This was with a view to ascertain and identify the immediate grievances of The Niger Delta Avengers in order to proffer all-inclusive solutions.
The national delegation of the INC, comprising members from various Ijaw clans made this known to newsmen in Warri, yesterday, shortly after a consultative visit to the Ijaw community in Abraka and environs in Delta State.
Members of the INC delegation were in Abraka to mourn with and console the Congress leader, Mr. Martins Ezonfade, over the demise of his father, Pa Dr Michael Ezonfade.
Shortly after the visit, the delegation led by the Secretary-General of INC, Dr. Bello
Orubebe; INC Western Zone Secretary, Mr. Jeff Teiyeibo, Assistant Secretary INC Lagos, Mr. Ebi Benson and others spoke to Journalists giving condition for peace to return to the region.
They said that the body deemed it necessary to embark on the move to allow for peaceful coexistence among various ethnic groups in the country, peace in the Niger Delta as well as to remind the federal government on the need to respond to the Ijaw question.
The Secretary-General, Dr. Orubebe, who spoke on behalf of others called on the federal government to address issues that needed immediate attention in the region, which he said included kick-starting of the federal Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Warri South-West Local Government area of Delta State.
Again, they want the issue of continued degradation of the Niger Delta through oil exploration with no commensurate measures put in place as well as the need for holistic approach on the region’s poor infrastructure be addressed by the Federal Government.
Reuters Report Monitored yesterday…
However, some Niger Delta community leaders seem to be voicing support for the NDA, saying their demands for a greater share of oil wealth match the aspirations of local people to protest decades of abuse and pollution.
Some of the leaders in a stakeholders’ meeting in Warri on Thursday accused the federal government of a heavy-handed military response and warned such a campaign would not stop attacks that have cut oil production by more than 40 percent.
According to reports monitored on Reuters, some civilian leaders sided with the attackers, calling them “armed agitators” protesting failed government policies.
“Until the issues of resource control that the Niger Delta people have been fighting for since 1960 are addressed, there can be no peace,” said Udengs Eradiri, President of the Ijaw Youth Congress.