Friday 10 June 2016

Ijaw communities beg Niger Delta militants to accept government's ceasefire

Niger Delta militants
Ijaw communities in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, on Friday appealed to militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, to accept the Federal Government’s ceasefire and stop the attacks on oil facilities.

The appeal is coming on the heels of renewed hostilities by the militants despite the Federal Government’s readiness to hold talks with the people of the region.

The group had on Thursday night attacked an off shore oil pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation in the Shanomi creek and Ogidigben rivers.

The spokesperson of the communities and Chairman of Kokodiagbene community, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, said the communities were the ones feeling the brunt of the incessant attacks as they were already making lives unbearable for the people.

Mulade, said the group’s demands should be not personalised as the Niger Delta people were already aware of the degradation engulfing the region and were working assiduously to address them, stressing that dialogue was only viable and veritable means to address grievances.
In his words, “Our position is that the continued bombings of the region in view of the ceasefire arrangement are highly condemnable. They are technically crippling the economy to enable them get what they want. So, they should not personalise their Niger Delta demands.
“Some of the things they highlighted are what the Niger Delta people are agitating for and violence is not best way to get those things done. We think they are only taking advantage of government’s failure to address these fundamental issues.’’
An Ijaw leader, Chief Jeffery Ojogun, who also condemned the militants’ onslaught, however, said one of the solutions to the renewed hostilities in the region was the full operation of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.

A former chairman of Benikrukru Community, host to several multinational oil companies in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, Chief Ojogun, described the continued attacks on oil facilities as unfortunate.

He said dialogue should be adopted in resolving the renewed hostilities in the oil-rich Niger Delta Region and commended President Buhari for ordering a two-week ceasefire in the troubled region.
He said, “I am pained by the recent happening in the Niger Delta Region. The people of the region are responsible and peace-loving and this is why I am appealing that those breaching the peace in the region should allow peace to reign.

“I am worried about the lives and property being wasted and the destruction of our communities as a result of the Niger Delta crisis that is doing nobody any good. Peace is the answer.”

Credit: Punch

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