The Banana plantation claimed by the Rivers State government as providing employment to the local people is actually a killer and not a beneficial project.
MOSOP Kingdom Coordinators Forum Chairman, Frank Jonah in a statement said this today in reaction to a press conference in government house recently. MOSOP statement said the government killed over 40 Ogonis in the process of suppressing opposition to the Banana farm.
“How can any responsible government kill over 40 people to force a banana project on them” he questioned.
The banana plantation is depriving over 30,000 Ogonis of their farms and the people are already facing hunger as their farmlands are being force from them.
Reacting to a recent statement credited to Education Minister, Nyesom Wike, press secretary to Governor Amaechi,David Iyofor said, “That Banana Farm in Tai Local Government Area employs over 250 indigenes of Tai and millions of Naira were paid monthly to this people. It is one of the biggest employer of labour in that area. Its economic benefits to the Tai people and the state are enormous”.
On his part, Barinada Mpigi warned Wike to concentrate on his duties as Education Minister noting that the people of Kpite had resolved to follow Gov. Amaechi.
The duo did not state how much a banana plantation can pay the people warranting the displacement of over 30,000 persons to serve a private interest.
The governor’s spokesman said: “Now, they are talking about Banana Farm, and many of our sons and daughters, including men and women that are engaged will be rendered useless.
But in a swift reaction, MOSOP spokesman said: “The fact is that Ogoni people reject forceful land grab because we survive on subsistence farming and taking over our land and giving it to one Mexican farmer is only a way to kill the Ogonis with food scarcity”.
MOSOP maintains that there can be no justification for killing our people to establish a banana farm and the project is simply a killer and not a beneficial one.
On the plan to protest against the banana farm, Mr. Jonah said, government should discontinue the project because the people are against it. We will however caution against the use of violence to achieve this aim.