N/Delta leaders urge FG to stop further deployment of military hardware to region

TRADITIONAL rulers, stakeholders, elders, leaders of thought, youths and women of the Niger Delta Coastal States (NDCS) have called on the Federal Government to stop the deployment of military hardware and personnel to the creeks of the region.

This was made known at a one-day meeting of the NDCS chaired by Ijaw leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, on Friday in Warri, Delta State.

A communique issued after the meeting meant to proffer urgent solutions to the current situation in the region contended that the deployment of military hardware in the area was causing fear, unease and social dislocation of innocent people.

According to the meeting attended by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and representative of the Bayelsa State governor, among others, the deployment of the military hardware will worsen the already explosive atmosphere capable of compounding the economic situation of the country and the region.

The meeting called on agitators and aggrieved groups in the region to listen to pleas by traditional rulers, elders and leaders of thoughts to halt further damage to the nation’s oil and gas facilities and embrace dialogue.

It urged the Federal Government to show more seriousness by reaching out to authentic representatives of the region involving all ethnic nationalities, interest groups in an all-embracing manner to chart peace and way forward.

The communique also demanded the adoption of the restructuring of the political system and the practice of equitable fiscal federalism for sustainable peace and development of the country, as recommended in the 2014 national conference.