By George Onah
Port Harcourt â€” Sovereign National Conference (SNC) is preferable to Niger Deltans than state creation, leader of Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Dokubo Asari, has said.
Speaking in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, at an award presentation to leader of organised opposition parties in the state, Prince Tonye Princewill, AsariÂ Â Â said, â€œI believe there must be a Sovereign National Conference and the issue of sovereignty must be discussed at such a conference, which would be peaceful.â€
Asari said state creation was a major issue in the body polity in the region because â€œit would continue to tear the people apart and would not improve their stake in the polity unless there is a roundtable discussion by the ethnic groups on the future of the countryâ€.
At the award, which was at the instance of National Association of Ijaw Female Students (NAIFS), Asari quoted Kwame Nkrumah, saying â€˜â€˜Seek ye first the political kingdom and all other things would be added unto youâ€™â€™ and stressed that was waht would be advocated for at the conference.
Asari said the people should not be carried away by recent calls for more states, pointing out that â€œwe are not on the same pedestal with other states who are talking about socio-economic change like 25 percent derivation, the people must decide on what they wantâ€.
He said, â€œlike the United States of America, the peculiarities of the different states must be put into consideration, so that all parts of the country will be able to express its plightâ€.
On the federal governmentâ€™s amnesty to militants in the region, Asari said it was illogical to grant amnesty to non-convicts, stating that it would be wrong for them to embrace the amnesty because it would defeat the essence of their agitation.
â€œI have the right to accept amnesty from government or not and I cannot accept amnesty.
What I am doing is fighting for justice, so I cannot be apologetic about what I am doing when I know I have not wronged anyone of the systemâ€.