Irked by the latest repulsive killings, last Friday, in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area and last Sunday, in Kono Bo-ue, another Ogoni communities also in Khana, Rivers State, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), has strongly condemned the incidents, describing them as callous and unwarranted.
MOSOP also called on the security agencies to immediately go after all those involved in the dastardly act.
A statement signed by the Publicity Secretary of MOSOP, Sunny Zorvah, and made available to The Tide, last Monday, said that, “Coming few days after what we thought was a successful strategic multi-stakeholders meeting at the instance of the Khana local government authorities, the incidents are so disheartening that MOSOP is of the view that something more drastic with utmost sincerity and commitment of all categories of leaders and security personnel be brought on board to deal with the escalating insecurity situation in Ogoniland”.
According to MOSOP, “This killing is one too many and it’s quite sad and unfortunate that situations like these are allowed to continue in our communities without the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators, both the criminals and sponsors of the unjustifiable massacre of innocent citizens.
“Reports have it that unidentified gunmen, last Friday, invaded part of Bori Town, shooting sporadically and killed one person while last Sunday, about 20 persons were reportedly shot dead in Kono Bo-ue community.
“How can one explain the reason for the killing of about 20 innocent natives in a community that is not at war with her neighbours and does not have report of intra-communal conflict at time of the incident?
“We use this opportunity to again appeal to the federal and Rivers State governments to carry out the fight against gang wars and criminality with demonstrable vigour and utmost priority and to decisively, with no exceptions, bring to book culprits to avert further incident.
“While we call on the people of the area to remain law-abiding, we urge the community and traditional leaders to work with the security agencies to initiate actions that would expose those behind the insecurity situation and bring back lasting peace and normalcy to the various communities,” the statement noted.
It added: “On our part, we would continue our peace programme, in partnership with relevant authorities, particularly the churches, security experts and Paramount Rulers in the area, hoping for positive outcome in the coming days.
“MOSOP sympathises with the people of Kono Bo-ue community, particularly, families of the victims and calls on the youths and community leaders to cooperate with security agencies in their quest to restore peace in the community”.
Similarly, the authorities of Khana Local Government Area have condemned, in the strongest term, the killing of one person in Bori, last Friday, barely few hours after the security stakeholders meeting in Bori and the cult gang war that led to the killings and destruction of the property of innocent citisens in the early hours of last Sunday in Kono Bo-ue community.
Reacting to the incident in his office in Bori, the Chairman of Khana LGA, Chief Lahteh Lah Loolo, described the incident as dastardly, inhumane and pathetic, and expressed his deep condolences to the families of the victims.
Body Wants NGOs To Build Capacity Of Community Groups
The Executive Director, Fostering Achievement for Community Empowerment (FACE), Mr Inatimi Odio, has called on Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the Niger Delta region to build capacity for community groups to strengthen their advocacy skills.
Odio, who spoke to The Tide recently in Port Harcourt, during a one day stakeholders’ Advocacy Capacity Building on the Ogoni Cleanup, stated that the programme aims at ensuring stakeholders are able to air their concerns and challenges on the Ogoni Clean up process so that those concerned can be responded to in a positive way.
He stressed that wrong approach to lobbying and advocating was responsible for lack of good result, noting that advocacy is a process and not a spring race, but maranthon, hence different strategies must be employed in order to make advocacy successful. According to him, “the practice of lobbying and advocating ought to be done in a more structured manner that will produce maximum result expected by those concerned.”
Odio emphasised that other NGOs were really not building the advocacy capacity of community groups, but rather advocate on behalf of communities, thereby playing down on the people’s power that they would have utilised to engage different stakeholders to achieve their objectives.
“Many times NGOs advocate on behalf of communities, thereby disempowering them.
“So my message to other CSOs, NGOs is that capacity should be built among stakeholders in different communities so that they can engage actively in the process.
“This way, both the communities, CSOs, and NGOs can collaborate with government agencies including the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) to ensure that the clean -up exercise process is effectively implemented,” Odio said.
The FACE Executive Director noted that the training will build stakeholders, capacity on advocacy strategies that will guide the communities to engage the other stakeholders involved in the clean-up to ensure it is fast-tracked and effectively done.
Speaking also, a member of the Coalition of Civil Society on Environmental Sustainability (CISOC), Mr Sunny Zorvah stated that investigation shows that impacted communities do not have capacity in terms of asking for what they want, and do not understand the issues surrounding the Ogoni Cleanup. Zorvah stressed that the event is aimed at building the capacity of these communities to enable them advocate peacefully so it does not stop the exercise, but to pass the message on to HYPREP.
He noted that HYPREP benefits the more if these communities are calm, hence the need for them to operate an open policy that would clear every doubt, adding that the people of the community need to undestand that there is a window open for them to ventilate their opinions and challenges to make proper use of it in ensur
Development In Bayelsa Excites Abdulsalami
Former Nigerian Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar, has expressed surprise at the fast rate of development of Bayelsa State and its capital, Yenagoa, under the leadership of Governor Henry Seriake Dickson.
A statement by the Special Adviser, Media Relations, Mr. Fidelis Soriwei, stated that Abdusalami, made the comment while speaking as the Chairman of the official launch of the 200 hectares New Yenagoa City project at the DSP Alamieyeseigha Banquet Hall, Yenagoa on Wednesday.
The former Head of State whose administration voluntarily handed over political power to civilians in 1999 also performed the ground breaking ceremony for the planned New Yenagoa City.
Describing Yenagoa as one of the fastest growing cities in the country, the former Head of State noted that when the project is completed, Yenagoa would be a choice destination for investors and tourists.
According to Abubakar, Governor Dickson’s vision of a new Yenagoa City is indeed a laudable one which he believes would come into fruition.
He said, “Let me start by thanking His Excellency for inviting me to this occasion. Indeed it is very delightful to come and see the work you have been doing for the last eight years.
“I was talking to my friend when we were coming here that, I can’t believe that Bayelsa and Yenagoa in particular will grow to the level I’m seeing today”.
Canice Amadi, Enugu
DPO’s Release: CP Denies N3m Ransom Payment To Kidnappers
Delta State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke, has denied the alleged payment of ransom by the Police Command to kidnappers in the state.
A Divisional Police Officer (DPO) in Delta State was allegedly kidnapped at the weekend along the Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway but regained freedom after a ransom of N3 million was paid.
The victim, whose name was given as Mr Okoro, is in charge of Galilee Police Station, Ute-Ogbeje Community in Ika North East Local Government Area of the state.
An inside source at the State Police Command Headquarters in Asaba told our correspondent that the victim was freed by his abductors after a ransom of N3 million was paid.
The said DPO was kidnapped between Onicha-Ugbo and Issele-Uku on the expressway last Friday by gunmen who shot sporadically before whisking him to unknown destination.
Additional information from a police officer who pleaded for anonimity claimed that the DPO was on his way to Asaba for official assignment when the hoodlums swooped on him
He was said to been set free on Sunday after the negotiated ransom was dropped at a designated location for the abductors to grab.
But the State Commissioner of Police, Mr Adeyinka Adeleke however denied the incident and the subsequent payment of ransom, saying that it was the DPO’s friend that was allegedly kidnapped on the fateful day.
Adeleke, who said he was in touch with the DPO, added that the police will never encourage anybody to pay ransom for their kidnapped friend or relative to be freed.
Albert Ograka, Asaba
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