According to President Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, September 14, was conferred with a new chieftaincy title of “Meni-Doo-Lenu’’ (the King of doing good things in Ogoni-land) by an Ogoni king, G.N.K. Ogininwa.
Femi Adesina, the special adviser on media and publicity announced the president was conferred the traditional title when he received a delegation of Ogoni leaders from the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, academia, elected leaders of MOSOP and representatives of women and youth groups from Ogoni land in Rivers at the State House, Abuja.
Ogoni-land in Rivers State is one of the major oil producing areas of Nigeria. The community is well known for its various problems with oil major, Shell, which extracted oil from the community for decades.
Read the full statement below. “President Muhammadu Buhari Friday in Abuja assured Nigerians that the country’s resources will be retained and utilised for the benefit of all citizens, with a strong focus on infrastructure. “We will not abuse the trust. What belongs to Nigeria stays in Nigeria and will be utilised by Nigerians,’’ Buhari told a delegation of Ogoni leaders from the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers and elected leaders of MOSOP at the State House.
The delegation also included the academia, women, community and religious leaders. The president said the challenge of infrastructure in Ogoni-land would have been long resolved with more focus and commitment to improving the lives of the people, instead of the award and re-awarding of contracts without implementation. President Buhari urged the leaders to prevail on their youth and sensitise their communities more on the benefits of the clean-up process, especially with the involvement of the international community. “Certainly I am aware of the challenges in Ogoni-land. But I want to appeal to you as institutionalised leaders to speak more to the youth. With patience, we will prevail together in restoring the environment, especially with involvement of the international community,’’ he said. The president noted that the degradation of the environment over the years had undermined the economy of the Ogoni people, adding that commercial farming and fishing will pick up after the restoration. “We are working hard to change the situation. I know that if we had power in the country, many Nigerians will create and face their businesses,’’ he said. In his remarks, the leader of the delegation, King G.N.K. Ogininwa commended the president for the achievements recorded in restoring security and the economy, while calling for more federal government attention on the plight of the people in Ogoni-land. “Through you, Mr President, we will achieve great things in Ogoni-land,’’ he added. A member of the delegation, Walter Ollor, presented a list of the needs of the Ogoni people, which includes a national recognition for the Ogoni 12, which includes Ken Saro-Wiwa, improved security and establishment of a Centre for Environmental Excellence.