The National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS USA) wishes to inform the general public of a Nigerian government plot to arm youths in the Ogoni region, incite community conflicts and crackdown on civil actors ahead of a planned militarization and forceful oil resumption programme.
The training which has already graduated the first 250 youths at the Nigeria Police Training College, Nonwa in Tai Local Government Area of Rivers State is sponsored by the Shell Petroleum Development Company targets 500 youths to be paid N200,000 (an estimated $270) monthly. The primary responsibility of the youths is to violently crack down on civil rights defenders in the Ogoni region and pave the way for oil exploration within the Ogoni region..
Our information reliably uncovered the plot which includes civil repression, creating internal strife, inter-community and intra-community conflicts and a possible elimination of civil rights campaigners within the region.
Our sources further informed us that the plot is to blame the escalation in violent killings and community conflicts on gang battles for supremacy and cultism while all civil resistance against oil production are being decimated and surviving human right campaigners are forced to flee.
We are further informed that this week’s announcement by the Nigeria Exploration and Production Limited (NEPL) to drill 60 oil wells in OML 11 within the next sixteen months is a confirmation of the plan, Our source also informed that the Nigerian government in alliance with Shell, killers of over 4,000 Ogoni people during the repression of the 1990s intend to retain their joint venture agreements and hopes to mobilize youths especially the former Niger Delta militants and arm them against the people.
NOUS is worried that if unabated, the Ogoni region could once again be thrown into a massive refugee crisis as was witnessed in the 1990s with attendant violation of human rights and large-scale suffering amongst the weak and vulnerable, especially women and children..
NUOS USA is fully aware that a retired Brigadier General in the Nigerian army who is also of Ogoni descent had been contracted to undertake the training of the youths.
The National Union of Ogoni Students (NUOS USA) wishes to warn against the planned repression of peaceful Ogonis whose rights to peaceful existence are being trampled upon daily in Nigeria’s aggression against the people.
NUOS notes that attempting to force oil production in Ogoni without the consent of the people is a gross violation of the rights of indigenous communities in Ogoni. We note that Nigeria’s aggression against the Ogoni people violates their rights to free prior and informed consent and is not acceptable to NUOS, USA.
NUOS USA therefore urges the Nigerian government to enter into genuine and acceptable dialogue with the Ogoni people to halt the impending massacre and refugee crises. We are deeply concerned about Shell and Nigeria’s links to violence and sponsorship of violent gangs to destabilize a legitimate people-based struggle for basic rights.
NIOS USA urges the Ogoni people to remain resolute and determined to resist these planned aggression by all nonviolent means necessary.
President, NUOS USA.