Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt and Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has condemned the spate of bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region by suspected militants.
The umbrella body of the Ijaw ethnic nationality also called on the federal government to convene a meeting of stakeholders of the Niger Delta region to address the current situation in the region and find a lasting solution to the attacks on oil installations.
In a statement issued in Port Harcourt monday after a meeting with traditional rulers, elders and opinion leaders of the Ijaw ethnic group, the President of INC, Mr. Boma Obuoforibo, also appealed to the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to immediately stop the bombing of oil facilities.
He said: “We condemn the current resurgence of bombing of pipelines and other oil installations in the Niger Delta as this ultimately is counterproductive to the Niger Delta region and the Nigerian nation.
While we urge the perpetrators to immediately stop these unwholesome actions, we appeal to the federal government to restructure the amnesty programme for better impact on the people and the community to assuage the plight of the people of the region.”
He said it was necessary that the federal government organised a meeting with stakeholders in the Niger Delta with a view to finding solution to the continued attack on oil and gas installations in the region.
He noted that the federal government had unveiled plans to take massive military actions against militants in the region. He however cautioned that government should apply restraint in its actions, adding that only dialogue and negotiation would bring a lasting solution to the actions of the agitators.
Obuoforibo condemned the resurgence of militancy and the attack on oil facilities and described the action of militants as counter-productive to the people of Niger Delta and the Nigerian nation in general.
Meanwhile, the Chairman, Kokodiagbene Community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, Sheriff Mulade, has warned the militants to stop further attacks on oil facilities.
Mulade handed down the warning while addressing the youths of the Gbaramatu kingdom.
He advised the youths of the community to desist from any involvement in pipeline vandalism, illegal bunkering and criminality in their communities.
“It’s pertinent to note that Gbaramatu Kingdom has been on the fore front of the agitation for development of the region, in spite of the Kingdom’s contribution, the people have been labelled and tagged criminals by enemies and instigating the federal government and security agencies against us.
“Therefore, as a people, we must review our roles to avoid the experience of 2009 bombardment,” he counselled the youths. While calling on the federal government to adopt dialogue to resolve the lingering quest of the Niger Delta people, Mulade said the people of Gbaramatu had expressed dismay over the deadly attacks.