A Pan-Niger Delta Group, the Africa Liberation Network, (ALNET) has urged the Federal Government to embrace an all inclusive, balanced and transparent negotiations with representatives of the Niger Delta in order to seek genuine solutions to the activities of militants and ensure genuine development across the oil producing communities of the region.
Speaking against the backdrop of the recently commenced dialogue between the Federal Government and selected leaders, elders and stakeholders from the Niger Delta region, the Africa Liberation Network, (ALNET), in a statement issued and signed by its convener Eddy Macauley, condemned the pipeline vandalization and other activities of militants as disdainful, berating and undermining the collective efforts of the elites in the region, even as it flayed the Leaders of the region for allegedly selling their place to these militants, who now parade themselves as Leaders of the region.
While noting that an owner does not destroy what he owns, the ALNET, through its convener, strongly asserted however that there was nothing like a “Niger Delta Movement” and the agitation of a few claiming to be speaking on behalf of the region should be comprehensively reviewed to accommodate all the critical interests in the region, instead of concentrating on the Conditions / List of negotiators given by groups such as the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, as the basis for negotiations.
According to the group, whose Vision and Mission is to Create a new Mindset, Drive a new Consciousness for Africa with the YOUTHS taking up Responsibility, and Raising the LEADERS that’ll chart a new course and rebuild the Nations of Africa, the activities of militants in the region was a racket by a few to enrich themselves just like the Amnesty program of the previous government and while dissociating itself from such activities, drew the attention of the Federal Government and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Coordinator, Amnesty Programme, retired Brigadier General Paul Boroh, to communities with huge Oil deposit, like Uzere, in Isoko ethnic nationality of Delta State.
“Uzere is the 2nd place where Oil was found in Nigeria in 1957, after Oloibiri, it has two oil fields (Uzere West and Uzere East) with a total of 43 oil wells producing about 53,000 barrels per day (8,400 m3/d) and lays claim as one of the largest oil producing communities in Nigeria”, the group pointed out, adding emphatically that any negotiation on behalf of the Niger Delta should involve at least a representative from each of the oil producing communities, otherwise it is fraudulent and one sided.
“We therefore implore the Federal Government to take precaution in trying to negotiate with representatives of the Niger Delta region, so as not to ignite fresh crisis in other Niger Delta oil producing communities or ethnic group where there seem to be relative peace,” they warned.
The statement, which suggested that the decision of the Federal to open negotiations with leaders of the Niger Delta region was a step in the right direction, if properly managed, concludes by charging the Governors, Elders, Senators, Representatives, Assembly members, Traditional and Religious Leaders in the region to wake-up to their responsibilities, noting that being a Leader requires some level of forward thinking, conflict resolution skills and the Courage to stand for what is RIGHT regardless of who is involved.
“Your true leadership begins from the day you openly condemn the activities of the militants which has brought more sufferings to OUR PEOPLE; it is evil and detrimental to the progress of the Niger Delta. Our lands, crops are being destroyed, our water is contaminated, our fathers, mothers, sisters and brothers are suffering and dying from the impact of militant activities.
“We must openly resist the impression and feeling that “FORCE / VIOLENCE” is the only way to get more from the central government; it is archaic, old fashion, shameful, disgraceful and unimpressive”, the group advised the leaders of the Niger Delta region.