Comrade Sunny Ofehe, human rights activist and Founder/ExecutiveDirector of Hope for Niger-Delta Campaign (HNDC) was recently kidnapped alongside four Dutch nationals at Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, in this interview with selected journalists in Lagos, he narrate his experience, Ayodele Samuel was there.
Your and four Dutch nationals were kidnapped at Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State. What was your mission in the community?
The kidnap was not only embarrassing but very shameful. It destroyed the aspect of my campaign which has tried to portray the region as a safe place for white people particularly when yourmission to the area can be associated with helping the ordinary people of the community. We were in the Dodo River Communities of Amutu 11 and Bilabiri 11, the same communities I had visited along with one of the white people Mr. Jandries Groenendijk in 2009. We were there to inspect a new 45 bed hospital built by Chevron under the GMOU programme. The idea was to make a report on the project and look at the impact it may have on the people of the communities hosting two major oil deep sea drilling sites with a combined capacity of more than 300,000 barrels of crude oil per day called the Bonga Oil Field and EA Field but yet living in complete abject poverty. We finished and stopped briefly at the King’s palace of Bilabiri 11 before setting out to embark on the more than two hour trip to Warri when we were attacked just in front of Letugbene.
Do you think the kidnapping is political or attempt to weaken your activities in the Niger-Delta by the oil producing companies?
It is still too early to know the sources that may be responsible for the satanic act but what is sure is that it didn’t happen from the ordinary. There were forces behind it and I know the God who saw the good heart with which we went there will expose those behind the attack.
You were accused of masterminding the kidnapping saga for selfish reason in a media report. What is your opinion on this?
The writer of the article was sponsored to write that article. He received monetary promises from a Dutch journalist in the Netherlands and also collected money from a source he was trying to launder their image.
Your mother was killed and recently you were kidnapped, are you not really afraid of your life?
In 2007 my mother was assassinated by unknown people in Benin City and since then she has not been given a befitting funeral. Unfortunately the Nigeria Police have not been able to unravel those behind the assassination. For as long as this remains unsolved, the Nigerian authorities will be held responsible for the death of my mother.