Militancy: Niger Delta Coalition Says Only Buhari Acceptable to Chair Peace Dialogue

  • Calls for release of 10 secondary school children, other ‘prisoners-of-war’

Chiemelie Ezeobi

As the issue of militancy continues to cripple the nation’s economy due to the destruction of oil and gas pipelines, the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), the region’s coalition of ethnic nationalities and civil societies, on Monday said only President Muhammadu Buhari can chair the peace dialogue.

This is against the background of the different calls from Niger Delta groups and militants that someone from the region chair the dialogue for peace between the Federal Government and the region.

Imploring the president to revive the now-comatose platform of the holistic 2009 Amnesty Dynamic that late President Umar Yar’ Adua deployed, the coalition said it was the only way to stem the tide of the dangerously imploding reality of armed agitation in the Niger Delta.

The coalition also called for the release of 10 secondary school children and others detained as prisoners-of-war, who they said have been in detention many weeks after the military’s invasion of Gbaramatu Kingdom.

In the statement signed by UNDEDSS Secretary General, Mr. Tony Iprinye Uranta, the coalition urged the Federal Government to adopt the successful Yar’Adua template of 2009 by appointing a credible special adviser on the region and re-establishing the Niger Delta Committee/Council that operated five sub-committees to holistically and sustainably address the challenges identified in the region.

The statement reads in part, “UNDEDSS and other leading stakeholders in the region have tirelessly interfaced with very senior members of this administration and given them a detailed template the president should deploy now to resolve this growing insecurity in the region, which is negatively impacting all of Nigeria.”