Nigeria: Ogoni Averted Bloodshed
Governor Rotimi Amaechi tempted Ogoni people to kill him on Saturday, January 25, 2014, as he defied Ogoni ban on “Save Rivers State Movement.”
Following insecurity problems posed by the Movement to the lives and property, Ogoni had banned it.
Addressing a rented crowd in Bori, Amaechi said: “This morning, several persons called me and said ‘don’t go;’ I said ‘okay, give me a reason why I shouldn’t go;’ to send over 2,000 to 3,000 people to Bori for them to be shot and I won’t be there to be shot; will that be fair? If they are going to shoot you, they should shoot me first.”
As the rented crowd began to arrive into Bori from Port Harcourt, about 35 miles away, Ogonis voluntarily deserted Bori, and avoided interaction with him. Many described his presence as annoying, but exercised complete restraint not to succumb to temptation.
Saturday is normally the busiest day of the week in Bori. But, the Bori market traders, businesses and normal activities temporarily closed shops and suspended operations, and turned Bori into a near ghost town.
Reacting to the development, the president /Spokesman of the Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP), Dr. Goodluck Diigbo said:
“I praise the Ogoni people, because it is far easier to cause bloodshed and create security problem, than to maintain law and order. Most of those in the crowd are our neighbors and innocent people looking for their daily bread. Ogoni is a distinct, more disciplined, and peaceful nation within a nation state – Nigeria. We can help the indivisibility of Nigeria, only if Nigeria chooses the path of civilization and respects our nationhood.”
“I have asked whether the police that provided security, were sent from Abuja. I confirmed that they were under the command Police Commissioner Joseph Mbu. This is why I think the unwelcome guest often tries to create security problem, where none exists. After Ogoni self-government declaration on August 2, 2012, he alleged treasonable offence. So I think there is serious lack of proper understanding, which has become his nightmare. Any well informed person understands that Ogoni is a nation within a nation state. And there is definitive relationship that exists between the fundamental freedoms of a nation and the sovereignty of a Nation State,” Diigbo recalled.
“The Ogoni people made a choice between civilization and primitivity. By acting nonviolently, they tamed violence to prevent bloodshed. I am delighted because they acted in line with the joint resolution by the Ogoni Central Indigenous Authority (OCIA) and MOSOP not to welcome the movement or its sponsors.”