpalap said, “Let me add that Elvis Ikoma and Legborsi Saen, who are erstwhile officials of MOSOP, but are no longer part of the leadership, they are not happy and they will do everything within their power to bring down the leadership of MOSOP. It is not surprising to us because at no time have they been happy with the leadership.

“There is no crisis in MOSOP, if you have gotten a letter like that, we are not aware of the letter, we are not aware of any crisis and I insist, there is no crisis within the leadership of MOSOP.”

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