MOSOP Accuses Military Of Killing In Gokana
Military Denies Claims
The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People has condemned an alleged invasion of Kegbara Dere community, in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State by men of the Nigerian Army.
In a statement by the Acting Publicity Secretary of MOSOP, Sunny Zorvah, the group claims that it received a report stating that a middle-aged man was killed in the operation, while another person shot by troops and is currently in a critical condition.
He said information he got has it that men of the Nigerian Army accompanied SPDC pipeline workers to the area and started shooting without any explanation resulting in the death and injuries sustained.
The group added, “Even though the movement is in support of genuine efforts by legitimate authorities and government to fight criminality in Ogoniland and other parts of the state or country, we do not support and will not tolerate unprovoked military onslaught and reckless killings in any Ogoni community or elsewhere.”
While calling on the security agencies to stop what it describes as reckless killings in Ogoni communities, Mosop asks the police to urgently commence an investigation into the alleged military raid and ensure the culprits are brought to book to prevent total breakdown of law and order in the area.
In a swift reaction, the military has dismissed the claim by MOSOP, saying that troops never raided anywhere in Gokana as alleged.
The Director of Defence Information, Colonel Clement Nwachukwu told Channels Television that there is a transnational pipeline in Gokana, a key national asset, which was ruptured by oil thieves.
Col. Nwachukwu who also sent photos of oil workers carrying out repairs on the pipeline to back his claim on the matter, said each time technicians from international oil companies were sent to effect repairs on the pipeline, armed gangs would scare them away by shooting sporadically into the air.
He added, “But on one occasion, troops only accompanied the oil workers to provide them with protection to enable them carry out the repairs without being scared away. While that was going on, the armed gangs came as before and began shooting. Troops responded and fired into the air to disperse the armed gangs.”
He said from the information he got, nobody was targeted by the troops and no one was killed.
See photos sent in by the Director of Defence Information, showing the military providing security as repair works are carried out on a pipeline below: