Late Sgt. Lawrence Igbero
The continued spate of killings and wanton destruction in Ogoniland is causing serious concern among some stakeholders. They are worried that even after the elections rather than abate, incidents of unprovoked killings continue to be reported, causing serious fear and panic in the communities.
Worse hit are Khana communities. A police officer was recently abducted and killed around that axis.
Two persons were shot by suspected cultists in Taabaa community in Khana Local Government Area on Sunday September 1. The attack was carried out in the night.
Mr Barine Menu James, one of the two persons shot, died next day, Monday, September 2, 2019 Residents fled into the bush following the attack. They are said to be still in the bush for fear of what might happen next.
Sergeant Lawrence Igbero attached to 56 PMF was kidnapped along Ogoni axis recently. The kidnappers killed and dumped him in the bush.
A team of 56PMF officers led by the Unit Commander Supol Egbe Sunday was able to track down the buyer of his phone and the seller who, confessed to how the mobile police officer was kidnapped and killed before he was dumped in the forest.
The suspect also confessed to multiple kidnappings and snatching of motorcycles (okadas) from motorists along Ogoni axis.
Meanwhile, concerned peace-builders in the state are making moves to broker peace among the cultists said to be fighting over territorial control.
Reacting to the development, Niger Delta Civil Society Coalition through its chairman, Anyakwee Nsirimovu has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately put an end to the killings and arson in Ogoniland.
Anyakwee described as unacceptable, the current situation in the crude-oil and gas rich Ogoni which has four local governments-Khana, Tai, Gokana and Eleme.
The coalition stated that in the last three weeks, no fewer than 40 innocent persons have been killed in Ogoni, with many valuable properties worth billions of naira destroyed.
The Niger Delta group stated:”The defeaning silence in the face of unparalleled impunity and gross violations of fundamental rights in Ogoniland, is a dangerous pointer.
“Ogoni land and other parts of Rivers State are today insecure because Rivers State government is under conditions of severe political, economic and physical insecurity, underpinned by very weak governance.
“A state of this critical stature must deliberately advance the causes of security, development and human rights of its citizens. Otherwise, its attempts will not succeed”.
But taking a deeper look at the crisis, a worried Ogoni activist who would not want to be mentioned pointed accusing fingers at the federal government.
He told National Point, “I am told that the ongoing violence in Ogoni is sponsored by the Nigerian State to provide the basis for siting of military barracks, cemetery and prison in Ogoniland.
“Sometimes these brainless pawns (cultists) in the game know nothing. Having prized resources like oil and gas under our feet may be our greatest undoing”.
There are also insinuations that the regular cult crisis branding Ogoniland a violence zone may be a design by the Federal Government to distract the people as it advances its moves to restore oil exploration in Ogoniland.