10 October 2017, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Following another round of military exercise in Rivers State by the Nigerian Army, 6th Division Port Harcourt, tagged Operation Crocodile Smile II, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has vehemently rejected the deployment of military personnel to Ogoniland.
MOSOP said effective policing, which the government has failed to do, is a more effective remedy to the security situation in the entire Niger Delta region and not military operations.
A statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of MOSOP, Mr. Fegalo Nsuke, stated that the Ogoni experience with the Nigerian Army had been very sorrowful and pathetic with each leaving the people in pain and human losses.
Nsuke explained that the health condition of Ogoni people was frail due to years of living with hydrocarbon polluted environment caused by the Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, adding that another military operation that reminds the people of their sad experience with the Army, could lead to sudden death.
MOSOP in the statement called on the authorities of the Nigerian Army not to throw Ogoniland into another round of mourning and sorrow with its planned military operations.
The statement reads in part, “The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People is disturbed by the news of the deployment of soldiers to the Niger Delta which includes Ogoniland.
“MOSOP notes that military operations of this kind simply refreshes our memory of the years of state repression under Major Paul Okuntimo of the Nigerian Army, an experience we wish never to be reminded of.
“MOSOP is disturbed that with the poor state of health prevalent in Ogoni following years of living with Shell’s environmental pollution, military operations that send fierce reminders of our painful experiences with the Nigerian soldiers will only result in deteriorating health conditions of our people and eventual/sudden death.
“We recall recently, in February 2016 when military raids on some Ogoni communities resulted in over 35 deaths including a pregnant mother Mrs Ledee.
“The only memory we have of the Nigerian Army is about the repression, deaths, pains and torture they leave with us.
“MOSOP therefore completely rejects the deployment of the military in Ogoni and maintains that effective policing, which the government has failed to do, is a more effective remedy to the security situation in the entire Niger Delta.”