Give us Our Own Niger Delta Republic or We will cripple Nigeria’s Economy.

Pipeline-explosion in the Niger-delta

 

 

 

 

Abdulwasi’i Ilyas,

How we will make Nigeria suffer – NDA,

The Niger Delta Avengers(NDA) are out to make all of us suffer. That we must all pay for the sins committed against their region by our country for decades. Including those of their brothers former President Godluck Jonathan, and Rotimi Amaechi.

The total or partial blackout you’ve been experiencing lately is one way you are feeling the brunt. You were fully aware of the level of marginalization meted out on that region, but you showed no concern in your own capacity. So, have a feel of what is obtainable in the creeks of the Niger Delta. The militants seem to be saying.

Information about the group is largely obtainable from their website http://www.nigerdeltaavengers.org./, and their social media platforms.

Besides crippling electricity supply, the group has also succeeded in reducing Nigeria’s oil output from 2.2million to 1.6million barrels per day. It therefore follows that the country’s already weakened oil and gas revenue base will be further dented by their activities.

“On behalf of the Niger Delta people we said congratulation as we have cripple the Nigeria economy by 50% by the grace of God we will make it 100% if our demands are not met soon.” The group wrote on its website.

The grievances of the group

Environmental degradation in the Niger Delta
Environmental degradation in the Niger Delta

Based on the group’s analysis, 90% of oil blocs in the region are owed and controlled by Northerners .

The Niger Delta; the region which house the golden egg goose of the national economy has been left to languish  by the Nigerian federal government.

Even the Niger Delta Development Commission, founded to address developmental concerns of the region is acting as a cash cow for northern politicians and their southern counterparts.

After 1966, the country called Nigeria, the group claim has been a mistake. They have reaped nothing except slavery, oppression and environmental degradation. This they must put a stop to.

Their Demands

The group is telling the Federal Government and all who care to listen, that the forced marriage officiated and single-handedly consummated by Lord luggard between Nigeria and other regions has become not only monotonous and exploitative, but has led to a wanton degradation of the region’s environment and they therefore demand autonomy.

The Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) is also accusing Nigeria of shortchanging the Igbo Nation and therefore asking for the same thing as the NDA; to be let go.

The last I know of marriages, couples who seek to part ways, channel their grievances to authorities and competent jurisdictions after exhausting all available communication channels and conflict resolution strategies.

They do not resort to vandalism and destruction of assets of their partners. I have employed the analogical tool above having borrowed the usage of it from The NDA itself.

Their Objectives

To achieve the status of a Sovereign State and a Republic of the Niger Delta. The militants will effect a ruination of the nation’s economy. This in their own words has been achieved half-way.

They want President Buhari (wherever he is, in Nigeria or the UK) to apologize to them for inheriting the Nigeria system as it is and agree to their agitation for secession.

They are also calling on the international community, the United nations and others to grant them an independent republic.

Niger Delta Avengers and the former militants

The path of molestation of innocent citizens, (oil bunkering, kidnapping and killing of soldiers and oil workers, the path of hostage taking for ransom) is not ours to tread, the avengers assert.

The fact that we do not engage in any of the aforementioned sets our struggle apart from that of the ex-militants

The avengers do not intend to shed the blood of a single soldier or civilian, but to concentrate all efforts on disrupting oil and gas production by blowing up installations and facilities.

Political leaders and Elders of the Niger Delta region: Their stand

A cross section of traditional rulers during the commencement of the cleanup of Ogoniland
A cross section of traditional rulers during the commencement of the cleanup of Ogoniland

Former President Good luck Jonathan’s silence on this recent uprising has been deafening to put it lightly.

He was in London, where he granted Bloomberg an interview and also gave a speech. Therein he mentioned that he is being investigated for corruption and debunked allegations that he left behind an empty treasury for his successor even after the federal government has consistently insisted on the validity of that claim.

Chief Edwin Clark is busy on his part absolving Jonathan of complicity and duplicity in the matter. He urged President Buhari to emulate Yar’adua and Jonathan by Using dialogue and negotiations to quell the menace.

I gathered from Vanguard newspapers that all of the leaders of the region interviewed denounced military force as an effective strategy for tackling militants activities.

while some opt for the options of dialogue and engagement with the militants, others advise fiscal federalism. Implying, inter alia, that every region should be allowed control and management of its resources.

For Governor’s of the south-south states (with the exception of my Governor, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state) in a meeting with the vice-president, the corruption charges against ex-militants and PDP members from the region should be shelved and the NDA will die a natural death.

From Military force to dialogue

The Clean up of Ogoniland
The Clean up of Ogoniland

In the wake of the militancy, the President ordered the deployment of military force to the creeks to uproot the militants. More troops and weaponry were later added to reinforce military operations.

One of the greatest challenges of the Niger delta region is the environmental degradation and pollution arising from decades of oil exploration. This the Federal government  is tackling by on June 2nd, 2016  commencing efforts towards the clean-up of Ogoniland  and other affected areas as recommended by the  United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP).

After consultations and deliberations, the Presidency through The Minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, announce the withdrawal of some of its troops from the region to adopt the option of negotiations and peace talks with the militants.

Likewise, the gazette signed by the late President Umaru Yar’adua on the amnesty program will also be revisited to resume full implementation of its content.

While the news of dialogue is making the rounds, Avengers are still blowing up facilities and have denied involvement in any negotiations  with the government.

What best way do you think the federal Government can effectively manage these recent spate of militants attacks. please share your views with us in the comment box.

 

 

 

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One thought on “Give us Our Own Niger Delta Republic or We will cripple Nigeria’s Economy.”

  1. AN APHORISM: I must laud the efforts of the script writer here. Indeed, it is an aphoristic piece. I will not mince words or binge on sentiments as I comment. The sure singular solution to current bombings by the NDA is simple dialogue. Situations were tougher during Yaruaduas regime but peaceful talks saved the day. If PMB would simply jolt out of the fact that he is no longer GMB, things will begin to take shape. believe me you, the militarization of the creeks was the worst panacea this government could have resorted to. If we must know , Niger water ways have the most porous borders in the nation so, by that, one should not shocked to uncover that the NDA might run a richer arsenal and arms cache than even the Nigeria military. This administration must swallow pride and engage in a peaceful tete-a-tete with this boys at the Greek to avoid future human casualties.

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