…queries public agencies, oil coys on neglect of oil producing region
…applaud Clark & co. on demand for restructuring
Some Niger Delta agitators in a statement on Wednesday queried the inability of some Federal Government agencies charged with alleviating the sufferings of the people of the Niger Delta, to perform their statutory roles in the area.
The coalition of aggrieved agitators expressed angst in the continued defiance of the oil companies in the region to heed to the directive of the Federal Government, to relocate their corporate headquarters to the Niger Delta area.
The peace-seeking groups expressly flayed the posture of the Federal Government, which they accused of “attempting to validate the mayhem caused by mercenaries masquerading as Fulani herdsmen with demands for cattle colonies.”
The agitators under the umbrella of a body; “21st Century Youth of Niger Delta”, in 4- query point statement released by its Spokesperson, W.O. I. Izon Ebi, first queried the delay in the take off of the Maritime University; “What is still holding the resumption of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko, Warri South West Local Government Area, Delta State?”
“Secondly, why have the International Oil Companies, IOCs, refused to comply with the Federal Government’s directive to relocate their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta region?
“Thirdly, and what is holding the construction and take off of modular refineries in the Niger Delta?
“And fourthly, why is the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the Ministry of Niger Delta not working to alleviate the plight of the people of Niger Delta region?”
The agitators, who urged the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, to take up the issues with the Federal government, said: “The Federal Government is trying to justify and legalize the atrocities and genocide committed by these Fulani herdsmen with demands for cattle colonies.”
They added: “It is, however, lamentable that our government, which swore to an oath to protect the lives and properties of all Nigerians, does not hold the lives of its citizens sacrosanct in this 21st century.
“The avoidable massacre and silence of the Federal Government over what took place in Benue, Taraba and Southern Kaduna is a wake-up call to all Nigerians to stand up and speak the truth like our former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
“We plead with all Niger Deltans to stop being used by our oppressors because of political relevance and appetite for material pleasure, to thwart the real collective determination of the Niger Delta people; not at this time that our lives and dignities are being threatened by Islamic mercenaries masquerading themselves as Fulani herdsmen with impunity,” the agitators said.
On the just concluded South-South summit in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, the group asserted that: “The 21st century youths of the Niger Delta and agitators with conscience applaud the conveners of the South-South summit for their stance on the restructuring of Nigeria.
“We also commend our father and leader, Pa E.K. Clark for his appeal and expression of the Niger Delta peoples’ collective will.
“We commend him for his tireless efforts and sacrifice; even at his age he still displays patriotism and love for Nigeria and also champions justice for his people, the Niger Deltans.”
Continuing, the group express regret that nothing seems to be working in the region; “As it stands, nothing is working in the Niger Delta; rather the people are impoverished and their existence and dignity are being threatened by Islamic mercenaries masquerading themselves as Fulani herdsmen. These issues need urgent answers.
“No Niger Delta leader or person from this region that truly shares the pains of the people, will subject him/herself to the antics of our oppressors; not now that our existence and dignity as a people are being threatened by Islamic mercenaries masquerading themselves as Fulani herdsmen.
“We urge all our fighters and the ‘white sharks’ to be on red alert and maintain their positions for further instructions from the highest command of the Niger Delta struggle, the Niger Delta Avengers NDA.
“We thank the Niger Deltans for adding their voices and advice on how they feel. We assure them that we are up to the task, which is why we have chosen this path with our lives, to stand up and fight for equity and justice. We cannot afford to bequeath slavery and suffering to our children,” they vowed.
-Abai Francis, Warri