From Blessing Ibunge, Port Harcourt
Following the recent insurgency and military invasion in Ogoniland, Rivers State, a former militant leader in the area, Chief Solomon Ndigbara has again denied involvement in the act which claimed some lives in parts of Ogoni.
This as the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, has also condemned the alleged invasion and revenge attack on Ogoni community by men of the Joint Military Task Force.
In a letter sent to the Area Commander, Nigeria Police Bori, Chief Ndigbara lamented that inspite of his enormous contributions to the peace and development of his area; he is still being hated, misconstrued and linked to the current insecurity and criminality in Ogoni.
The former agitator who said he has put his life on the line, declare his readiness to do more to stamp out criminal activities from Ogoni communities, adding that he has vowed not to destroy the legacies of his forebears, including Paul Birabi, Ken Saro-Wiwa and Isaac Boro.
He said “the work of restoring normalcy in Ogoni is not a one man show but concerted efforts by genuine and well-meaning persons and institutions that are also willing to work harmoniously in the interest of the people”
Ndigbara who further said that he is not a cultist and not involved in the violence that has caused insecurity in the area, said he is prepared to be put on oath by most potent means.
He also pledged to collaborate with security agencies in ensuring that the ugly situation is abated.
He, however, blamed some traditional leaders for desecrating the traditional institution and their stools by engaging in and supporting criminality, disclosing that most Ogoni leaders and elite know the source of the insecurity in the area.
While calling on the people and security agencies not to believe or act on rumours against him, he appealed that he should be heard and to find out the truth about him.
He said “I cannot build a house and also destroy it”, explaining the numerous efforts he has made for peace in Ogoni, which include, ensuring the successful completion of construction work by Renod Construction Company on East-West road, release of some kidnapped victims, stopping the Nwebiara- Barako and Bomu- Lewe communal conflicts.
He further called for the arrest of leaders of cult groups in Ogoniland for peace to reign in the area.
Meanwhile, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, has called on the authorities and men of the Joint Military Task Force to exercise caution in carrying out their operations, especially in Ogoniland.
In a statement made available to journalists in Port Harcourt, the MOSOP President, Legborsi Pyagbara noted that the ethnic group is not in support of any act of criminality by anyone or community, but that is “expected that the security agencies on legitimate assignments in our communities should conduct themselves in a manner that does not cause avoidable deeper crisis or result in killings of innocent persons and destruction of property in the area in cause of fighting crime or going after crime suspect(s)”.
MOSOP also condemns the reported killing of military personnel on duty along Tai- Gokana axis and the invasion of Ogoni communities, leading to the death of innocent persons.