Rivers crisis: MOSOP Warns Against Escalation into a Broader Regional Conflict

….dismisses state of emergency calls

The Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) has warned feuding politicians in Rivers State to shun violence and prevent the current political crisis from escalating, stressing that such a situation would work against the interest of Rivers State.

President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, who issued the warning in a statement issued in Port Harcourt also condemned calls for a declaration of a state of emergency in the state, noting the situation in Rivers can be resolved if politicians respect the courts and the constitution.

Nsuke also said that it is the  constitutional duty of the people of Rivers State to defend the state, by refusing to be tools for violence and by cooperating with the relevant security agencies to ensure that peace is maintained through “a strategic and honest management” of the crisis.

The MOSOP president urged the feuding camps to show maturity and decency in the interest of peace and stability and commended Rivers people, the police and other security agencies for preventing the crisis from escalation and bloodshed.

He called for respect for the political leadership in Rivers State under Governor Siminalayi Funara. In his words, : “Rivers State has a political leadership led by Governor Siminialayi Fubara, which should be respected. The call in some quarters for the declaration of a state of emergency is not an option in an economically strategic state like Rivers.

“It is also important that we don’t disturb the peace, stability and growth of Rivers with a state of emergency. There is no political emergency in Rivers State as the contending matters are pending before the courts. We, the people, expect all parties to respect the directives of the courts.

 “Whatever unsettles Rivers State also affects the economic security of the country, hence the current situation should be managed with care. The strategic role of Rivers and its past history in the Niger Delta struggle does not warrant a state of emergency. Such action could pave way for massive civil unrest.”

The MOSOP president also cautioned politicians to prevent the crisis from assuming an ethnic dimension to prevent it from engulfing the Niger Delta region and creating a much bigger problem, especially in states dominated by Ijaws like Bayelsa and Delta, noting that such will seriously harm the national economy.

He said: “I want to commend the security forces for their management of the crises and the people of Rivers State for their tolerance in the present situation. I am glad that despite the recent escalation, we have had very minimal but unfortunate casualties in terms of lives that were lost.”

“Let me remind the people of Rivers State of their responsibility to protect the state because there is a saying that when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. The people should strongly resist attempts to be used to destroy their own peace”

The MOSOP president therefore called on all parties to the conflict to respect constitutional order and allow the court to determine their actions, urging everyone to work to avert the unpredictable consequences of a civil uprising.

“Nobody should undermine the power of the people. The best option at this time is to allow peace reign.

“MOSOP is concerned about how the current situation will affect citizens’ welfare and security.  We maintain that ongoing legal processes be explored rather than sponsored incitements that overheat the polity,” he said

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