Group tackles FG on N’Delta Crises

THE United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), a coalition of ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta, has decried what it described as “President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration’s seeming disdain for peaceful resolution of the Niger Delta crisis,” declaring that the government was insincere about desiring to end the region’s imbroglio peacefully and expeditiously.

The group said this in a statement issued by its Secretary-General, Tony Iprinye Uranta, following the body’s emergency National Working Committee (NWC) meeting held at the weekend.

The group condemned what it termed the “the increasingly excessive and anti-people attempts by the Federal Government” to seemingly intimidate and coerce the Niger Delta people, via military harassment, into submitting to what is perceived as an attempt to openly steal its resources and rights.

It said such attitude was a source of concern to “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.

“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,” UNDEDSS said.

The group, while lamenting that the delay in the Federal Government in responding to these positive peace moves from the region as a whole was making many lose faith in the sincerity of the Buhari administration to see Nigeria as its constituency and had again resurrected the “bogey of a virtual 97.5 per cent dichotomy, which Mr President appears not to have progressively renewed his mind on,” queried, “Would we blame the men in the creeks if they lose confidence in the FGN’s sincerity?

“Finally, whilst we want the world to know that there appears to be a myopic, hawkish agenda at play within FGN leadership circles, we unconditionally reiterate our 100 per cent 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 harassment of innocent citizens and communities under the guise of a thinly-disguised military offensive, ‘Operation Crocodile Smile.’

“We urgently call on all international observers to keep keen watch on the FGN 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,” the UNDEDESS said.