The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has accused the Nigerian government of deliberately creating the insecurity situation in Ogoni to justify its intention to militarise the region in preparation for planned oil resumption in the area without the people's consent.
President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, made the allegation recently in Ebubu, Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Nsuke said contrary to media reports, the situation in Ogoni is not out of control noting that it was the failure of government to provide the needed logistics for the Police in the area that has created the current security problem which those to whom it offers potential benefits are taking advantage of.
“We blame the Federal Government for the current embarrassing security situation in Ogoniland because they knew that by neglecting the Police in Ogoni, they were creating a security problem and I will also want to state that the situation in Ogoni is not out of hand,” Nsuke said.
“At some point, the Divisional Police Station in Bori, headquarter of Khana Local Government Area did not have a patrol van. What did government expect and will they claim ignorance of the implications of such deliberate actions? Government cannot convince us that they can run a Police force without equipment and expect not to face security challenges,” he said.
Nsuke maintained that the actions of government in neglecting the Police in Ogoni over a long period was well calculated to create the present situation where their agents will call for military intervention to repress civil protests against injustice.
The MOSOP President said: “I think they deliberately allowed things to deteriorate so as to justify the militarisation of Ogoniland which has always and clearly been their intention. Their hope is that militarisation will pave way for repression of civil activists calling for justice in Ogoni and consequently enhance oil resumption in Ogoni.”
It is sad and shameful that Ogoni faces this kind of situation due to the failures of our own government.
Nsuke further said: “It is disheartening that our justifiable demand for equity is being repressed by the Nigerian state.”
He said what the Ogoni people are asking for is fairness. “You cannot take away everything, take the land and resources and leave nothing for the Ogoni and when we question the unjust treatment you do all to repress with your security forces,” the MOSOP President said.
He added: “The Ogoni people want a fair share of the wealth coming from their land and this demands that Nigeria will respect our demands for political rights to self determination. That is not too much for a region that generates more revenue than twenty current Nigerian states whose survival only depend on subventions from the federation account.”
Speaking on the attack on the home of Solomon Ndigbara, Nsuke said the conduct of the Nigerian military in Ogoni were violating citizens' rights, becoming provocative and threatening the peace of local dwellers. The MOSOP President demanded explanation from the military for the magnitude of destruction visible in the home of Ndigbara. He said the Ogoni people will want explanation for every action taken by the army or any other security agency against any Ogoni citizen.
“The army,” according to him, “should protect citizens and not be a threat to us. It is unfortunate that in Ogoni, we have only known the army as people who kill us and we will want the army to work to change this orientation.
“The destruction in Ndigbara’s home demands public explanation, especially as such conduct jeopardise the safety of civilians within the neighborhood and could spark off civil protests.” To address the security problem in Ogoni, the MOSOP President suggested the establishment of more police stations in Ogoniland and the proper equipment of existing Police divisions to be able to secure the area.
He also called on the government to take advantage of the large number of amnesty beneficiaries whom it pays monthly to help the Police with intelligence and community policing.