MOSOP cautions government, military over banditry, others in Ogoniland
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has urged the Federal Government, particularly the military authorities, to exercise restraint in handling the crises involving some bandits and security men in Ogoniland.
The group also expressed concern over the lives and property of innocent communities in Gio and Kira in Tai and K-Dere and B-Dere in Gokana local councils of Rivers State and other adjourning communities affected by the crises.
A statement yesterday by MOSOP President, Fegalo Nsuke, condemned the pipeline vandals and effect of their activities on the environment, saying, “we feel that the army cannot criminalise the entire communities for the crimes of a few..”
The group added that pipeline vandalism could not have been carried out without the connivance of security men in Ogoniland, stressing that despite the earlier warnings to the authorities, they neglected them, which leads to a deteriorating situation.
“It is indeed disappointing that the government through Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project has recently encouraged illegal activities by turning a blind eye despite the full knowledge of those involved in this illicit business,” the group said.
MOSOP, therefore, stated that seemingly unrestricted flow of weapons into all parts of the country was also a clear indication of failures on the part of those who manage the security system and capacity to protect Nigerian citizens.
According to it, security operations should be overhauled in the Ogoni kingdom to focus on crime detection and prevention rather than waiting until things get out of hand and then unleashing violence against the innocent residents.
“While we sympathise with the families of the soldiers and other security personnel who reportedly lost their lives, we equally urge the military to realise that their ultimate responsibility is to protect lives and property.”
The group, however, called for a commission of inquiry into illegal oil refining in Ogoni to unravel and justify the reasons why illicit business has flourished in the Niger Delta despite efforts to halt it.