Niger Delta dialogue with FG: What Clark, others should do — Civil rights groups

Ahead of the proposed October 29 meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari, Niger Delta groups under the aegis of Pan Niger Delta Civil Societies Groups (PNDCSG), have charged members of the Pan Niger Delta Leaders Forum to present template in consonance with requests by militants in the region.

The groups, in a joint statement signed by their leaders and made available to journalists in Warri on Tuesday, warned leaders that’ll be meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari to eschew pursuit of personal interests and hammer on restructuring the country.

The groups include Niger Delta Security Watch Organisation of Nigeria, led by Dickson Bekederemo; Ijaw Human Rights Monitors, coordinated by Fred Brisibe; Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, led by Comr,  Austin Ozobo and Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRACC) presided over by Alaowei Cleric Esq.

While lauding President Buhari for initiating the jaw jaw, the groups asked leaders of the region to extricate from among them those having corruption charges hanging on their necks.

“Our hearts are filled with joy over the news that Mr President is inviting Niger Delta leaders to commence the process of dialogue. This is what we have been yearning for.

“We therefore commend President Buhari for fixing a date to meet with the Pan Niger Delta group for peaceful resolution of the region’s question.

“We advice that the Federal Government should used this medium to give a finishing touch to the reoccurring debacles in the region.

“Those who are representing the region in the proposed meeting should on no account do their own biddings other than the template suggested by the militants.

Members of the NIGER DELTA Avengers (NDA) have stated clearly that one of the template for dialogue is the restructuring of Nigeria into six regions.

“We want them to note that the militants also demanded as part of their suggested template for the dialogue is for the process to be mediated by home countries of all the multinational oil cooperation as well as other neutral international mediators.

We therefore urge the Pan NIGER-DELTA group to stick to this template.

“Anything short of this will not be accepted by our generation,” the civil society groups warned.

The groups asked the leaders to shun the offers of free accommodation, travel expenses, free meals and other filthy lures that could portray unseriousness, but rather show sacrifice.

“We also believe that a man who is going for negotiation, will not have the prerogative to give the one who is paying his bills his own terms and conditions.

“On this note, we urge the leadership of Pan NIGER-DELTA group not to accept any financial incentives in form of hotel accommodation, feeding and entertainment money from the Buhari led adminstration.

“We believe that their voices will be stronger if the piper is not being sponsored by the one he is  negotiating with,” the groups admonished.