Buhari Not Sincere About Lasting Peace In Niger Delta – UNDEDSS | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe


Buhari Not Sincere About Lasting Peace In Niger Delta – UNDEDSS

Buhari, change campaign
Posted: Sep 12, 2016 at 3:06 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Temidayo Akinsuyi

Lagos – Rising from its National Working Committee meeting held in Akure, the Ondo state capital at the weekend, a coalition of ethnic nationalities and civil society groups in the Niger Delta, the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS) has decried President Muhammadu Buhari’s unwillingness for a peaceful resolution to the crisis rocking the Niger Delta region.

While accusing the Federal Government of insincerity, the coalition in a statement signed by its Secretary-General, Tony Ipriye Uranta said despite the peace efforts and ceasefire reached by the Chief Edwin Clark-led group, the federal government, through the military has continued to harass innocent citizen through ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’.

The statement reads “The coalition of ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta, UNDEDSS, has decried President Buhari’s seeming disdain for peaceful resolution of the Niger Delta crisis, and concluded that the FG is insincere about desiring to end the Niger Delta imbroglio peacefully and expeditiously”.

“The increasingly excessive and anti-people attempts by the Federal Government of Nigeria to seemingly intimidate and coerce the peoples of the Niger Delta, via military harassment, into submitting to what is perceived as an attempt to openly steal its resources and rights, worries all right-thinking people of the world; especially since all this is at a time that the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Group has succeeded in getting the armed agitators to cease fire unilaterally and express their collective readiness to embrace dialogue”.

It added that while the agitators have honoured the agreement for ceasefire which has resulted in non-bombing of oil installations, the federal government has not.
“The world should note that the armed agitators have kept faith with their ceasefire, and the creeks of the Niger Delta are relatively at peace, save for the Nigerian military ‘manoeuvrings’.

“We do not understand how any peace-intent Government would waste weeks before accepting any olive branch that would help free all Nigerians from the present nationwide economic hardship being suffered, when we can trace dwindling Government revenues, power instabilities and mass impoverishment directly to the ongoing imbroglio in our region.”

“Would we blame the men in the creeks if they lose confidence in the FGN’s sincerity? The delay in the FG responding to these positive peace moves from the region as a whole, is making many lose faith in the sincerity of this Administration to see Nigeria as its constituency; and has again resurrected the bogey of a virtual 97-5% dichotomy which Mr. President appears not to have progressively renewed his mind on.”

“Finally, whilst we want the world to know that there appears to be a myopic hawkish agenda at play within FG leadership circles, we unconditionally reiterate our 100% confidence in the Chief Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Group; we strongly reiterate our position that only a sincere embracing of the 2009 Yar’Adua Niger Delta/National Peace Template can comprehensively and sustainably bring this impasse to an end, once and for all”.

“We unequivocally condemn all continuing innocent harassment of innocent citizens and communities under the guise of a thinly-disguised military offensive, aka aptly as ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’.

“We urgently call on all international observers to keep keen watch on the FG and the Niger Delta; we advise Mr. President to show that he really is President of all Nigerians, and begin demonstrating true positive change that begins with him doing the right things at all times; and, we call on President Buhari to urgently issue a Presidential position embracing the peace overtures from the Niger Delta armed agitators, and summoning all to a negotiation table, so as to more help speedily ameliorate the hardship currently bedevilling most Nigerians nationwide.”