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Press Release: Police Harassment of MOSOP Activists is Threat to Peace in Ogoniland

It has become very important for us to brief you on the increasing
harassment and threats from the Nigeria Police, particularly the Bori
Area Command and the head of the Anti Robbery Squad popularly known as
SARS in Bori who have consistently attempted to disrupt peaceful MOSOP
gatherings in Ogoniland.

We wish to note that as law abiding citizens, we have always conducted
our business in the most peaceful manner, most of the time, in our
office and cannot understand the interest of the Police in seeking to
deny us the right to meet in our own office as MOSOP activists.

Last Saturday, January 19, 2019, during a congress of Ogoni people at
the MOSOP secretariat, the Police led by a man dressed in mufty and
identified as the SARS commander in Bori walked into our gathering and
attempted to take away the President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke while he
was addressing the people. That particular Police action was very
provocative and unprofessional to say the least.

Our understanding of the SARS commander’s actions is that he attempted
to cause crises in the meeting to be able to execute a premeditated
assignment. We have every reason to believe that there is a compromise
on the part of the Police as there was no incident whatsoever to
warrant that provocation.

This will not be the first time the Police in Bori will act in that
manner. On January 4, 2019, during the annual Ogoni day, the Police
also attempted to take away the President of MOSOP. During the MOSOP
elections, there were similar attempts to stop the elections. In all
these cases, we remained peaceful.

We are seriously disturbed by the conduct of the Police towards us and
wonder what could be the interest of the Police against peaceful
gatherings of the Ogoni people.

We are worried about this trend as it signals a drift towards 1994
when Ogoni suffered a devastating state-sponsored persecution that
left over 2000 persons dead.

Over the past two months, we have witnessed series of Police
harassment against very peaceful gatherings. We worry that the
Nigerian Police may be conniving with mischief makers with the hope of
finding a reason to clamp down on civil rights activities and members
of MOSOP.

We urge the authorities to call the Police formation in Bori,
Ogoniland to order so they do not cause any crises in the area. We
expect the Police to protect our people and not be partisan to the
extent of limiting our freedom to peaceful association.

We call on every Ogoni to non-violently resist every attempt by the
Police to trample on our rights as a people and possibly cause crises
in Ogoni. Our struggle for basic rights in Nigeria is justifiable and
we cannot be intimidated.

Signed

Monday Ziinu
General Secretary
MOSOP

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Posted by on Jan 24 2019. Filed under Headlines, Press Releases, Rivers, State News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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