We Won’t Leave Niger Delta, Hausas, Yorubas Dare Militants | Independent Newspapers Limited
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We Won’t Leave Niger Delta, Hausas, Yorubas Dare Militants

Posted: Jul 21, 2016 at 4:35 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Emma Arubi

Warri – Against the recent threat by Niger Delta militants that Northerners and Westerners should quit the region and return to their various regions, the youth leaders of the Hausa and Yoruba communities in Warri have questioned the rights of the Ijaws to issue such a threat to them.

They contended that they have equal rights with the Ijaws as bona fide citizens of Nigeria and called on the leadership of the Ijaw nation to caution their youths in their quest for secession from the Nigerian nation.

Speaking to a select group of journalists in Warri on Wednesday, Mallam Rabiu Abdulraman, the Hausa youth leader and businessman resident at the Hausa Quarters in Igbudu, said while they concede the right of the Ijaw militants to agitate for whatever they claim to be their right, they should also remember that other law-abiding Nigerian citizens who believe in the unity of the country have their rights to be protected and live in any part of the country of their choice.

He warned that violence can be disseminated by any group or ethnic nationality if they so wish.

“Look, these militants have taken this nonsense too far by asking us to return to our region. Some of us have stayed here since birth. Nobody should be threatening us to leave. What about our businesses here? Are there no Niger Delta indigenes in other parts of the country? Should they also be driven home?  Where are you even asking them to go and stay immediately or you want them to become refugees for no just cause?

“We have not disturbed them in any way since this resurgence of militancy. Boko Haram is doing their own in the North East and you just started yours here. Why did you wait until President Buhari’s time to do this if not that you want to cripple his government for selfish reason? We are not afraid of anything but chasing us away will have its multiplier effect on the socio-political and economic well being of all Nigerians and everybody will be losers without discrimination.

“So, what are they trying to tell us? We are not fools and nobody should think only they know the arms market. Even then, when did all the other tribes in the Niger Delta agree with them in this obnoxious decision to drive us out of the region?” Abdulraman queried.

Mr. Abiodun Oguntomisin, a Yoruba youth and cattle seller at Effurun, on his part, stated that no group could chase away Yoruba people from any part of Nigeria.

He said that the Yoruba also have militant group in Nigeria known to all and warned the Niger Delta militants to rethink their decision on the current degradation and pollution of the region through the bombing of oil and gas facilities for the benefit of themselves and their generations yet unborn.

“Nobody will benefit from this unbridled brigandage of the Niger Delta militants. Their leaders and our so-called human rights groups should call them to order now instead of keeping quiet in the face of the wreckage they are causing the nation because of imagined or perceived marginalisation by successive governments.

“This thing did not start with President Buhari. President Jonathan just left government yesterday. Where are all the monies he pumped into the region? These boys should ask their leaders where all the funds allocated to the development of the region through different ministries and parastatals manned by Niger Deltans went into, if not the hands of their own leaders and elite.

“When government comes heavily on them, let no one cry foul. If they cripple the economy, will they drink the oil or through which means will they siphon the remaining oil to other countries? They are only agitating to become the overlord of the Niger Delta and ride roughshod over the minority, that’s all,” he opined.

Both youth leaders said they are watching and monitoring events as they unfold even as they have put their indigenes on red alert in the event of any harm coming their way.

They said the threat of the Ijaw militants should be viewed with seriousness as none of their leaders have openly come out to denounce them but also admonished the warmongers to toe the path of dialogue with the Federal Government instead of grandstanding.

The militant groups have given the Federal Government notice to declare Niger Delta Republic on August 1, 2016 if their numerous demands are not met.