By Gabriel Ewepu
ABUJA—THE Indigenous People of Niger Delta, IPND Worldwide has appealed to the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, not to resume attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region.
Speaking in a statement signed by its National Public Relations Officer/Publicity Secretary, Siloko Ogbuyen, IPND berated the Federal Government for not fulfilling most of the promises made to the Niger Delta people.
The statement reads in part: “The attention of Indigenous People of Niger Delta, IPND, has been drawn to a fresh warning of attacks on oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta region issued by the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, as signed by the group’s spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo.
“We hereby want to appeal to the NDA not to resume hostilities in the Niger Delta region, as it is not to our best socio-economic, socio-political and socio-cultural interest as a people.
“The NDA has a justification for the Niger Delta struggle, as the Federal Government has failed to fulfil the so-many promises made to the Niger Delta People.
“Where is the N2 billion kick-off funds for the Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Delta State? Where are all the deep sea ports? Where are the modular refineries? How many International oil and gas companies have relocated their headquarters to the Niger Delta region as promised?
”However, we believe resumption of hostilities will further worsen the socio-economic status of the region and scare away investors, whose investments would have created jobs for our youths and wealth for our people.”
Where are we with Ogoni clean-up? Where are we with Export Processing Zone and Industrial City? Where is the 2nd Niger Bridge? These are some of the many questions with no answers at the moment.
“We are not unmindful of the fact that Federal government has failed to show sense of responsibility and sensitivity to our plight but we believe Furthermore, the development of the region cannot come in the absence of peace and security and we should not act in a way that provides government justification for lack of development in the Niger Delta Region.”
According to the statement government’s lackadaisical and lacklustre attitude towards the plight of the region, as demonstrated by sheer neglect of issues earlier agreed upon to meet the demands of the people, which led to the ceasefire by NDA was condemnable.
“It only presupposes that government is insincere and cannot be trusted. To this end we want to urge the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency set up a negotiating team to resume negotiations and dialogue with representatives of the Niger Delta Region with the structure covering all States and tribes with network to the grassroots with the capacity to articulate all the many problems facing the region and how they can be solved for the general good of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“We are of the view that the perceived delay on the part of the Federal Government in entering into negotiation with the people of the Niger Delta region is basically responsible for the renewed call for hostilities in the region. It is against the above background we are calling on the Federal Government to take drastic steps to assuage the feeling of discontent and frustration among the Niger Delta people.
“We shall achieve much more as a people if we change our approach from militancy and military approach of Government to a dialogue approach where we shall continue to disagree to agree”, it added.