Clark, Dickson, Okowa Draw New Battle line With Buhari

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Following the militarization of Gbaramatu kingdom and the long awaited dialogue with militants by the President Mohammadu Buhari-led federal, Chief Edwin Clark and Ijaw famous leader has said any dialogue between the federal government and militants in the Niger Delta would not yield result without Ijaw leaders been engaged in the process.

Clark stated this during the Ijaw leaders’ consultative council meeting which included the Bayelsa governor, Seriake Dickson and Delta State Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro in Warri.

The meeting was aimed at reaching common ground on the renewed militancy and its impact in the Niger Delta and Nigeria.

Clark in his opening remark in the meeting held behind close door said it was not the first time this kind of crisis was happening.

“In 2008 and 2009 similar incident happened and Gbaramatu was affected. We elders and leaders intervened and we got Amnesty.

“Today we hear that federal government is planning, already talking or negotiating with militants and nobody has consulted us.

“That will not work. These children are our children and we cannot fold our hands when they are being attacked and pretend not to notice. We must be involved in what government wants to do,” Chief Clark said.

At the end of the closed door meeting the consultative forum of Ijaw leaders drew a communique and made available to newsmen.

The communique read, “The Elders and Leaders of thoughts of the Ijaw nation call for the immediate restructuring of the Nigerian nation along the lines of peaceful federalism.

“As panacea for the sustainable development of Nigeria. As a demonstration of sincerity of commitment to dialogue, FG should immediately withdraw the military from all occupied Ijaw communities, particularly Gbaramatu kingdom”.

The meeting also called on the FG to immediately release the 10 innocent students of Gbaramatu kingdom.

“The meeting also condemn the move to scrap the Nigerian Maritime University approved by the preceding FG with temporary site at Kurutie and call for the immediate take-off of the university.

“The forum also urged the militant groups of the Niger Delta to cease further attacks on crude oil and gas facilities and embrace the dialogue offered by the federal government”.

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2 Comments on this article. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Brisibe John August 10, 2016 at 12:01 pm -

    Where were this so called Ijaw leaders when GEJ ruled & reigned for 6 years with nothing to show in the entire Niger Delta region? Shame on you.

  2. Dr. Chukwuma Nwaonicha August 7, 2016 at 11:43 am -

    I support Chief Edwin Clark’s opinion that President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government should ensure Ijaw leaders are part of the engagement process towards resolving militancy and challenges of under-development in the region. I also believe that Mr. President should include the governors in the Niger Delta region in this dialogue. I advise that the militant groups in Niger Delta sheath their swords and embrace peace through dialogue. I believe that it is only when they embrace peace government will meet their demands. As stated in the past, safety and security are key ingredients to achieving social, economic, technology and industrial developments in any society. Conducive environment for investment cannot be achieved in a society where militancy, hostage taking, oil theft, pirating, sabotaging pipelines and kidnapping reign. For example, from all indications, the issue of insecurity in our communities is a by-product of numerous problems like poverty, unemployment and under-development. Therefore, there is need for the cooperation of the governors, the locals and peaceful coexistence among Niger Deltans. Besides payment of allowances to some militants, the long-term solution to the Niger Delta problems requires quality education for the indigenes including high scale capacity building and radical revitalization of the dilapidated infrastructures in the region; thereby developing the region and creating employment for the masses in the communities. It is a saying that one should teach a child how to fish (a long-term solution to the child’s problem) but not to give a child a fish (a short-term solution to the child’s problem). Handouts are no solution to any social and economic problems in any society. The stakeholders in the region have to do their homework diligently. Thank you.