Executive director, African Network for Environment and Economic Justice, ANEEJ,, Benin City, Edo State, Rev David Ugolor, has lashed out at the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Salvation Force, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, over his recent statement that Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, should stop his bridge-building visits to the Niger Delta, saying he should steer clear of actions that would tear apart Niger Delta.
Ugolor, an environmental activist cautioned Dokubo-Asari not to unwittingly fall prey to an “Abuja agenda,” saying it was indecorous of him, one of the celebrated arrow heads of the struggle, to impute that there was nothing like Niger Delta struggle, but Ijaw struggle and that other ethnic groups should leave Ijaw to enjoy the benefits of its armed struggle it waged against the Nigerian nation.
He asserted: “Niger Delta struggle is a common agenda for all the ethnic groups in the region and should not take an individual ethnic coloration. All the ethnic groups Urhobo, Ogoni, Itsekeri, Isoko and others have played their role. Gun is not the only option.”
“For example, Ken Saro-Wiwa and Comrade Sunny Ofehe of the Hope for Niger Delta Campaign, are not carrying guns, Nnimmo Bassey is not carrying gun and nobody will discount their contributions to the Niger Delta struggle. We also need to be careful not to play into the hands of Abuja agenda. Even when Dr. Goodluck Jonathan was president, he did not deal with Niger Delta Question. What was responsible? He managed to take care of his wife and close relations.
“If the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo’s visit will turn around things for the Niger Delta people, which include the poor Ijaw, not the self-centered war entrepreneurs, we should all rise up and support him and allow new thinking to shape the future of the region,” he said.
Ugolor stated: “We cannot continue to create division and think we will succeed, Dokubo Asari has played a useful role to draw global attention to the plight of our people, but he should not invest in narratives that will split the common agenda.”
“ United we stand and divided we fall, I think Dokubo-Asari’s interview with Vanguard today (yesterday) will not help to build a common agenda, so I strongly appeal to him to use his goodwill to strengthen inter-ethnic cooperation and also give chance to the Vice-President to implement the new agenda. It is time to try an alternative to model,” he maintained.