- There is a state of frenzy in Rivers state, following agitations over military invasion of Ogoni communities
- Bori was shutdown over the weekend, even as residents have taken to the streets to protest the heavy military presence
- The Ogoni people have called for the immediate withdrawal of military men in the area
Reports suggest that the peace in Rivers state has become fragile, following the heavy military presence within certain Ogoni communities.
Sources disclose that Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area of the state was shut down over the weekend, as residents took to the streets in protest over the military invasion of two communities in Ogoni, a development which resulted in the death of some persons.
The protesters reportedly carried placards denouncing the military invasion. Some of them also carried mock coffins, saying that the military operations were politically motivated.
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Lee Maeba, who addressed the protesting youths, condemned the invasion, saying that there was no reason for the invasion.
He called on the federal government to withdraw the military men operating in Ogoniland.
“My appeal from this day is that all military personnel illegally operating in Ogoniland should go,” he said.
Secretary to Rivers state government, Mr Kenneth Kobani, also condemned the military operations, saying that it negated the tenets of popular democracy.
He urged Nigerians to join in condemning the operations, noting that it was shocking that some chieftains of All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state had continued to support the military operations. Kobani said: “What happened on those two days of rage, ought to have been condemned by all persons all round the country.”
It will be recalled that the military stormed Yeghe and Bori communities in Ogoni in search of an ex-militant leader and in the operations, about 17 persons were killed.
Meanwhile, the minister of environment, Mrs Amina Mohammed, in company of Ahmed Jubril, minister of state for environment and Sen Magnus Abe recently visited the area.
The visit was in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s avowed commitment to implement the contentious United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report in crude oil polluted in Ogoniland,
The minister and her team visited Ogoni in preparation for the commencement of implementation of the United Nations Environmental Assessment Programme report.
Before proceeding to Bori, the Ogoniland economic and political headquarters for the Stakeholders’ meeting with Ogoni people, Mrs Mohammed and her team paid a courtesy call on Governor Nyesom Wike at Government House Port Harcourt on Friday, March 4.