The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) is appalled and vehemently condemns in the strongest terms, last Sunday’s (18/9/2016) raid on Yeghe, an Ogoni community in Gokana local government area of Rivers State. This incessant military invasion of Ogoni communities particularly Yeghe portrays sinister motives especially when considered against the backdrop that the area was experiencing significant peace.
We recall that that in February and March this year, similar raids were carried out on Yeghe and neighboring communities in which over 28 persons were killed, scores were maimed, raped and properties wantonly destroyed. In the raid of September 18, 2 persons are feared killed including Mr. John Sorbarikor Gbarazia and his wife, Gloria.
MOSOP does not find any justification in the unabated invasions and killings of Ogonis by government forces and call for a probe into this latest military attack.
MOSOP is particularly saddened by the attitude of the Nigerian security personnel who rolled out heavy tanks to nocturnally invade the Yeghe community leaving our people with pain, injuries and traumatic conditions which eventually lead to death.
While we condemn criminality in every form, we maintain that we are not in a military state neither are we in a state of war hence we expected the military to have deployed civilized methods in dealing with substantiated breaches. We note that the claims of the military, in this case, are largely unsubstantiated and faulters even in the face of common reasoning.
We demand that the security forces must conduct themselves within acceptable standards of human rights, respecting the sanctity of human life and the rights of our people to fair treatment and adopting more civilized approaches in addressing social problems as it is taking a very dangerous dimension and worsening the state of our already vulnerable population.
The continuous harassment, sporadic shooting and night operations in a purely civilian enclave without provocation along with its effects on our already dehumanized population is no longer acceptable to us.
We note that the entire Ogoni community paid dearly for the enthronement of our democracy and we do expect to be respected as a people. If there be any security breaches, we do not expect the criminalization of an entire population, jeopardizing the security of our people who are currently agonizing under the strain of a polluted environment and harsh economy.
We demand full-scale investigation into the raid on Yeghe during the early hours of Sunday, September 18, 2016 and urge the security forces to make clarifications on the conditions of those arrested including John Sorbarikor Gbarazia and his wife Gloria Gbarazia who were shot. We also want clarifications on the conditions of Barikpoa Dii, Sorbarikkor Norbaa and Barikui Suanu.
We want to make categorically clear that the scars of state-sponsored repression prosecuted by the security forces against our people are still fresh on our minds and we will not hesitate to mobilize our people against this repression should their be further violation of our rights.
MOSOP demands an immediate end to this callous killings and repression through military invasion of our communities.
In the face of the present circumstances, we will be constrained to petition relevant Nigerian authorities, the United Nations, and global human rights community on this continuous violence melted on our people by the Nigerian military.