The Chairman of the Ogoni General Assembly Communiqué Drafting Committee, Kabari Agara has just shared a very important message all Ogoni sons and daughters need to read prior to the Bill Ratification and Adoption today (10/02/2018) at Finimale Hall, Bori. Time 10am.

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I had the honour to be appointed Chairman of the Ogoni General Assembly Communiqué Drafting Committee.

Although i declined the offer about three times, owing to several unpleasant experiences I had as a visionary and architect of the future amongst builders.

At the end, I allowed the will of the people to prevail as I accepted the offer. I see it as a great privilege to serve the Ogoni nationality today and tomorrow.

I had first seen the necessity of this service on February 4, 2017 during a special UNITAR training of Ogoni Women that was over-subscribed and turned rowdy and unmanageable.

Whilst it was fashionable for the 'High Table' guests, community stakeholders and facilitators to drive away from the chaos and leave the women to their lot, I saw the urgent need as a Community Custodian to rise up to the challenge of leadership that Amina J Mohammed (UN Deputy Secretary General) pointed out from her experiences that day.

A lot of friends left, including one that vowed to stay until... when I stood up against the storm. To the Glory of God, calm was restored through grace, wisdom and perseverance given to yours truly in the vacuum... Those who deserted me all came back to share the joy and spoils of victory.

I learnt so much lessons from the hypocrisy and double standards I saw amongst the people from the podium. I had to make personal sacrifices to pacify the lawless and to reclaim the trust of the people with high conviction that fads would fade with fashion.

It was difficult to restore order until I spoke in the Khana dialect of the Ogoni people. Speaking Khana has some spiritual significance to us the 'Pure' Ogoni people. Albeit, our elders forbid us to interpret Khana because 'Ba naa wee tap Khana'.

Today, with the honour I have and savour as the Chairman of the Committee that drafted this historic communiqué, I seek the permission of all Lords - spiritual, temporal and the Lord of Lords, to interpret and share in English language the decision of the Ogoni people, that came in a mix of Khana, Gokana, Eleme and Baan dialects.

I seek not to change the course of the long history of the Ogoni people but to challenge conventions that may inhibit the survival of the 'wise ways' of our fathers in the face of enculturation. Our ways were taught at the great ‘Eete Bue’ and ‘Te Gbo’ where values and virtues were encapsulated in our folklores.

Today, technology offers us the opportunity to be closer, yet afar. As a social carpenter and seer, I am duty bound to use a mix of local and alien materials to create a new product that would be viable in today’s market and treasured as a collectible masterpiece in the galleries of the future.

Undertaking this task requires a lot of focus and dedication to details. The materials required to construct these transcendent object d’art makes outsourcing difficult in the pursuit of excellence in creating ‘our ways’ in this art and the science of its preservation.

The most important achievement of this convergence of art and science would be creation of the elixir of peace for progress in Ogoniland at the moment. We need it to cure suspicion and partial blindness that ‘pollutants’ have inflicted on us to create troubles.

Troubles, trials and tribulations are temporal according to the holy writ but the assurance of victory is consigned to those who endure to the end. We have seen the end and a glimpse of victory. We have seen the mountain top and the golden trophy of victory that adorns it.

I have seen this enviable mountain top and I am prepared to climb it, although it is always lonely climb. I seek not to climb for the sake of the visibility it offers but to claim the prize of the ultimate victory, first sighted by our forebears who sought and fought to claim it.

I have learnt that we can only secure it through communal wisdom, with respects to the efforts and supreme sacrifice of our forerunners.

Hear this: 
I write in the hope that future generations will succeed where this generation has failed; that by learning the lessons of history, good neighbourliness and communal cooperation will replace acrimony and discord - Ken Saro Wiwa (1941 -1995)
Ogoni people stand once again in the courts of history tomorrow 10/02/2018. The history of the crack of our collective struggle came as a result of ‘delivering the Ogoni vote’ in the SDP and NRC days against the popular opinion of boycott of the 1993 elections.

The choice to pursue personal ends to the peril of the communal created a loophole that the oppressor exploited. Today SDP and NRC are replaced with PDP and APC that could be replaced with others as well, but Ogoni would remain.

I have spoken out in the face of tyranny several times at great personal cost, to defend the honour and pride of the Ogoni people. I have made peace with my lot and allude to the fact that my life and prosperity is bound in the peace and prosperity of Ogoniland.

I seek no debate over what others may call my curse or blessing. I have accepted my lot and would pursue the peace and prosperity of Ogoniland with utmost passion and sincerity. I strive to secure and deploy the benefit of ‘objective reality’ and dramatic civil disobedience to deliver a timeless script suitable for a pristine premiere in the theatres of today and tomorrow.

Our choice to remain peaceful and non-violent in the face of provocations will separate us from the crowd. A crowd filled with those who never saw or supported what our wise ancestors saw and demanded justice and freedom.

Today, the Niger Delta seeks what the Ogonis sought. Had the other leaders of the Niger Delta supported the Ogoni Agenda, a collective agenda could have been secured and justice could have been served at noon.

I wish to remind all Ogoni elders to remind their children of the 'Ogoni ways' of peace and perseverance. I wish to remind Ogoni youths of our history of discipline, hard-work and honesty. The destiny of our people does not lie in political extensions and appendages, as politicians pay so much attention to the pursuit of their interest – defined or undefined.

The Ogonis must be prepared for changes to come and seek better ways of adjusting to the delays that may arise as a result of clashes of interests of the oppressor and the oppressed.

Aa ken! Aa ken! Pya Ogoni Aa Ken! Me Pya Nyo ue a zia i ereloo! Bui sia tam bu suanu! Bui Aa yira kor pya nyor ue a tere I nor yee!

I have decided to assert my right to leadership in Gborkpara in Kaani Bori Urban, in the shoes of my ancestors. However, I am committed to building my own route to Zoro and Luutemville. It may not matter whether it is paved with mud, sand, stone, gold or tar. My vision and commitment is for access.

Access to justice – social, economic, environmental justice as enunciated in the Ogoni Bill of Rights, handed down to us by our heroes, for my people.

I do not want to contend with any one on what is and what was. I want to be part of bringing to bear what could be.

I am committed to ‘turning my community into a laboratory of sustainable development’.

The journey has started.

I stood then.

I walk now on a legacy.

I will run sooner.

I will also let you know when it's time to fly.

Kabari Agara writes from Hope House Africa,
Luutemville Lake,
Bori Urban, Ogoniland.

He is the Country Director of Friends of Ogoni Trust (FOOT) International, Akeeyor VII, Mene Efeelo VII, and heir of Gbene Gerenwa and Gbene Akpa (Gbere Zor Kpa in Bodo, Gokana) of Ogoni Royal fame.