Ogoni YouthS Cry for Safety As Security Forces Attack Peasant Workers

Reports coming from Bori and other parts of Ogoniland indicate an incremental return to 1994 as a brutal Police squad named, anti-cultism embark on an inexplicable clampdown on Ogoni youths..

Ogoni News investigations reveal that on April 13, at about 5pm, unemployed youths who chose to put themselves together in manual labor, digging out sand from nearby rivers and selling to builders and civil contractors have become the new target of the brutish Police personnel in Bori.

Our investigations reveal that the youths were attacked twice on Saturday, April 13 after the Police squad suddenly appeared at the waterside bordering Bori and Kaani, shooting sporadically and forcing the youths to run for safety.

Some of them were not so lucky as they were arrested, severely beaten and taken to the Police anti-cultism  base in Bori. Among those arrested are the Secretary of the National Youth Council of Ogoni People(NYCOP), Wisdom Muene, a graduate of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic who had been forced into the trade due to unemployment.

Others arrested by the security forces include Lenee Nsen, Lekue Baridam and Emmanuel Gbarabe (a native of Giokoo in Goana local government area).

The security squad further took away the phones belonging to the youths, destroyes their cooking pots, food stuffs, clothings and other cooking utensils used by the youths. It is not clear why the security forces are taking such actions against innocent Ogoni youths struggling for their daily bread. One of the youths who spoke with Ogoninews said one of the security officers was shouting and threatening to kill them.

Another youth said it has been their routine to extort monies from them. He said they were targeted because they get money daily and are seen to be a center where people work so arresting them is done with the hope of placing huge sums for their release.

It was learnt that similar raids has been launched on other water fronts were youths have always gone for fishing and sand digging to earn a living.

The recent actions of the security forces have been strongly condemned by the leadership of the youths in Ogoniland..

Spokesperson and President of NYCOP, Barr. Theophilus Mbaga had called for the release of the detained youths and urged the Nigerian authorities to check what he termed the excesses of the security men in Ogoni. The NYCOP president said Ogoni youths should be safe and not be terrorized by those who should protect them and called on the security men not to turn their job into a trade.