Secessionists Have Never Succeeded In Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Niger Delta

Secessionists Have Never Succeeded In Nigeria

Nigerian amphibious army advance towards the enemy during a joint military exercise between Nigerian armed forces, United States, Britain, Netherlands and Spain in Lagos on October 18, 2013. Nigerian armed forces are participating in a three-week joint military training with special forces specialising in fighting maritime criminals drawn from the United States, Netherlands, Britain and Spain, holding in southwest and southern coastal regions under the auspices of African Partnership Station (APS). The joint military exercise code named "African Winds" and spearheaded by the Nigerian Navy, is designed to improve the capacity of Nigeria's armed forces in its war against oil theft and other criminal activities in the creeks and high seas. AFP PHOTO/ PIUS UTOMI EKPEI
Posted: Jun 19, 2016 at 4:33 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Colonel Paul Ogbebor (rtd), a veteran of the Nigerian civil war, stated that members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and the other ethnic militias had not weighed their options well before embarking on the spate of destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region and maiming, killings and destroying properties in other parts of the country.

Ogbebor said: “It seems the Niger Delta militants, the MASSOB and the others do not know the implications of their actions. From history, including Biafra, the process of secession is like this – declare secession, invite all your people home, have a meeting with them and then declare secession, form your own army and prepare for any eventualities. These have not been done.

“We are having Ijaw all over the country without education. If there is war today what happens to these people? There are Igbo all over the country. If there is war today what will they do?
“It looks as if these people do not know all these things. They are starting from the rear instead of from the front.
“You tell the nation this are our grievances, address them. Where they are not addressed they should call their people to come back home and discuss with them. If there is a consensus that they should declare secession they should do so.

“It is now left for the remaining part of the country to say ‘go or don’t go’. If it is agreed that they should go, they go in peace. But where it is not accepted there is war and they should be prepared for that.
“If you want something and you start destroying properties, that is rascality. That would be unacceptable anywhere in the world.

“I think they should be properly educated. What is happening now is because they don’t know what war is,” he stated.
On the demands of the militants that the government should attend to some of their needs before negotiations for a ceasefire could start between them, the retired military officer said he was totally opposed to it as it would amount to the government emboldening criminals.