Anything that has to do with oil and pipeline in the Niger Delta seems to be very risky at the moment. Now, reports said the Ogoni community of Bodo in Gokana LGA has again been thrown into mourning following the killing of two youths who were said to be part of a team assigned to provide security surveillance at the recent site of an oil spill within the community.
They were allegedly attacked by gunmen on Saturday, August 26, 2023 at about 2am leading to the death of two of them namely. Their names were given as Wisdom Pilla and Barioma Dutu.
According to a statement by MOSOP’s secretary-general, Alex Akori, five others sustained bullet wounds including one Charles Saago, Tombari Akere, Lekaga Agbi, Oliver Nyimaage and Barinem Pigalo.
Coordinator of MOSOP in Gokana, Celestine Viula, who was said to have confirmed the deaths, said the community has reported the matter to the divisional police in Gokana but that the police were yet to take any visible action, not even a visit to the scene of the incident.
Viula explained that the youths had been mandated by the community to keep watch over a recent oil spill site pending the completion of investigations into the cause of the spill and repairs on the affected pipeline. He said, at about 2 am, the youths were attacked by some gunmen leading to two deaths and other injuries.
President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, in his reaction, condemned the attacks describing it as barbaric. He said the incident was very painful and unfortunate. Nsuke expressed condolences to the families of those affected and urged the Police to investigate the crimes. He also called on the people of Bodo to do all that was necessary to ensure that the perpetrators were brought to book.
Nsuke squarely blamed oil interests for the incident alleging that the incident wouldn’t have happened if not for the presence of oil pipelines in the community.
“The latest shooting resulting in two deaths are very barbaric and we strongly condemn these acts of violence. My heart goes to the families of those who have suffered pains and lost loved ones in this incident,” Nsuke said.
“These are all consequences of natural resource extraction. It is unfortunate that while we suffer the consequences of these exploitations, we are told not to talk about the benefits which are distributed to all states in Nigeria and we get nothing because our political rights to function within Nigeria as Ogoni people are being denied.
“We demand an investigation and we will want to see the outcome of the investigations into these,” he said.