– SAVE OUR SOUL LETTER TO PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI
Tuesday December 1, 2015
President Muhammadu Buhari, GCON
President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Aso Rock Villa, Abuja
1. We are affected and concerned indigenes of Ogbaland in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area of Rivers State, a goose that lays the golden egg –“oil-” as it has since the late 1950s played host to decades of massive oil and gas production by notably the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC), Total Exploration & Production (TEPNG), AGIP Nigeria Limited amongst others.
2. For over two years now, heavily and well-armed gangsters, some who now parade about in military fatigues, have continually harassed, threatened, kidnapped, extorted huge millions, killed, maimed and in other ways, terrorized our people.
COMPLICITY OF THE MEN AND OFFICERS OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE, PARTICULARLY
THE AHOADA AREA COMMAND, THE OBITE DIVISIONAL POLICE STATION, OMOKU DIVISIONAL POLICE STATION, OMOKU AS WELL AS SPECIAL ANTI-ROBBERY SQUAD (SARS) IN EREMA, OMOKU, AHOADA & PORT HARCOURT
3. The sad fact of this is that after every strike or evil act carried out by this group of criminals in our midst, our people have always reported them to the police. Some of them have been arrested in the past, but the men and officers of the Nigerian police, particularly those of Ahoada Area Command, Obite, Omoku & Okwuzi Divisional Police stations, SARS in Erema, Omoku and Ph have always collected financial inducement (sometimes as much as over N1, 000, 000.00) and released them! The police do not only stop here, sometimes they go further to supply sensitive information to these hoodlums, including the names of police informants.
Suffice it to say that this explains why literally all the officers in this area live well beyond their lawful means and can boast of fat bank accounts and exotic cars even as they always resist every attempt to transfer them out of their present locations.
4. As a matter of fact, in their face-to-face and phone conversations with people, these criminals have severally attributed the difficulty of changing their ways to regular blackmail and extortion from the police who regularly threaten to arrest and kill them if they do not give them more money. Since it is very easy for the police officers, who know their identities and hideouts, to actually carry out this threat, they usually have no choice but to give them money which are raised through their aforementioned unlawful methods. As such, they have countlessly funded weddings, burials, baby dedications and sundry other events hosted by police officers and their relatives.
MASSIVE MAIMINGS, KIDNAPPING, KILLING ETC. OF OUR PEOPLE
5. The result of the inaction or complicity by the police in the activities of these criminals is the continued and undisturbed criminality and huge displacement of our people who ran away in droves for their dear lives. Tens of thousands of our people are now refugees in other places. As at date, hundreds of our people have been killed, hundreds of millions paid as ransoms etc.
To make matters worse, many have had to sell off their residences and several businesses, including hotels, etc. have remained closed even as the few open ones are grappling with extremely low patronage despite reducing their charges. The amount of arms in our area is unimaginable! Little wonder that most of the gory mindless killings that took place in Rivers State during the last general elections took place in ONELGA. With the passage of time, these gangsters have almost fully metamorphosed into a fairly-well organized militia. Just last week, over 5 people were beheaded and dismembered by these hoodlums in various communities within a few hours! Some of these killings have been reported in the media prior to this time.
7. Mr. President, it might well be that the menace of the Boko Haram sect and their terrorist activities are topmost on your administration’s agenda. However, all violent or needless deaths are the same; each Nigerian life is as precious as the other. Therefore, whilst the issue of Boko Haram, your administration should not forget to, at the same time, pay attention to the presently sad plight of our people. The Federal government cannot pay attention to Boko Haram alone whilst our people get steadily decimated in a barbaric fashion and a lot in broad day light aided by criminally minded police officers! Is it not terribly disturbing that frail 91 year-old man in Obagi community has been in captivity for over two months now and no one is even knows for sure whether he is alive or not? How about the brutal murder of one Innocent Arodu of Akabuka community in broad day light?
8. MR PRESIDENT, we therefore wish to use this opportunity to call on your Excellency to intervene as a matter of urgency and come to our aid and apprehend the members of this dangerous group. Furthermore, we are also asking for vigilance to ensure that those apprehended do not get routinely released after payment of huge bail sums to the police and continue with their nefarious crimes, but rather that they face justice. In view of their self-serving, black-leg activities, our people are vehemently in opposition to the further involvement of the police in this matter; they would rather that henceforth, the matter be my handled by the Army and the Directorate of Security Services (DSS). With the trend of events, it would only be a matter of time before these hoodlums turn on the oil companies and oil installations in the area in their insatiable quest for unjust lucre. Suffice it to mention that about six months ago, the police suffered an unprovoked attack wherein three officers attached to one of the oil companies in the area. Moreover, some of the oil companies in the area have already succumbed to payment of monthly -“security fees”- ransoms.
9. We earnestly await your urgent intervention.
Long live Nigeria!
OGBA CONCERNED CITIZENS
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