June 9, 2009

Military might can’t stop N-Delta militancy —MOSOP

By George Onah
Port Harcourt—The Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) has called on the Federal Government to relax the on-going military operations in the Niger Delta, stating that the use of military might in the region was “not the solution to the militancy in the area”.

Again, MOSOP said the “offer of amnesty to the so-called militants by the federal government is clearly not the means to a permanent solution to the bloody oil conflicts in Nigeria, although the principle behind the amnesty is technically right”.

A statement by the movement signed by its President, Goodluck Diigbo, said the outfit would, however, “endorse the move (amnesty) in a post-conflict climate, not in an ongoing bloody conflict. At this stage, it is not only palliative and dangerous but presumptuous and ill-fated.

“It might simply convey a point that President Umaru Musa YarAdua’s administration is bent on military solution. It is like the president is saying accept amnesty or face the music, thus ignoring frank and transparent dialogue required by the impracticable approach and short sighted conflict in our democracy.

“Military solution could dress the wound but not heal the sore. The government may have to review this military approach. We will not support any military exercise that appears to portray our democracy as a dictatorship”.

MOSOP was of the view that the government’s current action might be construed as “ government merely displaying great and unprecedented domestic military power at the expense of democratic dialogue.”

The movement believes that those governors who supported military solution did so out of great frustration, adding that their disappointment should be the reason for more dialogue and not indiscriminate bombing that violates the right to life under international laws.

“It is time to stop the war and begin sincere dialogue,” MOSOP said.