Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has called on all levels of government to prioritise human rights and citizens’ welfare noting that government in recent times have been weaponized with attendant consequences on citizens rights and freedoms.
In a statement in Port Harcourt to mark this year;s democracy day,president of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, said the government has been increasingly weaponised to a frightening dimension in the past four years. He said the weaponization has placed limitations on peoples’ freedoms and undermined the principles of democracy.
“In recent times, we have seen the orders of the supreme court being disrespected and the state being run by peoples’ wishes, we have seen executive orders replacing laws and a seemingly degenerating lawless society”.
“Government has been weaponized to the point that in some cases, there is no thriving opposition to check the excesses of government and give citizens an alternative during elections”.
Nsuke said the situation in Nigeria has degenerated down to the Police and military forces.
“We have seen civilians call out the army over minor family issues. We have also seen the Police increasingly becoming a repressive force available for public office holders to detain and torture rather than secure the people” Nsuke said.
The MOSOP leader noted that the weaponization of government undermined the principles of democratic freedoms and threatened the peace and security of citizens.
Expressing worries that the government in Nigeria has overtime become increasingly brutal, repressive and weaponised, MOSOP called for the de-weaponization of government noting that there had been growing limitations on citizen’s freedom including access to justice, free speech and alternative views.
Citing the Ogoni case, Nsuke said “the Ogoni people have been subjected to the worst inhuman treatments despite frantic efforts by MOSOP to resolve the issues. He accused the previous governments of subjecting the people to deliberate poverty with hopes that they will submit to injustice under extremely difficult conditions.
“One glaring case of weaponization of governmenance is the Ogoni where all efforts to resolve pending issues have failed despite our proposals. Government has instead encouraged conflicts in Ogoni, allowed conditions that heighten insecurity and weaponsed the privileges and powers of state against the people. That puts the Ogoni people under extremely difficult conditions and government in alliance with Shell have hoped that the people will be forced to give up on their rights and allow injustice to prevail”
The MOSOP leader called on the Nigerian government to promote democratic freedoms and justice and pay attention to the needs of the people. He urged special attention to resolve the Ogoni problem which has lingered for over 3 decades.
Nsuke said MOSOP is committed to a peaceful resolution of the Ogoni problem but regrets the continual deployment of the instruments of state to repress its leadership and the people.
“It’s actually a shame that we have been unable to peacefully resolve the Ogoni problem in over three decades. Instead of engaging with MOSOP, government have repeatedly used repressive tactics and divide and conquer methods in attempts to crush the people’s demands for basic rights”
“MOSOP has proposed a model for the implementation of an Ogoni Development Authority which is an acceptable path to a resolution and we are very committed to that process. We expect the government to give our proposals a chance” Nsuke said.