NEW YEAR MESSAGE TO NIGER DELTA TRADITIONAL RULERS, LEADERS, POLITICIANS, YOUTHS AND OIL PRODUCING COMMUNITIES
I, Chief Michael Johnny, Chairman, Egbema-Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation, EGCDF, and a Chieftain of the ruling All progressive congress APC, in Delta state, wish all the good and peace loving people of Niger Delta region, the traditional rulers, leaders, youth and the various oil producing communities a happy and a prosperous new year.
Imperatively, this message is to reassure the good people of Niger delta region to see the New Year 2017, as a year predestined by God to usher the region into progress and prosperity.
Regrettably, the past year 2016, the Niger Delta region, precisely in my kingdom Gbaramatu and other neighboring communities in Warri South-West and Warri North Local Government Areas of Delta State, witnessed massive destruction of Federal assets by militants which resulted to drastic drop of oil revenue to the Federal Government, frustrated economics activities in Niger Delta state and Federal Government’s plans for the region.
Before I go further, let me quickly remind my traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty, Oboro Gbaraun II, Atetekpe, Agabagba, the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, that he was enthroned by God almighty to ensure peace in Gbaramatu Kingdom. A God fearing king rules over a peaceful kingdom. Therefore, as a king enthroned by God, he should prevail on his subjects irrespective of their positions or status to protect the image of the Kingdom.
Gbaramatu Kingdom should not be seen as militants or war zones for any reason whatsoever. “No more Violence and militancy in Gbaramatu Kingdom” should be the Gbaramatu Monarch’s, including all Niger Delta Traditional rulers in their respective Kingdoms and domains, message across Gbaramatu Kingdom.
The time to stop further violence, attacks on Federal Government assets in Gbaramatu Kingdom and the entire Niger Delta region in now. Let me also appeal to the Olu of Warri, His Majesty, Ogiame Ikenwoli, to advise his Itsekiri subjects to promote peace between them and their Ijaw neighbors in Warri South West and Warri North respectively.
In this New Year, 2017, I implore the Niger Delta traditional rulers to shun partisan politics and be courageous enough to advise their respective subjects who are politicians and ex-militant leaders to allow peace to reign in the region.
The lingering Ogbe-Ijoh and Aladja crisis which had claimed lives and properties should be stopped now. It is not the will of God for us to be killing one another, and and destroying our properties. The Ijaws, Urhobos and Itsekiris have no reason to fight each other; the relevant agencies should step up measures or plans to end the crisis and allow peace to reign among the ethnic nationalities.
PROPOSED FEDERAL GOVERNMENT NEGOTIATION WITH THE NIGER DELTA LEADERS
It is evident that the Federal Government, under President Muhammad Buhari, has a good plan for the Niger delta region. The Federal Government must beware of certain selfish individuals seeking relevance and who had always used violence in Niger Delta to enrich their pockets to the detriment of the entire region. Some of the people asking for negotiation with federal government are beneficiaries of bad leadership and corruption in Niger Delta, which is responsible for the underdevelopment of the region over the years.
“At this point, it has been established that militant are not elders or old people, they are purely youths. Therefore, I advise Niger Delta youths to see themselves beyond being militants, tagged criminals. Rather than wreck violence and attack on oil facilities, the Niger Delta youths should know that the richest people in the world today, even in Nigeria were never involved in violence or militancy.”
Niger Delta people have one common enemy “underdevelopment due to corruption and bad leadership in Niger Delta over the years.” This is the enemy we should collectively fight and not the destruction of oil facilities and continued pollution of our land despite the underdevelopment.
I want to advise our people to be patient; the development of the Niger Delta region is very important to President Muhammad Buhari. All militant groups and individuals in the region are free to agitate for the development of the region, but certainly not through violence and destruction of oil facilities.
Nobody should personalize or politicize the Niger delta agitation for development. We need roads, bridges, railways, stable electricity, hospitals, schools and industries in Niger Delta. All these can be achieved only through dialogue with the right leadership in the region.
Finally, I am aware of plots or attempt by some persons to tarnish my image, or set me up, but let me quickly remind such people that I, Chief Michael Johnny, in all my life, have been a law abiding citizen of Nigeria. I do legitimate business and pay my tax to relevant agencies accordingly. I do not have any criminal record; even the relevant security agencies in Nigeria can attest to that. I made a covenant with God Almighty that in my life time, I will never involve myself in any criminal acts, violence or plots to short change the people of Niger Delta region.
Niger Delta is the only region we have, let us protect it, promote peace and unity among ourselves, and collectively support and work with the federal government to develop the Region with our oil wealth.
Happy New Year, 2017
High Chief Michael Johnny
Chairman, Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF)