BY JIMITOTA ONOYUME
PORT HARCOURT -Â FOLLOWING the release of detained MENDâ€™s leader Henry Okah by the federal government the militant body has been urged to reciprocate the good will of the government by halting further attack on oil facilities in the region.
An online statement from a militant body, Watch Dog of Niger Delta and signed by Sam Ebiye, said there was now urgent need to allow a peaceful atmosphere to evolve solutions to the challenges in the region. And this according to the group would be made possible when MEND discontinues attack on oil facilities.
The statement also hailed the federal government for its decision to truly grant Okah freedom. â€œWe commend President Umaru Musa Yar Ardua for the release and granting of unconditional Amnesty to Henry Okah, in response to this act, we call on all militia sect in the Niger Delta including MEND to throw in the towel in order to give the Federal Government and other stake holders the opportunity to address the developmental needs of the region.
History consents to the fact that Yar Ardua’s administration has proved convincingly that it has the will to address the problem ofÂ Niger Delta, let us reciprocate by giving them a chance to see the extent of their goodwill. â€œ
â€œCounting some of the very decisive issues taking by this administration in resolving the issues o the Niger Delta, we all know that this administration released AlhajiÂ Asari Dokubo from detention, it arrested and have released Henry Okah,it is offering Amnesty to Militants, it created the Ministry ofÂ Niger Delta even though the Ministers of Niger Delta do not reflect the wishes of our people and have not impacted positively on our lives neither have they demonstrated their usefulness to the Niger Delta region.
Nevertheless, President Yar Ardua seems to be on the right track, it is absolutely pertinent that arms struggle should stop. Let us be progressive minded and engage in more constructive agitation to better the lives of our people.
We therefore call the attention of Mr. President to the fact that the problem of Niger Delta goes beyond the release of Henry Okah, our problems are multi-facet and should have multi-variant solutions for us to have lasting peace.
The Government in livingÂ up to its goodwill should work out effective modalities to prevent other youths from wearing the shoes of repentant militants, this should be addressed by de-militarizing the Niger Delta Region, creating employment for youths, negotiating with MNC’s for job placement of our people, combating the massive corruption of public officers from our region, allowing for the peoples’ representation or choices in governance, establishing an agency to appraise the performances of NDDC and Ministry Of Niger Delta and so on.â€