May 29, 2013

Ogoni: Communities Demand Justice In Land-grabbing Case

A year after an incident left 3 dead and 600 houses destroyed,  the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People calls on the Rivers State Government of Nigeria for reparation and to stop violating rights.

Below is an article published by

One year after 3 persons were killed and over 600 houses destroyed in Ogoniland community of Sogho, the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has called on the Rivers State Government to discontinue the Banana project in the area, compensate the people for rights violations and open investigations into the killing.

In a statement today by MOSOP posted on the organization's Facebook page, MOSOP called for the discontinuation of the project describing it as a deliberate plan to frustrate the struggle of the Ogoni people through forced food scarcity.

In a related development, the Chairman of the MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators' Forum Mr. Frank Jonah said the pains and losses of Sogho and Ueken communities are clear demonstrations of Nigeria's lack of commitment to human rights. The situation in Ueken, Sogho and the entire Nyo-Khana where the government is pursuing an aggressive land grab policy points to the fact that the Nigerian government even in this civilian dispensation is committed to destabilize and punish the Ogoni people for leading the struggle to stop human and environmental rights violations in the entire Niger Delta, Mr. Frank said.

The MOSOP spokesman who called for a full-scale investigation into the killings pointed out that the Ogoni people have at several fora made clear their rejection of the Banana project as a programme that is designed to send poor and subsistence farmers in Ogoniland to death.

One year ago, 3 persons were killed and seventeen others were missing when the community of Zor-Sogho was attacked with strong government backing for their resistance against a Banana project of the Rivers State Government.

The government initially denied any killings and later agreed that one person was killed. No investigations were conducted by the government into the killings.

The communities which essentially survive on subsistence farming is resisting the government which has set out to take about 20,000 hectares of land for industrial farming.

Government argues that the project will lead to employment and wealth creation but the community says the project is not justifiable for an area that relies solely on subsistence farming. The project is taking all of the land assets of the Ueken and Sogho people.