The Ogoni ethnic community in Rivers State has expressed discontent over the absence of any of their representatives in the cabinet of Governor Sir Siminalayi Fubara, specifically as Commissioners.
Chief Kadilo Kaabari, the Paramount Ruler of the Baroko Community in Gokana Local Government Area, voiced concerns that the Ogoni people are facing marginalization, feeling like modern-day political subordinates in their own state. This statement was made during a visit by a socio-cultural political group called Sor Ogoni to Chief Kadilo Kaabari at his palace in Barako.
Chief Kaabari lamented the absence of any Commissioners from the two key Ogoni LGAs, Gokana and Khana, in Governor Fubara’s current administration. He called upon the leadership of KAGOTE (comprising Khana, Gokana, Tai, and Eleme), the principal Ogoni socio-cultural group, as well as the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), and Ogoni political leaders to rise up and advocate for their rights.
He remarked, “Imagine we, the Ogoni people who even the colonial masters could not conquer, are now regarded as modern-day political subordinates with no influence due to the actions of certain politicians whom I prefer to call ‘belleticians.'”
Chief Kaabari further alleged that the palace of a prominent Ogoni king was being disrespected openly while Ogoni leaders, especially those in elected positions, were inactive.
He asked, “Where is KAGOTE, the KAGOTE of old? Where is MOSOP? Where are the so-called elected representatives? From this ancient throne of my ancestors, I assure you, Ogoni shall rise again.”
Chief Kaabari paid tribute to his predecessor, Mene Barikura Kabari, who was not only a former executive chairman of Gokana LGA but also a prominent medical doctor and educated Paramount Ruler. He hailed Mene Barikura Kabari for his fearless and selfless leadership in the struggle for Ogoni political emancipation, contrasting him with contemporary leaders.
Meanwhile, the National Coordinator of Sor Ogoni, Elder Jude Nwiko, explained that their visit aimed to honor the late Mene Barikura Kabari, whose contributions to the Ogoni political struggle have left a lasting legacy in history.