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Niger Delta

Militancy: Group Tasks FG On Dialogue

Posted: Jun 14, 2016 at 6:10 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Idongesit Ashameri

Uyo – Concerned about increased militancy in the Niger Delta and other parts of Nigeria, the South South Solidarity Forum has advised the Federal Government to create acceptable atmosphere for dialogue and peace within the country.

Certain unexpected actions and utterances credited to the president and other highly placed Nigerians, according to the group, may have been responsible for escalation of militancy within the South South region.

In a chat with newsmen in Uyo over the weekend, the National President of the group, Dr Bassey Umoh, advised the Federal Government to identify and engage stakeholders and agitators in the region in a dialogue to be able to address grey areas and give peace a chance.

The threat to crush militancy and the deployment of the military ?to the region, the group noted would only breed violence and escalate the already tensed situation in the region and country.

While regretting the effect of the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers on the economy of the nation, the rights group said the president’s consideration of his victory at the poll as conquest, as proven by his utterances could hardly unite the country.

“The president should ask himself why all these are happening now. We have seen actions and inactions recently, others are taking arms. We have been able to identify a few things that could possibly have angered the people, first is President Buhari’s reaction to his victory at the poll.

The moment he went in, he told the Niger Delta people not to expect the same attention as those who supported him.

“Next he declared Tompolo, an ex Niger Delta militant, wanted and then reversed the proposed Maritime University located in Delta State. These, the people may have seen as punishment for not supporting the administration and are rather seeing themselves as conquered people. Now from the North we have seen increased effrontery from the herdsmen who think they can come to the South and kill because they are in charge”.

Umoh?, who expressed concern that the situation if allowed to continue may seriously cripple the economy, considers the present administration’s approach to fight corruption as one of the ways of instigating some sections of the nation against government.

“The president should have made effort to reconcile all ethnic groups; his fight against corruption seems to be taken out on a particular administration. He would not have made some people scapegoats. What the president is doing is fight and not effort to stop corruption, which in itself is corruption. Obasanjo did not use EFCC against past administrations; he used it to check corruption within his administration”, Umoh said.

While appealing to Niger Delta Avengers and other agitators to sheathe their swords and allow peace and economic growth in the country, the group, however, charged the Federal Government to create a roundtable where all ethnic groups would dialogue and minorities groups given sense of belonging.