Saturday, February 18, 2017 3:08 pm
President of Khana Youth Federation, Combrade Vincent Gbosi who is also the PRO Ogoni Joint Youth Council spoke to Okafor Ofiebor on why Khana LGA has been a hotbed of violent crisis and how other gang wars in other parts of Ogoniland pose threat to clean up as recommended by the United Nations Environment Programme, UNEP.
What is the update of the security situation in your local government area that has been under curfew?
Nothing has changed. The killings are still going in some parts of Khana local govenment where rival cult groups have taken up arms against themselves and slaughtering each other in senseless fight for supremacy. In many communities economic activities have been paralysed as women,and able bodied men have fled their ravaged communities.
Recently, the state government amnesty committee was in Ogoniland to ensure that those bearing illegal arms surrender their arms and some arms were surrendered. Why has there been persistent crisis?
The state armnesty committee that came to Ogoniland did not do a good job.You cannot carry out such a sensitive job without consulting with critical stakeholders in the community.In every community,you know those with disposed to peace and those prone to violence.You cannot have one quick fix approach to that issue.You must engage the traditional institutions starting from the Paramount rulers, Counncil of Chiefs and Elders,Women groups because our brother who are commiting this crime are members of the communities. It is only people from these communities that can sit with them and persuade them that the evil path of life they have chosen leads to destruction. It is not just enough to drive in to Bori, headquarters of Khana LGA and hire canopies and get entertained by local Dancers and you claim that you have carried out amnesty.
The people must be engaged. If the women are engaged, they can be willing to tell you where thier children are hiding. In the past, mothers have led us to where their children are hiding and have gone there to persuade them to come home and it has worked.There is no way they will not assist government because they know the government has the capacity to to whatever they want but amnesty programme didnt work in Khana and Ogoniland because the people were not engaged. So it was doomed to fail in Ogoniland.
Due to insecurity in Ogoniland last year and the inability of the Police to handle the criminal gangs, the military was invited and what happened thereafter was an uproar condemning the soldiers of alleged senseles killing of innocent people. As the situation is will you advocate intervention of military?
Like the President of Kagote, Dr Peter Medee has advocated, it is only the security agencies that can confront the armed youths. Khana local Government which is largest in the state, and one of the largest in terms of land mass in the country is made up of three distinct kingdoms. Curiously,despite the land mass, it has only one Police Station while Obio-Akpor has 22 Police station. Khana is under policed. Youth leaders can only re-orientate them through advocacy. But the danger is that they are armed. What we are saying is that there should be more security presence in Ogoniland. You can never hear that in an area where the Police regularly patrol that the criminals struck.
Security agencies include the Police, Civil defense, military etc. Do you think that if three police stations are established in Khana as the situation is today that they can garantee adequate security in the LGA?
Government who already know the true situation in Khana put politics aside when the issue of security is discussed they should think of the lives and property of the people first. They should put politics aside no matter the political divide they belong when the issue of security is on the front burner and lives and property are wantonly wasted. If government which has the full grasp of security situation in the area feels that the military can complement the Police so be it. We all know that soldiers would not just come to Bori for instance and see unarmed youth and start shooting at them. Soldiers will not fold their arms if as they patrol they are attacked. Definitely they will defend themselves. So we are saying that if the government feels that the situation in Khana needs the additional presence of the military so be it. At the end of the day, all we need is secured Khana and Ogoniland. There is no way a huge project like the implementation of the UNEP report will succeed in the presence of insecurity. Not even angels from heaven would want to work in Ogoniland in the state of insecurity.
Do you fathom a situation a situation that fifth columnists who do not want the implimentation of the UNEP report are behind the state of insecurity?
…It is not impossible because we human beings are capable of anything. But we that in the Ogoni Youth Federation are not pointing fingers at anybody. But for the sanctity of lives created by God, it will be sin against God to is the height of wickedness.
About a two weeks ago,a female lecture in Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic in Bori was kidnapped, what is the update?
No word has come from the kidnappers and the woman has not been released.The children are crying every day. Due to frequent killing and insecurity in Bori, candidates are no more chosing the Polytechnic in JAMB. Most of the houses hired by students have all been deserted. The economic life of Bori is a shell of itself.