Pained and shocked by the recent sad developments in Ogoni, particularly the latest killings and on-going military occupation of some communities in the area, the Ogoni Development and Integrity Group frowns at the apparent insensitivity and unpatriotic disposition of some political party leaders and chieftains of Ogoni extraction.
The Ogoni Development and Integrity Group strongly condemns the Monday 22 and Tuesday 23, February 2016, repeated military onslaughts on Ogoni communities of Yeghe, Bori, Zaakpon and Bo-ue, during which over a dozen lives of innocent Ogoni natives and four non indigenes were cut short by bullets of the invading military personnel. For us, this irredeemable loss and illegal operation was unfortunate, avoidable, and height of humiliation and disrespect to the people and entire ethnic nationality.
The Group principally reviles the reported role and activities of the former senator and candidate of the All Progressives Congress, APC, for the Rivers South-East Senatorial Re-run Election in the State, Sen. Magnus Abe, who has shown a picture of a desperate and over ambitious political power seeker.
We are most worried that rather than showing concerns and convincing sympathy for the killing of his kinsmen and women, and other law-abiding citizens (residents) in Bori, whose lives got terminated in the obviously politically induced military operations in the area, Sen. Magnus Abe, who is been linked to the invitation of the heavily armed troops, appears to be more concerned about the touched political campaign office, a property one can put back in few days, than human lives that are lost forever.
Ogoni people do not deserve this kind of treatment from someone (Abe) that has benefitted tremendously from the resources of the land. Rather than adding to their woes and anguish, Sen Abe ought to commit himself genuinely to efforts aimed at totally restoring justice to the people and the land.
It is also important that we urge Sen. Abe to stop laying blame of his political misfortune or whatsoever on the Governor of the State, Chief Nyesom Wike, but to look inwards, as it seems to us that Sen. Abe’s bad antecedent is the issue confronting him. It is also instructive that we recall Sen. Abe’s consistent unpatriotic, damaging and betraying roles in Ogoni affairs, as well as his link in the various crises in the area, not excluding the 1995 incident that led to the killing of some Ogoni patriots.
The palpable failure of the former Senator (Abe) in the forth coming re-run election won’t be a shocker to us. We have only wondered why he has failed to accept the truth of retributive justice concerning his past deeds to the people of Ogoni and the State, recalling that apart from his actions that betrayed his people during the Oputa panel sitting in Port Harcourt, while he was a member of the State Assembly, Abe has also failed to complete numerous projects awarded by the government or its agencies for execution in Ogoni.
The military invasion and occupation of Ogoni communities is one of Abe’s latest political onslaughts and abominable sins against his ancestral home. In his quest for political power and leadership, Abe has speared nothing. If other Ogoni sons and daughters, past and present, have conducted themselves in this manner, the Ogoni we have today would have been in extinction.
The ODIG further reminds Magnus Abe that we are in a civilian regime and should not allow or instigate the military against the Ogoni people and the civilian publics. He should also not force himself on the people of the senatorial district but to allow the people freely and democratically choose their leader and representative(s) at all levels of government. It is the living that can vote and be voted for in any election, not the dead. So, it would be wrong for Abe or anyone to shed blood by any means for the purpose of ‘winning’ election.
In our view, Sen. Abe and all political party candidates should respect the sanctity of human life, not only in pursuit of political power but in all other human endeavours, and to remodel themselves to be on the same page with fellow Ogoni people.
We regret the recent disturbing events in Ogoni, believing that no ambition of any politician is worth the life of anybody.
We therefore, call for thorough investigation into the reason behind the invitation of the Soldiers and prosecution of those responsible, while calling on Sen. Abe, the Nigerian Army and all those involved in the unfortunate military operations to apologize to the people and to reasonably pay damages to families who lost loved ones in the incidents.
Those killed in the incidents include:
1. Nwibari Mbu
2. Bariture Ziibo
3. Lesi Ledee (a pregnant woman)
4. Saturday Gbarazia
5. Kelechi Nwafor
6. Linus Nwafor etc.
Comrade Johnson Ue-Bari Dighinee
Coordinator, Democracy/Good Governance Unit