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N-Delta: Afenifere cautions against military assistance

By Abdulwahab Abdulah
Afenifere, Yoruba socio-cultural and political group Tuesday cautioned the Federal Government against accepting military assistance from the United States in solving the Niger/Delta problems as promised during the last visit of the US Secretary of State, Mrs Hillary Clinton to Nigeria.

In a statement by its leader yesterday, Chief Reuben Fasoranti, said such moves will not only compromise Nigeria’s sovereignty but will jeopardize plans to end the crisis going on in the Niger Delta region.

The statement added that military option has always failed in the area, and that this will only embarrass the country with the attendant military altercation with the civilians. It said such request from the US is a standard way of pushing through her “hiding self-interest under an altruistic design.”

According to the statement, “Afenifere will ask Nigeria to reject the American Secretary of State’s offer of military assistance in the Niger-Delta. All this will only satisfy American desire for a strategic foothold in the Gulf of Guinea.

Allowing US presence in the zone will be admitting through the back-door the George Bush-fashioned AFRICOM, which Nigeria refused to grant an operational base here and lobbied African countries to also reject, for the simple reason that such a Force will compromise our Sovereignty and territorial integrity.

It also violates Nigeria’s traditional non-aligned stance. The Niger-Delta has international implications indirectly; but any Military solution must be 100 percent local.”

Commenting on Clinton’s visit the group lauded the visit while calling on the Nigeria leaders to heed the truth told Nigerians on how corruption has ruined the political and economic systems in the country. It condemned the reaction from the government over the comments made by the Diplomat on corruption in Nigeria and its leadership.

“Afenifere is not concerned about what Mrs. Clinton said as much as we are concerned about our leaders’ reaction to what she said. Unfortunately, government representatives have reacted negatively to her enlightened observations instead of making a firm commitment to seeking solutions to the malaises that she identified.

This outpouring of vituperation by Nigeria’s ruling class casts politicians as diehard sinners who, rather than repent, wish to continue sliding down the path of perdition. One would have thought that instead of grandstanding, our pompous political leaders would regard Clinton’s observations as a clinical diagnosis that only they themselves can provide with healing.”

It called on the federal government to revamp the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for a better battle against corruption in Nigeria.


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