By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
YENAGOA – NIGER Delta agitators, Wednesday, put forward four knotty problems to the Federal Government, which they accused of attempting to validate the mayhems by mercenaries masquerading as Fulani herdsmen with cattle colony.
The agitators under the auspices of 21st Century Youth of Niger Delta in a statement by the spokesperson, W O I Izon Ebi, said: “First is what is still holding the resumption of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko, Warrior South West Local Government Area,Delta State?”
“Secondly, why has the International Oil Companies, IOCs, refused to comply with the Federal Government directive to relocate their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta region; what is holding the construction and take off of modular refineries in the Niger Delta;
” And fourthly, why are the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the Ministry of Niger Delta not working to alleviate the plight of the people of Niger Delta region,” they queried.
The agitators, who urged the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, to take up the issues with government, said: “Our government is trying to justify and legalise the atrocities and genocide committed by these Fulani herdsmen with cattle colony.”
They added: “It is, however, lamentable that our government, which swore to an oath to protect the lives and properties of all Nigerians does not hold the lives of its citizens sacrosanct in this 21st century.”
“The avoidable massacre and silence of the Federal Government over what took place in Benue, Taraba and Southern Kaduna is a wakeup call to all Nigerians to stand up and speak the truth like our former President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo.
“We plead with all Niger Deltans to stop being used by our oppressors because of political relevance and appetite for material pleasure to thwart the real collective determination of the Niger Delta people. Not at this time that our lives and dignity are being threatened by Islamic mercenaries masquerading themselves as Fulani herdsmen with impunity,” the agitators said.
On the just concluded South-South summit in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, they asserted: “The 21st Century Youths of the Niger Delta and agitators with a conscience applaud the conveners of the South-South summit for restructuring of Nigeria and the stance taken by the South-South.”
“We also commend our father and leader, Pa E.K. Clark for his appeal and expression of the Niger Delta people on how they feel. We commend him for his tireless effort and sacrifice even at his age; he still displays patriotism and love for Nigeria and champion justice for his people, the Niger Deltan.
Their words “As it stands, nothing is working in the Niger Delta; rather the people are impoverished and their existence and dignity is being threatened by Islamic mercenaries masquerading themselves as Fulani herdsmen. These issues need urgent answers.”
“No Niger Delta leader or person from this region that truly shares the pains of the people will subject him/herself to the antics of our oppressors; not now that our existence and dignity as a people is being threatened by Islamic mercenaries masquerading themselves as Fulani herdsmen.”
“We urge all our fighters and the white sharks to be on red alert and maintain their positions for further instructions from the highest command of the Niger Delta struggle, the Niger Delta Avengers NDA.
“We thank the Niger Deltans for adding their voices and advice on how they feel. We assure them that we are up to the task, which is why we have chosen this path with our lives to stand up and fight for equity and justice. We cannot afford to bequeath slavery and suffering to our children,” they vowed.