…IT WILL BE CHEAPER TO NEGOTIATE WITH THE MILITANTS THAN FOR THE NATION TO LOSE N10.5BILLION DAILY AS A RESULT OF THE WANTON DESTRUCTION AND VANDALIZATION OF OIL INSTALLATIONS.
The interim national executive committee of the Congress of United People of Niger Delta (CUPOND) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to consider withdrawal of warships and fighter jets from creeks in the Niger Delta, as a proactive approach towards the restoration of peace and full economic activities in the region.
The group in a statement by its Natonal Organising Secretary, Dr Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe said the call has become necessary because of the innocent people and children that may be killed in the process of exchange of fire power between the militants, particularly the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the Igbesu Boys Confraternity (IBC) and federal forces.
CUPOND said it will be cheaper to negotiate with the militants than for the nation to lose N10.5billion daily as a result of the wanton destruction and vandalization of oil installations.
“We hereby appeal to the Avengers and other vexed groups to dialogue with the federal government and embrace peace. President Muhammadu Buhari has demonstrated sufficient political will power and excellent leadership qualities that suggests positive ability to effectively and prudently manage the resources of this Nation for the good of all Nigerians.
“We do not think that full blown military incursion will restore lasting peace and active economic activities in the region. We are not in support of renewed violence but government must employ result oriented strategies to quell the crisis and move the nation forward.
“Full military action may end up as futile exercise and costly too, if the federal government chose not to negotiate with the Avengers. We believe that involvement of the governors of the Niger Delta region and political leaders will yield better and greater results than full military action.
“We strongly advise the federal government not to move the Maritime University from its present location because that in itself may provoke further internal tribal or ethnic war capable of wrecking complicated economic havoc capable of escalating into wanton destruction of oil installations, choice properties and lost of lives, and at the end it is the poor and innocent people that will suffer.
“The federal government may continue with the investigation of fraud in connection with the land acquired for the University and in the same token continue with the project and open the University for academic activities with full assurance from the host communities that students of the institution will enjoy peace and stable academic activities.”
CUPOND strongly believe that the Niger Delta is still grossly underdeveloped compared to the rapid development going on in Abuja and other major cities whereas the region produces wealth for the thirty six (36) states of the federation including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), the statement added.