Military Invasion: Mosop Condemns Attacks On Ogoni Communities
SAN FRANCISCO, February 24, (THEWILL) – The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), has revealed that it was deeply outraged, and condemned in strong terms, the invasion of Ogoni communities by the Nigerian military, and has demanded the immediate withdrawal of the invading soldiers.
The Ogoni umbrella body added that reports available to it showed that rather than end the condemnable campaign, the military had extended its invasion to Bori, shooting indiscriminately and advancing into adjoining communities, including Zaakpon.
“The shooting, which is ongoing had sadly seen to the cold-blooded murder of innocent persons, infliction of serious gunshot injuries on others, paralysis of activities in the Ogoni capital and its environs, as well as arbitrary arrests, thereby forcing natives and residents to flee to safety,” said Fegalo Nsuke, MOSOP spokesman, in a statement on Wednesday.
According to the MOSOP spokesman, the soldiers had on February 22 violently invaded Yeghe community in Gokana Local Government Area of Ogoni of Rivers State, occasioning the killing of three natives, including Saturday Gbarazia, inflicted severe gunshot injuries on other victims, whose health conditions were said to be very critical, destroyed properties and made arbitrary arrests.
Similarly, he disclosed that the military aided by one notorious Isaac Obe had raided Alode in Eleme Local Government Area on Friday, February 19, leading to the torture and arbitrary arrest of victims, and destruction of properties belonging to Ndo Chizor, John Saloka, and others.
“We consider as extremely disappointing and unfortunate, these unprovoked military violence against our people, which betrays repressive sinister motive and reminiscent of our sad past. We find it difficult to rationalize the wisdom in this military campaign, cruelly motivated by hidden and evil intent. No matter what may be adduced to have informed this appalling military approach, violence in our view, cannot provide the necessary solution to civil issues but dialogue,” MOSOP stated.
“Insofar as we are concerned, we are not in a military state, neither are we in a state of war that should warrant such degree of military violence. It is shocking and smacks of hate and callousness that in a democratic dispensation, which requires proper civil conduct on the part of all including the military, such level of military hardware including tanks will be deployed to purely harmless civilian communities in a matter that has not been well substantiated.”
The Ogoni group said the military must tread consciously, and maintain its independence and professionalism, as well as resist attempts by desperate politicians to drag them into the murky waters of politics including being used to commit human rights abuses.
It reminisced that Ogoni had made enormous sacrifices including paying the supreme price for the rebirth and sustenance of the current democracy; adding that “we expected that we would be treated fairly, and not turning our communities into theatres of violence and killing fields.”
The group also warned that the present military campaign should not be aimed at creating an unconducive atmosphere in the area to frustrate the planned Ogoni environmental remediation and restoration project billed to commence in the first quarter of this year.
The Ogoni body said it would be protesting the unprovoked violation of their inalienable rights, including the right to life to the United Nations, the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization and Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission.
It also called on Ogoni people to remain calm and resist the temptation to take laws into their hands, as it would continue to monitor the situation and report appropriately.
Story by David Oputah