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Why militancy resurfaces in Niger Delta, by ERA

By Adamu Abuh (Abuja), Michael Egbejule (Benin City) and Nnamdi Akpa (Abakaliki)   |   07 June 2016   |   2:55 am

militantAyiri, group caution govt against talks with Avengers

The Executive Director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria, Dr. Godwin Uyi Ojo, blamed the poor implementation of the amnesty programme for the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta region.

Ojo, who made the submission while speaking on the topic “Natural resources governance in Nigeria: Break from fossil fuel and go wild for life” as part of activities to mark the World Environmental Day in Abuja, lamented that successive administrations had preferred to reward militants monetarily rather than exploring a lasting solution to the problem of under-development of the oil-rich region.

He said the ongoing vandalism of oil pipelines by Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) would abate when the people of the region are made to participate in the management of the oil resources in their domain.

Meanwhile, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Ayiri Emami and a group, Buhari/Osinbajo Initiative for Demonstrating Change have the Federal Government against negotiating with the militants, insisting their motive is selfish.

Ekiti State Governor Ayodele Fayose had last week urged President Muhammadu Buhari to commence negotiation with the Avengers to save the economy, which he noted, was already facing an imminent collapse.

Speaking at a party rally in Benin City, the Edo State capital, Ayiri while condemning the destructive activities of the militant group, described its resurgence as a fight by the Ijaw nation for survival and not necessarily for the overall interest of the oil-rich region development-wise.

He stressed that the struggle to promote peace and ensure development of the area was being undermined by the group, urging military confrontation and coercion to check the fighters whose vandalism of oil installations in the last couple of weeks had tumbled the nation’s oil output.

The party chieftain, who also frowned at the distraction being put in the way of the Buhari administration which has kicked off the clean-up of Ogoniland In Rivers State, contended that past leaders from the region should be blamed squarely for its under-development.

According the support group’s National President, Chinedu Ogah during a chat with reporters yesterday in Abakaliki, the Ebonyi State capital, described the call as meaningless and politically-motivated.

“How can people call the Federal Government to negotiate with those that want to cripple the nation’s economy, those that want to destabilise the unity and peace of the country, to us the call s meaningless and we will resist it,” he queried.




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