AN Ijaw group, the Ijaw People Development Initiative (IPDI), has warned President Muhammadu Buhari against involving foreign mercenaries in the Niger Delta crisis.
In a statement signed by the group’s national president, Austin Ozobo and spokesperson, Daniel Ezekiel, the group said that engaging Saudi mercenaries with the oil money worth $258m obtained from the Niger Delta region would only “aggravate and teach aggrieved youth better warfare.”
Such a move, the IPDI said, would also embolden the militant groups to acquire modern arms and ammunition to ‘fight back tomorrow’ and that it would not kill the quest for self-determination by the Niger Delta.
“We want to reiterate that bombing Niger Delta communities or wasting $258 million to hire fighters to fight the Niger Delta Avengers will not stop Niger Delta quest for self-determination.”
“Rather, it will aggravate and teach aggrieved youths better warfare and how to go about acquiring modern equipment to fight back tomorrow,” the statement said.
The group described the military contract as a waste of money and noted as worrisome, report that President Buhari would engage his allies to fight the people of the Niger Delta, especially when the region has fed the country for the past 56 years.
“We wonder why the government is so bent on wasting such huge amount of money to hire fighters from Saudi Arabia to fight a region that has fed the country for the past 56 years.”
“We are also surprised at the president’s decision to hire his Muslim allies to fight Niger Delta people.
“Why not Nigerian soldiers? What happened to the 100 gunboats, five warships and three fighter jets earlier deployed to the creeks to fight Niger Delta Avengers, which turned into a venture of intimidating innocent people and invading communities?,” the statement read further.