Insecurity In Ogoni: Church Intervenes …Leaders Form Implementation Committee

As stakeholders strategize to look for solution to the lingering insecurity in Ogoniland, Church Leaders under the aegis of Ogoni Church Leaders and Christian Elders Council have signified their intention to use prayers and word of God to broker peace.

Briefing journalists in Port Harcourt, Coordinator of the Ogoni Church Leaders and Christian Elders Council, Bro Don Aadum said their members believe that prayers and word of God can thaw the hearts of evil doers and bring changes in their lives.

He said members of their church have been praying ceaselessly for God’s intervention for peace to reign in Ogoniland.

Aadum said the heart of the matter is the issue of repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rehabilitation by all Ogonis, stressing that only the gospel of Jesus Christ would do these.

He recalled that a pan Ogoni stakeholders meeting was convened by the Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers on 22nd June at Saakpenwa, saying concrete resolutions were reached towards restoring peace in the land.

According to him, part of the success of the stakeholders meeting was the coming together of youths of various warring factions in Ogoni, adding that the goodwill message from the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, King Ateke Tom to the meeting and the presence of High Chief Solomon Ndigbara helped to strengthen and consolidate the peace and reconciliation process.

The Ogoni Church Leaders and Christian Elders Council expressed gratitude to all those working towards peace and reconciliation in Ogoniland particularly. Governor Nyesom Wike, who they said was at the forefront of the crusade.

Meanwhile, stakeholders from the four local government areas in Ogoniland, Khana, Gokana, Tai and Eleme, after its meeting held at Sakpenwa in Tai local government area of Rivers State resolved to set up a security implementation committee towards the restoration of peace in the area.

The meeting presided over by the chairman of the Ogoni Supreme council of traditional rulers, King G.N.K Gininwa and attended by prominent Ogoni leaders including the senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Barinada Mpigi, Legbosi Pyagbara and Dr Peter Medee, decided to set up the security committee to implement the various resolutions arrived at the meeting.

The committee headed by Rear Admiral John Nicolas Bokpa (Rtd), was charged with the responsibility of reaching out to cult groups and others perceived to be involved in the crises and killings in the area; with a view to restoring peace in the entire Ogoniland.

In his opening speech at the meeting, King Giniwa expressed dismay at the wanton killings and bloodletting going on in the area which he added has lead to people deserting communities. He said the meeting was convened to examine the way out of the menace.

In his remarks, Senator Barinada Mpigi, representing the Rivers South East appealed to aggrieved Ogonis to put aside personal and community interest and grievances and unite for peace and development of the area.

Dr. Peter Medee in his contribution charged all those who wish to renounce their membership of cult group to do as according to him, Ogoni leaders have agreed to grant amnesty to any individual group that decides to renounce cultism and surrender their arms within one week, adding that those who failed to go should be ready to face the consequences thereafter.

Coordinator of retired senior military and para military officers of Ogoni origin, Rear Admral John Bakpo (Rtd) said the crises in Ogoni was more of an ideological warfare than a conventional one arguing that concerted efforts is needed to deal with the menace.

He attributed the causes of the crises to supremacy conflicts among individuals and groups and called for the strengthening of the traditional institutions in the communities and appealed to individuals from the area who have the capacity to protect the land, not to use such to destroy the people.

He explained that his group has been able to reduce the incidence of kidnappings and excesses of some security agencies against Ogoni people.

Highlights of the meeting were the renouncement of cultism by a group of youths and the setting up of the security implementation committee.

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