June 11, 2009

Group flays JTF’s attack on Gbaramatu kingdom

By Lucky Oji
LAGOS—The Afure Social Club, Lagos, has frowned at the brutal force applied by Joint Task force (JTF) in the bombing of innocent villagers and communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Delta State, urging the Federal Government to check the activities of the military in Niger Delta.

In a statement signed by Dr. Isaac Akpoveta, President, and Mr. Jackson Ebasa, Deputy President, the club urged the Federal Government to embrace sincere dialogue with the stakeholders in the region as the only reasonable means to resolve the problem.

The statement suggested that government should attend to the demand of Niger Delta, and adopt the recommendations of the various committees and implement all the initiatives sincerely articulated through the technical committee in Niger Delta constituted by President Yar’Adua, warning that the crisis should not be allowed to snowball into a civil war which will do nobody any good.

According to the statement, “we condemn the attack on innocent villages and communities in Gbaramatu Kingdom by Joint Task Force (JTF), where thousands of villagers have been displaced while many lives have been lost in the process and property worth millions of Naira destroyed.”

Olorogun Akpoveta added that the people were being subjected to various degree of hardship in their refugee camps, without adequate provision by government to shelter, clothe or feed them”.

The statement stated further that Afure Social Club does not believe in some of the criminality that has infiltrated into the struggle and is never in support of kidnapping of innocent people or blowing up of oil pipelines because at the end, it is like cutting one’s nose to spite one’s face.

It suggested that the region should be allowed to control her resources and pay tax to the federal government as it was when cocoa, groundnut and palm oil were the mainstay of the Nigerian economy.

“We condemn the stand of Federal House of Representatives in their continued support of JTF attack in the region.

It was an overreaction to issues that needs the concerted efforts of Nigerians to resolve. The federal government should restructure the country towards proper federalism that guaranteed derivation to resolve the problem.

The statement also implored other well-meaning Nigerians especially those from oil bearing states to up as the benefits derivable from the struggle is not enjoyed by Gbaramatu Kingdom alone.