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Don’t resume violence, Ijaw groups, elders warn Niger Delta militias

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For the fact, the current administration under President Muhammadu Buhari has given his word of promise to develop Niger Delta and we have started seeing encouraging signals, there is no need destroy what we are building. These were the key words of the Niger Delta Elders Forum to the aggrieved Niger Delta youths and militia who recently warned of resumption of hostilities in the oil rich region very soon if their demands are not met.

Whereas the elders insisted that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration had shown some positive signs and very much ready to follow same, there is no need to resume bombings.

Elders warning seem to be coming on the heels of threats by some groups that they may resume violence soon if things are not put in place.

Leading the pack of peace include the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Worldwide and the Ijaw National Congress (INC) who argued that instead of resorting to violence, the region had opened a new chapter of constructively engaging the government to ensure it fulfilled all its promises.

The IYC President, Eric Omare, said “Since President Buhari had made promises, the best the region could do was to impress it upon his administration to fulfill them”.

“I do not think that it has got to that level where people will resort to threatening to bomb oil facilities again. Government made promises but our duty for now is to remind government of its promises towards the region and insist that government should fulfill its promises.

“But to threaten attack or resort to a militant approach to force government fulfill its promises, l don’t think is the best approach for now. We have never encouraged militant dimension or use of force in our agitation. We advise those that threatened violence to adopt peaceful means”.

In his remarks, the Chairman, INC, Central Zone, Chief Kennedy Odiowei, advised the youths to remain calm insisting that Buhari with his track record of integrity would fulfill his promises to the region.

According to him, “We are not in support of violence because the Federal Government is talking to the region. The Vice-President came and toured the Niger Delta. They have seen the plight of the region and the people.

“The government is very proactive to look into the issues of the Niger Delta so we are not in support of any threat to renew attacks. We are saying that everybody should keep calm and drop their arms”.

“The Vice-President made some serious policy statements including asking all the oil companies to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta region. It is a welcome development. So let us wait and see what the government could do,” Odiowei said.


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