•Governor justifies soldiers’ presence •MOSOP seeks withdrawal of military
The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the Rivers Southeast Senatorial District’s March 19 rerun, Senator Magnus Abe, has accused Governor Nyesom Wike of instigating violence.
Abe’s senatorial Liaison Office in Bori-Ogoni, the headquarters of Khana Local Government, was burnt on Monday.
Speaking yesterday in Port Harcourt, Abe told his supporters to consider the incident as a sacrifice and not to turn the state into a theatre of war. He pleaded with his supporters to remain calm.
Soldiers from the 2 Brigade in Port Harcourt, on Monday, stormed the Yeghe-Ogoni, Gokana Local Government hometown of a former militant leader, Solomon Ndigbara, aka Osama bin Laden, of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), leading to gunshots.
Thugs gathered and burnt Abe’s senatorial Liaison Office, while three persons were feared dead when the attack was hijacked by cultists, according to witnesses.
The APC chieftain sympathised with families that lost their dear ones, while praying that God should give them the fortitude to bear the loss.
He assured the people that the perpetrators would be fished out, insisting that nobody was above the law.
Abe said it was inhuman, wicked and callous for people to kill and maim their fellow citizens, just for power.
Wike yesterday called on residents of Khana and Gokana local governments, who fled their homes following military presence in the area to return to their homes.
The governor said the military presence was aimed at securing life and property and not to harm law-abiding residents.
In a statement by Simeon Nwakaudu, special assistant to the governor on Electronic Media, Wike assured the people of their safety.
The governor said his administration would enhance the security of residents, urging the people of Khana and Gokana to cooperate with security agencies to maintain law and order.
But the President of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People(MOSOP), Legborsi Pyagbara, has condemned the presence of the military, and called for their withdrawal from Ogoniland.
Pyagbara said: “MOSOP condemns the military occupation of Ogoniland. This sole invasion of Ogoni communities has defiled military/civil conduct, I have not seen anywhere in the cause of search for criminals, you have to criminalise communities.
“What has happened to intelligence gathering? Are they telling us that their intelligence has failed? In one single operation the communities are invaded and many people are on the run. As of now, we hear 12 people died. There is no reason that can justify this kind of military operation in Ogoni. They are returning us back to 1994.”