Swing Into Action, Militants Urge Buhari



Another militant group, the Niger Delta Sea Commandos (NDSC), in the Niger Delta region has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to discontinue his pretentious plea to militants to cease bombing oil and gas facilities and commence dialogue with stakeholders to avert looming disaster.

Spokesperson of the group, self-styled Major Osama Blatter, in a statement, said, “As members of Sea Commandos, we cannot take Buhari’s plea serious and we are running out of patience. The issue is when he will start his dialogue.”

This came as Niger Delta activist, Chief Bello Oboko, threw his weight behind the call on President Buhari to emulate the Prime Minister of Britain, David Cameron, by ordering a referendum to find out what Nigerians want.

The Sea Commandos asked: “When will Nigeria grant Niger Delta autonomous state? Buhari should not play politics with Niger Delta’s demands. If he plays with us, we will ground his government. Delay is dangerous. We are not interested in any plea.

“Who told Buhari that Nigerians do not have other country than Nigeria? Niger Deltans are not part of Nigeria he is referring to because we belong to Niger Delta Republic.

“Buhari should lead the negotiation team, we want him in the creeks, Buhari should not expect our oil to stabilize Nigerians economy that is a thing of the past. Since he came back, we have not heard anything from him about the expired two-week ceasefire, he has not announced any extension, which is why we say that he is pretending.  We are warning that we can no longer wait, we will commence attack any moment from now,” it added.

Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari, will meet directly with governors, elders and other stakeholders from the Niger Delta region as part of efforts to end ongoing nefarious activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and other militant groups in the region.

The President of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Mr. Udens Eradiri, who confirmed the development at the weekend said the Presidency contacted some of the elders and stakeholders to inform them of the meeting.

Though he did not disclose the date of the meeting, he said the gathering of the stakeholders to deliberate on the crisis and the way forward will take place very soon.

Eradiri commended President Buhari for heeding the advice of the IYC which had on many occasions called on him to take the driving seat in resolving the crisis in the region.

He insisted that the issues and problems in the region required direct intervention by the President adding that Ijaw youths would not be part of any dialogue without the President in attendance.

Eradiri said: “We want to commend the President because I heard from the grapevine from one of our foremost governor and leader of Ijaw land this morning when he said they had been invited by the President for an engagement with respect to the Niger Delta crises.

“So, I want to commend the President for hearing our cry and for taking the right approach because there is no other approach than what the President has decided to do. “Mr. President is a very meticulous man who keeps a lot of things to his chest and Nigerian and people who are always around take advantage of his silence and misinterpret the body language of Mr President in various ways.

“That body language that has been misinterpreted has created a lot of confusion that has further worsen the situation in Niger Delta. Therefore we thank God Mr President will be coming out boldly to address the issues and body language will no longer be misrepresented.

“We want to thank the president for that bold steps and look forward to the right leaders going to sit down with the President to properly articulate the position of Niger Delta”.

But he said the Ijaw would continue to advocate for true federalism and restructuring as the permanent solutions to issues affecting different parts of the country.

Eradiri maintained that restructuring would solve the problems of Fulani herdsmen, constant attacks on pipelines, agitation for Biafria and other matters arising from the lop-sidedness of the Nigerian state.

He said: “We are of the opinion that Nigeria needs to be restructured so that we can solve problems of tomato price, dollar prices, insecurity, herdsmen crises, insecurity in the middle belt, armed robbery cases and others.

“The only solution to Nigeria’s problems not just Niger Delta problem is that we restructure this country to the point where people sit down and agree that we should go forward as a nation. It is only on that spirits that we will solve avengers’ problems once and for all.

“We want a holistic approach to the problem so that tomorrow an avenger will not arise or a destroyer will not arise or another pseudo group will not come and be destabilising the region.

“We have said this because the same issue the Willink’s Commission talked about was the same issue Isaac Boro came out to declear the Niger Delta Republic and eventually fought for Nigeria and died for it; the same issue Ken Sarowiwa was killed for.

“It is the same issue that led to the formation of IYC to non-violently address issues of underdevelopment and marginalization in the Nigeria state and the same issues that led to MEND and the same issue that led to avengers. So, if we want to move forward it’s only common sense that we address those issues and we think that those issues are holistically embedded in a restructured Nigeria.

“And so we want to thank the President for the opportunity to sit down and hear from the people so that he who is the President that is holding the knife and the yam would be able to cut it to the happiness of Nigerians in general”.

Eradiri added that former President Olusegun Obasanjo adopted a coastal-meeting model where he constantly sat with the Niger Delta governors and stakeholders, as his direct approach to tackle issues in the region. He said that the late President Umaru Yar’Adua and his successor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan were also directly involved in dealing with Niger Delta matters.

He said such direct approach led to peace in the region and increased the country’s oil production.



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