Ogoni: Raid on Bandits: MOSOP Makes Case for Vulnerable Population
- Says Essence of Operation will be defeated if Sponsors Not Identified
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) wishes to express its opinion on the on-going raids on criminal gangs in Ogoni. It is our position that the entire operation will be meaningless if those who sponsor these gangs for political and other illicit purposes are not identified and equally punished.
The Ogoni people will also be disappointed if the massive arrests so far conducted do not reveal the identities of those who sponsor these groups. We will consider it a compromise on the part of the military authorities if we do not get to know, at the end of these operations, those who actually sponsor criminals in Ogoni.
It will be shocking, unbelievable, deceitful and hypocritical if the army and military authorities with the powerful intelligence which prompted these raids will tell us that they have not uncovered those behind the gangsters.
MOSOP will however urge the military authorities to strongly monitor the on-going operations as reports we are receiving is indicating serious abuses and brutality on civilians.
While we strongly and whole-heatedly sympathize with the families that have lost their loved ones especially the families of the innocent army personnel and civil defense officers killed earlier in June this year, we will note that the death of other innocent Ogonis will equally not be justifiable in the present circumstance.
MOSOP will urge the military not to criminalize entire Ogoni communities simply for the existence of an identified criminal. We understand that criminals exist in every society and it is the responsibility of the state to check the activities of these criminals. However, the murder and torture of the innocent cannot be justified by a search for criminals. We will expect actions based on intelligence and urge the military to conduct its operations to have minimal impact on civilian populations.
We have so far received reports of heavy flogging, brutalities, injuries inflicted on travelers, passersby as well as the burning of houses and even deaths.
Finally, we do hope that the on-going military operations will not leave Ogoni in deep mourning. Two wrongs, they say, do not make a right.
We call for the protection of the innocent civilian population especially the most vulnerable amongst us who in the present situation, we are informed are already helpless, left in despair, lacking care and support from their families and already facing food crises and medical challenges due to the apprehension created by the heavy military raids.
We urge every Ogoni to remain law abiding, stay away from crime and work for peace in Ogoniland.
God bless Ogoniland
Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP)
September 12, 2019