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The Ogoni People (Nigeria)

Last modified: 2022-12-31 by bruce berry
Keywords: nigeria | ogoni | mosop | stars (red): 6 | tricolor |
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] image by Ivan Sache, 24 Feb 1999 (Source: UNPO)

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The Ogoni are an indigenous people found in south-east Nigeria. They share common oil industry related environmental problems with the Ijaw people of the Niger Delta. The Ogoni rose to international prominence after a massive public protest against the Royal Dutch Shell Oil company which was led by the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP). In the 1990s MOSOP was led by the environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa and demanded increased autonomy for the Ogoni people, a fair share of the proceeds of oil extraction and rehabilitation of the environmental damage caused by the oil industry. Saro-Wiwa was imprisoned a number of times and charged with the murder of the four Ogoni Chiefs in 1994. He denied the charges but was found guilty and sentenced to death. Despite widespread international condemnation he was hanged on 10 November 1995.
Pascal Monney, 25 Feb 1999

Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)

The flag of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) is blue, yellow and green equal vertical stripes with six red stars forming a circle - four stars on the yellow striipe and one each in the centre of the blue and green stripes. According to Wikipedia, the flag was designed by former MOSOP President, the late Ken Saro-Wiwa.
Dean McGee, 21 June 2001

According to Dr Ide Corley, responsible for the Ken Saro-Wiwa Archives at Maynooth University in Ireland, the symbolism of the MOSOP flag is as follows: blue stands for the rivers, gold for the mineral wealth, green for vegetation and fertility of the land and red for the Ogoni blood that has been spilled.  The stars stand for the six Ogoni communitiers of Babbe, Eleme, Gokana, Ken-Khana, Nyo-Khana and Tai.
Nozomi Kariyasu, 17 Nov 2021