By Jimitota Onoyume
PORT HARCOURTâ€”The Ogoni have rejected the proposed relocation of Port Harcourt army barracks, otherwise called Bori Camp, to any of their communities.
In a statement issued by the United Stateâ€™s chapter of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP â€“ USA, and made available to Vanguard, the Ogoni said the whole idea behind the planned relocation was for government to use the presence of its army barracks in the area to forcefully resume oil production without negotiating with the people.
It would be recalled that Shell was forced out of the area about 20 years ago by the Ogoni for alleged exploitative acts on the part of the Anglo Dutch oil giant.
MOSOP-USA, in the statement signed by the duo of Chief Stephen Kpea and Dumbari Tsaro Deezua, said no attempt to repress and coerce theÂ Ogoni would succeed.
They stressed that militarization of the area should stop, warning thatÂ â€œno anti-democratic blanket cover on freedom of expression will stop the Ogoni people from their trademark peaceful protest.
â€œThis expansive militarization of our society has to stop. This is another part of the scheme to facilitate a forceful resumption of oil operations in Ogoni. And it will not work.â€
The Ogoni appealed to the international community to intervene to stop what they described as â€œanother militarization of Ogoni-land to avoid another round of government-sponsored chaos and mass killings in the area.â€
They said before oil operations could resume in the area, government and the oil firms must negotiate terms, conditions and standards of oil operations in the area.
â€œRelocating military cantonments designed to cow the Ogoni people to submission while oil is forcefully drilled on our soil will only leadÂ to one outcome: Chaos and disarray, which will end up generating another mass killing of genocidal proportion in Ogoni land.
â€œWe are tired of dying, tired of being dominated and oppressed in our homeland,â€ they said.