President of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, has said the plan to deploy the military to Ogoniland may be to have them on ground ahead of the forthcoming elections and not in respect of the Ogoni cleanup exercise. Nsuke, who spoke in Bori while addressing Ogoni youths at the MOSOP secretariat, said there was no justification to contemplate military deployment to Ogoniland.
Nsuke maintained that the United Nations Environmental Programme, UNEP, report on the Ogoni environment and the cleanup exercise have been embraced by the Ogoni people, noting that the only areas of disagreement had been Hydro Carbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP’s attempt to shortchange the interest of the Ogoni people. He said there are other multinationals working around Ogoni and none of them had demanded soldiers, questioning what was so special about a cleanup programme that only soldiers can secure.
The MOSOP President warned that Ogoni people will resist the deployment of soldiers by all means possible and legitimate, including massive protests. He reminded the youths that the last time soldiers were deployed ahead of the 2016 re-run elections, “about 46 persons were killed.
When they launched Operation Crocodile Smile, several people were harassed and brutalised. “The only memory we hold strongly of Nigerian soldiers is that they have killed thousands of Ogoni, especially in the 90s. We simply do not want them in Ogoniland and we know that it is our right to reject soldiers’ deployment to Ogoniland as an indigenous community.