Following the recent threat by militants in the Niger Delta, two groups from the oil-rich region have appealed to the agitators to sheathe their swords and shelve their plan to blow up oil installations in the area.
The Niger Delta Avengers and the Coalition of Niger Delta Militants had issued a threat to end their ceasefire and resume hostilities in the region, stating that their decision to resume hostilities was based on the alleged failure of the Federal Government to attend to the challenges facing the region.
But the two groups, Conference of Ethnic Nationalities of the Niger Delta, and the Ijaw Media Action Initiative, urged the militants to exercise restraint.
The President of the CENND, Prof. Kimse Okoko, told our correspondent that an attack on oil facilities would only worsen the environmental pollution faced by the people of the region.
Okoko said, “Destroying the pipelines and other oil facilities will not help us. Our environment is dear to us as Niger Delta people and anything that compounds it will worsen our situation. It is not advisable to begin to blow up oil installations.”
He noted that successive governments were aware of what the Niger Delta people wanted, adding that the failure to address the challenges was frustrating.
“All I can say is that governments in the country know what the Niger Delta wants. Sometimes, I get frustrated listening to continued negotiations between Group A and Group B.
“The impression they are trying to create is that successive governments do not know what the Niger Delta wants. This motion without movement will not help anybody,” he added.
Also, the national coordinator of the Ijaw Media Action Initiative, Mr. Victor Burubo, urged the militants not to go into another round of destruction.
He argued that attack on oil facilities would expose innocent residents to harassment by soldiers.
Burubo said the Federal Government had been insincere in dealing with the Niger Delta region, pointing out that government had been showing bad faith in its agreement with the people of the region.
“For the sake of our people, let us not go into another destruction of our environment. It will only expose us to harassment by soldiers. Though the government is showing bad faith, we have to show good faith.
“The government has been very insincere in dealing with the Niger Delta. Up till this time, we have not seen what they (FG) have done. But the solution is to continue to embrace dialogue and not destroying oil facilities and endangering our environment,” Burubo stressed.