Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has petitioned the Federal Government, the National Assembly, the Chief of Army Staff and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over what it described as the murderous and unprovoked military invasion of Ogoni communities occasioning wanton loss of lives and property.
A statement issued wednesday by the Media/Public Affairs Advisor of MOSOP, Bari-ara Kpalap, said the petition, which insisted that the incidents were no response to any crisis whatsoever in the area as none existed, expressed dismay at the tactics and callousness with which the Yeghe, Bori/Zaakpon operations were executed stressing that it demonstrated dreadful extremism and sinister motive.
“Besides the deployment of military hardware including tanks and so many combatants as if they were in war with another country, they deliberately fired at business premises, pupils and students and other crowded areas. And at the end of the operation, many innocent natives and residents were murdered in cold blood and properties destroyed or looted,” MOSOP lamented.
MOSOP also insisted that the military campaign violated all known rules of engagement as well as infringed on the human rights of the people including the inalienable right of the victims to life.
It called on the federal government and the military hierarchy to withdraw the army of occupation from all Ogoni communities immediately “so that our people can return home”.
“This is more so as our fathers, mothers and youths are in bushes hiding from the terror of the military. And the psychological implications of this ugly development on the people are not only enormous but devastating,” the petition also stated.
The movement also called on the Nigerian government and the other institutions conduct a high powered probe into the unfortunate military campaign with the view to bringing the perpetrators to injustice.
MOSOP however warned that it would take all peaceful and non-violent steps to seek redress should government fail to respond positively to the petition. The petition sent to the president and others is attached.