The umbrella organisation of Ogoni people, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), has condemned the threats to the life of the Executive Director, Finance and Administration of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Derrick Mene, an Ogoni, and his family, by a masked group, the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC).
MOSOP, on Tuesday in Port Harcourt, through its Media/Public Affairs Advisor, Bari-ara Kpalap, considered the threats as a demonstration of hatred and an affront against the Ogoni people, while calling on members of NDRC and their sponsors to have a rethink, warning that Ogoni will not take the threats lightly.
The umbrella organisation of Ogoni people said: “While we are aware of citizens rights to freedom of expression, we do not think that such freedom includes threats to life. Hence, the threats undoubtedly amount to lawlessness. The current threats coming on the heels of other similar threats and at a time when the NDDC’s top official has not even settled down in office and regrettably based on frivolous grounds, we are forced to believe that there are more to the threats than they are painted in the media.
“We are convinced that with his very enviable professional records and experience, Hon. Mene will not disappoint the Niger Delta people by involving himself in activities that will undermine the confidence reposed in him.
“MOSOP believes that there are peaceful and non-violent options in dealing with grievances, where they exist, rather than the resort to threats to life and violence.”
MOSOP also stated that since the NDDC was established in 2000 by the Olusegun Obasanjo administration, no Ogoni had been appointed into any office of significance, yet the area had in the spirit of one Niger Delta, supported all previous officials of the Federal Government’s interventionist agency, without any tribal consideration.
It noted that it was most unfair that now that an Ogoni son had been appointed, the nice gesture of the Ogoni people was not reciprocated, thereby appearing to them that there were persons in the Niger Delta, whose love for Ogoni was hate, while painfully observing the sort of situation over the years.
The umbrella organisation of Ogoni people said: “Since there seems to be some conspiracy against Ogoni and we are in a very terrible period in our history, when human life means nothing to some people, when violence has replaced peace and dialogue, we will call on the security agencies to take every lawful step to protect the life of Hon. Mene and his family. We entreat you to ensure no lapses.
“Ogoni, we must say, is an important part of the Niger Delta and without dispute, contributed immensely to the formation of the commission (NDDC).
It is thus our position that other communities of the region should treat us with love and unwavering support, just as we have been doing to citizens of other communities of the region.”
MOSOP urged all Ogoni people not to take the law into their own hands.