- The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari
- The group protest over military invasion of Ogoni communities, leading to loss of lives and destruction of properties
- According to MOSOP, the military campaign violated all known rules of engagement as well as the human rights of the people
Following the military invasion of Ogoni communities in Rivers state, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari, the federal government, the National Assembly, the chief of army staff and the National Human Rights Commission.
Nigerian Tribune reports that the petition was titled “Protest Against the Unprovoked Military Invasion of Ogoni Communities Occasioning Wanton Killings of Innocent Citizens and Residents” and was signed Legborsi Pyagbara, the president of MOSOP.
The group was shocked by tactics and callousness with which the Yeghe, Bori, Zaakpon operations were executed, adding that the military demonstrated dreadful extremism and sinister motive.
According to MOSOP, the military campaign violated all known rules of engagement, as well as the human rights of the people.
“The condemnable military attacks led to wanton destruction of lives and properties in Yeghe, Bori (the capital of Ogoni) and Zaakpon communities. The affected communities: Yeghe is in Gokana Local Government Area, while Bori and Zaakpon are both in Khana Local Government Council.
“The incidents, which were no response to any crisis whatsoever in the area as none existed, started at Yeghe at about 2.30 p.m. on the fateful February 22.
“The invading soldiers, armed with sophisticated weapons, arrived in several military trucks and armoured tanks, unleashed violence on the quiet community, shooting indiscriminately in all directions.
“In the process, over 18 innocent lives were lost. Others sustained serious gunshot injuries, many of whose health conditions are very critical; several other victims missing, whilst properties were wantonly destroyed or looted.
“As if the mayhem inflicted on Yeghe was not enough, the soldiers reinforced, bringing in more armoured tanks and extended the violence to the traditional headquarters of Ogoniland, Bori; and Zaakpon community on Tuesday, February 23, 2016,” the petition read in part.
READ ALSO: Rivers Killings: Wike under attack
MOSOP stressed that as a result of military invasions many innocent residents were murdered in cold blood, while properties were destroyed or looted.
Pyagbara asked Buhari to prevail on the government and the army to immediately withdraw the military from all Ogoni communities so that the people could return home.
He warned that if the government fails to respond positively to the petition, MOSOP will take all peaceful and non-violent steps to seek redress.
On Wednesday, March 2, thousands of youths from the Rivers South East senatorial district took to the streets of Bori in protest over the recent alleged hate speeches of Governor Nyesom Wike, against their prominent sons and leaders.
The protesters, who came from all the seven local government areas, said that their peaceful walk was in the pursuit of the Ogoni non-violence struggle.