Following the announcement made by the Niger Delta militants, Adaka Boro Avengers, that they would declare a Republic of Niger Delta on August 1, Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, FHRACC and Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, both in Delta State, on Tuesday, called on the militants to abort their intention.
The groups in different statements issued in Warri, said the move to declare a Republic of Niger Delta is not supported by any native of the region in his right senses. According to Alaowei Cleric, FHRACC national president:
“The growing threats by some militants groups , particularly the Adaka Boro Avengers to declare Niger Delta Republic on the August 1, 2016 does not conform with the tenets of the Niger Delta struggle.”
“The foundation of the struggle is well captured in the various Declarations by the ethnic nationalities in the region such as the Kaiama Declaration, the Ogoni Bill of Rights etc. Although all the Declarations anchored their demands on self-determination within the Nigerian Federation, none of them proposed to declare Niger Delta as an independent state from Nigeria.
“Niger Deltans are requesting for economic and political autonomy within the Nigerian state. If the militants are fighting for the genuine cause of the region, then they should not make matters worst for the people,” the group said.
The group added that if an independent Niger Delta Republic should be an option, then they must use civilized means to pursue their agenda.
FHRACC further pointed out that:
“Already, Maj. Jasper Adaka Boro of blessed memory had raised the bar for armed confrontation and for over the years, militants in the region have been engaging the Federal Government in armed conflicts.”
“There are times armed struggle is not lucrative to achieving one’s aim. The world has evolved from armed struggle into intellectual struggle. Let the militants use non-violent approach to pursue their aim. All the various ethnic nationalities in the country have lent their voices to the need for Nigerians to renegotiate our unity.
“Niger Delta militants should also toe the same line by joining other Nigerians to push for our twin demands of Sovereign National Conference and Referendum. In the world today, struggle for independence through referendum is the only acceptable platform.”
It stressed that the militants should take a cue from the recent world history. The group, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to commit genuine effort to addressing the impasse, adding that the Federal Government’s divide and rule tactics or better still lackadaisical attitude towards the region cannot resolve the crisis. The group said:
“The President’s body language has so far shown that he does not care about the plight of the people other than the oil in region. We fear that government is deliberately keeping silence to the bombings of oil facilities by the militants in order to justify military response.
“We sensed Mr President has given in to mischief makers who are averse to dialogue and have commended military approach.”
“For the sake of peace and our corporate existence, President Buhari should not shy away from dialoguing with the militants. What is happening in the Niger Delta has further supported the need to renegotiate the Nigeria’s unity.”
“Mr President, please save Nigeria from the imminent precipice by allowing Nigerians to decide their future existence through a referendum,” the group appealed.